She starred as Duke, one of the Knockaround Girls in the film Fight Valley. Now, Erin O’Brien spoke to me about her experience on the film, which of the actresses was most fight ready, and what it was like on set with some of the biggest names in women’s MMA.
Hello Erin! First, thank you for taking the time to speak with us at MMAUncaged. Your film Fight Valley is one that captured the attention of the MMA community with all the names attached to it. Now a little more than a year since it came out, what do you remember most from your experience making the movie?
Making Fight Valley was a great experience. I was happy we got to film in my home state of New Jersey. I can also say I really enjoyed working with everyone involved. It was a largely female cast and we all got along really well. I made some great friends on this project that I am still very close with today, including our director Rob Hawk and our makeup artist Kat Carollo.
The film has several of the biggest names in women’s MMA in Miesha Tate, Cris Cyborg, and Holly Holm. We are familiar with them as athletes, but how did they take to acting? Since you and your co-stars had several fight scenes, was there an exchange of knowledge in helping them act and their helping you to make your combat scenes more authentic?
All the girls did such a great job. I was very impressed, especially since it was their first time acting and I’m sure they were nervous. On the other hand, I was a bit nervous about the fight scenes. I trained a little in jiu-jitsu to prepare for the role, but my fight scenes turned out way easier than what Holly, Cris and Miesha had to do. Our fight coordinator was there to help us all to make our fights look good. The movie was a team effort and I think they all did an awesome job.
One of the interesting things about the film is that all of the fighters who appeared had a strong possibility of facing each other in real life. Was there any underlying tension when they were around each other during filming?
There was no tension at all. All the girls got along very well and worked really well together. I think everyone on set encouraged and supported each other.
This past year, Miesha and Holly did fight each other for the world championship. What was the experience like for you to watch them compete for real after having shot the movie with them?
Honestly, it was really hard to watch because I wanted them both to win! They both gave a really good fight. I was very happy for Miesha but felt sad for Holly not holding on to her belt. In the end it’s pretty awesome that both girls can say that they were world champs.
One of the things that shocked me the most is that you are so warm and friendly in your interviews, but in the film your character Duke has quite a mean streak to her. How did you get into the mind set to play a character with such an edge?
I think we all have a darker side and it’s really fun to tap into. I think Duke was a pretty intense character but also had a sweet side.
Yourself, Cabrina Collesides, Susie Celek, Kari Kramer, all did a fantastic job with your fight scenes. I’m curious, however, of all the actresses who do you think was the most fight ready by the time filming was over?
Thank you! I have to say that Susie was the most fight ready. She had the most fight scenes in the movie and she is also in amazing shape!
Now, it’s been announced that there is going to be a sequel. What can you tell us about it?
The movie will take place in a prison. I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s a really cool story, and again has an underlining theme of revenge.
Besides Fight Valley, you have certainly been keeping busy. We see that you are going to be part of the films Worthless and One Penney. What can you tell us about your upcoming projects?
I filmed Worthless in October. The movie stars Tara Reid and was directed by Fight Valley director Rob Hawk. It’s a horror movie but has an anti-bullying theme. One Penny will be debuting this month at The DC Independent film festival. I’m really proud of this film and our first time director Micheal DeVita.
With several projects in the works, what else are you looking forward to the most in 2017?
I’m looking forward to filming Fight Valley 2 as well as a movie called WASP. WASP is a movie about female fighter pilots. It’s going to be a lot of action. And I get to work with Rob Hawk again in both of these films.
Thank you so much for your time Erin! Where can fans follow you on social media to keep up with you?
Than you 🙂