Back left
Back right

Emily Browning: “Babydoll Packs a “Punch”

Mar 21, 2011

Emily Browning talks swords, Mary Janes, girlpower and “Sucker Punch” in our interview!

Kidzworldis in a Beverly Hills hotel suite watching a huge rainstorm outside with petite Aussie actress Emily Browning, 22, who looks very different in person than as either Violet, her character in 2004’s [kwlink 5163 ]Lemony Snicket’s[/kwlink] A Series of Unfortunate Events or Babydoll, a platinum blonde, butt-kicking bombshell in Zack Snyder’s new girl-powered actioner Sucker Punch.

Right now, Emily seems small and school-girl vulnerable in short, light brown hair and wearing a lady-like Marc Jacobs, black and white, sleeveless dress in a hounds tooth pattern with big black buttons on the bodice. We’re learning that this young woman is anything but helpless. Check out what Emily is telling us about playing a girl with a volatile imagination whose fantasies help her escape a mental institution.

Kidzworld: Your fantasy Babydoll character is dressed in Mary Janes and a sailor suit so she’s underestimated at first. Have people ever underestimated you because you can look angelic and demure?

  • Emily Browing: Yeah, I suppose so. I feel like everybody has maybe experienced that feeling of being judged by the way that they look. I love the idea in this film that, from looking at this girl, you stereotypically would assume weakness and meekness. I don’t think that’s the case. I think that’s an important thing to learn specifically about women; that we can be so many different things and the way that we present ourselves to the world has not necessarily anything to do with our personalities and our strengths. I think it’s possible for women to be feminine and strong and tough or for women not to care at all about being feminine or tough or sensitive. I think it’s important to not physically stereotype women in that way.

Kidzworld: The outfits you and your fellow actresses wear in the film are cute but quite skimpy. When you first saw the costumes, how did they impress you at first?

  • Emily: I loved them. I thought they were beautiful and designed amazingly but I was nervous at first. Then, as soon as we started training, I felt so confident in my body that I was okay with it.

Kidzworld: You have two teen brothers. Are they impressed that you are in an action movie with other cute, kick butt babes? Did they visit the set at all?

  • Emily: They are fourteen and sixteen. You know what’s amazing? My brothers have never cared about what I do. They’re like ‘Yeah, my sister makes movies. Whatever’. Finally, after all these years, they think I’m cool! Finally! It took such a long time. They did come to visit the set and they loved it. They got to be there when I was shooting the Samurai World scenes and saw me on wires. The other girls weren’t there then.

Kidzworld: You wouldn’t want your teen bros to be drooling on your hot friends.

  • Emily: [laughs] Exactly!

Kidzworld: When we spoke about your film Uninvited a couple of years ago, you were home in Australia taking a break to finish school. Did you and is there college in your future?

  • Emily: I finished high school. I absolutely want to go to college. I’ve been acting for such a long time and I love it but if I were to have the opportunity to go to school I wouldn’t want to study drama. I think I would study something that would inform my work like philosophy, English literature, psychology or women’s studies. I’m really interested in gender studies. I think all of those things, any of the liberal arts, inform what we do as actors.

Kidzworld: Babydoll lives a lot in her own imagination. When you want to escape into your own mind or just “Zen out”, what do you envision?

  • Emily: That’s interesting. I was talking to someone last night and I was really exhausted after my day and they were talking about this house in the country and just made me feel really great. It just calmed me down. That’s where I want to be; the English countryside. That’s what I was picturing. I think for the work that I do, it’s necessary to have a pretty vivid imagination.

Kidzworld: Baby and her friends fight and have missions in a variety of wild fantasy locations. Which of these locales was your favorite to work in?

  • Emily: My favorite to film was either World War I because I was with all the girls together but then Samurai World was amazing because I on wires and flipping around the whole time. I think maybe that one was my favorite.

Kidzworld: And once you saw the final, finished film?

  • Emily: Visually, maybe (futuristic] Train World because I think those robots turned out so cool.

Kidzworld: This had to be a tough role. You not only had to do the acting but there was the music in it and you did 90 percent of your stunts. Have you ever done anything this hard before?

  • Emily: I don’t know if hard is necessarily the word. I think it was definitely a challenge but I kind of embrace the challenges, as I think all of the girls did. I’ve probably never done a role this challenging, but I’ve also never had this much fun working on a film before. Being able to train physically, you can look at it as hard work or you can look at it as the fact that you’re getting paid to work out and get into the best shape ever.

Kidzworld: I don’t think people know that you sing. You sang “Sweet Dreams” and another song on the soundtrack. Is a music career a goal or at least singing in a movie musical?

  • Emily: Well, I didn’t know that I sang. Look, I’m open to make any genre of film if it’s a great script and there are great people working on it. I’ve always had sing-alongs with friends but never sang really in front of people. I sing in the shower but I’ve never done it professionally in any way. I loved making music with these girls. We’d get together every weekend and do that but as a career? No.

Kidzworld: So you are still good buds with the Sucker Punch girls (Vanessa Hudgens, Jena Malone, Abbie Cornish and Jamie Chung)?

  • Emily: They’re my family. I love them.

Kidzworld: Babydoll makes a horrible sacrifice to save another girl. Could you be that brave and self-sacrificing?

  • Emily: I think we’ve always said, and this sounds intense, but I think this is what you do for the people you love. I would take a bullet for any of those girls. I’m getting all emotional. I love them so much.

Kidzworld: So you would all want to be in something else together now?

  • Emily: That would be amazing!
Sucker Punch PosterSucker Punch Poster

Kidzworld: What is your strongest memory of the making of this film that you will take with you? Was it just getting to be friends with all the girls?

  • Emily: Yeah. I think so. The very first scene that we filmed was all of us in the trenches doing that slow motion walk. We were all in our costumes for the first time. We’d been training for three months and we were feeling so tough and great. And, on set, they played a “Rage Against the Machine” song really loud and that was amazing, this sense of togetherness. We got to the end of the trenches and Zack was by the camera and had this huge smile on his face. We all had this feeling of ‘this is going to be something really special’.

Kidzworld: Did you keep your gorgeous Samurai sword?

  • Emily: I did but here’s the thing: We wrapped a year ago and it’s still in customs. It will not come through to Australia. It’s a weapon. But, I’m not going to use it as a weapon. Maybe someone in customs will see the film and understand that I just want to hang it on my wall.
EMILY BROWNING as Babydoll in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ epic action fantasy “SUCKER PUNCHEMILY BROWNING as Babydoll in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ epic action fantasy “SUCKER PUNCH

Kidzworld: The other girls all represent parts of Babydoll’s personality. Which are you closer too; the adventurer or the more guarded person?

  • Emily: I don’t know if I’m quite as tough and stoic as Babydoll. When I see the film, I identify myself, at least off the set during this film, probably more with Rocket’s (Jena Malone’s) character, just because she’s a little bit more all over the place. I don’t think I’m anywhere near as together as Babydoll is. But I think there are definitely elements of all the characters that we see in ourselves for sure.

Kidzworld: Babydoll goes into these dances and that’s when she has her fantasies, yet we never actually see her dance. Why not?

  • Emily: I think it’s really important that you don’t because that’s best left to people’s imaginations. Her dance is meant to be something that’s so magical that it puts you into a trance, and it takes you into a different world. Nothing could live up to that imagination. I think that if you ever actually saw that dance, it would take away a lot of the magic and the mystery.

By: Lynn Barker

Sucker Punch - Official Trailer