Gina Carano poses at the premiere for "Haywire"
Gina Carano poses at the premiere for "Haywire" in California on Jan. 5 Reuters

Haywire has a star-studded cast, but the most talked-about actor is making her movie debut. Mixed martial arts superstar Gina Carano takes on the lead role performing her own stunts as a covert operative who gets double-crossed. Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas and Michael Fassbender also star in Steven Soderbergh's latest action thriller, which has gotten rave reviews ahead of its January 20 release.

Carano said she was surprised when Soderbergh approached her about starring in the action thriller. Considered the Face of Women's MMA she was always hesitant about heading to Hollywood.

I've always heard these stories about Hollywood and what you have to do to be in Hollywood but [Steven] was so professional and appropriate and I thought, 'Absolutely, I'll make a movie with you, Carano recently told the Los Angeles Times.

Ironically, Carano had just lost a major fight when she got the call from Soderbergh.

I was actually training for one of the toughest fights of my life against [mixed martial arts fighter] Cyborg, she told her co-star, McGregor, in an interview for Vegas Magazine. It was the first major female-headlined fight ever, a huge, huge deal. And I lost in like five minutes. I was devastated and had a black eye. I hopped in my car from San Jose, where the fight was, and drove all the way to San Diego. I was going to hide out there for a month. When one door closes, another one opens, though: In that same week, my agent called me saying Steven Soderbergh wanted to meet me.

Already an expert at kicking and punching, Carano looks like a natural in the film. She did, however, get coaching from ex-Israeli special ops fighter Aaron Cohen, especially for the shooting sequences.

The opposite of Carano's Cyborg fight pretty much happens in the first five minutes of Haywire. You can watch Carano obliterate Channing Tatum in the sneak peek below.