Do you smell what Ronda Rousey is cooking?
Hollywood casting directors have certainly picked up the scent, and they obviously can’t get enough of the UFC women’s bantamweight champ.
She’ll appear alongside a slew of legendary action-movie icons like Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Jason Statham and Wesley Snipes in The Expendables 3 on Aug. 15. She just wrapped up filming roles in next year’s Fast & Furious 7 and Entourage movies. Warner Bros. is also working to acquire the rights to The Athena Project and cast Rousey in a leading role that could potentially spawn sequels.
Hollywood is in dire need of a bona fide female action star, and Rousey is completely confident she fits the bill. When speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, she said she hopes to be a mix between The Rock and Milla Jovovich:
I never thought that being an action movie star was in the cards for me. My agent, [WME’s] Brad Slater, kept telling me, ‘You’re going to be the female Rock.’ Then I started to believe it could be a reality. I don’t half-ass anything. If I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it to be the best in the world at it. A lot of actresses appear in action movies, but there aren’t any female action stars. I love Angelina Jolie, but ... it’s about believability for me. Milla Jovovich is one of my favorite actresses -- The Fifth Element really opened my eyes, and the Resident Evil franchise was amazing. So definitely a mix of Milla Jovovich and The Rock is what I’m going for. People love chick fights. They love tough, empowered women. And there is a demand. People just don’t know it.
Along with appearing in multiple Hollywood roles, Rousey continues to devote a large chunk of her time to training and defending her UFC title.
Her walk to the cage took longer than her last two fights did combined. Georges St-Pierre was in the cage longer against Johny Hendricks than Rousey has been in her entire professional career. Just let those stats sink in for a moment. On Wednesday night, she was awarded an ESPY for Best Female Athlete.
Rousey’s continued success on the mainstream stage bolsters UFC President Dana White’s claim that she is the biggest star the UFC has ever had. No other qualifiers were offered from White when making that statement at a media luncheon, according to MMAWeekly.
To think, Rousey was just an unknown contender vying for a shot at Miesha Tate’s Strikeforce title a little over two years ago.
In as little time, she has completely revamped the way the world views women’s MMA, and she could one day do the same for modern-day action films.
Jordy McElroy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA writer for Rocktagon.