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Missy Peregrym Talks About 'Stick It'

Film Newcomer Missy Peregrym Leads the Cast of this Gymnastics Film


Missy Peregrym Talks About 'Stick It'
© Touchstone Pictures

Missy Peregrym has appeared on television shows before however Stick It marks the Canadian beauty's debut in feature films. Peregrym stars as a former gymnast who's forced back into the world she gave up after getting in trouble with the law.

Missy Peregrym on the Gymnastics Scenes and Her Stunt Double: “The camerawork was amazing, the way that they filmed it. I thought the double was phenomenal. When she came in, we were in the middle training and I was terrified. I was like, ‘Guys, I can’t get that big.’ She was so muscular and so strong. I was like, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to do that.’ I’m willing to work as hard as possible but I’m like, ‘This is going to look so weird. It’s going to be like [indicating the difference in the two girls], ‘Missy, Isabel, Missy, Isabel.’ It’s so obvious. I was like, ‘Please no!’ But it actually worked out perfect.

They knew exactly what they were looking for and I’m so proud of the way it turned out. I just didn’t want this movie to look fake in that sense and for people to get out of the story to notice the doubling. I thought it was really cool.”

Peregrym didn’t have a background in gymnastics but that didn’t stop her from believing she could do many of her own stunts. “I kind of went in there thinking I could do everything,” laughed Peregrym. “I went in there and was like, ‘Okay, cool. I can do a handstand…’ Yeah, for like a second. Then I thought I could do a cartwheel and a front handspring and I was like, ‘See?’ And they were like, ‘No.’ ‘What do you mean no? I just did it and I landed on my feet.’ ‘That was good, but it’s all about form.’

It really took four months to learn the basics of gymnastics plus the strength required to do any of those tricks. It took all that time just to get the strength to even try some of the difficult stuff. Obviously, it’s such a dangerous sport and they are not going to be like, ‘Okay, guys, we’re going to do three back flips right now and we want to see you land on your feet.’ I’d break my neck, so really it was about getting out body to look like a gymnast."

The Biggest Challenges to Playing a Gymnast: “The biggest part that was the most productive of the training period was really seeing what it’s like to be in the gymnast world. We trained for four months, five days a week for six hours a day. That’s a really long time. I was like, ‘Yeah, this is going to be so much fun. I can’t wait to get into this,’ and it was the most painful thing I’ve ever done. I was sore every day. Thank God [Vanessa Lengies] was in the training with me because we just really bonded through that experience. It’s so hard to get up every day and be that sore. Because you are so sore, you feel like you’re getting worse and worse. You want to go in there and be like, ‘Yeah, I can do all this and all that.’ But, even in gymnastics, you train and one day you can do every trick and nail everything. By the way, my trick is a spin… But the next day you go in and can’t do anything. ‘Why can’t I turn?’ That’s just the way it is.”

Peregrym continued. “It’s a mental game. It’s very emotional and as our bodies were changing, it was demanding eating properly and being able to support how much we were working out. It was so weird to be in a gym for that long. You lose your perspective for what’s really important in the world. I was, ‘How does my a** look and is it going to be fine in a leotard?’ It’s like, ‘Missy, re-group. Not important.’”

Missy Peregrym’s Take on the Lack of Female Role Models: “Definitely in Hollywood I don’t think there are a lot of those roles. That’s why I was attracted to this role so much. I’m really passionate about the way that Haley is because she had an arc, and I think a lot of teenaged girls are going through the same thing. I can’t speak on behalf of guys because I not a guy and I don’t know what their process is, but I know that, even for myself, I didn’t have the same family life or the same issues exactly but every girl has this process of defending herself. I have kind of the same defense mechanisms as Haley. I make sarcastic jokes. I try to bounce everything off me like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, it doesn’t matter.’ You try to mask your disappointment or the hurt and everything.

It’s funny because I’m kind of going through now what I was trying to portray as Haley. You really look at those things and what you thought were strengths are now weaknesses. You can’t go through the whole time deflecting everything and Haley really gets to a point of where she really deals with what is going on, the real issues. She uses them in a positive way to make a difference instead of just being this wall to absolutely everything. She opens up and lets things in and really excels and gets the people around her to excel. She was a great influence."

Page 2: The Appeal of Stick It and Working with Jeff Bridges


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