Jurnee Smollett-Bell hired personal trainer for Birds of Prey role

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 8 February 2020
Jurnee Smollett-Bell

Jurnee Smollett-Bell

Jurnee Smollett-Bell hired a personal trainer in preparation for her role as Black Canary in 'Birds of Prey'

Jurnee Smollett-Bell hired a personal trainer to prepare for her role in 'Birds of Prey'.

The 33-year-old actress plays heroine Black Canary in the film, whose powers include skilled street fighting, and Jurnee admits that she fully immersed herself in the character.

In an interview with HeyUGuys.com, she said: "I had to learn mixed martial arts, it was painful. I changed my diet and got a personal trainer and left feeling incredibly strong."

Jurnee also drew comparison between the film's fight scenes and dance, describing how both have been choreographed.

She said: "It's a ballet. You work with your partners and you can't really improvise because you have worked on them for months. We worked on this film for five months and the stunt team really pushed us."

The 'Hands of Stone' star admits that it was "mind-blowing" walking on to the set of the project, which sees Margot Robbie reprise her 'Suicide Squad' role as Harley Quinn. She praised the makers of the film for presenting a different Gotham City to that presented in traditional Batman stories.

Jurnee explained: "Every aspect of it was mind-blowing. When I walked into the production office they had mini-models of how the set was supposed to look like."

"They're showing a very different side of DC. It's very scrappy, colourful and poppy. It's not really Bruce Wayne's Gotham, it's the Gotham that would be on the outskirts."

Jurnee also suggested that this movie is more grounded than a typical superhero flick as the characters are relatable.

She said: "It does feel more grounded than a lot of superhero films, despite being told by Harley's perspective. You have a kid (Cassandra Cain, played by Ellie Jay Basco) who's an orphan and Black Canary who is struggling to find her voice. Every character is recovering from a different kind of heartbreak."

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

  • 4 stars
  • 2020
  • US
  • 1h 49min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Cathy Yan
  • Cast: Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ewan McGregor, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Chris Messina, Rosie Perez, Ella Jay Basco
  • UK release: 7 February 2020

Harley Quinn (Robbie), having broken up with the Joker, finds herself the target of old enemies. The script could have used a few more comic putdowns, but the old-school action is solid, the setting is proudly the gutter and Robbie’s brilliant, ebullient performance as the mischievous Harley ensures a consistent sense of…

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