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Emily Browning and Jena Malone Interview
Emily Browning and Jena Malone Interview
Was there ever any relaxation during the filming?

Jena Malone

Oh, you have to. The only way you can build up a body is through incredible amounts of discipline and incredible amounts of rest. You know, you rest, rest, rest, push, push, push. I mean the only way your body's going to change, so we were taught by these Navy SEALS, is by living in the two extremes – never in the middle, never where you feel comfortable. Complete rest or complete exhaustion. Or in complete almost-falling-down physical pain. Those are the two places that you build up the best muscle. But you can't build muscle without recovery time. We were absolutely taught about that. We had people looking out for our safety, making sure we were sleeping and eating right.

Emily Browning

That's something that surprised me so much, when we first met these guys – Logan and Dave who were our trainers – they seemed so tough to me and were pushing us so hard.

Jena Malone

And then they kind of became like our moms.

Emily Browning

Yeah, they totally did!

Jena Malone

'Are you taking your vitamins?' and he's like, 'Have you slept today? Do you have your period? Do you need -' And I'm like, 'I'm okay! Don't worry!'

Emily Browning

But the third week, I was not sleeping. The first couple of weeks I was so tired, I was only working out and sleeping. I couldn't do anything else, it was work out, eat, sleep. By the third week I'd gotten used to the exercise and I had so much excess energy that I couldn't sleep. I didn't sleep for like two weeks. And I just remember that they were so caring and so like, 'We'll do this and we'll give you these vitamins and we'll do this' and it was kind of amazing. They weren't just these guys that were screaming at us “GET ON THE FLOOR, MAGGOT!” There was a bit of that, but it was more like a joke.

Jena Malone

It was in a loving way.

Emily Browning

But, yeah, it was very cool. There was definitely rest.
There was one moment on the rower where I was just screaming, 'I LOVE PAIN! I LOVE PAIN!' because I couldn't feel my arms anymore...
How do you actually determine what your threshold is when you start out? Do you do a sort of test? Do they push you till you can't do any more?

Emily Browning

The threshold was changing every day.

Jena Malone

They don't determine your threshold, your body determines it.

Emily Browning

Yeah. And they don't want you to determine one.

Jena Malone

No. I mean, where I thought my limits were was like here and then by the end of the film it's like the size of an albatross. I cannot even imagine how much I was able to do on this film. And the thing is you also realise that you can't just pick that back up. It's training, it's dedication, it's hard work, it's every day. This is something that you have to live in – you can't just randomly start dead-lifting. You really need to have respect for it, to be able to have it reach its peak of potential.

Emily Browning

I remember the first day when they wanted to see how fit we were and we did this one work-out – I mean, I went home and cried. I was so tired, I was in so much pain, it was so intense. And then right near the end of the training, about three months in, they said, 'Right, let's do the same work-out and see how you feel' and we got so much further, we were like, 'This is nothing!' So we constantly were pushing ourselves and growing and just getting stronger so quickly, it was just so amazing to see.

Jena Malone

And muscle was just like pouring onto our bodies, I remember after three weeks I gained like fifteen pounds but it was completely muscle – it was crazy.

Emily Browning

Well, people were like, 'Oh, so you're working out. Have you lost weight?' and it's like, 'No, they want us to put ON weight', it wasn't about the –

Jena Malone

We got praised if we put on muscle mass, because we were trying to get stronger.

Jena Malone

The harder it is, I feel like the more it will live with you forever, instead of just missing it. Like, those moments in the gym where I felt like I saw God four times in a row, you know what I mean? There was one moment on the rower where I was just screaming, 'I LOVE PAIN! I LOVE PAIN!' because I couldn't even feel my arms anymore, literally. I was pushing myself beyond any limit of control. Do I miss that? Um, not necessarily, but what it's taught me I will have for the rest of my life. Before, I always thought that gym-heads and working out and exercise was all about people who were very superficial and it was all about their body, but there's such a spiritual side to it - it blew my mind and I respect it so much more than I ever had.
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Content updated: 17/02/2020 22:54

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