It’s not always easy to play a knife-wielding, chain-swinging badass. Luckily for the gals of Gunpowder Milkshake, they were all pretty badass going into the whole project. Though Karen Gillan is the movie’s lead, you can’t say enough about the movie’s supporting cast of grown and murderous women, including Michelle Yeoh, Angela Bassett, and Carla Gugino. Together, the trio front as librarians who just happen to deal in weaponry, though how they got there isn’t entirely clear. According to Gugino, though, it’s a form of retirement. As she tells us in the video below, where we also talk to Yeoh and Bassett,“These women were assassins and now they’re just giving the people who are still out in the field equipment that they need and providing resources for them.”
That hefty weapons stockpile comes in handy when things go sideways, and the three women come out of retirement swinging. Yeoh relished the combat, saying, “You just have to throw yourself in there and go, ‘what the heck? Let’s just go for it.’ And I think all of us did. You can see the expression of sheer joy when we go ‘grrrrr’ and smash [a guy’s] head onto the table.”
Given that all three women—Yeoh, Bassett, and Gugino—have worked steadily in Hollywood since the ‘80s, we also wondered what their thoughts were on how the industry has changed, both in the past 30-odd years in general and in the past few years in specific. Bassett says she’s noticed big change in “representation, quantity and quality of roles,” saying, “the world has gotten smaller and more complex and complicated, and opportunity has expanded.” Gugino cites streaming for some of that expansion, saying, “Netflix and the other streamers have allowed for us to have a global audience so that, simultaneously, the world can see something.” She says the process has “[made] us realize that this world is very small world, and there’s room for all of us in it. Seeing stories about other people has given me that viewpoint.”
Gunpowder Milkshake is available now on Netflix. Our reviewer gave the movie a B, and you can read what she thought of it here.