Gabrielle Union is a one-woman army in her latest film, Breaking In.
TheGrio caught up with the actress to find out what inspired her character’s unwavering determination and how she prepped for the physically demanding role.
In the high-intensity film, Union’s character (Shaun Russell) is forced to think fast and fight hard to save her two children (played by Black Panther‘s Seth Carr and 13 Reasons Why star, Ajiona Alexus) after they’re held hostage inside her deceased father’s home.
It turns out, the star who also co-produced the thriller with Will Packer, drew inspiration from her own mother, Theresa Union, to nail the role.
“My mom was always one for, ‘I just need a minute and I’mma take it.’ My mom has a very quiet, fierce quality about her. She’s not the rah-rah, in your face mom. She’s the mom that is quietly plotting. She’s a quiet but fierce advocate for her kids, Union explains.
“I have those similar qualities. If I can do something about a negative situation, I’m gonna try to help as many people as possible.”
She also opened up about her decision to make the fight scenes relatable for everyday women.
“She was not expecting this. I don’t want it to looked super choreographed. I want it to look primal. She’s thinking on the fly, she’s using all of her resources, everything that she has at her disposal. She’s outwitting them and outfoxing them, but she ultimately has to whoop their ass just using her hands and her brain,” she says.
“She saves herself. At the end of the day, most of us don’t have anyone that rides in on a white horse to save us.”
“As women, we are consistently underestimated, under appreciated…we don’t get the same resources. We don’t get the same attention, and nobody saves us but we still have to freakin’ figure it out on the daily,” she continues.
“We do heroic things daily but we do not get attention. For moms, they are literally celebrated one day out of the year but for most moms, they’re moving heaven and earth every day. The stupidest thing you could do is underestimate a mother and put her children danger.”
Breaking In hits theaters May 11.