Lashana Lynch is no stranger to action films – having featured in both Captain Marvel and No Time to Die – but the star has revealed that the training she underwent for new film The Woman King was a major step up.

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Lynch plays Agojie warrior Igozie in the historical epic, which is released in UK cinemas today (Tuesday 4th October 2022), and speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com she outlined the gruelling process she went through in preparation for the role.

"[It was] completely different," she said when asked how it compared to her work on Bond. "I thought I was prepped, having had a little bit of experience. The training team and the stunt team on No Time to Die were absolutely impeccable and I was in there most days just chilling because I just loved it so much – but it's modern training.

"This is different – I'm barefoot outside in the elements, martial arts, machetes that are very weighty, using parts of your body and your wrist that you didn't really know existed.

"This was completely 100% our stunts," she added. "We collaborated with Danny Hernandez, the head of the stunt department, to make sure our characters were choreographed to us, the stunt work is very much a reflection of where every character is at different parts of the film, different parts of their lives.

"And it incorporates how they have such rich pasts that they're able to inject it into their bodies and actually tell a story through their physical work. So yes, doing all your stunts 100% was completely different to anything I've ever done and trained for!"

Director Gina Prince-Bythewood is not completely new to the action genre either, having previously helmed Netflix superhero movie The Old Guard, but she claimed that this film was also something of a step forward for her.

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"In The Old Guard, certainly we used a lot of the actors to do the stunts and fighting. But this one, I wanted our actors to do all of it," she said. "And it's one thing to say that, it's another to execute that.

"But they all wanted to be great. They all wanted to do it themselves. They all put in the time, an enormous amount of time to be able to do that. And then we had an incredible stunt fight coordinator who knew how to get them there. That was important, too, that they can build that trust so that they would give him everything to get them there."

"It was an ordeal," added producer Cathy Schulman. "I mean, they trained for four months before we shot. In terms of what they had to do, physically, you know, they were doing three or four hours of strength training a day, plus martial arts training, plus running, plus weapons training.

"And not only did they do that beforehand, they did it all the way through, and they were on a diet to support that kind of muscle growth, which is a very unusual diet for women – you know, heavy, heavy proteins and multiple meals, but they're teeny and nothing that we like to eat.

"I tried doing it for two days – and then I almost died and went on eating french fries like I like to!"

The Woman King is now playing in UK cinemas. Check out more of our Film coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

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