LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - To play the female lead of Quorra in “Tron: Legacy,” actress Olivia Wilde underwent the biggest physical transformation of her life.
The 26-year-old actress with a shapely body and cover model looks became, what she called, “a little warrior” by working with trainers who put her through rigorous workouts, including weight-training, cardio and martial arts training.
“I was ripped!,” Wilde told Reuters. “Never been that way before; never will be again!”
Wilde is perhaps best known for her work on TV shows “The O.C.,” which revolved a group of good-looking, wealthy Californians, and “House,” where she portrayed a bisexual doctor. But in “Tron: Legacy,” which debuts in U.S. theaters on Friday, she is suited up in all-black and lives in a futuristic world called the “Grid.”
“It’s interesting because I am drawn to those kick-ass roles,” said Wilde. “I always knew that eventually I’d get to play a really great one. It didn’t happen with Bond, but it happened with ‘Tron.’”
Quorra is not unlike a butt-kicking Bond girl, which is ironic since only a few years back, it had come down to Wilde and French actress Eva Green to star as Vesper Lynd opposite Daniel Craig in 2006 James Bond movie, “Casino Royale.”
“Tron: Legacy” stems from 1982’s “Tron,” which was dreamed up from an arcade game of the same name. The new movie is billed as a continuation of the old story, but with updated special effects for release in 3D.
Jeff Bridges reprises his role from the 1982 movie as Kevin Flynn, a technology visionary who helped create video games, but now is being held in a digitally-created virtual world from which he cannot escape.
In the new film, Flynn’s adult son Sam (Garrett Hedlund), is determined to find his father, who went missing when he was just a boy. Investigating the old Flynn’s Arcade, where Kevin once worked, Sam is suddenly pulled into the digital grid where his father is trapped.
With the help of fearsome fighter Quorra, Kevin embarks on a journey across a digital landscape to find his father and get him back to the real world.
Until now Wilde, who was born in New York City and is the daughter of journalists, has been best known for her TV roles, despite enjoying a smattering of mostly supporting roles in movies, such as “Alpha Dog” alongside Justin Timberlake.”
She also appeared in small roles in the Judd Apatow-produced comedy “Year One,” starring Jack Black, and in the recent thriller “The Next Three Days,” which was written and directed by Paul Haggis and starred Russell Crowe.
But with big-budget “Tron: Legacy” and other major motion picture releases on the horizon, that may be about to change.
Next summer Wilde plays the female lead opposite Daniel Craig in sci-fi thriller “Cowboys & Aliens.” She’s currently shooting Apatow’s comedy “The Change-Up” starring Ryan Reynolds, Jason Bateman and Leslie Mann, and has reunited with Timberlake on the futuristic sci-fi thriller “Now.”
As Wilde finds herself in ever bigger roles, so too does Timberlake after the positive reviews and Oscar buzz he has earned in this year’s “The Social Network.” It’s something the two, former co-stars discussed while shooting “Now.”
“When we shot ‘Alpha Dog,’ we were both kind of new in the acting world. I was very inspired by his fearlessness on that movie and loved his performance so much. I never imagined I’d be in this position only a few years later, working with him again and in all of these big movies.”
Editing by Bob Tourtellotte