Kristanna Loken is best known as the female Terminator (aka T-X) in TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES (2003). She is also an experienced model and actress, making her modelling and acting debut in 1994, at the age of 14. Her first role was as Meg Ryan's daughter in the long-running TV series As the World Turns, and prior to T3 she was a regular on the Mortal Kombat: Conquest TV series and appeared in the movie GANGLAND (2001) and PANIC (2002). Since T3 Loken has worked regularly in film and on TV, expanding her range as an actress on projects like the TV series The L Word and Painkiller Jane, and the indie drama LIME SALTED LOVE (2006), whilst also cementing her status as an action heroine in films such as BLOODRAYNE (2005), IN THE NAME OF THE KING (2007), and MERCENARIES (2014). I spoke with Loken about her new release, the thriller BLACK ROSE, in which she plays a cop who has to team up with a Russian Police Major (played by new action star Alexander Nevsky) to hunt down a serial killer preying on women. We also talked about how having a young child affected her experience making the movie, her experiences on TERMINATOR 3, how she enjoys action roles and how she has navigated her career since starting so young.
What was the most challenging aspect of playing your role in BLACK ROSE?
To help better understand losing the victims and what they, themselves were going through, I watched actual female beheading videos. This was extremely painful and difficult.

What gave you the most fun?
I really enjoyed shooting the film in Moscow, and getting to experience Russian culture. My father was there with me, and this was very special.

Given that you are now a mother, did the subject matter of BLACK ROSE affect you more deeply than it might have before you became a mother?
Yes, I think death itself has more gravity than before. I keep thinking that this is someones child. My whole awareness of humanity has deepened.

How did you enjoy working with Alexander Nevsky?
Alexander is a wonderful man, a true gentleman and now a good friend.

One of Alexander's heroes is Arnold Schwarzenegger. What did you learn from the experience of working with Schwarzenegger on TERMINATOR 3?
Arnold is very gracious with his fans, a jokester on set, and I learned a lot about shooting fight scenes.

How did you prepare to play a robot in the film?
I did extensive training. I studied Israeli martial arts called Krav Maga, weapons training with the LAPD to get comfortable with the Smith & Wesson .45, weight training, I worked with a nutritionist to help achieve the best physical fitness possible (I put on 15lbs. of muscle mass), and the icing on the cake was working with a mime coach to help eliminate any human traits.

Did TERMINATOR 3 instill in you an interest in playing empowered females, like you have in films like BLOODRAYNE, and MERCENARIES?
 I think strong, female roles work well with who and how I am. My physical stature (I’m nearly 6’), I have a deeper voice, and I grew up on a farm and have always liked getting down and dirty.

Do you enjoy the challenge of making physically demanding action films?
Yes, I do. "No pain, no gain” There is something rewarding about getting a "battle bruise” or feeling a little stiff the next day. I feel like I’ve really done something.

Has the experience of being a model and an actress from an early age given you a mental edge in the world of Hollywood? By the time of T3 did you feel you had already learned a lot about that world?
Yes, In many ways I had learned a lot by the time I did T3 as far as navigating the world as a young professional in front of the camera. However, it wasn’t until after T3 and the years that followed that I really saw a whole other side of the business that one can only gain knowledge from by experiencing.

Which of your co-stars before T3 did you take advice from and observe closely?
There were a number of people. Someone who really sticks out in my mind is Barbra Streisand. I played James Brolin’s daughter on a TV series called Pensacola: Wings of Gold. James is married to Barbra and I met her on a few occasions and she gave me great advice like you would receive from a dear Aunt.

What advice would you give to actresses just starting out and trying to build a career?
Believe in yourself, work hard at being the best you can be from the inside out. Keep your eyes open and pay attention around you.

What are some of your other upcoming projects?
I have started a production company called, Trio Entertainment. We have 10 films on our slate and a TV series. Think of Trio as an Independent studio of sorts. I am very excited to be producing more of my own content, and be in front of and behind the camera. I’d like to direct as well. 

BLACK ROSE can be seen at all Redbox locations across the United States.  

The trailer to BLACK ROSE.

MiL's interview with Alexander Nevsky on BLACK ROSE.
Interview by Paul Rowlands. Copyright © Paul Rowlands, 2017. All rights reserved.

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