EXCLUSIVE: Catalina Denis Talks 'Brick Mansions' & "Good Guy" Paul Walker

Colombian model-turned-actress Catalina Denis has been making a name for herself overseas for quite some time, starring in French films such as Sleepless Night and Le Mac. But now the brunette is introducing herself to audiences around the globe with the new film Brick Mansions.

We caught up with the Colombiana to talk about her role in the film, growing up in Colombia, and what it was like to work with Paul Walker. Read our entire interview with Catalina below:

Tell us about your character Lola.

Lola is the girl that decided she was not going to fail. She decided that she was going to do something with her life no matter what the sacrifices were. She left her family and she left the man she loves to become someone better. What I loved about her was the fact that she was so complex. She had all of the colors and these faces and these sides. I think we are all like that, and that’s something that I like. When I watch a movie I like to feel identified with what I’m watching and this is a girl that I think we can all feel identified with because we’re never the same. It’s like if you’re cool with me, I’m cool with you, but if you come and try to hurt me, I’m gonna defend myself. And Lola is someone that if she’s going to fight, she’s going to win. She’s in it ‘til the end, so leave her alone and watch out!

Okay, cool. And how did you prepare for this role? Where did you look to in order to gather inspiration?

Well, this character was very interesting because from the second that I read about her, I felt that I was her or she was me. There was so much of her in me and so much of me in her that it was like, “Wow. This is weird. And this is like cool and exciting.” Then you have this director that gives you some ingredients, and the producer gives you some more and the writer, and then you have your imagination and your life experiences. Then you also have maybe a movie that you saw or some song or a painting or whatever. All of those things you just put them inside and you make your little spot, and you just become that person.

What was your favorite scene to do?

The fighting scene. [Laughs]. Yeah, no hesitation there. I loved, loved, loved doing it! Like I couldn’t get out of bed for three days, I swear to God. I was in so much pain. I was bruised everywhere – I swear to God. Getting my arm up, you know, combing my hair just hurt so much. My hair, head hurt because that’s where she pulls my hair. Like everything! But at the same time, it was a great discovery. I didn’t know there was so much work behind a scene like that. Like, you know, once you get the choreography down, you have to get the energy in it, and then you have to add the intentions, then the acting and then your lines, and then the cameras and then the lights and then a really, really tiny skirt that keeps on flying everywhere! But it was amazing! Normally a scene like that takes a few days to get done. We had one day. We shot that scene in one day. So it was mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting and draining. I never thought I was going to be able to do it. Like, I knew and I wanted to believe that I could do it, but when it was over, I was like, “Oh my God, I did it!” Once you get past yourself and past your limits, it’s such a great feeling. You know, I just wanted a beer and then I was like, “Oh my God, let’s go out!” [Laughs].

So you did your own stunts then? You didn’t have a stunt double?

No! I did everything. Everything – I did it! Oh my God, like, I was just yelling, “Yo I’m gonna do it!” Unless it’s something that is very, very dangerous, and I don’t know what I’m doing – you know, if it takes like, I don’t know, flying a plane and jumping out -- those things, unless I know what I’m doing, I’m not gonna – no. There are professionals to do it and they’re very good.

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Priscilla Rodriguez, Associate Editor

Priscilla Rodriguez is Latina.com’s Associate Editor. She provides coverage on nearly every topic with a focus on celebrity entertainment. Before hitting the pavement at Latina, Priscilla worked for various outlets including Teen.com, InStyle and Us Weekly. You can follow her on Twitter @priscilrodrig.

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