Wallis Day on ‘Red Sonja’, MMA training and the transition from modeling to acting

“I fell in love with acting because it allows so much freedom and movement in front of a screen, creating character and backstory and bringing that to life.”

(Antoine Verglas)

You wouldn’t know it from looking at her, but Wallis Day can take a punch.

“I got my teeth knocked out. Yeah, we’re not kidding in London,” says the blue-eyed blonde with cheekbones sharp enough to slice a knuckle.

“In a moment like that, you almost don’t feel it, because you have so much adrenaline and you’re in the moment. But that’s only after. It can even be the next day when you say to yourself : ‘I am deeply hurt !’ »

(Antoine Verglas)

Trained in boxing, mixed martial arts, and Muay Thai, this angel face can handle a mean right hook.

“I got to a point with MMA where I wanted to explore Wushu and Muay Thai and all the different areas of it. It all really fascinated me. And as I watched it and moved, I understood how I could use it for film,” she says. “The stunt team is like, ‘Oh, they can do that. So let’s complicate it a bit. And it looks better on camera.

How else do you expect her to pull off the fight scenes and dangerous stunts required for roles like Annisia, the titular character’s evil half-sister in the new Sonja Red, to be published next year. It won’t be the first time she’s played the bad girl.

Last year she was the villainous Agent Shin in Infinite, opposite Mark Wahlberg. But most know her as the good girl, Kate Kane on CW batman, a role she took over from Ruby Rose in the second season. The showrunners told her to forget about everything Rose has done, do some research, and make the role her own. It worked out pretty well for Wallis, who went to school like a duck to wet cement when she was younger.

(Antoine Verglas)

“I don’t want to get in trouble for this now.” But yeah, you know, there was a fire at the school,” she says, having attended 11 of them in 12 years. “School was not for me. I felt like I was trying to be turned into a doctor or a lawyer. There was no room for creative flow. There were a few cases where I was kicked out,” including an arsonist.

Born and raised in the Ilford district of London, Wallis woke up every morning at five in the morning to deliver newspapers. On her tours, someone inevitably told her that she looked like a model. So one day, when she was 13, she did a Google search and found Models 1, a top agency in London.

She took four photos of herself hanging out with friends, circled her face and sent them in a letter to the agency. The next day, she came home from school to be confronted by her parents. “Who is Model 1? ” they asked.

After she explained, they said, “They want to see you tomorrow for a test shoot.” “I didn’t know it at the time, but my whole world changed at that moment,” she breathes.

(Antoine Verglas)

Still a minor, Wallis was the agency’s youngest model and needed a chaperone for her shoots. “When I was 15, I went to a photo shoot and they gave me the outfit to wear. And I went out and wore these nipple tassels,” she recalled.

Fortunately, her mother accompanied her and removed her from the set. “I remember at the time being like, ‘Mom, this is so embarrassing!’ Now, of course, I understand that.

Not your average profession for a teenager, modeling Wallis in isolation from both classmates and professional peers. “I was kind of thrown into this life where I would go to London and shoot with other models who would then invite me to a Vogue magazine party and sneak me in there and have a few drinks,” she laughs. in memory.

(Antoine Verglas)

“I would be on the last bus to get home to my parents at one in the morning, roll in my bed. And the next day, I went to school with these sunglasses. My hair, still a bit styled from the day before, a coffee and Vogue under my arm, I was just entering class. Now I think back and it feels like real life Hannah Montanabut at the time, it seemed so normal.

Her modeling career funded her studies at the Sylvia Young Theater School and later at the Arts Educational Schools in London.

“I fell in love with acting because it allows a lot of freedom and movement in front of a screen, creating character and backstory and bringing that to life. With modeling, it’s someone’s vision. someone else, someone else’s creative decisions. Basically, I feel like a model for a brand or a client rather than like I was creating.

(Antoine Verglas)

And that’s what she’s been doing since school, creating. Coming from Paramount this fall is Sheroesin which she stars as one of four friends vacationing in Thailand who find themselves in a fight for their lives.

And then there’s Netflix sex/life, in which she plays Gigi in season two. The schedule is packed for a number of reasons, but the main one is: “I can’t say no at a good time,” she laughs. “I’m young, having fun and very grateful for everything.”

Tags: actors Entertainment magazine article models Wallis Day Women

Kristen T. Prall