Maria Bello, who co-stars in the upcoming sequel film The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, told SCI FI Wire that she plays a kick-ass version of the character originated by Rachel Weisz.
Bello, who won wide acclaim for 2005's A History of Violence, spoke at the Toronto International Film Festival and added that she dyed her normally blond hair auburn for the sequel. "Yeah, it's for a film role. It's for Mummy 3, and I love it," she said.
Bello, who took time off from filming in Montreal to appear at the film festival to promote The Jane Austen Book Club, takes over the role of Evelyn Carnahan from Weisz, who played the character in the first two Mummy movies but bowed out of the third.
"She has the same name, but she's a very different character than Rachel played," Bello said in an interview. "She's a bad-ass action chick. I had to train a lot. I had to do wushu, a martial-art form, some kickboxing, swordfighting, rifle training for a couple of months before we even started shooting." Bello added: "It's the role of my dreams. It is just a blast."
Bello will soon join co-stars Brendan Fraser and Jet Li for two months of shooting in China.
Bello said that after a few weeks of rehearsal, she sustained a black eye after getting butted by a Winchester rifle, but added that she's fine now. "I'm looking forward to the doll, too, though," she said cryptically. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor opens Aug. 1, 2008. —Mike Szymanski