Ronda Rousey on Filming 'Furious 7' With Paul Walker: 'He Was a Joy to Be Around'
By Meredith B. Kile
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Furious 7 was just the second acting job for UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey, but the movie ended up being more meaningful than anyone could have expected.
The MMA fighter opened up to ET's Kevin Frazier about joining the action franchise and working alongside Paul Walker, who died in a car accident during filming.
"I was only filming while he was still with us," Rousey said of Walker. "The atmosphere was very cheery and family-like and everyone was there just to help each other. He was a joy to be around and you could tell that everybody wasn’t there for themselves, they were there for each other. I'm just lucky to have been one of the last people to witness that."
The acting newcomer also formed a close relationship with Furious co-star Vin Diesel, who has since attended one of Rousey’s UFC fights.
"I love Vin. He's adorable," Rousey said with a laugh. "He's one of those guys that you never know what they're really going to be like. You have this idea of what they are in the fictitious sense. He's a lot like all these other guys that seem like badasses from afar. They’re all like big teddy bears underneath."
After waging war alongside an all-male cast in her first film, Expendables 3, Rousey told Frazier she was pleasantly surprised by the female cast and stunt professionals on Furious 7.
"By the end of the day I was really impressed," the MMA star admitted. "I thought I was going to be working with a bunch of porcelain dolls. These were women who were so passionate about what they did, they were down to do whatever to make it look right."
As the first and current UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion, Rousey was also excited to have a fight scene against another woman in Furious 7, calling co-star Michelle Rodriguez a "badass."
"She was like, 'Really throw me into that door! I want it to look real,'" Rousey said. "Me and Michelle had so much fun...I was so impressed because I'd never worked with an actress before. She really was a joy to work with. I can't wait to work with her again."