Few athletes have transitioned from their sport to the cinematic big stage quite like former MMA star-turned-ultimate-badass Gina Carano.
Gina is one of three siblings alongside her sisters Kasey and Christi. She was raised in the Las Vegas area and eventually attended UNLV just like her father.
Carano gained her fame as a mixed martial artist, but turned her penchant for fighting into a lucrative career on the big screen. She’s not afraid to say what she thinks, which has led to more than a few controversies between her and the fans of the movies and shows she stars in.
She even fought back against Instagram when the social media platform decided to ban a nude photo she posted.
Let’s get to know Gina a little bit more below.
Who Is Gina Carano’s Father?
It seems she was always destined for the big stage, though, being the daughter of a former NFL player.
Her father, Glenn Carano, was a former college football star at UNLV. He went on to become a second round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in the 1977 NFL draft. Glenn Carano played sparingly during his NFL career that spanned seven seasons.
He eventually played in the United States Football League for the Pittsburgh Maulers. He played one season for the team before the Maulers and then the USFL folded.
Gina Carano’s MMA Career:
Carano got her start in mixed martial arts in the sport of Muay Thai. She performed well during her Muay Thai career racking up a 12-1-1 record.
She performed so well, in fact, that the growing world of MMA came calling. Gina received an offer to fight for World Extreme Fighting where she won her first professional fight in astounding fashion. She took down Leiticia Pestova just 38 seconds in the first round of their fight – winning by knockout.
That first victory came in June 2006 and put her on the MMA map. Carano followed that up with another dominant performance over Rosi Sexton which moved her to 2-0 for her career. As she continued to rack up the wins, she moved around several different fighting organizations.
After a 7-0 start to her MMA career, Carano got the biggest fight of her life against Cris Cyborg for the Strikeforce women’s lightweight title. Carano lost in the final seconds of the first round by TKO.
That loss came in August 2009 and would end up being the final fight of her professional career. Although several different organizations attempted to lure her back into the cage, she decided to stay away.
Eventually, she found her way onto both the small and big screens.
Gina Carano’s Foray Into Television and Movies:
Carano has become a well-known actress thanks to work that started during her MMA career.
She initially starred in a b-movie titled “Ring Girls” that depicted women from Las Vegas fighting the best Muay Thai fighters in the world. Carano turned that into a role on NBC’s American Gladiators which launched her acting career into what it is now.
In 2011 she received her “big break” thanks to starring in a film directed by acclaimed director Steven Soderbergh. She played the main role in “Haywire” which featured a “A black ops super soldier seeks payback after she is betrayed and set up during a mission.”
Two years later, she landed arguably the biggest role of her acting career. She earned a prominent role in Fast & Furious 6 where she served as a member of the Diplomatic Security Service, which was led by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s character, Luke Hobbs. Throughout the film, she engaged in several fights with co-star Michelle Rodriguez which became one of the lasting memories of the movie.
Just a few years later, she landed another big role in Marvel’s “Deadpool.” She played Angel Dust, a woman with superhuman strength who fights against the titular character.
Both “Fast & Furious 6” and “Deadpool” raised over $1 billion at the box office.
Just two years after “Deadpool” was released to critical acclaim, Carano landed yet another massive role. This time, she landed a role in Disney Plus’ flagship new show, “The Mandalorian.”
She portrayed the character Cara Dune and made her first appearance in the fourth episode. Carano initially thought she would be playing a completely different character and said she was surprised to learn she was one of the few characters where viewers would be able to see her face.
“I thought I was going to be like the female Chewbacca,” Carano said to Vanity Fair of getting the call to join The Mandalorian. “I was ready to put on the fur outfit and be the female version of that. That’s what I thought. I was surprised to find that I was one of the few people that you were actually going to see her face—and in a lot of scenes, sometimes the only face, which is pretty incredible.”
Carano told Vanity Fair that the show’s creator, Jon Favreau, “wrote the character of Cara Dune with her specifically in mind and didn’t audition anyone else for the role.”
The show is currently in its second season.
Is Gina Carano Married?
Carano has been relatively open about her dating history, though tends to shy away from posting about it on social media. In the past, she’s dated a fellow MMA fighter. Her most well-known (at least publicly) relationship was with British actor Henry Cavill.
Cavill, who plays Superman and several other prominent roles, and Carano reportedly dated for two years. For those waiting for the answer: no, Carano is not married.
We look forward to seeing where Carano takes her career next.