Sweet Girl interview

Sweet Girl Interview: Jason Momoa and Isabela Merced Talk Netflix Thriller

Netflix’s healthcare-based revenge thriller Sweet Girl starring Jason Momoa and Isabela Merced is out on Friday, August 20. The film is the latest from director Brian Andrew Mendoza and sees Momoa looking for revenge after the death of his wife.

“Devoted family man Ray Cooper, vows justice against the pharmaceutical company responsible for pulling a potentially life-saving drug from the market just before his wife (Adria Arjona) dies from cancer,” says the official synopsis. “But when his search for the truth leads to a deadly encounter that puts Ray and his daughter Rachel in harm’s way, Ray’s mission turns into a quest for vengeance in order to protect the only family he has left.”

ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke with Sweet Girl stars Jason Momoa and Isabela Merced about the film, their on-screen chemistry, filming in Pittsburgh, and more. Check out the video below or read a full transcript.

Tyler Treese: Jason, in the film you teach Isabela’s character mixed martial arts. I know you train jiu-jitsu and I’ve seen you with Mark Hunt and Max Holloway. How cool was it that the sport represented and to be involved in grounded, more realistic fight scenes in this movie?

Jason Momoa: Oh, man. It’s an honor. I think that’s what we wanted to do. Especially with our stunt team 87eleven. I wanted to really portray a father wanting to teach his daughter certain skills. I mean, those are the things I would definitely teach my daughter and I do jiu-jitsu and kickboxing and things like that. So, it’s something that we wrote from what we know and what we love and that’s why we produced the piece. I love doing a contemporary film about an everyday man. It’s been nice.

Isabela, there’s such a lovely bond between daughter and father seen throughout. Did you do anything to bond with Jason off-screen? Because it just feels so natural.

Momoa: A lot of pattycake.

Isabela Merced: You know slide? I think we played slide before.

Momoa: I taught her dance moves.

Merced: Oh yeah. We danced a lot.

Momoa: We did.

Merced: His favorites of me dancing were to Destiny’s Child. I think you might be a secret little Destiny’s Child fan. One of Destiny’s children, I guess. But we had a great time off set and I think that’s really what really prepared us for the movie because you just can’t fake having a connection. You really can’t in my opinion. I feel like it’s been done before, but that’s usually like a passionate hate that translates, but this was passionate and it was love.

Jason, I’m from Pennsylvania. So I love to get your thoughts on filming in Pittsburgh. I thought it showed the city’s landscapes quite well.

Momoa: Bro. You’ve got it going on over there, man. I mean, I’m a huge Flyers fan. I grew up playing hockey and so the two [cities]. I’ve never been to Pittsburgh, but just between those two cities, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, you guys got it going on, but I fell in love with Pittsburgh. Fell in love. The city knows it. I went everywhere. I’m like one of the locals there. So, and it’s really beautiful on the outskirts too, man. So I feel like, yeah, my heart’s there. It was really fun, really, really amazing time.

Merced: I think I’ve nailed the Pittsburgh accent. [does a Pittsburgh accent] Hey, we’re going to go downtown in about an hour to the Steelers game. We’re going to go downtown in about an hour, something like that.

That’s fantastic. Isabela, you get to take part in some really exciting fight scenes. Getting to play this empowered character, was that a lot of fun for you?

Merced: Oh yeah. Empowered characters only. It was so much fun because they got to do a lot of the action scenes and I’ve always loved action movies. This stunt team in particular, they’re called 87eleven and they worked on some of my favorite action movies of all times. So I really felt like, “Oh my God, I’m Charlize. Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde.” Like this is actually happening. It was amazing. I can’t wait. Like maybe there’s going to be a sequel, hopefully there’s time for more action. But like I really hope it’s soon and with the same stunt team, because they were just absolutely amazing and made everything so much fun. I haven’t had so much fun doing my own stunts ever.

Jason, the film is a reminder of how harsh the healthcare system can be in America. Can I just get your thoughts on that theme of the film?

Momoa: Yeah. I feel like when we were doing the research and when I was learning about different stories that I’ve heard. I mean it’s just really sad and it affects you. If it were to happen to you, it’s just… Being able to have the opportunity to bring it up to the forefront and be able to portray a family that’s going through it. I like being able to have a movie that has something that’s I guess relevant in what’s going on in the political climate. So I feel like these big companies being able to buy out and put a lot of money into political parties, there’s going to be a lot of good, there’s going to be a lot of bad situations that are already happening. So it just felt like the right thing to do. It definitely gave me the fire. I would say in my belly when that kind of thing happens and it drives this man through it. Not necessarily playing the same character, but it really helped in this.


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