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“ She's got the looks, she's got the legs, and she kicks Arnie's ass in the new Terminator. ”

Meet Kristanna Loken

Kristanna interview by MaximMovies

Tue 13 May 2003 | 00h00 GMT+1

Dressed to kill. Meet Kristanna Loken: She's got the looks, she's got the legs, and she kicks Arnie's ass in the new Terminator. Now that's our kinda gal.

While Kristanna Loken may be a newcomer to the Terminator movies, she certainly seems to have a firm handle on the franchise's vital components: Jaw-dropping stunts. An apocalyptic-minded sci-fi plot. And a slew of cyborg-versus-cyborg fight scenes crammed with huge guns, explosions, and a fair amount of sexual tension.

Hold on, what was that last one?

"I'd definitely say that there's an underlying sexual tension between the characters, mostly through some compromising positions in the fight scenes," reveals Loken, who reportedly beat out a host of actresses, from Famke Janssen to ex-WWF wrestler Chynna, to bag the role of Arnold Schwarzenegger's android foe in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. It seems reasonable to assume that the gorgeous, five-foot-eleven former model could figure out a way to get even a walk-in freezer hot under the collar. But does Loken really have any idea how hot a property she will become once the $170 million movie is released?

"Beats the hell out of me," she laughs, sipping tea at a restaurant on the Universal Studios lot. "When I got the job, my manager said, 'Kristanna, just enjoy this last year of anonymity, because afterward you're not going to be able to pump your own gas.' I feel ready. Why not?"

Why not, indeed? Certainly the actress has had to work for her shot at Hollywood stardom, even learning the martial art of Krav Maga just to play by far the best-looking relentless killing machine ever to hit the big screen. This revelation raises two obvious questions: What the hell is Krav Maga? And does it mean she could kick our ass with her eyes closed?

"It's this Israeli form of martial arts that they teach the military, a really perfected form of street fighting," says the 23-year-old actress. "I tell you, there were some moments where I would have liked to fight certain people..."

But according to Loken, she was more of a danger to herself than anyone else.

"See this knob I have on my finger?" she asks, presenting the lump for inspection. "My Krav Maga instructor told me, 'Kristanna, you're going to find yourself doing things you normally wouldn't do.' I just kind of went, 'Oh, all right.' Sure enough, one day I was locked out of my house and decided, I'm just going to punch through the window and get in. That seemed like a logical idea at the time. It didn't really work the first time, so I had to give it the old one-two again. And it worked that time. It gave. And I bled. It was stupid. You tap into a whole other part of yourself."

In addition to her chop-socky training, during the T3 shoot Loken also had to abstain from sugar, salt, and-nooo!-alcohol. In fact, she was unable to do much of anything except work out and eat protein. Which was bad news for her but good news for filmgoers, who will get to see a toned-up Loken traveling back in time as all Terminator century-hoppers must do: completely naked.

"It really got fine-tuned toward the end when I had to do the nude stuff," she says. "In the back of my mind I kept thinking, I'm fighting Arnold and I've got to be naked in front of the world. So that was enough incentive.

By Stephen Rebello

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