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Power Rangers: Becky G, Elizabeth Banks fight scene first look

‘There were just times when I was in my harness hanging there like a little piñata just waiting to get thrown into the wall by Elizabeth,’ she recalls

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Kimberly French

Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) is about to have such a headache. When the Power Rangers’ villainess arrives to conquer Earth in the upcoming big-screen reboot of the franchise, five teens with attitude will stand in her way. In an attempt to take them down one by one, she ambushes Yellow Ranger Trini (singer Becky G) in her bedroom, but Trini puts up a fight — a fight that eventually has her pinned against the wall.

Below, Becky G — the youngest member of the cast at 19 — talks filming the showdown and getting to, in her first film role, act opposite Banks:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Things aren’t looking so great for Trini in this photo. Why is Rita after her?

BECKY G: Rita tries to make Trini feel like she’s the weakest link of the Power Rangers, and she feels it’s easiest to go for her. Rita’s the type to play a lot of mind games, and Trini’s [thinking], “Can I really overpower Rita Repulsa or can I not?”

Rita’s attack even cracks the wall behind Trini. What was it like filming the fight?

When we did our blocking, our run through, Elizabeth and I really wanted& to make it fun, to make this scene as real as possible. Actually, I got to run through the wall a couple of times. I got thrown up against it and I got to break it myself. My stunt double of course was there, talking me through it, but I was really, really excited. It was a bit intimidating for me because, you know, it’s Elizabeth! I look up to her a lot as an actress, so getting to work one on one with her is really cool. I learned a lot, and there were moments when I had to hit her, and I was like, “Oh my God, I hope I don’t actually hit her!” She really let me be hands on in a lot of the fighting, so it was cool.

RELATED: See Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa in upcoming Power Rangers reboot

Got any cuts and scrapes from all that fighting?

So many. [Laughs] Elizabeth went in in costume in the entire movie, and, you know, even for us in our Power Rangers suits, they’re not the most comfortable [to fight in], so to have to do action scenes in a costume, it’s pretty brutal. She chokes me and throws me up against a wall, and I actually told her, “Don’t be afraid to put pressure on my neck.” [Laughs] Little did I know the next day I’d actually have bruises and feel a little sore.

What was it like for you the first time you saw her walk on set in full costume?

For me, it was so cool, because [during our rehearsals], we’re just hanging out in our regular civilian clothes, in sweats and stuff, but then when we went in to film it, there were all kinds of people there, and I feel the pressure, because, you know, it’s my first film, and I’m working with A-list actors like Elizabeth. I was nervous. And then when she walks in, not in sweatpants but in full Rita Repulsa costume, I’m like, “This is gonna be so easy, because she looks so real!”

Aside from Elizabeth’s dramatic makeover, what else do you remember about finally filming the scene?

It was just funny. There were times when we’re wearing harnesses and you have to be, like, hung up, so we’re not actually being thrown around, but it’s awkward. There were just times when I was in my harness hanging there like a little piñata just waiting to get thrown into the wall by Elizabeth, so little things like that cracked us up. There’s a part where she’s hovering over me, and to get the coverage, at one point she was just, like, on top of me, and we’re just there having a normal conversation. It was really fun.

 

You’re a singer, and Elizabeth sings — she did direct Pitch Perfect 2, after all. Did you two ever duet?

No, [there was] no singing. [Laughs] I was actually really really focused the days I was with her, memorizing my lines and not missing the stunt choreography and stuff, but there were little hums every now and then coming from me. We were really focused on executing what we had to do, simply because we didn’t have much time to film the whole movie.

Did you get a chance to hang out with her outside of filming?

I mean, when we had blocking and stuff, she was super cool to hang out with and be around, but no. You know, she has kids, she’s a mama! So any down time she has, she has to spend with her family. And I adore that so much. I love that about her, that every time we would sit down and have a conversation, we’d ask how the little ones were doing, and we know they’re such fans of the Rita makeup. [They’re] always like, “Oh my god, that’s my mom!” It was funny.

There’s still about eight months left until Power Rangers hits theaters. How much do you have left to do?

We’re done with the majority of filming now. We have some reshoots coming up which I’m excited for, because I’ll get to see everybody again. We have Comic-Con before that, which is even more exciting because it’ll be my first time ever. Honestly, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to go before, because my dad works for a really big toy company. He takes my brother every single year, and he’s always offered for me and my other siblings to go, and I’m always like, no, I’ll go eventually. Little did I know I would be going as an official Power Ranger. [Laughs]

Well, congrats on your first Comic-Con! What are you most excited to see?

Just overall, the whole experience. There’s so many people in costume and so many die-hard fans, and I’m more excited to meet the Power Rangers fanatics and learning more about what I’m doing. I was a fan growing up, but it’s still, like, a whole new world to be able to share this new insight with the new and old Power Rangers fans. [My castmates and I] have our little Power Rangers WhatsApp group chat, because we’re all in different parts of the world. You’ve got Ludi [Lin, who plays the Black Ranger] in China, you’ve got Dacre [Montgomery, who plays the Red Ranger] in Australia, and Naomi [Scott, who plays the Pink Ranger] in the U.K. RJ [Cyler, who plays the Blue Ranger] and I are the only ones who live in L.A., so he came by to visit me in the studio. We’re all really looking forward to going. From what I hear, it’s like going to a whole other world.

Power Rangers arrives in theaters March 24, 2017.

A version of this story appears in this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, on newsstands Friday. Buy it here and subscribe now for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.