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Carla Gugino Shares How She Really Feels About Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch - Exclusive

Actress Carla Gugino stars in "Gunpowder Milkshake," a Netflix movie about five women — assassins or ex-assassins working for the same criminal organization — who band together against their employers and a rival gang to protect an 8-year-old girl caught in the middle of a war. But a decade before this movie brought five excellent actresses together as the leads in a crime/action thriller, Gugino found herself co-starring in another action movie starring a different group of women. The film was director Zack Snyder's "Sucker Punch," and while it's one of the few box office misses on Snyder's resume, it's proven as polarizing and hotly debated as anything else he's done, including "Zack Snyder's Justice League."

While we're now in an era in which female-led action movies are less of an anomaly, in 2011 it was still an uphill battle to convince studios and audiences that women were just as credible as men in these films. Just over 10 years since its ill-fated release, "Sucker Punch" has been given a reappraisal in recent years (via Guardian). But how does Gugino herself feel about it a decade later? She told Looper she'll always work with a filmmaker "who is creating something that's unique."

Was Sucker Punch ahead of its time?

"Sucker Punch" had the odds against it with five female leads, and on top of that, the film's strange, surreal story wasn't the usual action fare. Emily Browning starred as Babydoll, a young woman who is committed to a mental institution who fantasizes that she and the women she befriends in the institute — played by Abby Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens and Jamie Chung — are fighting in World War I or battling orcs, situatons that loosely mirror their real-life attempts to escape.

Carla Gugino played Vera Gorski, the head of the institute and, in one of Babydoll's fantasies, the madam of a brothel where she and the other women are prostitutes. When asked about "Sucker Punch," Gugino said, "I do think there was an element of it being ahead of its time, for sure. But I also think that, frankly, the movie was always a very strange movie, which I love and continue to love about it. But I also think that at that moment, and again, maybe because it was a different moment, the studio tried to fit it into a particular slot."

Gugino said that a number of scenes — including a sequence in which she and co-star Oscar Isaac sing "Love Is The Drug" — were removed from the film to make it seem like more of a conventional action thriller. "If you start taking those pieces out, then the movie doesn't make as much sense or isn't as cohesive," she explains. "So I think part of it was this very dreamlike state that needed to be felt in order for us to realize what Babydoll, Emily Browning's character, was going through and where the story was coming from."

The legacy of Sucker Punch

While there was an extended version of "Sucker Punch" made available — and Snyder recently hinted to Vanity Fair that an even longer director's cut exists — there doesn't seem to be much movement among fans for the movie to be restored like "Justice League." As Snyder himself told Film School Rejects, the film calls out the way in which male fans objectify women and the genre itself rarely attempts to view them in anything but a sexist light.

Whether you buy into Snyder's interpretation or not, Carla Gugino has nothing but fond memories of the film. "I loved playing this dual character of this psychiatrist and this madam, so I had a blast doing the movie," she said, adding, "I will always go with a filmmaker who is creating something that's unique ... I would rather see a movie that's one person's vision then sort of an amalgamation of a bunch of notes and a bunch of things, that's trying to appeal to everybody. I just don't think art is about that."

"Gunpowder Milkshake" is streaming now on Netflix.