Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Michelle Monaghan And Sophia Banks Discuss The Importance Of Female-Led Action Films - Exclusive

Michelle Monaghan is no stranger to the action genre — she has starred in some truly high-octane pictures, including "Mission: Impossible III" and "Source Code." Her latest venture into this territory is "Black Site," and it sees her taking on a lead role that gets to do some major butt-kicking. 

Monaghan assumes the role of Abby Trent, a CIA agent who works at one of the most secure facilities in the world, which houses some truly dangerous criminals. One day, a man Abby has a connection with, Hatchet (Jason Clarke), arrives at the center — and chaos soon overwhelms the site as he escapes and begins hunting down the on-site agents. It's up to Abby to bring Hatchet to justice and finally get a semblance of the closure she's desperately searched for. 

Amazingly, even though it's 2022, female-fronted action films are still hard to come by. There are certainly plenty of great ones out there, like "The Old Guard" and "Gunpowder Milkshake," but Monaghan and director Sophia Banks wanted to leave their mark on the genre with "Black Site." Both women spoke exclusively with Looper about their latest movie and why it's so important for greater representation within the action sphere.

Both Monaghan and Banks wanted to create a 'grounded female character'

Women are perfectly capable of beating down bad guys just as efficiently as men, and that's proven time and time again in "Black Site." But for director Sophia Banks, it was important that Abby not come across as some kind of superhuman. She's a regular (albeit trained) woman who's put into an impossible scenario to navigate, and as Banks put it, "Both of us were passionate about investing the audience in a character and creating a grounded female character." 

She went on to compare Abby to the likes of Ripley from the "Alien" franchise and how their goal was to make Abby a sympathetic character that viewers would want to root for. That involved taking a realistic approach to how a woman would confront such a situation. "[Women are] not always walking around with a gun blasting everyone. They're afraid sometimes. They outsmart sometimes. It's very clever. That was really important to us, to make her real," Banks said.

Monaghan noted that she held the same belief and talked about how the best way to make Abby feel human was to give her genuine emotional story beats. She added, "We wanted a strong female protagonist. But we also understand that it has to be more than that ... we work diligently about finding those human moments that audiences could connect to so that we could understand what was driving her."

Representation is more important than ever before, and hopefully, movies like "Black Site" encourage more studios to invest in female-centric action films.

"Black Site" is available now in select theaters, on demand, and in Redbox kiosks.