Sylvia Hoeks makes a big impression as a genetically engineered human in Blade Runner 2049 — as well as an indent on LAPD Officer K's (Ryan Gosling) face with her killer roundhouse kick.
The 34-year-old Dutch model and actress learned martial-art skills and added those harsh bangs to aid her powerhouse performance as the calculating (and ironically named) replicant Luv in director Denis Villeneuve's epic sci-fi sequel (in theaters now).
Here are a few introductory points about Hoeks.
She's Dutch, which explains the last name
Here's a handy pronunciation guide for Hoeks' tricky name. "Think of Captain Hook. And then put an ‘s’ after it. Captain Hooks. That’s me," says Hoeks.
She grew up in a small Dutch town loving American TV shows like 'Charlie's Angels' and 'The A-Team'
Hoeks' 7-year-old heart went out to B.A. Baracus (Mr. T), the star of A-Team. "He was so strong with these golden chains," she says. "And he had a fear of flying. I thought it was so Iovely, and I would be the person that got him over that."
She rocked Luv's harsh bangs for real
Hoeks suffered personally for Luv's hairstyle, which went glam-rock wild when she slept. "I woke up every morning and my husband told me I looked like Gene Simmons. Seriously. Yup, that was me. And it took so long to grow it out afterward."
Her foot made it to Ryan Gosling's face
Relying on her past dance training, Hoeks spent four months in intense martial arts preparation. Each session culminated with a focus on that roundhouse kick with 6-foot-tall Gosling. "You don’t want to ruin your hips and Ryan’s tall, you have to get your leg up to his face. That took some serious training," Hoeks says.
Unlike Harrison Ford, who accidentally punched Gosling during their fight scene, Hoeks never connected for real. It just looked like it. "Thank God," she says.
She found Jared Leto just as freaky as we do
Leto stayed in character as Luv's blind sociopath boss and creator Niander Wallace from his first moment on the set. It was awkward but ultimately effective. "I've never worked with a Method actor the way he does Method. We met as our characters, he introduced himself as Niander Wallace, wearing the contacts. I didn’t expect that to happen."
Small talk between takes? Nope. "But it kind of elevated the scenes. Because we didn’t know each other, he felt even further away as Niander Wallace, this untouchable God."
At the end of filming, they had a glass of wine as humans. "He did take the contacts out and I looked like Gene Simmons."
She found Harrison Ford hilarious
Hoeks was nervous enough meeting her screen hero Ford for the first time, much less working with him on their first scene. But Ford dropped the gruff exterior before cameras rolled. "The first thing he said was, ‘So there’s a dog. In a bar.' And I was like 'What?' He was telling me a joke. And he started joke after joke after joke and stories about how he grew up as an actor. It was just wonderful. I was really astonished."