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Corey Hawkins in 6 Underground

In the final trailer for Michael Bay’s Netflix film 6 Underground, Ryan Reynolds’ character tells Corey Hawkins that the group has been looking for a special operator like him for a while. Clearly Corey Hawkins’ character is bringing a particular set of skills to the group, so how did the actor himself bring those skills to life? Speaking at Netflix Panel CCXP in Brazil, attended by CinemaBlend’s own Cody Beck, Corey Hawkins talked about how he prepared to be a sniper in 6 Underground, saying:

I killed a lot of people. I’m kidding. By doing all the training. We had some really good men and women from the armed forces. I showed up day one and there were all these cones lined up and I said ‘Who’s doing laps?’ and they said ‘You guys.’ I was in the best shape of my life.

I suppose killing a lot of people would be one way to prepare to be a lethal sniper in 6 Underground, but going method in this instance presents a lot of legal and moral complications. So Corey Hawkins didn’t kill a lot of people as he jokes, but he did do a ton of training to acquire that very particular set of skills in order to play a convincing sniper onscreen.

The production of 6 Underground actually brought in men and women of the armed forces to help Corey Hawkins, and presumably some other members of the cast, get prepared to play a group of six globetrotting secret agents righting the wrongs in the world. That makes total sense, if you were playing a boxer, it would be good to learn how to throw a punch like one and if you’re playing a soldier, best to learn from the people who have actually done the job.

I assume that for Corey Hawkins, some of that training was specific to his role as 6 Underground’s sniper, like how to hold the rifle properly and whatnot, but it also involved simply being in shape for the role. As Corey Hawkins recalled at CCXP, he showed up one day and there were a bunch of cones lined up, only to find out that he and his cast mates were doing laps.

That must have come as quite the surprise; hopefully he had on proper shoes. The result of this was that the actor apparently got into the best shape of his life for Michael Bay’s Netflix actioner. So in addition to going through all the training with the servicemen and women to play a sniper, he made sure that he was physically in shape and looked the part of a capable soldier.

Of course, 6 Underground isn’t the first time that Corey Hawkins has had to play a badass onscreen. While he is perhaps now best known from playing Dr. Dre in Straight Outta Compton, he also starred in the 24 revival 24: Legacy where he played an ex-Army Ranger and war hero.

So 6 Underground wasn’t Corey Hawkins’ first rodeo in the action realm and I imagine he was able to take that experience and build upon it with his training for the new film. He’ll need it too, for a film that is poised to be peak Michael Bay lunacy.

You probably won’t get to see him put that training on display on the big screen though. 6 Underground is a Netflix film and like The Irishman or Roma before it, it’s theatrical release is very limited.

6 Underground, or as star Ryan Reynolds calls it, The Snyder Cut, begins streaming on Netflix on December 13. Check out our 2020 Release Schedule to see what theatrical movies you can look forward to next year.

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