"Betty Gilpin kicks total ass, soon-to-be SUPERSTAR," exclaimed Entertainment Weekly's Erick Weber. "Betty Gilpin kills the whole way through," wrote IndieWire critic David Ehrlich. "It's Betty Gilpin's show, and she rules," weighed in CinemaBlend's Eric Eisenberg. "If this role doesn’t shoot her into super stardom than I don’t know what will," added another Twitter user who screened The Hunt early.
As divisive as the controversial new action thriller/social satire has proven, there's one thing nearly everyone who has seen it agrees on it: The Hunt is a tour-de-force for the Emmy-nominated GLOW actress, and announces her arrival as Hollywood's newest action star.
Gilpin plays the Mississippi-born Crystal, one of the so-called "deplorables" picked up for wealthy gun-wielding liberals to hunt. Only Crystal, who's decidedly non-partisan, has a military background and quiet ferocity, and quickly begins picking off her hunters with ease.
The 33-year-old actress credits her experience on GLOW, Netflix's acclaimed show about a band of female wrestlers in the 1980s, for her seemingly effortless action and stunt scenes.
"Being on GLOW for three, now four years, has kind of been the perfect Mr. Miyagi training for this moment and this movie," said Gilpin to Yahoo Entertainment, shouting out her wrestling coach, Chavo Guerrero Jr., and stunt trainer, Shauna Duggins.
"I was very used to slamming my body on the ground over and over again," she explained. "The way I approach exercise as a woman is very different. I used to go for the dowry muscles to be traded for goats. And now I train to be able to lift heavy things and punch mean people."
Her collaborators on The Hunt agree with the critics.
"I can't imagine the movie working nearly as well with anyone else in the part," said producer Jason Blum (Get Out, The Purge).
"She elevated the movie," said co-star Ike Barinholtz (Blockers, The Oath). "Her performance is so perfect. It's so spot-on. She never pushes for one second. It's just on her face, she has to make so many turns, there's so much physicality. It's wonderful to watch her in the pre-Oscar phase of her career."
Or at least pre-major superhero role phase.
The Hunt is now playing.
Watch the cast and creators talk about the film's controversy and delay:
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