The good news: Cobie Smulders got to spend part of the “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” shoot in New Orleans. The bad news: She was doing an action movie. The actress couldn’t go whole hog with eating and drinking, couldn’t partake in the city’s wares. After all, she had to be tough.
In the sequel to the 2012 action movie, the “How I Met Your Mother” alum — and Marvel’s resident badass Maria Hill — plays Susan Turner, a major in the U.S. military who finds herself teaming up with Tom Cruise’s wandering fixer after she’s wrongly accused of murder. Smulders, 34, spends most of the movie pissed-off and hurting people. In real life, Smulders is — as she puts it — you know, Canadian.
So this is nuts, but you had a broken leg when you were hired for “Jack Reacher.” You broke it the night before you started Clea DuVall’s indie “The Intervention,” in which you hobble about on crutches. What on earth happened?
Nothing, nothing. I tripped and fell in my apartment. Nothing. That’s why I was like, “It’s fine.” I thought I had dislocated my knee and it was sliding back into place. And it turned out to be a fracture, which got bigger and bigger as I kept walking around, till eventually I couldn’t use it anymore. When I showed up on the “Intervention” set, we were in the friggin’ swamps of Savannah. I was like, “You can hire someone else, that’s totally fine.” And Clea just said, “Let’s use it.” It ended up kind of working in the film, I thought — or at least it wasn’t a total distraction.
By the time it healed, you had to go into intense physical training, which sound awful.
You know what? It helped me, because I portrayed a woman who’s in the U.S. military and graduated from Ranger school. It’s like, listen, if this chick graduated from Ranger school, she’s it tough because she’s fit. These people are like this because they’re always working out. To me, working out is just to stay thin. I now know how to keep my energy levels up to just feel generally better — so I can do a press day for 12 hours.
Did your body just rebel once you were done with the movie?
Once I got back to New York, I got bronchitis, then I got the flu, then I had, like, strep throat or something. It was like a big FU to my body. My body was like, “You pushed us hard for so long,” like one of those things where when you finally take a rest, that’s when you get sick, because your adrenaline is no longer pumping in your system. I don’t know scientifically what goes on, but I do find that once I finally have a week off, it’s like, “No, you’re sick.”