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WATCH: How to survive Alita: Battle Angel

By Mike Avila
Alita Battle Angel punch

Whether you’re human or cyborg, what does it really take to survive the world of Alita: Battle Angel, from Iron City to the Underworld?

SYFY WIRE's Mike Avila sat down with producer Jon Landau, director Robert Rodriguez, Christoph Waltz (Dr. Dyson Ido), Jennifer Connelly (Chiren), Ed Skrein (Zapan), Keean Johnson (Hugo), Lana Condor (Koyomi) and Alita herself, Rosa Salazar, to find out things like how it was possible to run up the stairs of a cathedral in heels while carrying a dummy that weighed more than a dummy ever should.

"I'm supposed to be wearing the Motorball shoes so I'm in these platform shoes with a dummy that is literally the same weight as Keean (Johnson, who plays Alita's love interest, Hugo), and it's this huge body and Alita just scoops it up like it's nothing."

Director Robert Rodriguez believes the greatest obstacle for Salazar, tentacled Underworld cyborgs aside, was to prepare. Salazar had to be Alita down to her cybernetic fingers. Landau also acknowledged that what might have been the toughest job of all was to walk in every day and turn into this character as the character herself went through a sort of metamorphosis from naïve phase to full-on battle phase.

I could have her go swing-kick somebody and then go right back into performing," said Rodriguez of Salazar's dedication to the prep work that cyborg-ified her.

So what was it like being Dr. Ido, the guy who has to explain what exactly is going on in this altverse sometimes? Actor Christoph Waltz believed it would have been impossible by just robotically saying lines. It was finding meaning and purpose — and merging that with sensory experience — that really fleshed out the character for him.

For Jennifer Connelly, Chiren's villainy had to be at least a little bit fun. She thought of Chiren as an evil character but also one that was fun to both play and watch. Ed Skrein confessed that while it was more fun to get his butt kicked by Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool, fighting Salazar was an entirely different species of fun.

Watch on to see how more denizens of Iron City survived!

Alita: Battle Angel's Rosa Salazar, Lana Condor & More

This article was contributed to by Elizabeth Rayne.