Kristin Kreuk got physical in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Kristin Kreuk, who plays the title character in the upcoming Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, told SCI FI Wire that the role was physically demanding and that the film will contain homages to the video game on which it's based.

In the second live-action film based on the Street Fighter games, Kreuk plays Chun-Li, and the movie focuses on her journey for justice. Following is an edited version of our exclusive interview. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li opens Feb. 27.

I know that working on Smallville there was more concentration on the acting, whereas the film is really physical. Was that refreshing to do?

Kreuk: It was, and I realized how easy Smallville is [laughs]. I was like, I just want to act. Can I act now? I'd rather cry than do this anymore. Can I just cry? But it was physically very challenging, which I love. I love physically challenging things, probably because of all the gymnastics training as a kid. I was always very physically challenged as a child. But it was a lot of fun and really hard work. This was the hardest I've ever worked, probably, in my life. A lot of wardrobe changes in the middle of the night, because I'm covered in sweat.

Do you ever get to wear the famous video-game costume?

Kreuk: Not the Chinese-style dress. They do an homage to the blue dress in the movie, but it's really hard to fight in something like that. To get yourself in a harness or to cover any pads. It's difficult to fight in gear like that.

That's something I've always thought about video games. There is no way anyone could fight in those outfits.

Kreuk: Yeah, I understand the appeal of it, though [laughs].

What can you tell us about the storyline?

Kreuk: It's very simple in the sense that she lives with her father and her mother and goes on this quest. And she finds a master who helps her let go of her anger and continue her quest. And eventually she goes after the man who took her father and finds her father again. And the whole journey, until the end of the film, gets you to the point where you can see how she becomes the Chun-Li in the video game. She's a very strong fighter.