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Psychopaths Welcome: The Super-Villains Unite
In July 2012, a casting call went out for a "Classic Villain," a role that applicants would later learn was for the aptly named Mother Russia. The online flier requested "a 'roided-out female bodybuilder" who "needs to be extremely physically imposing and muscular, though still come across as feminine and as tall as possible (6'-and-over only)." Mother Russia, an ex-KGB officer who is now being paid weekly by Chris to wreak havoc, is the most skilled and ruthless killer in the game.

The filmmakers were inundated with applications and trawled through hundreds of hopefuls before they found their woman in the shape of Russian bodybuilder and fitness model Olga Kurkulina. Standing an impressive 6' 2" and sporting a chiseled 200 pounds of pure muscle, Kurkulina recalls seeing the casting call on Facebook. Via her on-set translator, she offers: "I fell in love with Mother Russia at first sight. From the first moment I saw her, I said: 'This part is mine. I won't let anybody else get it.'" Although she was delighted to play the role, it proved quite a challenge for Kurkulina, who had never acted before and didn't speak a word of English.

Wadlow found Kurkulina to be "a force of nature." He compliments: "Olga was a real discovery for us, and we knew the biggest challenge in making this movie would be casting that part. If you look at my Internet search history, it's quite disturbing. There are all these bodybuilder fetish sites and weird places where I was trolling, looking for women over six feet. Fortunately, after a global search, we found Olga. The credit goes to Reg Poerscout-Edgerton, our casting director. I'll never forget when he came into my office with a photo of Olga and said: 'This is Mother Russia.'"

To a person, the members of the cast and crew loved having the first-time actress on set. Sums Wadlow: "Olga was a joy to work with because she was so enthusiastic. She doesn't speak English, but she was so excited to be a part of the movie that she worked as hard -- if not harder -- than anyone else. She was constantly training, learning to fight and working on the dialogue. She had to do some very difficult stuff, not just the acting, but a number of physical things she'd never done before."

Kurkulina shot her first scenes on location in Toronto. Recalls Pack: "We had acting coaches come in to work with her. She did a lot of training, and of course we had a full-time translator. But there was still that moment, as we were building up to her first day, where we thought: 'Is this going to work out?' A film crew is a hundred people, a lot of lights, cameras and people who know what they're doing. Olga had never done this before. On her first day when she emerged out of her car in full Mother Russia regalia, I thought, 'This is going to be the moment where it all ends up being too much for her.' But she totally nailed it and just loved it."

The new thespian had another fan in her on-screen boss, Mintz-Plasse, who raves: "Olga was incredible in this. You see her, and she's just muscular and ripped and intimidating. But then you have a conversation with her, and she's the sweetest woman you'll ever meet. Every morning, she was giving kisses as she greeted you."

Mother Russia isn't the only hired muscle watching The Mother-f%&*^r's back. Emmy Award winner John Leguizamo plays Javier, Chris' bodyguard. Now that Chris has lost both parents, Javier is the only real family he has left. Wadlow acknowledges how privileged the filmmakers were to have landed Leguizamo: "Chris and John had such a great relationship, and I've enjoyed working with him so much. John is brilliant at improvising but also understands that we're telling a larger story. We'd do take after take where he'd just be killing me with great improvs, giving me all these wonderful options to use in the edit."

Javier was tasked with helping The Mother-f%&*^r recruit his evil army, a group of super-villains given various evil assignments. This included enlisting Black Death, played by Daniel Kaluuya, who meets Chris at a mixed-martial arts (MMA) gym. Another terrific set crafted by production designer Russell De Rozario, the gym was home to none other than CHUCK "THE ICEMAN" LIDDELL, the retired MMA fighter and former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champion.

After Black Death shows Chris who is boss in the octagon, Chris hires him to beat up anyone on his hit list. Javier also finds Big Tony/The Tumor, played by English actor and magician Andy Nyman, a psychotic thug who is small but likes to kill. Rounding out the principal baddies is Genghis Carnage, an out-of-work ex-Triad officer. Played by British actor TOM WU, a martial arts expert whose skills have been put to the test in films such as Revolver and Batman Begins, Genghis Carnage is just as efficient with a blade as Hit Girl.

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