Paige VanZant has made it to the finals of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, and the UFC strawweight has just added a new title to her ever-expanding list of professions: actor.
According to a report from Deadline, the 22-year-old has signed on for a role in Jean Claude Van Damme’s Kickboxer: Retaliation, which is already filming. Producers liked VanZant on DWTS and wrote a role specifically for her into the film.
Starring Van Damme, former WWE star-turned-actor Dave Bautista, former MMA fighter Gina Carano, and Alain Moussi.
“Paige is the up-and-coming darling of the UFC and her star quality shines through on camera,” said producer Rob Hickman of Our House Films in a statement. “She’s a tremendous asset to the film both as an onscreen talent and as a [trained] fighter.”
Penick’s Analysis: VanZant’s star has risen greatly in the last few months with her success on DWTS, and with this taking her time up right after that concludes she’s going to be away from the cage even longer. At the same time, it might be hard for her to get the pull back to fighting at her current pay level given the amount of money she’s making on DWTS and that may be available to her in the film world. That is, of course, provided that she takes to that endeavor well. She had dance experience into DWTS, so that was already in her wheelhouse, but this will be something different entirely, so we’ll see how she handles it when the movie comes out this fall.
[Photo (c) Jayne Kamin-Oncea via USA Today Sports]
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They called PVZ a “trained fighter.” How quaint.