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Dominican actress Dania Ramirez gets a thrill from her new film, ‘Premium Rush’

Last time we visited with Dania Ramirez at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Miami, she was the face of CoverGirl and on her way.

“I’m still climbing,” she said of her career. “I’m almost there.”

Too humble.

These days Ramirez is the co-star of the action flick “Premium Rush,” which was released Friday. She plays Vanessa, the on-again, off-again girlfriend of Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). The two are bike messengers navigating their way through crazy New York City who run into a creepy cop (Michael Shannon) who tries to intercept a valuable delivery to pay off his gambling debts.

“I fell off my bike every day. I had bruises, and black and blues everywhere,” Ramirez says of the grueling shoot. “The producer hired a masseuse to come to the set because we were in so much pain.”

It’s ironic Ramirez got the role because she grew up with an aversion to traveling on two wheels.

“I had a bike phobia,” the Dominican Republic native, 32, admits. “I fell down when I was like 7 and got really hurt. So I wasn’t really into it, just beach cruisers, maybe.”

But in show biz, you have to sacrifice to succeed.

“I read the script, and I knew it was written by David Koepp, who had done all these movies (“Jurassic Park,” “Spider-Man,” “Mission: Impossible”). I was like, ‘OK, I want to play this character. I want to bring her to life.’ ”

A call to her agent prompted the inevitable. “He asked me, ‘Do you know how to ride a bike?’ And I answered, ‘Of course!’ Because that’s what you say when you’re an actress,” she says, laughing. “The cool thing was that I got to conquer my fear.”

The cast physically prepared for weeks before setting up camp all over Manhattan.

“We were sweating bullets filming. It was a great all-over body workout jumping up curbs and going up hills.”

Ramirez, who has biceps even Michelle Obama would envy, is a pro now who owns two bikes and is  training for a triathlon.

“Thank God we did so much training because our endurance was up. We really had to be fit. We’re riding fixies (fixed-wheel bikes) so you can’t stop pedaling or coast. There’s no brake.”

There’s no break for the audience either, who is watching these messengers risk their lives at every street corner, with every move of a taxi or a pedestrian.

Gigantic maps are splattered on screen so you can see their wildly zigzagging routes.

“New York is definitely the silent character,” Ramirez says. “You get to see it from a perspective that you wouldn’t normally see in movies.

“It’s a great popcorn movie. You just sit down and have a blast. I love the fact that it’s not trying to be any more than that.”


Category: DR News |

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Last updated October 24, 2016 at 6:05 PM
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