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“I have only just begun using my voice which is now freer than ever before, and I hope it inspires others to do the same. They can’t cancel us if we don’t let them.” That’s how Gina Carano ended a statement responding to her high-profile ouster from UTA and the Star Wars series The Mandalorian while, at the same time, announcing a new film project.
The MMA star turned actor, 38, came under fire for a social media post that likened being a Republican today to being Jewish during the Holocaust. The now-deleted post followed other controversial ones about such topics as election fraud and mask-wearing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Carano’s response to her exit from the Disney and Lucasfilm family confirmed an alignment with Ben Shapiro and his conservative The Daily Wire on a new movie. While specifics are still under wraps — the title, budget, director, etc. — the swirl around Carano has led to renewed interest in her background.
Carano, who previously started in such films as Deadpool, Scorched Earth, Extraction, Heist and Fast & Furious 6, was born in Texas and raised in and around Las Vegas. Howard Stutz, executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports, tells THR that the Carano family is “deeply rooted” in North Nevada. Gina’s grandfather, Don Carano, founded Eldorado Resorts in the 1970s as well as the McDonald Carano law firm in Nevada, and the Ferrari Carano Vineyard & Winery in Healdsburg, California.
Her father, Glenn Carano, suited up as quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys for seven seasons before segueing into the family business. “[Don’s] sons took over Eldorado Resorts, and they grew it into an amazing gaming company,” Stutz continues of the empire that expanded greatly in July 2020 (three years after Don Carano’s death) when Caesars Entertainment announced that it had completed a merger between Caesars Entertainment Corporation and Eldorado, creating the largest casino and entertainment company in the United States with 55 properties worldwide including eight on the Las Vegas Strip.
According to his LinkedIn bio, Glenn Carano currently serves as senior vp operations for the East Region, and many of the Carano offspring serve in executive positions. Per David Schwartz, gaming historian at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the Carano family “definitely is successful. As the force behind Caesars Entertainment, they are principals in one of the largest casino operators in the world.”
He adds that Ceasars Entertainment is a high-profile business in the industry that is “dominant in Las Vegas, with multiple resorts and ownership of the World Series of Poker.”
As for the father-daughter relationship, Glenn Carano once accompanied his daughter to the 2012 Hollywood premiere of Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire, an action film that found her trading blows with a cast that included Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas and Ewan McGregor. Following the big night out, Glenn Carano told a Nevada TV station, “Once they found out I was Gina’s dad, they were like, ‘Wow, she’s the best.’ They loved working with her and they loved how hard she worked.”
A version of this story first appeared in the Feb. 17 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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