Maggie Q Interview: From Nikita and Mission: Impossible 3 to The Protégé - VRGyani News and Media

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Friday, August 20, 2021

Maggie Q Interview: From Nikita and Mission: Impossible 3 to The Protégé

Maggie Q is kicking ass on screen yet again in Martin Campbell’s The Protégé. Q leads the film as Anna, a contract killer trained by Samuel L. Jackson’s Moody, who’s also like a father to her. When Moody is murdered, Anna sets out on a mission to track down the individual who had him killed.

Q is an undeniable top tier action star in The Protégé. While I’d like to bet that skillset was always there in some form, Q has spent a good deal of time honing that craft over the years to get to the level that she’s at here. With The Protégé now in theaters, Q joined us for an episode of Collider Ladies Night to revisit her journey from kicking off her action film run in Asia, to starring opposite Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible III and, of course, to headlining The CW’s Nikita.

Even though Q already had a good deal of experience by the time Nikita rolled around, she soon realized that making an action movie and leading a combat-heavy TV series were two very different things. Here’s how she put it:

“I went into television as a film person and I didn’t really understand it, and the producer at the time, he had produced Buffy so he was on that for like seven years and he came onto Nikita, and he sat me down for lunch and he’s like, ‘I have something very serious to talk to you about.’ And I was like, ‘Sure!’ And he’s like, ‘Maggie, you’ve never done television and you’re number one, and what that means is, you are going to kill yourself to make this show.’ And I was like, ‘Well, I kill myself when I make anything!’ And he’s like, ‘No, no, no. You’ve never killed yourself for ten months. And I’m telling you, it’s the hardest job in the business and it’s going to be devastatingly difficult for you.’ And I was like, ‘Okay!’”

Despite the warning, Q took that gung-ho, hardworking mentality and hurled herself into the first year of production on Nikita. Here's what happened next:

“Went in with movie mentality and then when I wrapped the show after the first year, I was on an IV for like a week. I shot my adrenals, my endocrine system, everything shut down because I went into it with movie enthusiasm and movie-level standards, so I wasn’t willing to make what I’ll call TV-quality action, all that sort of stuff. I was like, ‘No, no, no, I’m going into this the way I go into my big movies,’ right? And that was a huge mistake, because I had no idea what it meant to pace yourself and what that longevity looked like.”

RELATED: Here’s How 'The Protégé's Maggie Q Upped the Standard for Stunts on 'Nikita'

The big takeaway from her Nikita experience? The importance of pacing yourself. And that’s a lesson that extends beyond the series format. Q continued:

“Pace was what I took from Nikita. Not just from being on television, but even going into films because on The Protege, it was months and months and months and because of the way I broke down on that show I really now look at things very thoughtfully in terms of where my energy goes and where it doesn’t, because self-preservation is truly everything, otherwise you’ve got nothing to give”

If her work in The Protégé is any indication, Q has certainly nailed the pacing of it all and has loads to give her projects. She absolutely crushes her stuntwork in the film and it’s all captured extremely effectively by cinematographer David Tattersall. But what happens next? Once something is filmed, does Q’s work on the scene end there? Not quite. Here’s how Q collaborated with The Protégé editor, Angela M. Catanzaro:

“On the day what happens is, if there’s something that really matters to me, I will make note of it with the script supervisor so that it’s in Martin’s notes, so that when he is in the editing room, he doesn’t forget the points that really matter. He’s got so much in his head, there’s no way he can remember everything that’s going on, so I make it a point to work closely also with the script supervisor who’s making notes for the editor and Martin, and I’ll say, ‘Hey, listen, take two is the one that I like,’ or, ‘We gotta make sure we don’t lose this piece of the sequence,’ or whatever it is. So I am an active part in it initially on the day and then my notes get taken away with the director and the editor and it’s fingers crossed, but all bets are off after that.”

Looking for more from Q? You’re going to want to check out her Ladies Night interview in the video at the top of this article or listen to our uncut conversation in podcast form below. Q detailed how she got into making action movies to begin with, how Tom Cruise helped create a positive atmosphere on the set of Mission: Impossible III, the scariest stunt she did in The Protégé and loads more!

KEEP READING: Olivia Scott Welch Discusses Lessons Learned Making 'Fear Street' and Her Hopes the Cast Will Continue Working Together



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