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Hey, boys and girls, itís been ages since we last caught up with the fabulous Maggie Q at the 2008 Tribeca Film festival.  Since then, Ms. Q has brought her sexy action game to television with the WBís Nikita.  We chatted with Maggie about her illustrious Asian action film past and its effect on her work today as she celebrated Nikitaís second season at the 2011 New York Comic Con.

Dig it!


Maggie Q


The Lady Miz Diva:  So much has happened to you since I saw you last.

Maggie Q:  Yeah, and your hairís a different colourÖor three different colours! So cool. {Laughs}


LMD:  Of course, I have to ask about the physicality in Nikita.  I heard somewhere that you used to do action moviesÖ

MQ:  Hmm... Something like that, yeah.


LMD:  Having been trained by some of the legends of Hong Kong action filmmaking, how much of that special background is useful in this role?  How much of that history do you bring to the table and say, ďWell, we can do it like this, but why donít we try it like that?Ē regarding action choreography?

MQ:  Itís interesting, I have to say, my early days, like now, more than anything I never knew at that time where I was going to go.  Iím really a ďmomentĒ person.  Iím really super-present and Iím going to put everything into what Iím doing.  You see in interviews, ďWhere do you want to be in five years?Ē  I say, ďI have no idea!Ē {Laughs}  I cannot answer that question.  

So, I was living moment-to-moment at the time, and wanting to do my best, but I donít know if I was assimilating the way that I should have at that time.  One thing that I did take from Asia was work ethic.  Itís one of those things; we donít have the resources like you do in the United States - not even close.  I mean, we donít have trailers, thereís nothing; none of the luxuries you have in the United States do you have over there.  Every penny goes into the filmmaking.  It doesnít go into rose petals for your feet and all the other stuff, catering, and all the other bullshit that you have in the US -- Which is amazing bullshit that I love, and if that bullshit went away, Iíd be bummed! -- But I remember coming to the States and thinking how amazing actors were treated and how amazing it is to actually work in this environment of comfort and joy all the time. 

But if weíre talking about Sammo Hung, or Jackie Chan, or Jet {Li}, or any of the really big action directors whoíve come up under them, the Ching Siu-tungs and Yuen Woo-pings and all those people; those guys they really put in the years, the work, the blood, the sweat, the tears, every bone has been broken, their spirit, everything.  I mean, Chow Yun-fat, when he started, he sold handbags on the street!  So, these people really came from nothing, and I came from nothing, so I know what thatís like.  I know what that struggleís like.  So, thatís what I took from Asia.

I will say, weirdly, even with my background and working with Jackie and working with his team and all these guys -- now, I didnít just work with Jackie, I worked for some of the best action directors in Asia, as well.  A lot of people donít talk about them because theyíre not as big a name as Jackie -- but when I got to the States was when I really started to refine what action meant to me and filmmaking meant to me, because we have the resources and the time.  For example, my friend trained Keanu {Reeves} for the Matrixes, and Keanu trained for six months for The Matrix.  Six months!  Thatís a hundred-eighty million dollar movie, you can do that.

And when you have the time to really turn it into an art, that kind of time and those kind of people who are dedicated to making you something -- and besides that, Keanu Reeves is one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood -- but when you have that combination with the time and the resources to make you something, you get something like the Matrix.  There was a fight that Keanu learned that was five hundred moves in The Matrix and he did the whole thing himself.  Thatís dedication, but you have the time to do it.  You need the time and the resources.  

When I got that, when I got to the States, I really understood what it meant to be able to immerse myself in this completely.  And I understand filmmaking more than I ever did, because they took the time to refine things.  Where in Asia, everythingís like, ĎHurry up, hurry up, hurry up, we donít have the money.  Letís get it done,í and it comes out well, but sometimes itís luck.  And in the States, everything is so much more calculated, itís so much more planned out, thatís where the refinement came for me.  

So, youíre absolutely right; and I was on the set the other night and I am very, very tough on set with people in terms of I treat people with respect, and I love them, and I want them to be good at what they do, but I will push everyone to their edge -- everyone -- because it is our faces and our names.  

You know, film is forever; you make it and thatís what it is.  The other night, there was a move that I didnít understand and the director was pushing me; heís like, ďWe gotta go, we gotta go,Ē and I was like, ďNo, weíre not going because I donít understand why this makes sense to the story.  So, youíre gonna stand there and not talk right now while I figure this out, and when this makes sense to me, it will make sense to my audience.  Donít rush me.Ē 

And Iím very adamant about, like, ĎListen, I donít care who you are, this is story-driven, or we donít do it.í  So, we have moments like that, where we just kind of stop everything and itís like, ĎI know weíre in a rush and I know Warner Brothers has X-amount of dollars to make this, but we have to deliver something of quality.  We canít just shoot just to shoot.í

{Regarding having a hand in the fight choreography} Absolutely, especially this season.  Early into season one, I didnít -- how do I say this? -- I was not happy with our fight coordinator; this is around episode four or five, so he was gone.  

So, we brought in my guy from LA, actually, somebody Iíve done three or four movies with.  This guyís excellent, his nameís Jon Eusebio.  Jon works for a company called 87eleven, which is one of the best action design companies in Hollywood; they did 300, which made their name, they did V for Vendetta, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the last Bourne {2012ís The Bourne Legacy}, I mean, they did everything!  So, Jojo is his nickname and Jojoís sort of my guy, and I said, ďLook, Jojo, you gotta come up and we gotta end the first season, especially make this show something theyíve not seen before on television.Ē  And he did. 

He is a massive features guy; he did Iron Man 3 {sic}, heís doing the Avengers now, so for him to take that year off and come and help me on Nikita is huge and Jojo brought the action to a level that, Iím sorry, weíve never seen on TV.  Iím sayiní it, I donít care!  I mean the choreography, itís poetic and itís story-driven and itís real, and we worked so hard to make it that way.  And so, Jojo obviously couldnít return for the second season; he had to go back to his massive features career and I appreciated it.  

So, we got somebody new on for season two and the producer told me the first thing he said to him is, ďIf she doesnít like you, youíre in trouble.  She is not here to be your best friend, sheís here to push you and sheís gonna do it.Ē  And he said, ďIím ready.Ē  I really like him; he doesnít have as much experience, obviously, as who we had last year, so I am having to be more involved than I ever have.  

But you know what; that allows me to grow as an artist and so I appreciate that.  I donít look at it as, ĎOh God, my workload just increased,í I look at it as, ĎMy workload just increased, but look how much more Iím going to have to give cos look how much more Iím learning about this process.í


~ The Lady Miz Diva

Oct. 15th, 2011


Click here to read our original tÍte-ŗ-tÍte with Maggie Q at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival.


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Stills courtesy of  Warner Brothers Television






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