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July 30, 2014

'Nikita' Star Maggie Q Is Ready to Kick Butt - TCA Report

by Laura Prudom, posted Jul 29th 2010 8:00PM
Nikita'Nikita' is already one of the most buzzworthy new fall shows, and stars Maggie Q and Shane West were on hand with executive producers Danny Cannon, Craig Silverstein and McG to discuss the freshman season at the CW's presentation to TV critics Thursday afternoon.

The producers weren't giving too much away in terms of spoilers, but we were able to glean a few fun bits of scoop ahead of the September premiere. Bullet point highlights below!

-- Maggie Q is highly accustomed to the frenetic pace of TV shooting given her background in Asian film, but she and Shane West admitted that they've never done a dedicated action TV show. "I have no life, I have no fun, all I want to do is sleep and get ready for the next day," Q laughed.

More after the jump!

-- When asked why the producers were attracted to 'Nikita', Silverstein explained, "I loved the original iterations. My only question was whether it could be done fresh, and if it could be done in a way where you didn't know how this story would end." He added that it was also a fresh take on the concept, given that the narrative follows Nikita after she's left the agency, while still doing justice to the origin story.

-- We'll also follow the character of Alex, played by Lynsey Fonseca, who isn't Nikita, and thus audiences will have no idea how the character will progress. She will have "an epic backstory that audiences hopefully won't see coming," according to producers.

-- McG mentioned that audiences and studios like empowered females that don't apologize for being beautiful, but who are also very intelligent. The CW was actively scouting for projects which featured a female in an action role. Silverstein insisted that the show would have a more "Jason Bourne" feel than the odd comparisons to 'Dollhouse' that kept emerging from the audience.

-- On the constraints of making a mini-action movie every week, McG pointed out the way to solve the problem is to "hire the most talented people," such as Danny Cannon, who directed both the pilot and the second episode. "I like watching movies and I don't watch TV," Cannon shrugged. "I'll make small mini-movies as quick as I can without lowering any expectation, it's all about the cast and crew you surround yourself with, and the quality of the script." Crediting other shows he has executive-produced, like 'Supernatural' and 'Chuck', McG said, "Creativity is the mother of invention" -- you just have to run lean and put everything into what you can achieve.

-- McG credited Dawn Ostroff for believing in the show, which is a "daring departure" from what people generally expect from a CW show.

-- Q admitted that she is most intimidated by shooting both action and emotional scenes in the same day -- action scenes aren't so intimidating to her anymore. She prefers to be low maintenance and not dress up, insisting she's too used to being sweaty and sitting like a guy. "At the end of the day, it's about the characters and acting, not about blush," she laughed.

-- West sees the show as a "re-imagining" of the original film and series, so he didn't want to rely to heavily on the different versions of Michael that had come before. "I wanted a fresh take, it was a great opportunity to be the adult and give my own interpretation."

-- There will be standalone episodes as well as an overarching plot explaining the connections between Nikita/Alex and Nikita/Michael.

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