Maggie’s Female First Interview

Written by Alexa on September 20 2011

To celebrate the release of the Nikita Season One DVD, we caught up with the rogue agent herself about what its like to make the show, and she gives us some hints about what to expect from Season Two.

– What is it like moving from making movies into making television shows? Is there a big difference?

You know I was told by a few friends who have working in TV for a long time that it wasn’t going to be different production wise, and they were right. Production wise it feels the same except that film is three times as long (laughs) and the workload is ten times more work.

– Did you prefer that increased workload? Or is it easier just doing films?

You know they are so different because the gift of television is that you get to develop this character over a period of time and its always interesting. With movies you make a decision and that’s it, I couldn’t say which one I like better because they’re so different, but a film right now would definitely feel like a holiday.

– Did the action of the show attract you to it at all? You are well known for your action roles.

Actually that wasn’t the reason at all. I actually loved the character they developed for the pilot, where she was going and how complex and flawed she was, and I thought that would make an interesting challenge acting wise.

– Did you take any cues from the original film or the American remake?

I really didn’t. I was a huge fan of the French film but this show is different because this is the future of Nikita. It’s loosely based on the same character, but where the films end with her part of Division, part of this secret government agency, this series is based on her going rogue and what happens after she gets out.

– Can you tell us anything about the training you went through for the show? I did hear that you set up a 3 week training course for the whole cast, can you tell us about that?

I did yeah because I’ve obviously been in this genre and am known for this genre, so I was going to set up a camp for myself. But the thing about this cast, and one of the things that I want for this show, is making Nikita believable. But it’s not just about Nikita being believable, if everyone isn’t believable then the show isn’t going to work. So I was a little worried about what the cast knew and didn’t know, and rightfully so I got them in and they didn’t know how to do anything (laughs). So I trained them and gave them a bunch of pointers on what it’s like to be in a fight, and I conditioned them and got them into shape, and that was really fun for me, and I thought it would be for important for camaraderie. But even for the characters that aren’t that physically active in the show, at one point they went through this training so it was something more psychological that I wanted for everyone as well.

– In terms of the show Nikita, is there anything you can tell us about the rest of the series, because we are only half way through over here?

Oh you guys have no ideas what’s coming. The show, I think, really starts to kick in during the second half.

– I have heard good things about it from its showings in America but we are only half way through over here.

I know I cant believe your so far behind what’s wrong with you.

– We are behind on everything over here, TV shows take months to get here

Its so annoying I keep getting interviews and people on twitter in the UK like ‘Why aren’t you airing it!?’ and I’m like ‘I’m personally not airing it’ so I don’t know what to tell you. But it’s funny, because in the first season you have to find your feet, and find your audience, establish your characters and then decide very definitively what show your going to make and not bow to anything else. I think the writers really started to fall in love with the characters in a different way in the second half of the season because the stories got so interwoven there was more room for that. It really just gets better and better, I am so proud of the second half.

– Has working on the show encouraged you to work behind the scenes at all, like producing or directing? Are these things you would be interested in doing over the course of the series?

Definitely, I feel like I’m working as a producer already on the show, its just a constant involvement. Which is really nice cause I do really care about the show, in a different way than everyone else does obviously. I never wanted to direct before, but during the first season of Nikita it was the first time I felt like I wanted to do that, and it may be on the show it may not be on the show.

– Well it’s just been picked up for a second season in American, do you know how far the series has been planned?

Well the creator (Craig Silverstein) has definitely had his ideas about what he wants all the way to series 3, he has some big plans and he knows what will happen.

– How does it feel to get such a good response? Considering so many shows are cancelled, especially new ones.

You’re right, everyone is feeling really grateful now, kind of looking forward to it. We do have so much story to tell so it would have been a shame to not come back, so we’re all really happy.

– So what are you focusing on at the moment, have you got any film roles planned or is it just Nikita that your doing?

Oh god I wish I had time to think of anything else but what I’m doing, but the plan is always to do a film on the break, and this past break I had a film come out, and I was promoting the show so its been really busy for me. So the next time I would be doing anything is after second series because we start shooting very soon, in early July.

Source: Female First

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