I had to pull strings to get into the Nikita press room, but I did it mostly because I wanted to meet Shane West. He wasn't at Comic Con last year when I was in their press room and Michael has become my favorite character on the show. Needless to say, it was all worth it because this turned out to be one of the better press sessions. I was rather excited that not only did we get Shane first, but we got over 10 minutes with him. This interview with him is one of my major highlights of Comic Con this year.
I better give the spoiler warning now, even though at the time this interview took place they were only filming episode two. Shane doesn't give away too much, but there's certainly some info in there that might upset the spoilerphobes.
(Alice) Is this your first time at Comic Con?
It is. My first time. Very excited. It’s definitely different, it’s fun.
What can we expect at the beginning of season two?
It’s very entertaining this year, not that it wasn’t last year. We have changed it up so much from the beginning of the first year to the end that everything is just screwy, split sideways. For the first time Nikita and Michael are together. It’s them trying to get used to literally being together and working together and the relationship problems they have with that. Percy may be out of the picture for now but not really because he’s still there. There’s a lot of turnover over who’s controlling Division now. We find out that Oversight is Division’s boss. They’re in almost in every episode now too. Where’s Birkhoff going to go, is he stuck in division or is he with us? It’s really exciting right now.
We’ve only done one episode so far and I’ve answered all three of those things already with what I just said but I can’t say it yet.
If we gave you full creative control is there anything you’d like to do?
I feel that I was really fortunate in the first season. When they delved into Michael’s background, he was exactly what they told me he was going to be when we had shot the pilot. They stuck to it. They did a lot of things that I would have wanted them to do. I don’t know about everybody else but for me I was very happy with it. There’s a couple little things like we never knew where he lived, and now we never will now that he’s with Nikita.
The two shows that I have done before, Once Again and ER, they were based on drama and relationships that built over time. This one is action packed, so fast, so many things happen in one episode that could have been a season finale for anything else, that I’m not used to going at that fast pace. It’s a lot of fun but it’s different. Everything that happened in that first year was insane to me, that could have lasted five or six years, especially for Michael. For now, I’d like to see if they delve into his past of other things that he may not remember. There’s a lot of cool things they can do with Division and Oversight. Going into some sort of brainwash type of thing where you may have had a different past that you don’t even know. They could easily go into that. They may start doing that, not sure about for Michael but possibly for Nikita.
(Alice) What was it like filming all those action scenes, especially since you were saying it’s kind of new to you?
I got lucky. I did a film that hasn’t come out for two and a half months in Peru called El Dorado, it’s an all action film. That was kind of my training and then I went straight into this. It’s fun. It reminds me of being in Louisiana when I was a kid and running around playing war and whatever the heck it is we did with sticks. Now it’s actually a bit more realistic. I learned a lot.
Our new stunt coordinator this year, who’s been great so far, is making Michael a little bit more, I made him more of a bruiser last year type of fighter. Not that fancy or special just more good at what he does. This year they’re training him to be even deadlier, even scarier, and that stuff that I really have to learn. It’s a blast, but it’s exhausting. You’re also doing so much work and then you add onto the fact that you have to train and do all these other things too. We’re all in Toronto, far from our homes in LA, so (we) kind of band together as do as much work as we can while we’re there.
In season one, Nikita’s arc is about redemption while Michael’s is about revenge. Are we still going to see Michael going for revenge?
You know, I think that’s at the bottom of the list right now of their current worries. Once again we’re just about to start episode two on Monday. He learned a lot this first year so I don’t think he’s as revenge oriented in the beginning of this. What I think we’re going to do is we’re going to see more of the hardships between them being together and being kind of different in how they handle things. Having to have those relationship fights while trying to save the world. We’ll see a lot of weird things come out of their past. We didn’t get into that all in Nikita in season one and I think we’re going to do a lot of that this year.
How much do you like to know ahead of time what’s going to happen to your character or would you rather find out as you go along?
There’s a part of me would like to find out about it as we go along, but it’s smart to try and ask questions. Maggie’s always on that. She’s got a clear idea of what’s going on this year, I don’t think the rest of us do. Craig’s great about it, but he wants to be secretive as well. You don’t want to learn to much. For instance, we’re starting episode two on Monday and we just got episode three to read. I’m not going to touch it because I don’t want to see that effect whatever we’re going to do with episode two. So much happens in each episode that I might start thinking about into the future.
You get an outline, what might happen this year, and then you hope they stick to it because they can change their minds if they want. We have a great team and so far they’ve made things everything smooth and a ton of fun. There have been no screw ups or anything like that. Everybody’s happy.
Michael took care of Alex at the end of season one. Are we going to see a different kind of relationship between them?
Yeah, that’s the strange thing, I was so used to having my suits and walking around division and now we’re wearing whatever we find at department stores or on the run. I don’t even know if I’m going to be in Division.
She’s (Alex) got a lot going on with her character this year and they’re trying to figure (it) out. She’s using division, she’s not exactly a part of it but she’s the free agent kind of thing right now. We’re going to run into each other for sure. We do almost immediately, I can say that. I don’t know, we have to see how that grows. They’re trying to make it, I’m sure that will change over time, but right now they’re trying to make it like she stabbed us in the back. But obviously there are reasons that it went to us. I think that it’ll unfold that it wasn’t so pernicious. But I just don’t how quickly it’ll happen.
What was your favorite episode to film in season one and why?
The ones with the actor, Haaz Sleiman, who played the guy who killed my family, my ex best friend. The first one where they actually showed him with his family, his kid, that was a lot a of work in that episode. That was definitely the most fun. I had to shave, to change things up. Because you got to see how he was even created. How Division created him to being who he was. He was a lot more happy go lucky and fun loving before that. So to be able to do all that, the inner cutting in the writing and going back into playing Michael in Division and going back into the past was so much work but worth it. That was probably my favorite so far.
Are there going to be any funny moments between Michael and Nikita?
I think so. They’ll have to this year. Now that they’re together, logically they’re going to be more funny moments. They’re kind of already are. There’s another character involved too who’s helping out with the funny moments as well.
So, is anyone excited about season two? Any huge "Mikita" fans out there? Only 8 more days. What are you most looking forward to this season?