Maggie had the attention of the room the second she walked in. Not only because of the body tight canary yellow outfit that she had on, but also the daring shoes that she was no doubt struggling with a bit. Of course I love how her and Shane were place in opposite sides of the room, but that didn’t prevent them from blowing kisses to each other once in a while. She was definitely having a good time. She was the last person we got to talk to during the session, but she was every bit as perky and enthusiastic with us as she was with her first interview of the day.
(Alice) I love those shoes.
They are the hardest things in the world to walk in. I want to knife myself. (laughs)
Are you excited going into your second season as the most kick ass woman on TV?
I so am, the second season, it’s so exciting. I’m sure you talked to Craig, I don’t know how much he told you…
They won’t tell us anything. He said let Maggie tell us.
(laughs) You’re good you. What’s nice is in the first season you saw certain characters paired together. For the first half of the first season I didn’t work with my co-stars ever. It was guest star mania for me. This season there are different pairings with people which will be really nice. Pairings I think you’re going to like, good chemistry, good dynamic.
I like the idea of things being totally changed. It’s going to be like a whole new show all over again.
Honestly, last season from the beginning of the season to the end, it’s a different show. We certainly found what show we wanted to be halfway through the season which was nice. It got a little older and more mature. Darker, I always wanted it to be darker and darker. I’ve read the third episode already and from the first episode to the third episode I’m like “Really, wow?” It’s a completely different dynamic. It’s amazing.
What originally drew you to the role of Nikita?
I don’t know. It was funny when it was mentioned to me I was literally like, CW, Nikita, you, TV, I mean it was like five words. I never thought about doing TV ever. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to do it, it never crossed my mind. I fall on the minority side of the business so I wasn’t sure this should be happening. Who wants to see me starring in a TV series? I didn’t know people wanted that. I was like, “You sure, me, TV?” I met with Warner Brothers and Peter Roth, who’s the most amazing man ever. We sat down and all the elements made sense to me. Danny Cannon and Craig and Peter, everything came together. It felt right. I always make decisions with my heart, that’s what I do. It’s hard but I do it anyway. Because you always come out okay in the end if the decision came from the good and then honestly. And I was a fan of the French film.
Your show is the only show on television to have a female minority lead.
It’s funny too because I didn’t even know that. I was at home there was this Hollywood Reporter article on the cover and I was like, “Why is this article on the cover of the Hollywood Reporter?” Then I started reading and (said), “Whoa, whoa, what?” It was one of those moments that I couldn’t believe I’m Asian-American. I’m only half. My Dad’s Irish-Polish. I’m half and it’s already hard for me. What excites me is that after this it won’t be such a big deal. People will be able to go out for this and not be afraid that this is not happening. That makes me very happy for the community.
Can you describe the new dynamic between Alex and Nikita and if we’re going to miss their season one friendship at all?
The new direction is very cool. We are introducing another girl and a guy. We’re going to have a couple of new people and going have some old favorites back. Nikita has a great love for this girl. I think in saving her and doing the things that she did, part of in service and part in salvation kind of thing, that was Nikita, that drugged out kid who needed somebody. Part of rescuing her from herself was therapy. That was me. If somebody just could have been there for me maybe I wouldn’t do this. I think the pain of seeing her make the wrong decisions in Nikita’s mind, going down the wrong path, is really painful for her. You’re going to see a little bit of that guilt. Maybe I should think of things differently but then she has Michael, which is nice, who is the antithesis of that kind of thinking. This girl, let her go, done. I’m over it, we’re moving on. And Nikita’s got that pain in her heart.
(Alice) Were you surprised that Michael and Nikita were brought together so early?
I’m telling you, the guy’s (Craig) a genius. He likes to take the thing that takes four seasons to do and do it right away. You’re like, “Whoa, now what?” He knows what’s happening. He even does it episodically. He’ll take an episode, you’ll see the opening and you’re like “Oh this is going to happen” and the next act it happens and “Well, shit, that’s not the ending now.” The ending ends up being something very different, he’s so freaking good at that. I don’t understand how he pulls that off every time. Again, like I said, three episodes already and we’re turned around. Give me a ride!
He keeps it fresh.
I think so too. Sometimes I worry a little bit. Is he moving too fast, are we going to have enough material? Season one turned out okay, so I’m thinking I’ll trust Craig. Craiggers as I call him.
What can Michael and Nikita fans look forward to in season two?
It’s finally going to be nice to see the relationship dynamic in the show as a constant. They have different problems than other couples do or they’re going to. Bigger problems, darker things that are going to come out during the season that they’re going to have to deal with which is going to be tough. What I love about that is it’s real. You don’t come together and everything’s not sunshine and roses for anybody. Certainly for them the high stakes are the life they’re living. You’re going to see a little bit of a role reversal in that in season one Nikita was hell bent on her mission and something she was willing to die for. Now she’s got this element of a person she loves and trusts and takes some of the weight off her shoulders. She’s a little bit like, “I want to do this and I want to fix things and I do, but hey Michael wouldn’t it be nice if we could run away and forget that this happened to us, this life that we didn’t choose.” Have that love and that care that she’s never had in her life. Michael’s like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, we will, but we also got to do all this stuff.” And she’s like, “Okay.” There’s the normal male/female dynamic except there’s just a lot more at stake.
He’s there to keep Nikita’s piece of the flame a little bit.
Pretty much, which is interesting because she didn’t have that person in season one. She was that person. You’re going to see the “softer side of Sears a little bit.” He’s going to keep her in that certain place. You are going to see her be a little bit more of a woman, want the things that normal people want. Whether that’s possible for her or not ever remains the big, you know.
Nikita will have a different kind of strength to her this season?
I think so, the strength I actually like better, the more internal. Even in season one, the stuff I enjoyed the most is when you actually saw her vulnerable and you actually saw things that hurt her and so you got more of an insight on who she is and what pains her. Those are the things that really moved me with the character. Yeah, you can fight you can shoot these people and you can do all these things and that’s fine and that’s exciting, but I think to be led in emotionally to someone like her who’s so hard is a big deal.
It’s certainly something that you build out of circumstance. This person has certainly been through so much. The tough exterior is a survival tactic. It’s something that she’s had to do. Now she’s got this man that she loves. When you’re in a great relationship you go home and you’re like, “There you are and I don’t have to worry about everything and I can share this with you and you can understand, or not.” If you’re in a good relationship, normally that person allows you to soften. You’re going to see that with them this season and it’s going to be nice, finally.
Can I ask a nerdy question?
I love nerdy questions.
You work with Shane, you worked with Tim Olyphant in “Live Free or Die Hard.”
And they look exactly alike! Somebody said to me, they didn’t know that “Justified” was on the air, did you know that Shane did a series called “Justified?” I’m like, “No, because he didn’t.” They thought it was him and so they bought it, then they realized that it wasn’t. I was like, “Are you seriously the dumbest person on the planet? That’s another show that shoots at the same time we shoot.” They’re such different people though, that to me they’re nothing alike. They’re the opposite personalities.