The Protégé director Martin Campbell relied on Maggie Q to deliver ‘real action.’
In an era of action movies that emphasize close combat, physicality and well-choreographed gunplay, Maggie Q should have her own stunt show. Since 2001’s Rush Hour 2, Nikita has been a leading female action star in Hollywood. She’s been in Hollywood blockbusters (Mission: Impossible 3 Live Free or Die Hard) and Chinese action dramas.
Martin Campbell, the director of Casino Royale, made it possible. In The Protege (which hits theatres Friday, August 20), Q plays Anna, an assassin caught up in a game with Michael Keaton’s charismatic killer. This movie places the actor in front of everyone to show off every muscle. Maggie Q is the movie.
Q over email says that it is exciting to have a vehicle you can give your heart and soul to. I can’t think about one aspect of the movie that was not a challenge. I can honestly say that the support and challenge were equal.”
Campbell saw Q as a rare performer with multiple talents who could keep up to Keaton and quickly form a relationship with Samuel L. Jackson, his mentor character. He then incorporated the characterization into his fight choreography.
Campbell wrote via email, “She has that wonderful combination of her skills as an actor and her ability to act.” “The scene where she leaps off the balcony and falls Campbell did 3-4 floors. Jackie Chan trained her, which is a big advantage. She is a natural at timing and action, and she was barely doubled in the movie. We were extremely fortunate to have her […]; she did it all.
Campbell claims that his team worked hard to make The PROTEGE‘s set pieces happen as quickly as possible. Visual effects were used to improve the environment and to remove cables. However, knowing that the lead could perform in any situation gave the director the freedom to plan bigger stunts on-set.
Campbell states, “They’re all real, and a lot of times its actors doing it themselves, which is what I enjoy.” “The truth is that real action is what I prefer, and not visual effects actions which in many cases take you out of the movie. This movie is full of action.
Q states that “every action role is unique” and adds that no matter how much experience you have in the past, they are always working with a new team. It’s about sharing the knowledge I have gained through all of these experiences with the fight coordinator and action coordinator to ensure we produce trust and quality. It’s already too late to achieve anything together if I don’t have faith in them. Although I’ve had this happen, it was very rare. This time I was fortunate to have worked with people I respected.
Q said that the “biggest mountain” he could climb on TheProtege was toe-to-toe with Keaton. He’s an actor of a completely different calibre. She says that our chemistry was very important, and she wanted to do something new with it. “Anna is surrounded in this movie by older men who have had unique experiences. Her mentor was the one who taught her everything. She feels like a combination of her male-influenced teachers and her challenges. The result is that she becomes an individual product of her environment, with everything she has as her greatest asset. This story is the result of deep loss, which I believe is a powerful equalizer in many aspects. It is something that no one can escape.”
All of Q’s choices, from intimate to action-driven, worked in the end for Campbell. “She is so talented, which made my job as director much easier. She is the only female character in action I have ever worked with and makes my life so easy.”