Crying in Gym Class: Maggie Grace on Lockout and Taken 2

The star of this weekend's sci-fi prison break thriller explains her opthamological fears and teases the highly anticipated sequel.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel


During her roundtable interviews for the sci-fi actioner Lockout, Maggie Grace revealed she’s actually a girlie girl who likes Jane Austen stories. Yet she’s had success in movies like Taken and this week’s latest Luc Besson production. We had a chance to interview Grace one on one so we could delve further into her role as the president’s daughter stuck in a space prison full of crazy convicts. Even the hero who comes to save her, Snow (Guy Pearce), is an outrageous character. Grace was also happy to talk about Taken 2, and a little about Breaking Dawn Part II for you Twihards, and you know you’re out there.


CraveOnline: In a film with so many funny and crazy characters, do you have the sincere part?

Maggie Grace: I suppose. She’s a bit more slice of life than perhaps our villains.


Do you wish you could have joked and been silly like Guy?

I think she certainly gives as good as she gets in terms of their dynamic, but yeah, there’s a certain dry quality to him that’s something I very much admire.


Was it creepy having a needle that close, even on a safe movie set?

It was. It was creepy. My mother saw the film recently and that really freaked her out.


Do you have a needle fear?

I’m pretty good. I like to give blood occasionally but I have more of an opthamological needle fear I would say. Opthamological damage fear.


If people describe Lockout as Taken in Space, is that okay?

Well, why not? I think the first spoilers online had that response. I’ve also heard a lot of Taken Meets Con Air.


Ooh, I like that one.

Yeah, I’ve heard that a lot. I think the tone is different than Taken but the pace is similar. It’s much more humorous and it has its light moments.


And it’s rescuing you.

Right. And there would be me in the center of that Venn diagram I suppose. But yeah, certainly once it ramps up the pace is similar to Taken.


If you describe yourself as a girlie girl, how did all this action happen?

It’s funny, huh? There’s some irony, I keep doing action films when I used to cry after gym class. It’s good to embrace my masculine energy side.


You cried after gym class?

Yeah, I was really bad at it and I would get picked last but that’s like typical actorly sob story, right? It’s boring.


So just ego wounding, not physical trauma.

No, I was just really unathletic and unwieldy as a teenager.


Was it fun to get grunged up with all the black dirt?

Yeah, it was. That was definitely fun but luckily with the schedule we had to do some wigs so I didn’t have to shave my head.


I liked the short black hair look.

Thanks. There’s a certain gamine quality.


What’s gamine?

It’s that little French schoolgirl type. I liked it.


How did you like firing the big space gun?

There’s certain suspensions of disbelief required with an action film and one is they’re low velocity bullets that don’t pierce the hull, right?


I buy it.

Totally. It’s like a ticket is a contract that you sign when you buy it. There’s certain things, like James Cameron always calls them the rivet counters. There’s just certain things you don’t think about to enjoy a film. Bullets in space are one of them.


It also looks awesome standing there with a gun.

Thanks, yeah, there was some recoil on that puppy.


In Taken 2 you’re not kidnapped again, right?

No, this time my character’s parents are kidnapped. It’s sort of an inversion of the original plot but I think they really kept the elements that worked. At the end of the day, the moral of the story is still don’t mess with Liam Neeson.


What I love about that movie is he’s not a good father or husband, but if something goes down, he’s the guy you need to save the day.

He’s the guy you call. Well, the character does have his flaws but he’s really struggling to be a good father I think in the second one. In the beginning I think he’s not really sure how to handle the aftermath in terms of there’s a lot we don’t talk about in our family.


Is it immediately after the events of Taken 1?

I think it’s more than a year after but I mean, how do you really come back to good after that experience. It’s been pretty tough on everyone.


Has your character become a hardened been there here we go again type of girl?

No, but she does have to step up a little more to the plate in this one to help save her family.


Do you get more hands on this time?

Yes, yes and we shot a lot, like I had all these great scenes running across the rooftops of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and these really movie magic moments.


Did you ever expect Taken to become a franchise?

No, but it’s very much of a continuation of the first. It’s a blood feud. It’s not random. So I thought that was a really compelling choice.


How does the Twilight phenomenon affect you? Those fans, even if your character is on one page in the book, they know everything about her.

They do. They’re up on everything and detail oriented as well. It’s great. It’s great they’re so passionate. I remember feeling that way about certain books. It’s tough to adapt them to film.


What were the books you were passionate about growing up?

I was an Austenite so that has its own passionate fan base.


Did you get mad about the Emma and Sense and Sensibility films?

Yeah, I mean, I remember also with Romeo & Juliet when they cut the Queen Mab speech I remember being really angry about that. The whole Queen Mab speech was just gone and I really couldn’t come to terms with that.


But you were okay with the Baz Luhrmann gangster version of Romeo and Juliet?

Well, it was a good movie but I always have trouble when they remove things from their historical place.


Does Twilight tap more into the girlie side of you?

The character is very misunderstood and I think her warmth isn’t really seen in the context of the film. So I wouldn’t say that it draws on girliness.