SDCC ’10 Interview: Priest’s Maggie Q

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On the vampire threat you’ve “never seen before”

The world needs more Maggie Q. [Editor’s Note: I wholeheartedly agree.] The über hot action actress is a great mixture of beauty, brains and the sheer ability to kick your ass.

Luckily, Q is blowing up right now in Hollywood with feature length films, a new TV series called Nikita on The CW in the fall and a number of direct-to-DVD action films featuring her impressive ability to open up a can of whoop-ass.

In the action-vampire-science fiction film Priest, Q is ready to take it to the next level as Priestess and expose the world to the reason why they really do need more Vitamin Q in their lives. At the recent press event for Comic-Con ’10, Q sat down with Shock to discuss her role in the movie.

Shock: why didn’t they call this Priestess and have you star in the film?

Maggie Q: I know, right? Maybe that’s the next one. It is cool because it a world that Scott [Stewart] created that is something very different. When you hear the word Priestess you go ‘Woman? What?’ It is a little confusing and that’s what makes it special because it is a world that is different. It is a world in the future where lines have been crossed and there are women priests.

Shock: And what is your character doing in the film?

Q: Karl Urban, Paul Bettany and my character we were all priests at one time. Karl’s character through a series of unfortunate events ends up turning to the other side. So Paul and I are the two real priests left that at one time were very important to the church and were the defenders of the cities. And the fall from grace is an awful one. It is really priests and priestess’ come back into the world. Using their skills and the gifts that they have been given and the reason they were chosen by the church in the first place. [The characters] must save Paul’s niece and it is a revival of these characters in this new world.

Shock: How much religion is in the movie?

Q: I think it is hinted at. There is not a specific religion per se, it is more of a metaphor for wit – doesn’t matter what you believe in, and you still have your own thoughts. Albert Einstein said ‘The most important thing is to never stop questioning.’ I love that quote because it is true no matter what you believe in. What we receive later in life might be a watered-down version of what it was meant to be. It is always important to have your own mind and think outside the box. In this [film], we are trying convince the church that something is happening and very real and they want don’t want any part of it. They want to sweep it under the rug.

Shock: So, a type of vampire has emerged in the future, but were they around prior to Urban’s change?

Q: They fought a huge way against this threat. And when they eliminated it they eliminated us. When it comes back we know it is bigger than it ever was. This resurgence we know it will wipe out these cities completely. The threat in the film is very big. It looks big, it is big. It is very high drama. There isn’t just a guy with teeth. There is a guy with teeth, his name is Karl Urban. But he’s the first of his kind, the first hybrid. Our vampire threat is something you’ve never seen before.

Shock: Were you concerned about taking on a vampire movie given there may be some backlash to these films?

Q: I never saw it as a vampire movie. I think because the script was so good and the character development was so good. It never felt kitsch at all. It felt like any threat. Whether it is the government, or an environmental disaster. With [Priest] it was something that was very serious that we had to avoid. Never just vampire movie.

Shock: The vampire is a metaphor for whatever the threat may be.

Q: If you took that word out and didn’t see the creatures and just watched the drama, you would think they are talking about anything incredibly serious.

Shock: Interesting that the “v” word is becoming something not positive despite the popularity in film and TV.

Q: I think there is some vampire burn out that is happening. I understand it because the vampires are all the same. I know different actors are playing them but that’s not what it is. Their physicality is the same. With Priest you won’t see any of this at all. That’s why none of us were like “ooooh no.”

Shock: How much ass do you get to kick in Priest?

Q: Not as much as you’d think. I mean I do and it’s cool as sh**, you will love it. But there is a lot of things going on. There are a lot of custom build weapons. A lot of custom built Priest bikes. We all have our own heightened abilities. We aren’t superheroes but we have our own weapons. I have a rope with a knife at the end of it. I’ve not seen a woman fight like that before. It does major, major damage in the film. It’s cool. This film is so drama based that the drama will lead you into the action and lead you back into the drama. It is a nice balance.

Shock: How many times did you get your hands dirty while filming this?

Q: I generally do my own stunts unless it is something that the director is adamant about it and says ‘No, we need you. Don’t be stupid.’ I do everything. I feel if people are going to see an action movie and if it it’s not you, I feel like I owe my audience that pays to see me. That pays to see Paul. We all sort of feel that way. This is part of our job, I’m not a stunt woman, that’s not my job. But I am going to sure as hell going to learn as much as I can and work my ass off to make sure this is real for my audience.

Priest opens May 13, 2011. Click here for hi-res photos!

Source: Peter Brown