Comic-Con 2011: NIKITA Panel Recap; Maggie Q Demonstrates Climbing Up Tall Guys and First Footage of Season 2

     July 26, 2011

Comic-Con NIKITA Panel Recap Maggie Q slice

At this year’s Comic-Con, The CW held a panel for their hit show, Nikita, and it was an absolute riot.  They showed a brief teaser for the next season, as well as a music-infused highlight reel of the biggest moments of season one.  Oh, and star Maggie Q demonstrated how she climbs up tall guys in the show to knock them out…on an attendee.  Yea, things got crazy.  Hit the jump to check out my full recap of the panel and a preview of Nikita season two.

First, here is a preview for the second season:

nikita_cw_tv_show_01The panel for Nikita featured showrunner Craig Silverstein, actress Lyndsy Fonseca, Shane West, and Maggie Q. The first thing that occurred was Maggie gushing about  a fan created book Shane and her received just moments earlier that was a diary of sorts about their character’s stories. Then the host started off the questions and she had some good ones, but mainly focused on the upcoming season. So, needless to say, if you don’t want to know where it is headed, stay away. The first focused on whether we can expect more huge surprises like the ones in the first season. He confirmed that it will definitely occur again, saying “the jaw-dropping twist is our stock and trade.” When she pressed on to see if anything would occur early in episode one or two, he announced they would showcase and Alex and Nikita fight scene.

Fonseca and Q then talked about filming the scene, with Fonseca remarking that it was emotionally driven and tough to film. They both agreed that they were still sore from it, though Maggie joked that she picked her up and slammed Fonseca a lot but it wasn’t a big deal because “she weighs like 10 pounds.” They next focused on a post-Division world for Michael and Nikita, to which Maggie joked, “T-shirts and a lot of member’s only jackets.” West added that there would be a lack of suits for sure. As for what this all means for Alex and Division, Fonseca says “She has a relationship with Division, but she does not work for them,” adding that she will basically use that to get where she wants. Silverstein compared it to a quid pro quo basis, and mentioned “it could go bad at any time.

As for Percy and Amanda, Silverstein remarked that they had one of the coolest sets they had ever built where Percy is exiled. He also mentioned that Amanda is now running the show at Division, and mentioned that Percy would be plotting his revenge and might be seen again wreaking havoc for Alex, Michael, and Nikita. Amanda will be struggling to handle her new role, as a member of Oversight will be coming in to watch over things. However, she will also clean up Percy’s mistakes, though Silverstein mentions that that is a scary proposition for anyone familiar with her.

Maggie then expounded on how they would actually be giving details on Nikita’s backstory this season. She also mentioned that a burning question for her was why Nikita was the best. Why, of all the assassins Division trained, she was the one that excelled so much. Maggie added that it was devastating for Nikita because the one thing she is best at is the one she hates the most. Silverstein then added that we would see Nikita pre-Division this time around. Next they talked about Berkoff, a character that Lynsy seemed to enjoy watching.

Silverstein explained that we would see him outside of Division and that we would find out very early in the season. As for Owen, he will be back in episode two and Ryan would be eventually broken out of prison as well. As for an overarching theme, Silverstein mentioned that every character seems to be searching for their home, in a way. That would definitely be explored, which sounds to me like a lot of back story and new revelations.

The first attendee questioner wanted to know if Maggie had a favorite action move and how hard it was to do all the moves in fashionable clothes. Maggie joked that if she could fight in pajamas, she would, but that it just wouldn’t sell that well. She added that they have a ton of meetings with wardrobe and basically hash out what she can wear. Sometimes the costume designer has an outfit in mind, and Maggie has to sometimes say, “now here’s my reality. I can’t do that in that.” After that, the fun really began.

Silverstein added that his favorite move was when Nikita would run up guys and knock them out. They shared a laugh when suddenly fans started shouting that she should do it now, and Maggie joked, “Is there anybody in the audience 6’7”?” That’s when several tall guys stood up, and kinda joked that she would do the move with one of the audience members. When she asked if she should, cheers broke out. So, the challenge was accepted and a lucky, older gentleman was invited up on stage. Maggie stood in front and demonstrated that she usually looks for points of the body to grab onto to boost her up, by putting her hands above the man’s waist, shoulders, and head.

She then asked that he stick out his leg and to grab her a bit while she put her foot on his knee and leaned into him. She said that generally that is how she leaps up and then just knocks them out from there. The fact that she demonstrated the move to a degree in a tightly fitting yellow outfit was a strange sight considering she just mentioned how many times she had to go against her costume designer’s desires. A large ovation was given to the two as the man walked off stage and Maggie returned to her seat. This was one of those moments that Comic-Con provides because of the fan interaction and it’s always refreshing to see stars go out of there way to show appreciation and have fun.

However, the questions did manage to continue after the audience quieted down a bit. Maggie was asked about her favorite fighting style, and she pondered it a bit then responded that Wing Chun was the one she loved the most. She went on to say it was super fast and hard to see, but that it was also close-quarters, something she loved about it. If you aren’t familiar with Wing Chun, I suggest checking out Ip Man and its sequel, two awesome Hong Kong action films that were made in the last few years.

The next questioner asked what any of the stars would like see explored in their past. West mentioned that a lot was revealed about his past in the first season, and that he was pretty satisfied with all of it at this point, describing himself as “full.” Fonseca added that she was looking forward to finding out who her mother might be. They then were asked about what fans could expect with the interaction between Owen, Michael, and Nikita next season. Silverstein commented that Owen would be getting healthy and would find a mysterious source to fund him. He also mentioned how it would be great if they could all get together and be friendly, they would be a super team of sorts. Alas, they just don’t get along so that won’t quite work. The questioner dug a bit deeper and followed up by asking if Nikita would have to pick between the two, to which Silverstein said that she had pretty clearly chosen Michael.

Another fan seemed to introduce the word “Mikita” to the stars (a combination of Michael and Nikita), asking what their favorite “Mikita” moment was. West said that one of his favorite moments was in a flashback where he flips Nikita and he lands on top of her during a sparring session. Maggie joked that it was the first time they had smelled each other’s breath, adding that Shane’s always smells like coffee. Maggie went on to say that her favorite moment was right before they got together for the first time. She describes the scene and how it played out in her mind, with an uneasiness for Nikita who was unsure of whether Michael was there to “kill her or hug her.” Michael was in her space, something she hadn’t let happen before.

The next questioner stated that Lyndsy was her first choice for Katniss in The Hunger Games. Lyndsy visibly responded to that, with a blush and much gratitude, even thanking her for the comment. When the attendee mentioned that she could portray her in the remake, Fonseca thanked her again and said she had incredible support. The questioner then asked her question, commenting that she loved the strong women in the film, but she loved the bad guys in it even more and asked if we could expect “badder guys.” Silverstein answered, saying that there would be a lot more “badnees for you” and confirmed that the black box that Michael and Nikita have would bring out a lot of evil characters. He added that Alex, Michael, and Nikita would all have to deal with the worst of the worst, and hinted that there might even be some bad stuff on there about the trio as well.

Then a attendee asked if there was any chance that a scene or episode would be filmed Hawaii because Maggie grew up there, specifically mentioning on or around her old high school track. When she started to laugh a little, he mentioned that Coach Evans was in attendance as well. Maggie squealed a bit and asked, “Do you still love me? I was the worst.” She also added that they essentially saved her life when she was a kid and kept her out of trouble. When the man repeated his question, Silverstein seemed to give a non-committed answer, with Maggie joking “Are you paying?” and Silverstein laughing and saying, “Yea, start that drive.”

Next we heard from a questioner that praised the characters of Alex and Nikita, and specifically their strong, bonded relationship that you rarely see on TV or anywhere. She then asked Silverstein where the inspiration for the characters came from. For that, Silverstein gave a very interesting answer, saying that the plan was to start Nikita outside of Division, and needed someone to showcase how the faction grabs kids off of the street and reforms and trains them. He said that he felt the Alex and Nikita relationship was “the tragic love story of the series.” He also added that they are in a really rocky place right now, but that similar to last year it will end up vastly different.

Following on that, the next questioner asked Maggie Q if Naked Weapon was the closest thing she had made to Nikita to this point and whether it had special meaning. Maggie joked, “You still like me and you saw that movie? That’s loyal.” She then responded that it was kinda similar, and that it focused on a young girl taken and trained as an assassin. But she also explained that it was her first big action film in her career, and taught her a lot. Silverstein then said what was on a lot of people’s minds, asking “Why was it called Naked Weapon?” Maggie assured everyone that there was no nudity, joking that there wasn’t any nudity in Naked Gun.

When it was announced that there was only time for two more questions, a man stepped aside to let the final questioners move forward in the queue, which got awwws from the crowd and a compliment from Maggie. One of the last questioners? A little girl, asking their favorite scene to film. The question seemed to give West quite a bit of pause before he simply stated that he couldn’t pick just one. As for Maggie: “You know what’s fun? I just love beating guys up.” Then the final question was aimed at Fonseca, with the question of how this action-packed role compared to all of her decidedly non-action roles in the past and if she enjoyed the change.

Fonseca confirmed that she had never done stunts prior to Nikita and was thankful for Maggie because she took Fonseca under her wing. She described the experience, saying she “found something she didn’t know she loved.” When the moderator spotted a little girl in a Super Girl outfit, she asked whether she had a question. “Do you do your own stunts?” she asked, and after awes, they pretty much all agreed that they do their own as much as they could. Fonseca added a caveat, saying that she didn’t do the stuff where she gets thrown to the ground. She also thanked the stunt crew that does handle the heavy lifting and the sore bodies. With that, the panel ended.

As for the second season, you can mark September 23nd on your calendars, which you may note signifies the move from prime time on Thursday to a Friday night time slot instead.