Maggie Grace Interview: The ‘Lockout’ Star Talks Space Jail
I can assure you that I didn’t spend the entirety of my time on the hotel suite couch staring at Maggie Grace’s legs. I did catch myself gawking, mouth agape like a neanderthal, at her low cut cream-colored blouse, as well.
It wasn’t intentional, believe me. My objective was to discuss the by-and-large entertaining Luc Besson-produced picture ‘Lockout,’ but, well, movie stars can sometimes turn the most professional of us into mush.
If Ms. Grace caught my gaze she rolled with it, perhaps out of exhaustion (it was the end of a full day of press) or perhaps she took a cue from her character, Emilie Warnock, the President’s willfully determined daughter who, with the aid of wise-crackin’ Guy Pearce, must outwit the sprung criminals in an orbiting maximum security prison. Once I collected myself, I was able to throw a few questions her way.
Do you think a lowered gravity might reduce recidivism rates?
I like discussing recidivism rates. There is a cautionary ring to the movie. . . the state of our prison system, I suppose.
In this movie you are taken hostage and rescued. In ‘Taken’ you were kidnapped and rescued. When is the third chapter in the ‘Maggie Grace is Rescued’ trilogy going to happen?
If I do another action movie, and I do love making them, I would love to be more of the heroine. I want to be the one carrying the guns next time.
There is some of that with ‘Lockout.’ You are a not a mere damsel . . .
Yes, Emilie has more of a sense of strength than my character in ‘Taken.’
What’s the first image that pops in your head when I mention the movie ‘Lockout’?
The days on the wires. In front of the green screen. It was the first time I’d done anything other than, say, a harness on a pulley to get yanked out of frame. We had a day of prep which was surreal and fun, to get comfy enough to do the scene. Luckily no one was afraid of heights.
You may not realize it at first, but there’s a lot of comedy in ‘Lockout.’
Yeah, Guy and I, we both really were excited about just how funny this movie is. The one-liners and zinging repartee.
Were there moments you shot that didn’t make it in, that you are hoping may come back in the Blu-ray?
Well, there’s a moment when we kiss. And there’s a fight sequence in space. It’s funny, most Blu-ray extras and outtakes are scenes that didn’t make it, and it is some random “walk and talk” in a hallway – but our outtakes are whole action sequences. That’s how much action we shot.
Fun wearing the space suit? Did you ever, after a day of shooting, say “hey, I’m gonna wear this out. . .”?
Well, in theory. We were so excited to finally put them on. Then we learned it was a 45 minute process to put them on. They had to be drilled on us, and –
Drilled? You didn’t just slip them on?
No! You’d think we would just slip them on, but we were like walking action figures, not astronauts. You can’t move in them. They would tip us over to rest occasionally. They were so tough to run in. Eventually we could, if we dug in, but it looked unreal. We looked like tin cans bouncing up and down – I think they had to CG our legs in one shot.
Was the working title of this ‘Maximum Security’ or ‘MS One?’
No, I always knew it as ‘Lockout,’ that’s what we shot. I know they considered other titles, but I’m glad they went with ‘Lockout.’
Some people on Twitter have been calling it ‘Space Jail!’
‘Space Jail!’ sounds like an improbably title, but I kinda like it. In a ‘Snakes on a Plane’ kinda way. I’ve heard ‘Taken in Space,’ too.
More like ‘Taken to Space.’ Well, no, you go to space on your own free will. . .it’s just then you have to get from space. . .
We’ve fully embraced that it is a fun, unabashedly entertaining movie. ‘Taken’ meets ‘Con Air,’ works for me, there’s definitely an early ’90s throwback going on. And purposefully so.
Two directors a hassle?
I was worried. I was afraid it would be parenting – a “go ask your mother” sort of thing, but James [Mather] is more about the camera and Stephen [St. Leger] was more about performances, though they do a little of everything, they are a true team.
Any questions for me?
Have you ever been to a prison?
No. Have you? Did you go to any maximum security prisons for research?
(Ms. Grace looks at me as if I were a complete crazy person.)
‘Lockout’ is in theaters both on Earth and in the heavens on April 13.