Maggie Grace Interview For ‘Taken 2′
In ‘Taken 2,’ Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, the retired CIA agent with a “particular set of skills” who stopped at nothing to save his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) from kidnappers. When the father of one of the villains Bryan killed swears revenge, and takes Bryan and his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) hostage in Istanbul, Bryan enlists Kim to help them escape. Bryan then employs his unique tactics to get his family to safety and systematically take out the kidnappers, one by one. From acclaimed filmmaker Luc Besson (who co-scripted and produces ’Taken 2′), co-screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen (who has penned both ‘Taken’ films with Besson), and director Olivier Megaton (Columbiana, Transporter 3), ’Taken 2′ follows the global success of ‘Taken,’ released in 2008, which earned $224 million at the box office. ’Taken 2′ arrives in cinemas on October 4th. Look out for a more in-depth interview with Maggie Grace for ‘Taken 2′ closer to the films release date. My Liam Neeson interview can be read here.
What was it like re-teaming with Liam Neeson for ‘Taken 2’? You share more screen with him for this sequel….
Maggie Grace: Yeah. ‘Taken 2,’ it’s the “don’t mess with Liam Neeson show” still, which is fantastic (laughs). And Liam, he’s a really really good man and very easy to work with. He’s very giving and he’s just a very soulful person, very easy to talk to. And also he has an incredibly twisted sense of humour – which I do too (laughs). It surprises me sometimes seeing him interact, he’s so calm and soft spoken at times, and then he has this great Irish sense of humour. That just makes life better on set. I’ve been very blessed to work with Liam Neeson, I’ve admired him for a long time as an actor. And I think the reason we had the success of the first film, ‘Taken,’ is largely due to the fact that Liam is just immensely empathetic and really has such a substance to him. He’s a man with a particular set of skills, come on, what’s not to love (laughs)?
You‘re involved in a lot more action scenes as well this time around. Did you have a favourite scene to shoot on ‘Taken 2‘?
Maggie Grace: For stunts I’m totally onboard, it’s exciting for me! I’m trying to think….my favourite sequence when I first read the ‘Taken 2’ script was this amazing sequence with grenades, trying to pinpoint where Kim’s father is by using, more or less, sound. Kind of triangulating based on the information he does have, where their whereabouts are at that point. So that was an incredible sequence to shoot, we were mostly in the Bazarre for that shoot. ‘Taken 2,’ it’s unapologetically an action film, it’s kind of a cool Euro-thriller, action film. It has a real aesthetic and its own pace. It’s beautifully shot and it’s fun and it’s a ride, it doesn’t let up. There were a lot of fun scenes to shoot.
How was filming on those rooftops in Istanbul? Shooting in a city and a particular area with so much history?
Maggie Grace: The moment of walking up on the roof for the first time as the crew was setting up the cameras, that was the good stuff. Just seeing all of this and being given carte blanche to see behind-the-scenes of this incredible city – and this Grand Bazarre that has burnt down and they’ve rebuilt it four times. It’s one of the largest and oldest markets in the world. Just the history of the place you’re standing on, and some of the steps are worn down like six inches because so many people have stepped on them. The sense of character and history, and the fact that we got to shoot there and have access to all of that – that was really incredible. And especially with the chase scenes in and on top of the Grande Bazarre on the rooftops. That was really special!
What was it like filming the car chase sequence?
Maggie Grace: I’ve never shot a car chase this way before, but it was really cool. Olivier Megaton was really hands, he more or less strapped himself to the side of the car. There’s these amazing things called top riders, where it looks like I’m driving – God help us all (laughs), but installed on top in a kind of cage, like a race car structure, is a real stunt driver, who’s amazing. So the camera can be inside the car if one of the actors gets out, or Olivier had a little tiny kind of swivel stool that attaches to either side of the car, normally on the passenger side. So that makes you feel like you’re really inside the car. That was fun.
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