Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace are reprising their roles as Lenore and Kim respectively in the third and final installment in the “Taken” series out today.
Read what Maggie and Famke had to say about “Taken 3.”
You have now worked with Liam Neeson on three films. What have you learned from him and what do you admire about him?
Maggie: He’s like the best fake movie dad I could ask for. Nine years almost. I mean in the movies he is such a rock and has such depth I think it is really an unexpected action hero and I think that’s one of the big reasons “Taken” was such a surprise hit that we couldn’t have expected, but yeah I think personally he has such a weird sense of humor, which I do, too. He’s really funny. If you’re going to be shooting really long days hanging off of buildings and trapped in car chases with someone then thank god he’s got such a weird sense of humor. I just can’t imagine it being with anybody else.
Famke: I would just say about Liam his humanity, his humility, I mean he is one of the biggest movie stars in the world and yet he is so unassuming in real life and he is so in the moment as an actor and he approaches every role with the same gusto and the same amount of integrity. He is really an amazing person, so I feel thrilled and so grateful to have worked with him, not once but three times.
How was it like working with Forest Whitaker?
Maggie: I was so nervous. He is very kind and very sweet, but I was so nervous. I mean just obviously Liam is really respected as well, but over the last many years I just trust him and he is so giving and he is so lovely and I was nervous to work with Forest, “The Last King of Scotland” himself and I was so excited. I had all of these ideas for our scenes and all these things to talk about and I was so amped and we are going to play like this, and try this and maybe we can add this or tweak this and then we got to two takes and director was like “ok moving on.” And I was like “that was it?” Right. It’s an action movie and we have to go shoot 50 takes of running down the hall “ok that was it. That was it.” It was crazy.
What makes Bryan Mills such a great character?
Famke: He loves his family, he is very protective of them and he has many other skills that come in very handy when the family is in a lot of trouble, which they tend to be in all the time, apparently so this is a good thing.
How do you feel about the bittersweet ending for your character?
Famke: I think it is a great way to end this trilogy of “Taken” movies. Nobody gets taken, I get killed which is wonderful and it propels the whole story forward and it sets it in a more realistic, deeper emotional environment and feeling and I think that more people will be able to relate to his quest in finding revenge.
We continued our chat with Maggie at a special fan screening of the film at AMC Empire 25 theater. Read what she told us on the red carpet.
How has your character evolved since the last time we saw her?
She’s had some more complex decisions she’s dealing with in this one, certainly she’s benefitted from a much closer relationship with her father who was absent for a lot of her childhood in the first one, and that was a redemptive arc there. She’s grown up a bit, and perhaps I’ve grown up a bit more.
Speak about working with director Olivier Megaton.
Love working with him! We were so excited when he signed on, he has such a short hand with actors and such a vision for this, and obviously a crazy, unrelenting pace. He makes sure it’s edited and I was really happy he came on. I know it was a big deal to have him again.
Did you have any physical challenges filming any of the stunt/kidnapping scenes?
Not really. A couple of bruises here and there, but it was all worth it.
If there was a spinoff, where would you like to see your character go?
It is the end, but one of the things that’s been amazing is all the places we’ve travelled, Istanbul, Paris, Spain. I love the idea of a European action thriller, which I think the first one was such a departure from typical action movies at the time. Paris was like a character in the movie, it was cool.