Maggie Q kicks ass even more than you think.
The actress, now starring in The Protege, has proven herself time and again with her stunt work. But she took things to the next level with her latest release, not only doing all but two of her stunts but doing them less than three months after major spine surgery.
“I wish I trained,” she confessed to EW’s Lacey Vorrasi-Banis during a Gold House VIP Q&A. “I had spine surgery, like major spine surgery two and a half months before I had to be on set.”
She revealed that her doctor had told her she couldn’t work for at least five months, but she’d already signed on to the movie and told him she would have to defy his orders. “He goes, ‘But I don’t want you to,’ and I go, ‘But I’m going to.’ He was sweating and upset, and so, we had that little exchange and he knew that was it, he couldn’t convince me.”
When she got to set, Q assumed that everyone there knew her limitations and her recent medical experience. But that was not the case. “I went from like bed rest into rehearsals and I assumed everyone was aware of what had just happened to me,” she explains. But while watching a rehearsal, she noticed other characters grabbing for her throat, which she just had sliced open as part of her surgical procedure.
Maggie Q The Protege
CREDIT: LIONSGATE /COURTESY EVERETT COLLECTION
“I said to the coordinator, ‘So I just had this surgery and it was really, really hard on my body, so all that neck stuff, we’re going to have to change it,'” she details. “And he goes, ‘What surgery?’ And I was like, ‘No one told you that I had spine surgery?’ And I’ve never seen a grown man want to cry in that way so immediately.”
But Q powered through and was able to execute 98 percent of the stunts on her own. Indeed, she admits her ability to perform the stunts had less to do with her decision to skip them than insurance and common sense. “There are a couple of things I didn’t do for safety reasons but they weren’t big things,” she says. “Sometimes there are things you don’t not do because you can’t do them but because you shouldn’t do them… We have to pick and choose our battles for insurance reasons and just to be safe and healthy.”
“You don’t want to do things that are stupid,” she adds, “When I was in my 20s and started in Hollywood, I was stupid. Super stupid. I would want to do things that were absolutely ridiculous risk-wise. J.J. Abrams was like holding me down, like, ‘Absolutely no way are you doing this stunt,’ and then my double did it, and she’s one of the best in the business and she broke her ankle. So you got to have boundaries.”
For more from Maggie Q, watch her interview with Lacey Vorrasi-Banis above.
Jasmine Cephas Jones says seeing impact of Hamilton was ‘everything’: ‘Why I do what I do’
Nikita’ star Maggie Q talks her new hit series, kicking butt, and being a Jackie Chan protege
‘Nikita’: Shane West on filming his hot scenes with Maggie Q and upcoming ‘chaos