Fear The Night: Maggie Q On Thriller's Black Christmas Vibes & More
Maggie Q spoke to Bleeding Cool about her latest thriller in Quiver Distribution's Fear the Night, Mission: Impossible, and more.
Maggie Q's done it all in the realm of action in multiple franchises with Divergent, Mission: Impossible, and Die Hard. She's even carved herself on the TV front reinventing the 1997 theatrical classic La Femme Nikita in The CW remake Nikita. Not only has she made a career out of becoming an action superstar, but she's also branched out into comedy like 2007's Balls of Fury and Fox's Pivoting. Her latest blends horror and action in the Neil LaBute thriller Fear the Night. The film follows Iraqi war veteran Tes (Q) as she prepares to strike back after a group of home invaders attack during her sister's bachelorette party, and she discovers that they are hellbent on not leaving any witnesses behind. Q spoke with Bleeding Cool about tempering the film to be more grounded than a traditional action affair, the film's family themes, cast, working with LaBute, and what
Note: The interview took place before the SAG-AFTRA strike.
Fear the Night: A Thriller About Empowerment
BC: What intrigued you about 'Fear the Night?'
Q: That's a good word. It was "intriguing." I liked the script, but I liked Neil [LaBute], which is why I read the script [laughs]. I was also fascinated by this strong female-led piece. It was not just about her, but it was also about how one strong woman can help to galvanize and allow other women to find that in themselves, to get out of a situation that they neither created nor wanted. This is a fun total female dynamic movie where I also have a family dynamic that I was able to indulge in with the sister characters, which I literally never had in my entire career. I loved the idea of having a younger sister, an older half-sister, and asked, "What does that dynamic look like? Who gets along? How complicated families are from the ground up always?"
When I looked at this film, it reminded me of 'Black Christmas,' but I also want to talk about how it blends the action and thriller genres and how the film leans into both.
You're right; it's a great observation because it's hard to sort of categorize it in one way because it's not a traditional action movie per se, and it's a small indie [film]. It's a story focused on terms of this tight family dynamic and what happens when there's an assumption made that people believe is true and turns out not to be at all. It's in the wrong place at the wrong time, literally. That's the simple truth of it, Neil and I decided early on that we're going to get rid of guns. There were guns in the original script, and she found them in the house and fought back. I wanted to get rid of all of that traditional action stuff so that she could fight back there. They're shooting at her, and she's shooting back. I wanted to find creative ways for these women to get out of the situation. I wanted at every turn for you to feel like they are really screwed. How are they going to get out of this and not have the traditional tools at their disposal?
Can you describe working with Neil creatively?
Neil's a dream to work with creatively because he's so collaborative. Early on, with my notes in the way that we spoke a lot before I ever took the movie, it established a nice mutual respect because he knew I wanted what was best for the film. That's why I was coming up with all these ideas and compiling as many notes as I did, and he was gracious about it. No ego; he's like, "That makes it better, and we feel that it is. Let's change it!" That was refreshing.
Can you talk to me about your costars and would like to get to work with them. You brought up the family dynamic. Was there anyone on set you hung out with?
I didn't have the time to do that, unfortunately, and the cast complained to me. They said, "Where have you been? We want to hang out with you and get to know you better." I'm like, "I'm sorry." There's another project, then went to this project, and so it was just the time at work spent. I kept a good distance from the partygoers and my older sister because I felt that a contentious relationship with all of them was right and I didn't want to indulge in relationships with them. I wanted to have that distance. With my younger sister, I spent a little more time with her because that was the person she loved. That was probably the only person she loved in her life in the way that she did. I tried to keep the dynamics in person the same way they were on film.
Was there a franchise you want to revisit?
I had the opportunity to go back to the Mission Impossible franchise, but I was on a show, so I was sadly under contract and not able to go back. You don't get better than franchises like that that have been around forever with people behind them that know exactly what they're doing. You're working at a certain level. Any time I got to go back to stuff like that would be great fun.
Quiver Distribution's Fear the Night, which also stars Kat Foster, Travis Hammer, and Gia Crovatin, is in theaters, digital, and on-demand on July 21st.