Mr. Malcolm Xerxes, thank you so much for taking
this time with our group and to allow us to interview you, it gives
us great pleasure, and in behalf of the members of CynbytheSea, we
wish you well with
continued success in your career.
Cynthia Wilkerson / Warren Stewart
Hello, you lot! I should like to thank MS. Cynthia Wilkerson & MR.
WARREN STEWART (Codename: DAGNY) for having approached me to participate
with you all in this virtual "Intimate & Interactive". As an enthusiastic
television audient, myself, it was a great pleasure & a most singular
privilege to have been involved with LA FEMME NIKITA, so it is wonderful to
be given firsthand knowledge of the continued effect the programme is
having on other people around the planet.
OWEN TELL, SECTION ONE Operative
LA FEMME NIKITA (Seasons II -- V)
Q1.) On the Resident Evil set, Milla Jovavich's "tanga" came apart, she threw a fit and had the entire costume department replaced, the whole set of the film was disorganized, and it was said, that there was betting over who would be next to be sacked.
Where there any other catastrophic or particular tidbits on the set to tell us about? And what was it like working with Milla, is she a real princess type?
MX: Ciao, MARIA DeFRANCESCO! Thank you for the candid nature of your questions.
I must preface my reply to your first question with the statement that the "tanga" incident as you described it was not witnessed by me personally, but rather, reported to me in person by someone closer to the RESIDENT EVIL:
APOCALYPSE Production Personnel than I, so I could not have it corroborated comfortably by MS. MILLA JOVOVICH without causing her possible embarrassment while we were shooting the picture. Also, such an incident is often dismissed as "Hearsay" in a Court of Law when charges of Slander & Libel get thrown about the place in response to other people's unwillingness to confirm what many witnesses saw & heard to be true, lest they suffer reprisals against their own careers & in their personal lives.
I did witness 1 of the Producers giving his (latest) 1st Assistant Director a right royal bollocking in front of the entire assembled Crew & Cast while we shot a particular sequence during the last week of Principal Photography. Apparently, he felt & thought that 1st A.D. was not being aggressive enough with the Director, so he was literally shouting & screaming that 1st A.D. "should kick his f*ck*n' ass" to keep the production moving forward. The Producer in question was loathed, despised & feared by virtually everyone with whom I had direct contact, so his misbehaviour set the tone for the manner in which virtually everyone under him did their jobs - which is to say with apathy & terror. The atmosphere in the workplace was like the fiefdom of an especially corrupt robber baron whose first-name relationship with the King is abused by the robber baron to rape, murder, pillage & loot the bodies & property of the vassals & serfs in his charge.
Throughout my career, I had heard stories of people like HERR OTTO PREMINGER behaving in a similarly autocratic manner on film sets & locations, but this was the worst example of politically unsound bad manners in Cinema that I have witnessed to date. Had it been a military situation in the field, such an outburst would have fomented Mutiny & Sedition, possibly even an attempt on the Producer's life.
From personal experience & empirical observation, whenever there is more than 1 Producer on set/location, or more than 1 Director, such chaos & anarchy always ensue.
RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE had a committee of no less than 7 Producers @ all times, 1 of whom demanded loudly to know of me why it was that I was not actively engaged in a scene that featured MS. JOVOVICH, this while it was being shot a few yards away from us!
Naturally, this meant that the take being filmed was blown, which necessitated a re-shoot.
I explained calmly & quietly to him that I was standing by awaiting further orders from 1st A.D. & Director. The Producer then scowled @ me, pivoted on his heel & stalked off to find someone else whom he could bully, in the manner of a recalctitrant schoolboy who had been balked by an especially stern Headmaster. If he had addressed me in that manner outside of the workplace, I would have dealt with him differently, but I forbore, just as Director & 1st A.D. chose to do. The man did not even know my name, but he had addressed me as though I were a puppy that had defecated all over his prize Persian rug!
In Theatre, this kind of nonsense happens all the time because a Director has a more cult-like relationship with the actresses & actors over whom she/he wields what feels to the actresses & actors like the power over Life & Death, as well as the ability to destroy careers - - not necessarily in that order! I have observed that such abuse is especially prevalent among Method Directors toward Method actors & actresses. This sort of thing happens to a lesser degree with Technical Personnel because they are not subject to the same Union regulations & are better protected from ranting tirades & unwanted sexual attention.
My own personal experience of working with MS. MILLA JOVOVICH was nothing less than Perfection: she was utterly gracious & willing to accommodate autographs & photographs with supernumeraries - - this despite
the moratorium on cameras & recording devices on set & on location! She behaved in the manner of a True Professional who realised that she was fortunate to be where she was, doing what she was doing, being paid what she was paid (& will continue to be paid, into perpetuity), when there are so many people in the world who must literally choose between whether or not to pay their rent, thereby allowing their children to starve, or to feed their children, thereby guaranteeing eviction. The working relationship I had with MS. MILLA JOVOVICH was almost as good as that I had enjoyed with MS. YANCY BUTLER, for whom I would crawl willingly on broken glass to work with again, as she is the best actress with whom I have ever had the privilege of working, to date, as well as Extremely Dishy.
Q2.) What was it like to be in the presence of Edward Woodward, he's my favorite classical actor and is justly considered Britain's finest..is he truly such a humble, charming and accommodating gentleman in real life?
MX: MR. EDWARD WOODWARD, O.B.E. is quite simply The Finest Actor With Whom I Have Ever Worked! He is everything that one might hope someone like him would be, should one be fortunate enough to encounter him under whatever circumstances. He was tremendously "humble, charming & accommodating", not just when he advised me about how I might best approach the interpretation of LAERTES in HAMLETT, but whenever he had occasion to address another person, regardless of their place in the hierarchy of LA FEMME NIKITA, whether Crew or Cast.
I do not exaggerate when I say that MR. EDWARD WOODWARD exudes such great charisma & personal magnetism & self-confidence that I literally felt as though I breathed rarefied oxygen when in his presence. I imagine that the effect would have been compounded to an unbearable degree if I had been born either a heterosexual woman or homosexual man! ;)
Q3.) Can you tell us what your view of the La Femme Nikita set was like in comparison to
British sets and those in Hollywood? Where there any glitches or contrasts you can tell us about on the set?
MX: Insofar as your question about the LFN set versus British & Hollywood sets, the fact that LFN was/is a WARNER BROTHERS production made it a Hollywood set by default, but I take your meaning. I was particularly impressed by MR. WOODWARD because when I worked with MR. EUGENE ROBERT GLAZER, he never once spoke to me during our 4 seasons together, nor did he acknowledge my presence in any way, even between takes. However, having read his interview with you lot & having seen & heard how he chose to interpret his well-written dialogue as PAUL WOLFE/OPERATIONS, I now know that he had what I consider an unusual approach to learning his lines, which no doubt informed his overall demeanour.
I have found that Hollywood productions are not shy about spending money, whereas Canadian projects tend to be rather conservative about their Production Values. With the exception of Season V, the LFN costumes were always of the highest quality, usually designer labels, even down to silk undergarments for we SECTION ONE operatives! I had never worn silk before, so I felt & thought that the Gemini Award that was won by our Design/Wardrobe Department was well-earned, as the overall "look" & "feel" of LFN have much to do with why it leaps offscreen into the viewers' imaginations so readily & completely.
Season V was an entirely different beast, altogether, with major characters often clad in garments that one might hesitate to use for lining a pet's basket. I would not have had O'BRIEN wearing a sweater that looks like a Holstein-Friesian dairy cow, nor would I have had NIKITA wear a tight, hobbling dress with high heels, then force her to ascend a spiral staircase!
Season V was also less conscientious in other ways, I found. Everything seemed rushed, & technical details were not addressed properly. Exemplary of what I mean is when, in Episode #502, OWEN TELL, having infiltrated a terrorist organization so that NIKITA & O'BRIEN can abduct a high-ranking terrorist leader, is seen to produce a GLOCK 17 Auto-loading Pistol from his waistband, rather than from a holster -- AAAARRRGGH! - then
heard to cock its hammer in response to O'BRIEN'S knock @ the door. This irritates me whenever I view the episode, for that action was not executed by me on location, & would never be carried out by OWEN TELL, since his Small Arms Training would have taught him that a weapon is best stored safely in its own holster when not in one's hands, & that a GLOCK 17 does not have an external hammer mechanism, unlike a MODEL 1911 COLT .45 or even a BROWNING HI-POWERT.
American/Hollywood sets are so carried away with The Star System that good manners are virtually non-existent unless one can prove that one is connected to a lead actress/actor, Director or Producer in some way, even if only as their latest "Casting Couch" conquest. I once worked on a film with FOREST WHITAKER, whom I complimented about his work in THE CRYING GAME, before he commenced that day's shooting. His reaction was to look me directly in the eye, then walk away. Apparently, I had "forgotten my place", & this was the manner he chose to put me firmly back in it, lest I forget that he was being paid far more money than I, & that his dressing room/trailer was bigger than my own. STEVEN BIRKOFF pulled the same routine when I subsequently worked with him on LFN, except he just looked away in the opposite direction, rather than removing himself. In his case, I had praised his work in McVICAR & THE METAMORPHOSIS. This was particularly bothersome to me, for it proved that even Englishmen are in danger of "going Hollywood".
The first day that I met & worked with MS. PETA WILSON, I witnessed her berating a Production Assistant in front of everyone because he had brought her PERRIER when she had demanded EVIAN. If there had been any doubt in anyone's mind as to whose show it was, then that little display put paid to it! For my own part, I thought that she had over-reacted, & ought to have been more grateful that someone was willing to wait on her, hand & foot.
That said, however, she co-starred with SIR SEAN CONNERY in THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, not I! ;)
Canadian sets tend not to have a lot of joking going on unless one is in the Technical Crew, for the Directors, actresses & actresses take themselves far too seriously. Consequently, I am often perceived as "that weird English black guy", for I have a more relaxed approach to Work & to Life than is encouraged in Canadian Theatre schools. This is why, whenever I work on Canadian productions, I tend to socialise with Technical Personnel instead of with my fellow castmates.
British productions are far more concerned with good manners & politics in the workplace, but not @ the expense of clear storytelling & strong characterisation. Whenever I work with Britons, we socialise outside of the workplace & we joke a lot while in the workplace. There is a lack of hierarchical snobbery, as evidenced by MR. EDWARD WOODWARD'S own deportment.
Also, Britons do not treat Stunt Personnel differently than other actors, whereas North American actors, actresses & Directors tend to shun us, unless we are doubling them.
Q4.) Who and what do you miss the most from the La Femme Nikita world?
MX: Your question about whom & what I miss most from the LFN world shall be answered twofold:
1) On a professional level, I really miss working with MR. MICK JONES, who was the Stunt Co-ordinator on LFN, for aside from being a smashing bloke in his own right, he is far & away the best Stunt Co-ordinator with whom & for whom I have ever worked, & it is he whom I have to thank for being able to communicate with all of you in LFN fandom, today. He respected my ability to be a fan of the the programme, even as we worked on it, together, rather than ridiculing me for it, as so many others have done.
2) On a personal level, I miss everything about SECTION ONE: the sexual tension, the subterfuge, the paranoia, the espionage, the counterespionage, the satisfaction of a job well done whenever RED CELL was balked, & the pleasure of knowing that I would have another excellent episode waiting for me on my VCR when I got home @ night. It is not often that one has the honour & privilege of being permitted to work regularly on a high-quality television series that one would actually watch, even if one had not been cast in it. It is less often that one is granted the special feeling that one is participant in making Entertainment History!
Mary DeFrancesco-Rome Italy
Q5.) "Owen Tell" how was this name created for your role in La Femme Nikita, us not hearing this name mentioned? Was he the same characterin every episode played, and if not did any die?
MX: How do, WARREN! Happy Birthday, mate!
Your question about SECTION ONE Operative OWEN TELL is 1 that I have been asked several many times, but I am glad for the opportunity to give a Definitive Reply to it, here.
I had been auditioned - - unsuccessfully! - for the episode wherein NIKITA infiltrates a building, posing as a secretary who has lost her way, then closes down 2 guards before rescuing their hostage, so I had come to the attention of the LFN Producers @ that time. Apparently, my knowledge of NIKITA, THE ASSASSIN/POINT OF NO RETURN & enthusiasm for the LFN series had made a favourable impression, for I was contacted by a Stunt Co-ordinator with whom I had worked on a film 4 years prior. He had been sufficiently impressed by my work @ that time to recommend me to MR. MIC JONES, the LFN Stunt Co-ordinator, who needed a Stuntman who could also act. (Stunt Personnel are generally athletes rather than actors)
MIC had been shown a demo' reel wherein a fight scene featured me prominently engaged in H2H combat with the film's star, then summoned me for an interview. Aside from my stunt & acting experience, he asked me a SECTION ONE screening question about how I might respond within a given set of circumstances, aware that I was required to operate within a specific Mission Profile, which was as follows:
1) You are undercover as a sailor on Shore Leave, walking after dusk through an underworld dockside area.
2) You are carrying a full kitbag over 1 shoulder & a GLOCK 9mm concealed in a hip holster. The kitbag must not be allowed to touch the ground.
3) You turn a corner, only to be confronted by the sight of a half-naked woman in the clutches of 3 unsavoury-looking men, each of whom is brandishing a pistol.
4) The woman breaks free of them, running toward you, screaming that she is being raped & robbed.
5) She appeals to you for aid.
6) What do you do?
My response to MIC was that I would knock her to the ground with my kitbag, simultaneously drawing my GLOCKT, double-tapping the closest man in the forehead, then his companions in turn, dependent upon who was next closest. That done, I would then return attention to the woman, placing the kitbag on top of her, my GLOCK @ her throat.
"Why did you do that?"
"For all I know, she's a RED CELL. A terrorist pretending to be gangraped would not be able to lie convincingly with a hot gunmuzzle on her trachea, not after I've just plugged her 3 pals."
MIC liked what he saw & heard, because he hired me on the spot.
Because I was first engaged under A.C.T.R.A. regulations rather than S.A.G. regulations, primarily in my capacity as Stuntman rather than as Actor, I was not entitled to screen credit in the closing titles, whereas under S.A.G. regulations, I would have been entitled to screen credit.
When challenged about how it could be possible for him to return to SECTION ONE after having been "killed", I deduced that OWEN TELL was a Deep Cover Specialist, infiltrating organizations for the purpose of gathering intel on behalf of SECTION ONE, all the while setting up terrorists for a tactical incursion by NIKITA, MICHAEL et al. In order to protect himself from becoming expendable in the eyes of OPERATIONS, he would fake his own demise on each occasion, each time returning to SECTION ONE with valuable intel that he had withheld for the purpose of guaranteeing his exfiltration, so as not to suffer the fate of MADELINE'S husband.
The idea was received well by all concerned, ostensibly with the intent of revealing OWEN TELL'S name & function explicitly, either in an episode yet to be written, or in a succession thereof. Unfortunately, however, other subplots came to the fore, instead, so my character's name was never revealed onscreen. Also, other screenwriters had their own ideas about the inner workings & politics of SECTION ONE, & because I did not have a creative Production advocate for my character -(as MICK SCHTOPPEL was advocated by TERRY INGRAM), LFN fandom has been left to speculate about why it is that same bloke keeps popping up in different places.
Here is The Origin of OWEN TELL, who has since been incorporated into LFN fanfic' by various representatives of LFN fandom:
I was savagely beaten on a regular basis by my Mother's new husband when I was a boy, but she wouldn't believe me when I told her what went on while she was at work. She didn't believe the teachers when they told her that I refused to change in front of the other kids because I was covered in cuts & bruises, either....
...But she did believe them when they said that my marks had taken a nosedive from A's (except Arithmetic/Mathematics) to level D's, and that I had grown sullen & withdrawn. I faced the possibility of expulsion from school unless she sent me to see a child psychiatrist. Every Thursday afternoon while the other kids had Music Class, I went and listened to a lot of twaddle from a Freudian Psychotherapist who kept insisting that the resentment of my Stepfather was what "forced me to drive a wedge between him and my Mother" by "making up stories" enhanced by "self-inflicted wounds".
One day, I came home from school to find that my Mother's husband had removed my bedroom door from its hinges, ransacked the place, and emptied several bags of rubbish and compost onto the lot, setting light to the whole mess.
He laughed when the Fire Brigade detained me until the Rozzers arrived.
He laughed when the judge sentenced me to 3 years in Borstal.
He laughed when they came to visit me each time I was released from Solitary Confinement for damaging other kids in self-defence.
He didn't laugh when I broke out of Borstal, made my way home, tied him up and poured a saucepan of boiling vegetable oil through a funnel into his ear.
He didn't laugh when I plunged his favourite BLACK & DECKER electric drill through both elbows & kneecaps.
He didn't laugh when I handcuffed him to the radiator.
He didn't laugh when I sprinkled petrol around the house.
He didn't laugh when I threw him the hacksaw.
He didn't laugh when I struck the match.
He didn't laugh when I left him alone in the blazing house.
When I was wakened earlier than usual by the screws the next day to be told "the sad news", I couldn't stop laughing.
When I visited him on Compassionate Leave in Burns Intensive Care Unit, I was still laughing...on the inside.
When he waved his stump at me, I laughed harder still...on the inside.
When the screws told the judge that I had not left Reform School on the night in question, I laughed yet harder still...deep down, on the inside.
Released from Borstal, I found no school would take me, and that nobody would hire me to even stock shelves at TESCO'ST, so I joined The Army as an Infantryman.
My psychological evaluation determined that I was fit for work as a Sniper, as an Assassin, in L.R.R.P.s (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrolman), or as an Intelligence Officer in M.I.6. I hadn't gone to CAMBRIDGE or OXFORD, so M.I.5 was right out: "So sorry, old boy; bad luck and all that, what?"
I chose "DIRTY TRICKS" because it afforded me opportunities to do all 4 things, and because it gave me the chance to fight terrorists on my own terms.
My Stepfather was a terrorist, in his own way....
18 months later, I was stationed on a rooftop in SIERRA LEONE doing surveillance on a suspected cash pipeline funding various terror groups and a rumoured coup attempt.
Across the street, I saw a known bagman for ABU N'DHAL holding up a bank. He held a woman in front of him as a shield and was shouting like a maniac, scaring the customers and employees alike, typical bullyboy scare
tactics, you know the ploy....
...Anyway, I notified my C.O., and his orders were to "do nothing; it's not on our patch." You could have knocked me over with a feather!
I kept the parabolic mic' trained on my target subject, but I kept my eye on the bank: he was going to shoot a child unless he got an escape vehicle.
I picked up my 7.62 FN FAL and acquired my sight picture: I could take him out, but it meant shooting through his shield...a non-fatal wound, but still....
The C.O.'S screaming about how he'll have my guts for garters unless I put down that rifle, that I'm jeopardising the whole mission, that he'll see me up on charges of Gross Insubordination and Mutiny, ad nauseum, the usual
Brass Hat posturing.
Through the 'scope, I saw Bagman sweating profusely, his finger tightening on the trigger....
...And fired, the woman's blouse blossoming red, Bagman's head exploding like an over-ripe melon. She went down, screaming but alive, thank God!
The International Press had a field day, but none more so than the Left-leaning British Press, once again blaming the S.A.S. for unauthorised killings on foreign soil - the poor bastards!
Prior to my Court Martial on charges of Murder, followed by the battery of legalese they invent to make sure that you really will get shot, I was assigned a solicitor - very dishy, long dark hair, reminded me of my favorite primary schoolteacher - who told me that while she understood why I had acted as I did, that I stood no chance of beating the firing squad that had been assembled in anticipation of the sentence, and did I have any last requests?
I told her that I was a virgin, and would she be so kind as to hike her skirt and bend over the desk, please?
She gazed steadily at me, blinked once:
The bloke in command of the firing squad looked like Eurotrash; you know the type: hair too long and greasy, hasn't had a proper shave for @ least 48 hours....
As the order to fire was sounded, I remember thinking to myself, "What's Her Majesty's Armed Service coming to when an Englishman gets shot by a Frenchman for saving the life of a Black African?"
I came to in The White Room ("with black curtains, at the station"), a livid bruise over my heart, in That Chair, with DOLLYBIRD'S lips on mine:
"The Sleeping Prince awakes. You will never speak of what took place before your Court Martial and subsequent execution."
"Do you understand?"
"I WAS going to show you a photograph, BUT I can see from your file that you'll enjoy working under me - that is to say, here in SECTION ONE. OPERATIONS must never know what passed between us. It's for your own good. If you perform well, I will personally supervise your Valentine Training. You showed great promise."
I performed stunts as other characters from time to time, always dressed & made up in such a way that I was unrecognisable, but there were also several instances when I had to turn down LFN contracts because they conflicted with various theatrical commitments I had entered into beforehand, which led to the exclusion of OWEN TELL from ongoing LFN storylines. Otherwise, who knows what might have come to pass?
Q6.) Which do you prefer, stage, TV, or film?
MX: You have asked whether I prefer Theatre, Television or Film. The politics of Film/Television/Radio is preferable to the politics of Theatre. Film/Television/Radio are more focused upon making money, so one is trusted to do one's job with minimum meddling, whereas Theatre often involves more
rehearsal than performance, particularly Musical Theatre. A bad Director & Choreographer can make one's life Hell in rehearsal, whereas a bad Film/Television/Radio Director can be mitigated by a competent 1st A.D., Director of Photography & Editor. Also, one has the pleasure of being both Performer & Audient, whereas Theatre is ephemeral, witnessed only by the Audience. One could give the finest performance of one's career, but have
it seen by only 3 people!
But methinks the works of WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE are served best by Theatre, although there are some fine examples of screen adaptations, not least of which are BARON OLIVIER'S RICHARD III, HAMLET, HENRY V, ROMAN POLANKSI'S MACBETH, & JULIE TAYMOR'S TITUS. There is no experience to match or surpass the thrill of speaking fine Iambic Pentameter with one's fullest voice, especially in a venue that holds in excess of 1000 people!
The problem with screen adaptations of Classical works is that much of the work done by beautiful word pictures becomes redundant for contemporary ears, which are conditioned to be subordinate to contemporary eyes, so the camera dictates what the audience takes away from the experience, rather than the Playwright. Were I ever permitted to direct a SHAKESPEAREAN adaptation, however, I would push very hard to produce it Uncut, particularly if it was a lesser-known work, such as EDMUND IRONSIDE or KING EDWARD III.
Another factor that lends F/T/R their appeal is that they pay far better than Theatre - unless one is MR. RICHARD BURTON, C.B.E. or MR. CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER - & one is usually not required to pretend quite as often. Exempli gratia: one is on location, so there is no need to act cold weather or hot weather; one can concentrate instead upon the dialogue &/or action that one has been hired to perform. I envy MESSRS. PETER O'TOOLE & RICHARD HARRIS their experiences of working on LAWRENCE OF ARABIA & MAN IN THE WILDERNESS!
Radio grants one the luxury of not having to spend one's personal time memorising dialogue, & calls for the use of one's voice in a far more technical manner than usual, which is also a great deal of fun for me.
Q7.) Is Peta Wilson as sexy and beautiful as she looks in pictures?
Is Roy Dupuis as handsome, as he is in pictures?
MX: MS. PETA WILSON & M. ROY DUPUIS are each far more attractive in person than on film, as is MS. ALBERTA WATSON, who is a total "Sex Gorilla"! Encountering them in person made them even more attractive to me because much of what makes others appealing is their individual scent. MS. WILSON'S hair, especially, always smelled great.
Q8.) If you were asked to appear on "24", would you do it for nothing?
MX: I would be more than willing to work on 24 "for nothing", especially since MR. DOUGLAS O'KEEFFE has been on it, & most especially if the episode were to be directed by MR. JON CASSAR. I have never been auditioned for that series, so it may be that the only way I will ever get to work on it is if I volunteer to do so without remuneration, gratis, unpaid, & for free. Are you on a first-name basis with the Casting Director? ;)
".Be seeing you!"
Q9.) Did you ever get to work with Cindy Dolenc?
MX: WARREN, I did not get to work with MS. CINDY DOLENC, which bothered me
greatly, for her work on the show was bleedin' impeccable, & her character's arc was 1 that I thought would have blended nicely with my own!
Q10.) Coming from England can you tell us about some other shows that you watched?
MX: WAZ, It was my pleasure to co-operate with your online interview. It
was certainly 1 of the 2 most enjoyable that I have ever participated in, exactly the sort of experience that makes me glad I chose this line of work.
POST SCRIPTUM: I have been told that I would like THE PROFESSIONALS, given that I loved MR. LEWIS COLLINS'S performance in THE FINAL OPTION. As for THE AVENGERS, that is another great programme that has had a lasting effect upon me. When I was a lad, MS. TARA KING was always my favourite, partly because she quivered so pleasingly, partly because of her dark hair & blue eyes, but I always admired the fashion sense of MRS. EMMA PEEL, with her "M Appeal". I thought that the feature film remake was dreadfully miscast, & made itself look cheap by not having enough people in the background. It worked on the series because of the smallscreen ratio & its overall Style, but @ the cinema, it just looked as though they did not have enough money. Even SIR SEAN CONNERY was made to look like a bad actor in it.
Warren Stewart- Perth, Australia
Q11.) Do you feel that appearing on La Femme Nikita has helped your career?
MX: Hello, MARY! NYC is 1 of my favourite cities, so I feel the loss keenly, now that the WORLD TRADE CENTER towers are gone. I am sorry that SECTION ONE could not be mobilised to punish the miscreants responsible for that atrocity. Also, I love the way you lot talk! ;)
I can state unequivocally & without fear of contradiction that LFN has been, & continues to be, beneficial to my career! In fact, I landed my role in FINNEGAN'S SQUAD largely on the basis of my work on LFN & JOHN WOO'S ,ONCE A THIEF. The Creator/Executive Producer of TITAN-RAINBOW MEDIA PRODUCTIONS felt that on the strength of my work in both series, I had earned the responsibility & reward of a recurrent action role that is quite heavy with dialogue. I'm dead chuffed whenever he rings me up or Emails me to inform me of an LFN episode that he has just viewed or is anticipating.
Q12.) Whom did you enjoy most being in scenes with?
MX: I really loved being anywhere near MR. EDWARD WOODWARD, O.B.E., whether he was acting or not, for the man is A Living Legend, having created the roles of DAVID CALLAN, ROBERT McCALL & The "Real" MR. JONES, as well as a host of Shakespearean Protagonists & Antagonists. Now, I better understand the phenomenon ascribed to THE BEATLES by adolescent girls in the 1960's!
M. RENE BONNIERE was the Director with whom & for whom I most enjoyed working, for his style of working is very cinematic rather than episodic, & he always made a point of speaking to me personally as well as professionally, which meant a lot to me, given that MS. WILSON rarely engaged me in conversation between takes & never invited me into her dressing room, even when autographing items. He always remembered my name, as well, which also counted for a lot. "BEYOND THE PALE" will always be 1 of my favorite parts of the LFN story arc.
MR. JON CASSAR is the Director with whom I most regret not having worked more often, but I hope to rectify that in the near future on other projects, including FINNEGAN'S SQUAD. His style of leadership is very dynamic & because he began as Director of Photography, his finished work is always visually very pleasing & distinctive. I am almost afraid to speculate about how much fun he would be @ a party, based on my subsequent experiences of him @ LIGHTS, CAMERA, AUCTION!
MS. ALBERTA WATSON gave me a hard time, for she is very much My Type, & so is MADELINE, so I had to actively concentrate on not staring openly @ her whenever we worked together. She turned up in the audience @ LIGHTS, CAMERA, AUCTION! TAKE 6 last October while I was auctioneering, & I literally cannot recall anything I said & did between then & the time she left. I had first seen her work during IN PRAISE OF OLDER WOMEN - "O, sweet Irony!" - - but it was her performance in THE SOLDIER that really turned me onto how incredibly sexy she is.
Mr. ROY DUPUIS was the person with whom I most enjoyed eating meals, for he is temperamentally so much more alive than MICHAEL SAMUELLE, so vivacious. Once he learned of my Classical Theatre background, he opened up to me about his own time @ Canada's National Theatre School, particularly when I told him that it had been my #2 choice of places to study, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art being my first. Consequently, I found that we had far more in common than I might have supposed. This was curious, for I had expected that MS. WILSON & I would have more in common than he & I, especially given that she is Australian.
Q13.) Have you made any lasting friendships with any members of the cast or crew of LFN?
MX: The most lasting friendships I have made from LFN are with MESSRS. MIC JONES & JON CASSAR, & to a lesser degree, MR. NIGEL BENNETT, mainly because he & I have never worked in the same episodes or scenes together, whether in episodic television or films. I have occasion to work with former LFN Technical Personnel on other projects fairly often, which is good for all concerned.
However, I also enjoy daily interaction with various members of LFN fandom through my Message Board, several of whom have made some very thoughtful gifts to me, not least of which is a Christmas card that identifies me as "NIKITA'S Punching Bag", as well as a mousepad with an OWEN TELL/NIKITA screen capture from the episode wherein OPERATIONS was drugged by MICHAEL - "SLIPPING INTO DARKNESS", if memory serves me correctly. These people mean much to me because they actually took the time to get to know me as an individual, rather than projecting onto me their own ideas of what they thought I should be, then causing ructions when I would not jump through flaming hoops for them, & sending me to Coventry, as certain "Big Name Fans" have done. I am now well-practiced @ sniffing out those people who, for their own vainglorious ends, seek to use me as a stepping stone to a star.
Whenever my friends in LFN fandom come to Toronto or I travel abroad, I make a point of getting together with them over dinner or a drink if my schedule permits it. In this way, I attempt to repay their kindness to me over the years. If FINNEGAN'S SQUAD becomes as successful as I hope it will, then I shall make a point of hosting a party for select members of fandom, annually.
Q14.) What are you doing now and what are your future plans?
MX: My current activities revolve around securing a Broadcast Agreement for FINNEGAN'S SQUAD, dramaturging screenplays for same, & physical training with emphasis upon freeweights & certain other skills, some of which are new to me, others of which have lain fallow for a few years.
I have also co-written a feature film screenplay, titled SLEEPLESS, for which I hope to secure the services of MS. MARGOT KIDDER (another "Sex Gorilla"!) & MR. DOUGLAS O'KEEFFE, to be shot when FINNEGAN'S SQUAD is on hiatus.
I am also in preparation - - yet again! - to essay the role of OTHELLO in Calgary, Alberta next Summer.
It has not been revealed this to anyone until now, but I am especially excited about a screenplay that I am 3/4 finished because I am writing it with MS. PETA WILSON in mind for a major role! My dream Director for this project would be MR. DAMIAN HARRIS, with whom I have wanted to work ever since I saw the excellent BAD COMPANY, starring MS. ELLEN BARKIN & MR. LAURENCE FISHBURNE.
I hope that you will be able to see FINNEGAN'S SQUAD on SCI-FI CHANNEL in the United States of America, & on SPACE: The Imagination Station in Canada, possibly as early as Spring 2004, if current negotiations go the way we want them.
"Keep On Rockin' In The Free World!"
Mary Vickery - New York
Q15.) Have you ever been injured during a stunt?
MX: LEAH, Thank you for your question. Yet another killer accent!
No, I have never been injured in the course of a stunt while shooting LFN, although MS. PETA WILSON did tag me on the chin once while shooting "SLIPPING INTO DARKNESS", when she had intended to strike me in the trachea.
Fortunately, I was expecting it, so I reacted accordingly & there was no pain suffered by me. She was full of apologies, which meant that the take could not be used, so we shot it again.
Q16.) While you take every precaution, what's the worst stunt related injury you have experienced?
Q17.) How did you become a stuntman?
MX: Wotcher, KRISTEN!
I became a Stuntman by design & by default. I had originally set out to become a Classical actor. The people whose work I had admired in childhood were & are very physical actors, particularly SIR SEAN CONNERY,BARON OLIVIER of Brighton (The Artist Formerly Known As SIR LAURENCE OLIVIER) & MR. BUSTER KEATON, so I wanted to follow suit, because the idea that someone else would be paid to do something that I am both willing to do @ capable of doing for myself was anathema to me.
I had fenced, played Football - Soccer to you North Americans! ;) - & Rugby @ school, as well as competed in Judo since age 12, so I was quite fit & athletic when I left Theatre school. I had learned Small Arms while in Wolf Cubs & I compete in I.P.S.C. & I.D.P.A. What I did not expect was that my skills would enable me to get work when conservative Canadian Casting Directors balked @ hiring an Afro-Saxon, despite my facility with accents & dialects.
While shooting an episode of HEART OF COURAGE, I slipped on some broken automotive glass while running away from a gunshot, my right arm plunging through what remained of the broken window, resulting in numerous lacerations, the scars of which I carry to this day. My arm & hand bled profusely, but it looked worse than it felt, the most discomfort being when Jenson Violet was applied, for it was extremely cold, yet burned angrily. My first experience of the stuff had been when I broke my right Great toe in a fall downstairs when I was 8, so I knew this time what to expect!
I have been injured several times in theatrical presentations, however, most seriously during a performance of 2 WEEKS WITH THE QUEEN when a fellow castmember mistimed a set/scene change, wrenching my left leg nearly from
its socket. I have had to give special attention to that joint during warm-ups since that time.
During the run of HAMLET in which I was involved while shooting LFN Season V, I sustained several injuries from the star, always during the Small Sword sequence of the fencing duel. We had begun with Rapier/Dagger, graduated to Cavalry Sabres, then concluded with Small Sword, with which he routinely pranged me in either thigh &/or swiped me across the calf. He was in the habit of changing the rehearsed fight sequence each night because he claimed fatigue or injury from shoveling snow, so my injuries became de rigeur. Fortunately, I had made sure to wear black leather trousers & jackboots as the basis of my costume, so I had some measure of protection
during the run, as I had anticipated problems of this sort while we were still in the rehearsal hall, taking his measure.
During an outdoor production of TITUS ANDRONICUS in Summer 2000, I slipped while running full out on the grass, but my training & experience enabled me to turn it into a forward somersault, continuing the run once my feet landed on the grass. I had had the foresight to wear my SECTION ONE boots as part of my AARON costume, so I had excellent traction, which prevented repetition of that particular thrill for the audience.
"Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport!"
Kristen Smith-Melbourne, Australia
Q18.) Is there a favorite stunt you like to use, or one that you don't?
Greetings! "I'm goin' back to Indiana/Indiana, here I come!/I'm goin' back to Indiana/'Cause that is where my baby's from!" I knew that being brainwashed by my sister's JACKSON 5 8-tracks would serve some useful purpose, 1 day. ;)
My favourite stunts that I like to perform are generally those I am doing for the first time, & which are filmed only once, with no margin for error, such as parachute jumping. I especially enjoy vehicle-vehicle transfers, exempli gratia: speeding train to helicopter. There are some beautiful challenges coming in upcoming episodes of FINNEGAN'S SQUAD that involve lethal H2H combat in some hair-raising situations, actually.. ;)
I have an aversion to a stunt that SIR SEAN CONNERY carried out in THUNDERBALL - which is to say, better he than I! The sequence wherein JAMES BOND 007 is trapped in the swimming pool tunnel while a shark swims past him puts the wind up me whenever I see it, mainly because the Stunt Co-ordinator had assured SIR SEAN that the shark would not be able to reach him, as it had been corralled behind clear Plexiglas. It happened that the budget had not covered the amount of material needed for that purpose, so the shark escaped, &, of course, made a beeline straight for him. The shocked reaction from BOND is utterly genuine, since SIR SEAN had not expected the shark to be there, so all he could do was flatten himself against the wall of the tunnel, praying that the shark swam past without sinking its choppers into him. Water & wild animals are always a recipe for disaster, so I have tremendous respect for those people who specialise in those bailiwicks.
Q19.) What kind of training does it take to become a stuntman?
MX: I would say that the "training" for stuntwork begins in one's own mind.
When I was 12, I saw a film titled VIVA KNIEVEL! It changed my life, irrevocably. Once I returned from the cinema, I borrowed a neighbor's bicycle, built a succession of ramps, then began jumping them. The possibility of sustaining personal injury never occurred to me; it was the thrill that mattered, & the mastery of oneself in the moment.
When I was a lad in Manchester, I would watch WW II films on BBC 1, then go out to copy what I had seen British Commandos doing, as I was a fiend for the high falls, climbing, tumbling, et cetera. When other people were terrified by what I did, I loved it all the more! As I type this, I realize that my Destiny had chosen me, even before I knew that one could be paid to do those things. The only thing I would have liked to do that I never did was Gymnastics @ the competitive level, beyond what one is taught as P.T., as that is a cumulative set of abilities that is best acquired in childhood, nurtured through adolescence, then perfected as an adult.
Q20.) Was the job on La Femme Nikita very demanding?
MX: The most "demanding" aspect of working on LFN for me was not being permitted to interact more with BERKOFF, MADELINE, OPERATIONS, MICHAEL, NIKITA & WALTER. I saw no reason why OWEN TELL could not have participated in the pre-mission Briefing sessions & been assigned dialogue that went to dayplayers who were often indifferent to what they were saying because they did not have the emotional investment in LFN that I had then, & which I still have now. FINNEGAN'S SQUAD is purging a lot of the creative frustration I experienced during that time.
Q21.) Do you have a favorite scene from this show?
MX: I have several favourite scenes from LFN:
1) The scene wherein MADELINE stops her own heart while behind The Iron Curtain destroys me whenever I see it! This was the moment that I fell in love with the character, come Hell or high water.
2) The scene on the roof wherein NIKITA recognizes that the woman whom she has been training, & who has been making her jealous, is quite insane. I love this whole episode because it is a brilliant reinterpretation of M. LUC BESSON'S original feature film!
3) The scene wherein OPERATIONS turns loopy in response to having been drugged by MICHAEL. Partly because I was on hand when MR. GLAZER gave 1 of his finest performances!
4) The scene wherein NIKITA realizes that MICHAEL is not going to exfiltrate her from the asylum is utterly captivating. This episode is my favorite LFN performance by MS. WILSON.
5) The scene wherein SEYMOUR BERKOFF sacrifices himself to destroy his evil Artificial Intelligence program. I have still not recovered from the shock of this episode, & have not been able to bring myself to re-watch it!
6) The scene wherein OPERATIONS sacrifices himself to save ADAM in the underground parking garage. This was an honourable death for PAUL WOLFE, a man whom I had always found it hard to like, for I found him to be needlessly antagonistic & rude.
7) The scene wherein "MR. JONES" informs NIKITA of OPERATIONS' death is a fine example of MR. EDWARD WOODWARD'S classic British understatement & acting style, while revealing much about the depth of the character's own feelings for his daughter & the late PAUL WOLFE.
8) The scene wherein "MR. JONES" allows himself to be murdered is another that I cannot bring myself to watch again. Every fiber of my being rebels against that sacrifice being the only viable option.
Dana Vrajitoru- Indiana, USA
Q22.) How did you become involved with La Femme Nikita?
MX: VICKIE,You're another American with a killer accent, aren't you? My cup runneth over!
I first became involved with LA FEMME NIKITA in 1990 when my good friend SUSAN EYTON-JONES returned from the cinema, raving about M. LUC BESSON'S NIKITA, saying that she was sure I would love it, & that I had to run, not walk, to the cinema to see it. Being a Soprano Diva, she is rarely so passionate about film, so I complied immediately. My life was changed by the film, just as it had been changed by MR. MARTIN SCORSESE'S TAXI DRIVER.
Later, THE ASSASSIN/POINT OF NO RETURN was released while I was touring with a Theatre For Young Audiences, & @ that time, I vowed that when the inevitable series went into production, I would do whatever it took to become involved with the program, even if it meant emigration to another continent.
Q23.) Did you do any stunt-doubling while on the show?
MX: Regrettably, I was never called upon to do any stunt-doubling while engaged on LFN. I keep fantasising that I will be called upon to double MR. LOU GOSSETT, JR., so that I can ask him to autograph my posters of THE PUNISHER.
Q24.) What was the most fun part you had in working with the cast?
MX: The most fun I had while working with the cast of LFN happened between takes when MS. WILSON was feeling playful. She approached me from the front, then, face-to-face, she grabbed my posterior with both hands, drew my pelvis tight to hers, then proclaimed: "I'm going to make a man out of you, OWEN TELL!" I was nonplussed, as I had been fantasising about MADELINE @ the time, so everyone laughed quite hard because they thought I had been embarrassed by MS. WILSON'S sudden boldness.
Q25.) If given the chance would you do a movie or television show with Edward Woodward?
MX: If given the chance, I would gladly work with MR. EDWARD WOODWARD again, no questions asked, script unseen! Film, TV, Theatre, Radio, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, I don't care: if it's good enough for him, then it's good enough for me! I would even turn down more lucrative work for the opportunity to work with him, which, as a Capitalist, is a big step for me. ;)
Vickie Luke-Charleston, West Virginia
Q26.) Being on the set of La Femme Nikita,how was the atmosphere while working with the other actors?
MX: SANDY,Hello & thank you for your questions! Kansas, eh? I loved that ROBERT ALTMAN film, but the soundtrack drove me to distraction, for I felt it drew far too much attention to itself.
The atmosphere on the set of LFN was generally determined by MS. PETA WILSON. If she was in a good mood, then things went smoothly & quickly. If she was not, then she became argumentative with the Director. Such behavior is common among people who rely heavily upon their looks & who have become an "overnight success", so I did not attach any meaning to it whenever it happened, since my job remained the same, regardless of whether she was feeling co-operative or not. My job -- like everyone else's - was to make her look good, & I made sure that I did my job well.
Q27.) Do you feel there was a sense of belonging or just do the job and leave?
MX: There was definitely "a sense of belonging", but I experienced it more from the Technical Personnel than with the core Cast members. I am sure that if OWEN TELL had been given dialogue to speak, then things would have been different. Mr. ROY DUPUIS'S chauffeur drove me halfway home, several times. DON FRANCKS once ordered his chauffeur to drive me to my doorstep, all the time regaling me with colourful stories. I knew where "The In Crowd" lived, but I was not "in with The In Crowd", know what I mean?
Q28.) Did anyone on the LFN set ever play a trick or joke on you?
MX: The closest to a trick or practical joke being played on me by LFN personnel was when I reported for my Episode #502 Wardrobe fitting. As I entered the building, MR. EDWARD WOODWARD strolled within 3' of me, twirling his cane, while MR. MIC JONES & several other people gathered to laugh @ me,
for they had known that I would wet myself over meeting CALLAN & THE EQUALIZER in the same day. I literally stopped breathing when I saw him, & became quite dizzy. (I had missed the opportunity to meet & work with MS. SIAN PHILIPS, whose KATERINA in a 1960 Stratford-on-Avon production of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, opposite her (now ex-) husband, MR. PETER O'TOOLE, is The Definitive Interpretation of the character, so I was determined not to waste this possibly once in a lifetime experience!)
Q29.) How did you like the part you played and why?
MX: I loved portraying OWEN TELL, Deep Cover SECTION ONE Operative, primarily because he always showed himself to be sympathetic to NIKITA, even when ordered by OPERATIONS to abduct her. The challenge of conveying a character's allegiances without written dialogue, in an environment when
pithy dialogue is flowing like wine, is an honourable & worthwhile challenge, & it was 1 of the most educational & rewarding experiences of my life & career, to date. Also, I do not think that I would have had the proper appreciation of the subtleties of the character interplay in FINNEGAN'S SQUAD if I had not been prepared by LFN & SECTION ONE.
Sandy Meridith - Kansas USA
Q30.) Do you have a "favorite stunt" to perform?
Hola! How're things in Washington? ;) Crikey, you lot are truly representative of the entire continent!
I find that I am particularly fond of extended H2H combat sequences, particularly those which involve an unarmed combatant versus 1 or more armed combatants. Also, I like going through windows, largely due to the influence of SHAFT, because the gimmick of that series was that someone would end up defenestrated in slow motion before the film/show was over. I am quite proud of being hit by a car during a Winter chase sequence that culminated in H2H & gunplay, particularly because I was permitted to arrange the stunt sequences by TODD SOUTHGATE, the Director.
Q31.) Getting shot at while running seems like it would be exciting, is it extremely difficult to shoot those shots? How many takes on average would a shot like that take to complete?
MX: Being shot @ while on the run is not as difficult to execute as one might suppose, but it does require that one repeat each take consistently for the purpose of efficient editing. It can be challenging not to react to blank gunfire as though it were live rounds, especially in the siege sequence in "BEYOND THE PALE".
I am hardpressed to come up with an "average" number of takes for such a sequence because there are so many variables involved, like how much pressure is being brought to bear on the Director by the Producer, how much darkness/sunlight is left to film, the number of personnel involved. Again referring to "BEYOND THE PALE", I recall the lighting set-up for the siege being especially lengthy.
Q32.) Some of the blows look like they land pretty solid, good acting, solid blows, or a combination of all?
MX: The number of blows which land on me are entirely dependent upon what my opponent is comfortable with. I find that when I ask someone to really let me have it, my job is made easier, but that non-Stunt Personnel become reluctant to honor my request, whereas when the Stunt Co-ordinator is
insistent that combat be simulated, rather than Full Contact, non-Stunt Personnel tend toward overzealousness.
The scene wherein NIKITA drops down from a door onto OWEN TELL while she is in Close Quarters Standby was an especially solid hit, I am happy to report, thanks to MS. WILSON'S Stunt Double. That was 1 of the few instances where we shot a stunt more than 3 times, due to the peculiar conditions of lighting & camera placement within NIKITA'S cell. I am happiest when H2H combat involves actual contact on my person, for I find
that the sting of each blow compels my muscle memory to react far better & sooner than when I must simulate contact.
Q33.) How long is your average work day, and how many stunts would your workday require you to do?
MX: My average workday is @ least 16H long, not including the 1H mealbreak. Stunt sequences are generally shot last in an episode, so it is important to maintain one's mental alertness as well as one's physical readiness, particularly on an outdoor Winter shoot, as was the case with "BEYOND THE PALE".
Q34.) Shooting out a window to jump through, looks so intense, have you had the opportunity to do it?
MX: I have not yet had occasion to shoot out a window before jumping through it, but my favourite example of that stunt is in THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHTT, wherein MS. GEENA DAVIS, as CHARLIE BALTIMORE, exfiltrates from a multi-storey building onto a frozen body of water.
Q35.) Do you have to work as hard as regular actors, or are there methods to simplify what you do?
MX: I think that stuntwork is more difficult than that of "regular actors'" because they are literally pampered, especially while on location outside the confines of a studio. They have the ear of the Director, Stand-ins, personal Make-up & Hairdressers, Wardrobe personnel who provide them with down-filled coats between takes, chairs with their names on them, spacious dressing room trailers, et cetera. Stunt Personnel are generally not treated with that same level of concern unless we are seen to sustain an injury. After that, everyone wants to be "your New Best Friend", especially if they didn't get the shot! ;)
So far as "simplification" is concerned, it was my practise not to read the entire script or sides wherein a given stunt sequence was taking place on LFN, for 2 reasons:
1) Dependent upon the Director, it might change drastically. If one is mentally prepared for something that is not going to happen, then it can be demoralising, particularly when one has been waiting around all day, freezing to death on standby.
2) I wanted to remain unspoiled against the time when the episodes would be broadcast! ;) On a more serious note, I just think about the story that the scene must tell, rather than getting all Method about what OWEN TELL ate for breakfast, what sort of toothpaste he uses, et cetera. Whenever I am asked about such things, I can provide the answers in the moment, but I prefer not to dwell on such matters consciously, for I find that those actors who do so tend to look quite mad, muttering to themselves all the time, usually to no good effect. Either one knows one's lines or one does not. The Writer's word is Law.
Q36.) Do you get to give any input into what stunts could rev up a scene?
MX: The degree of my personal input toward any given stunt or sequence thereof is dictated by 2 things:
1) Has the Stunt Co-ordinator has sought my advice or opinion about it? MR. MIC JONES is very good about this, for he recognizes that his job is a constant learning process, & that one is more likely to execute a stunt safely when is working together with him, rather than being dictated to by him.
2) If the other Stunt Personnel are not "team players", they can ruin a good scene by turning everything into a p*ss*ng contest, preferring instead to serve their own Egos rather than the needs of the scene. There are 2 men in particular whom I find to be very bad for this, each of whom can be counted upon to undermine the Stunt Co-ordinator, neither of whom can follow the orders they have been issued.
April Guzman-Spokane, Washington
MX: CINDY, Howdy welcome, darlin', I been expectin' ya! ;)
Q37.) What is your personal status?
MX: If by "personal status" you mean "marital status", I am a single, unmarried Heterosexual Man who has no children & has never been married or divorced
Q38.) What got you interested in stunt work?
MX: My interest in stuntwork arose organically from the films that my adoptive father & I would watch, mainly on BBC 1T. He is a big fan of Westerns, especially the films of RANDOLPH SCOTT, ALAN LADD & AUDIE MURPHY.
I lean more toward people like MESSRS. KIRK DOUGLAS, BURT LANCASTER & TYRONE POWER, blokes whose roles required them to be athletic as well as articulate for the soundstage.
My adoptive mother is a great fan of Musicals, so I became entranced by people like MR. GENE KELLY, who was also quite an athlete in his day. His work as D'ARTAGNAN in THE 3 MUSKETEERS was of particular note to me.
Q39.) Where did you train? And what type of training is involved?
MX: I trained @ a Performing Arts primary school in Manchester, England, then @ a Performing Arts secondary school in Mississauga, Canada. My training consisted of Fencing, Ballet, Movement, Voice, Theatre History, English, Vocal Music, et cetera, as well as the standard subjects that every
English schoolboy must absorb: Geography, History, Physical Training, Music, et cetera. I also did Solo Figure Skating & other extra-curricular activities like Wolf Cubs, Judo, Kit Drums, Guitar, et cetera. I continue to supplement my knowledge with weekend workshops, ongoing classes & lots of private reading.
Cynthia Wilkerson-Texas USA
Q40.) Did you ever get hurt on the set of LFN and if so, which episode?
MX: SUSY, Hola, muchacha!
No, I was not seriously hurt on LFN, although I lobbied long & hard to be CARLO ROTA'S Stunt Double for the scene wherein MICK SCHTOPPEL has NIKITA'S thighs locked about his head!
Q41.) Was there a time you bumped heads with anyone on LFN, a disagreement perhaps?
MX: There was a conflict with someone in 2001 that nearly resulted in my committing Grievous Bodily Harm, but since LFN had ceased production in Dec. 2000, I don't think it counts. We encountered each other again early this year, but the individual was so terrified that they pretended not to recognize me, despite the fact that we were no more than 6" away from each other's faces. Eventually, I was recognized, & they fled. It was disappointing because the person had been someone I respected, but one has to expect this sort of thing from people who are addicted to illicit pharmaceutical narcotics.
Q42.) With all the beautiful people on La Femme Nikita, did you ever have a romantic relationship with anyone there?
MX: As far as "romantic relationships" while engaged on LFN, no, it is my rule not to become involved with colleagues, for it has been my experience that nothing good can come of it. If you get into an argument with each other in your private lives, then it bleeds over into the workplace, forcing people to take sides, which leads inevitably to people giving unwanted, unsolicited advice.
I would have been willing to make an exception for MS. ALBERTA WATSON, however, since I have lusted after her since 1982, but she had a bloke, already the jammy b*st*rd! ;) MS. MARGOT KIDDER could have had me on toast, if she wanted, for I have desired her since 1974. MS. SIAN PHILIPS had only to raise an imperious eyebrow & her wish would have been my command. I mean no disrespect to these 3 women, nor do I wish to embarrass anyone who is reading these words: I am simply being straightforward & honest in as PG-13 a manner as I can manage! ;)
Susy Seturino-Dallas, Texas USA
Thank you Sir, from all of us at CynbytheSea
COMMENTS: In conclusion, I should like to thank you all for continuing to support LFN, with which I am most proud to have been involved. I was sorry it had to end. You have all been most gracious & candid with your respective questions, so I hope that you will forgive my prolix verbosity as I ddressed them.
MALCOLMXERXES.COM will be back online within the coming month, so I hope that you will feel comfortable visiting our virtual community there. Also, that will be the domain where exclusive pix & intel about FINNEGAN'S SQUAD may be found. We are all very excited about it, & while LFN is unique in Television History - - despite the best efforts of the highly entertaining ALAST! ;) - - we are confident that those of us who enjoy THE PRISONER, FARSCAPE & BABYLON 5 will find something in FSQ that will serve them in the years to come.
"Be seeing you!"
OWEN TELL, Deep Cover SECTION ONE Operative
La Femme NIKITA (Seasons II -- V)