I spoke with Melinda Clarke down at San Diego Comic-Con, as part of the Nikita press room, and she was delightful. You can watch the video footage of the interview below, including Ms. Clarke showing off her awesome heels. Rawr! In addition to a peek at her fabulous shoes, she offered some insight into the character of Amanda, and talked about what’s to come for the enigmatic baddie. I even snuck in a question about Firefly, given the anniversary panel scheduled for that next day. Here are the highlights from the interview:
- A journalist at the roundtable joked that Clarke is a lot nicer in person. She asked about the blowback Clarke receives from her bad-girl characters. The actress said that she tries really hard to always smile when she goes out, so that she doesn’t seem scary.
- She does have fun with her character. Amanda has been a bit more challenging than others though, “because she’s so controlled, so restrained.” Such an enigmatic and mysterious character.
- In past seasons, Amanda rarely left Division, but this year will be different. “I’m gonna have to have to drive in the snow … who knows where I’m gonna have to go? But she’s underground and in exile, the way Nikita was.” Amanda will be obsessed with getting Nikita this year.
- On the subject of her character’s miraculous survival: “We have to assume people will perish on this show.” She used to watch the first series, La Femme Nikita (1997-2001). Her character’s counterpart (Madeline, played by Alberta Watson) committed suicide. She told Craig (the executive producer), “We can’t do that again!”
- I asked her about her look, as Craig Silverstein had talked about Amanda getting a new look. Clarke had just recently dyed her hair a bright red, but the EP said that wasn’t enough. She seemed excited to try something new, but the details are still undecided.
- Regarding Amanda’s relationship with Ari, Clarke mused that it seemed like “she could kill him in a second … or is it true love?”
- On future storylines: “It is a writer’s medium. It’s really about them, being inspired to write. […] And oftentimes, they come up with 95% of everything—99% of everything. But every once in a while, we throw something at them that they’ll pick up on.”
- Regarding Amanda’s background, Clarke said, “I have a feeling they might explore that this year.” Does she have any theories? She threw some ideas around, but hopes it’s something she hasn’t thought of.
- On working with Peter Outerbridge, Clarke said it was a real joy. They’re both parents, so they talked about their kids.
- She joked, “Amanda’s become Lady Heather. We’ve been wondering how she’s been making money. She’s become a dominatrix. She’s torturing people.”
- She likes the way her character’s going. “I think it’s fantastic.” She hopes they don’t ignore all the development from last year—how they pulled back the layers. Some people don’t want to know that Amanda has a heart and has feelings, but that’s how people are.
- The actress hopes that they address the fact that Percy’s not there anymore and how much it’s damaged Amanda. She compares that relationship the rivalry between tennis greats Björn Rune Borg and John McEnroe. Even when they were up against each other, they thrived on that. Amanda never saw herself without him and felt so betrayed. Without him, she has to feel a little lost. She didn’t want to kill him, but was forced. The fact that he perished at the hands of Nikita isn’t cool to Amanda either. “There are a lot of things to go after Nikita about. I think that’s gonna be pretty much the theme this season for Amanda.”
- As for Craig Silverstein’s three season plan, she knows very little. “Until we actually read the scripts, we really don’t know.”
- Quote of the day: “You’re gonna see [Amanda] kind of disappear like Voldemort. She’s out there like Voldemort right now.”
- Finally, I asked Clarke about Firefly, as she memorably guest-starred in the thirteenth episode, “Heart of Gold.” (As a dedicated Browncoat, I must point out that I was right about “Heart of Gold” not airing in the original FOX run in 2002. She must have watched the subsequent airing on Sci-Fi a year later.). “Dang, I should have brought my Firefly photos! Because let me tell you, they are the most loyal fans of anyone! I do know that I feel like it was the last episode. It was one of the best casts, the best energies that I’ve been around. And Nathan and the whole cast, they were really a loving, wonderful, they loved coming to work every day kind of cast. And they were very disappointed for the show to be canceled, and rightfully so.” Shiny!
Photo and Video by Lucia Giusti, Copyright © 2012 TheTelevixen.com