Maggie Grace, One of Hollywood's Most Surprising Female Action Stars

Maggie Grace, One of Hollywood's Most Surprising Female Action Stars

Oct 05, 2012

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Maggie Grace is not a female action star in the same way Milla Jovovich and Kate Beckinsale are, but the 29-year-old actress certainly seems to find herself in many adrenalized projects. Grace reprises her role as Kim Mills—the daughter of Liam Neeson's Bryan Mills—in the action thriller Taken 2, now in theaters. This time Kim's reunion with her father is cut short when her mother (Famke Janssen) is abducted and Kim goes on the run.

Grace crash-landed into our collective pop-culture consciousness as Shannon Rutherford—one of the surviving passengers onboard Oceanic Airlines Flight 815—on TV's Lost. Shannon was around for season one of the mind-bending series when people were talking about smoke monsters and polar bears on the tropical island. Her character became romantically entangled with Sayid (Naveen Andrews) before she was killed off eight episodes into season two. Grace returned for the season finale (don't get us started) that dropped a bomb of WTF on viewers in May 2010.

Skipping over her role as the Jamie Lee Curtis character in the god-awful remake of The Fog—a movie we can't possibly recommend for rent—Grace first appeared as Kim Mills in 2008's Taken. As Liam Neeson's daughter, Grace plays the key motivator for the retired CIA field operative to kick ass as hard as he does when she is kidnapped by an Albanian human trafficking ring and sold as a sex slave. We learn that, being a virgin, Kim is very valuable on the black market, but not if her angry papa has anything to say about it.

For her next few roles, Grace wasn't necessarily the heart of the action but still managed to get her hands dirty. In the romantic action comedy Knight and Day, Grace plays the soon-to-be-married sister of Cameron Diaz's character—a car refurbisher who gets tangled up with the spy on the run played by Tom Cruise. Grace said in a promotional interview that she learned how to drive a stick in a $150,000 Lotus car in Faster opposite Dwayne Johnson, but she wishes she got to handle more guns. She eventually got her wish, but first played the vampire Irina—a member of the Denali coven whose lover was killed by werewolves—in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 1.

In the underrated sci-fi action film Lockout, our budding little action starlet finally gets to be in the middle of the mayhem. Grace plays Emilie Warnock—the daughter of the U.S. president—who is visiting an orbiting maximum security prison in the year 2079 when a riot breaks out and some dangerous criminals take over MS One. Disgraced CIA agent Snow (Guy Pearce) is offered a pardon (a la Escape from New York) if he gets Emilie out safely. Grace—who has delicate features and a slight frame—must disguise herself as a male prisoner at one point, which means cutting off her blonde locks and rubbing oil in her hair to make it black. Yes, she's still too pretty to do hard time with the psychopaths on MS One, but her back-and-forth banter with Pearce is cheesy fun and she at least she gets to take out some baddies.

Will Grace get to turn the tables on her attackers in Taken 2 in theaters this weekend now that she's earned some action-movie cred? Let us know.

All of the movies listed above are available on DVD, Blu-ray and various VOD services. Taken 2 opens in theaters everywhere on October 5.

Categories: Features, In Theaters, At Home
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