News

Jennifer Beals Reveals 11 Things About Her Taken Character

Christina Hart takes an interest in Bryan Mills, a man with a particular set of skills.

by | February 24, 2017 | Comments

If anyone ever goes missing, Bryan Mills is the one to call. Liam Neeson played Bryan in the three Taken movies. In NBC’s Taken TV series, created by Homeland writer Alex Cary, Clive Standen plays a young Bryan Mills early in his career as a rescuer.

Bryan blips on the radar of National Intelligence when he foils a train hijacking, although it costs him his sister’s life in the crossfire.

Jennifer Beals plays Christina Hart, who recruits Bryan to put his very particular set of skills to use on a national scale.

Beals spoke with Rotten Tomatoes recently ahead of the Taken premiere. Here are 11 things she revealed about her brand new character in the world of Taken.


1. WHAT CHRISTINA TEACHES BRYAN

Bryan was a lone wolf in the Taken movies, but he came from a background of elite teamwork. Christina is instrumental in teaching Bryan to work together.

“I think she needs to teach him discipline certainly,” Beals said. “He needs to learn how to work with a team. In the beginning, he’s not a very astute team player, but he learns eventually.”


2. CHRISTINA MUST BE PATIENT WITH BRYAN

This is not a movie. Taken has an episode to do every week, so it will take more than one mission for Bryan to really learn the lesson.

“He gets the lesson and forgets the lesson, he gets the lesson, he forgets the lesson,” Beals said. “We’re working on repeating the positive outcome.”


3. CHRISTINA IS A MYSTERY

Taken is pulling back the curtain on Bryan Mills’ mysterious past, but behind his curtain there’s Christina’s curtain. Beals has inferred a little bit on her own.

“We don’t get a lot of her backstory yet,” Beals said. “I have no doubt that she thinks she’s the smartest person in the room nine times out of 10. Every now and again she’ll meet that person who she wants to learn from or study with, I guess. She’s got some issues in that regard.”


4. CHRISTINA IS MISSING OUT ON A FAMILY

The whole point of the Taken movies was that Bryan screwed up his family, but he was the one they needed in a crisis. Beals suspects Christina may have sacrificed her personal life for the agency. Of course, the needs of a weekly show probably mean retirement is not in her future.

“I think this is somebody who has taken this job at great personal sacrifice and is beginning to long for a life outside the agency,” Beals said. “We’ll see what happens. I don’t know that she could ever really leave, but maybe she can create something else for herself and try to create a life that could be in tandem with her chosen profession.”


5. CHRISTINA GETS VULNERABLE

When Beals appears in the premiere of Taken, she’s a confident, tough-as-nails boss. It may be surprising to see her become vulnerable in only the second episode. It certainly surprised Beals when Christina’s relationship with a former agent proved to be so emotional.

“That’s a very vulnerable episode,” Beals said. “It was interesting because it wasn’t how I had imagined her originally. When Alex started talking to me about the relationship that I had with this other agent, I thought it was interesting to reveal you may have tried to harden yourself to get through the day knowing all the things that you know about security. When you lose someone or when someone is taken from you, it’s still painful. It doesn’t mean that you’ve lost your heart. It’s still there somewhere.”


6. IT’S NOT JUST THE BRYAN MILLS SHOW

Tune in for Bryan Mills. Stay for the rest of the team, including John (Gaius Charles), Scott (Michael Irby), Vlasik (Monique Gabriela Curnen), and Riley (Jennifer Marsala). Christina knows how to get the best out of her agents and use them strategically together.

“We have our black ops team who does the action, which is a group of predominantly men, but I have one gal on the team who is a total badass,” Beals said. “Then we have our team at the office who is coordinating everything electronically.”


7. CHRISTINA IS THE LEADER

Christina also embodies good leadership. She doesn’t tell her team members what to do. She allows them to contribute their unique skills.

“It doesn’t feel powerful in that I’m the authority,” Beals said. “It feels powerful in that I’m trying to empower other people to be the very best they can be — that’s when I know I’m doing a good job as a leader. You kind of stay out of the way a little bit at times, to let them have the conversation, to let them see if they can figure out what the strategy is without me dictating.”


8. IT’S TRUE THAT INTELLIGENCE AGENTS ARE HARD TO MANAGE

Taken is not a documentary on intelligence work. It’s action-packed entertainment, but there is a basis in truth. Because of the nature of intelligence work, many of the recruits have to be specially trained to follow the rules.

“What I was surprised by when I was reading some of the material — and what I didn’t think about was — people who come to the intelligence community often have an issue with authority,” Beals said. “So in combination with the fact that they are naturally secretive, to organize the agency is very hard. How do you get people to come forward with what they know and trust you as an authority figure to organize the agency? It becomes quite a difficult task.”


9. CHRISTINA TALKS THE TALK

Part of Beals’ research included learning the technical jargon of intelligence work. She really had to cram because she was cast less than a week before filming.

“Yes, there’s a lot of technical jargon,” Beals said. “You’re really having to learn the lexicon of that world.

“I was cast at the last second, and I was given a small truckload of reading to do by Alex Graves who directed our pilot, who’s a friend. He directed the pilot on Proof, a show that I did for TNT. He and I are friends, and I trust him completely, and I said, ‘OK, I’ve got to go shoot in five days. I know that you have a reading list that you refer to. Tell me, what do you want me to read right now?’”


10. CHRISTINA CAN THROW DOWN TOO

Christina’s day-to-day duties are to manage the team. They can be the ones fighting bad guys in close quarters and shooting guns. When Christina does spring into action, nobody better mess with her.

“I was in a stunt where a car flips upside down, and I’m supposed to get out of the car and pull my fellow actor out of a burning car,” Beals said. “The car was only supposed to be burning on the top, and I asked if there was going to be anything inside the car. They said, ‘No, there won’t be any flames or anything inside the car.’ When I went to go pull this person out of the car, the interior of the car burst into flames. That was completely unexpected, and we just rolled with it, and I pulled the person out of the car as quickly as I possibly could.”


11. BEALS IS A HERO IN REAL LIFE

Even more impressive than the car stunt, Beals actually helped save a life for real. Because she’s played doctors on shows like Proof and The Night Shift, she knew what to do when she drove by an automobile accident. She said the driver did not know she was the Jennifer Beals of movies and television.

“When we were shooting Taken, I was on the freeway, and I came across a truck that had flipped over. I was the third person at the scene of the accident. The driver had crawled out of the truck, and his head was bleeding, and he was obviously disoriented. I ran out of my car with a bottle of water. I applied pressure to the wound, and I got on the phone and got the medics there, but in the meantime was sitting there picking glass out of the wound. These guys came and had an emergency medical kit in their car. He was OK. He was fine. I gave him some water and cleaned up his wound a bit, then the paramedics did all the real work afterwards.”

Taken premieres Monday, February 27 at 10 p.m. on NBC. Read our interview with Clive Standen here.


Tag Cloud

Turner Classic Movies MCU comics Spike VICE Rocketman TIFF political drama slashers Bravo game show biography Valentine's Day elevated horror spider-man justice league romance Red Carpet composers Comics on TV The Purge 20th Century Fox Podcast TV movies renewed TV shows vampires Mindy Kaling Western The Arrangement breaking bad Premiere Dates Emmys VH1 jamie lee curtis Comic Book Creative Arts Emmys Horror Adult Swim Film Mystery AMC unscripted dragons 45 Awards Biopics Netflix Paramount Network Spectrum Originals Brie Larson harry potter anime Teen 2018 independent politics PBS Infographic Year in Review BBC America Trophy Talk crossover Masterpiece DC Comics revenge Arrowverse Disney+ Disney Plus zombie dc psychological thriller Oscars Song of Ice and Fire ITV Dark Horse Comics El Rey Nat Geo Hallmark Cosplay disaster Box Office cops series CMT IFC Films blockbuster supernatural space Disney Plus DGA green book cats Christmas canceled TV shows cancelled television Pirates YouTube GLAAD Opinion adventure zero dark thirty romantic comedy comic streaming 2020 miniseries casting Apple TV+ robots crime thriller TV Land Sony Pictures Showtime RT21 Tumblr Film Festival sports hispanic Turner Classic Film Tomatazos Disney streaming service HBO Max HBO Family CNN Pixar Vudu comiccon what to watch spy thriller IFC Mudbound BBC Marvel Television free movies ratings Grammys Starz Schedule Esquire Winter TV Countdown hist History Writers Guild of America Logo Superheroes singing competition Television Academy Marathons Mary poppins Mary Tyler Moore blaxploitation CBS talk show 2017 SDCC strong female leads natural history Pride Month tv talk 71st Emmy Awards Kids & Family Sneak Peek Emmy Nominations Musicals FX Britbox video New York Comic Con docudrama FOX spain stand-up comedy boxoffice 2016 halloween binge Musical anthology south america TruTV historical drama discovery Hulu Certified Fresh cooking dramedy cults ABC Country FXX technology Pet Sematary werewolf spinoff National Geographic Universal ghosts Women's History Month APB 2019 Calendar Marvel Captain marvel based on movie Black Mirror sequel Walt Disney Pictures Fox News Columbia Pictures war Cartoon Network PaleyFest Reality Competition Trivia diversity Marvel Studios Sci-Fi TCA 2017 Extras Lifetime Crunchyroll Lionsgate aliens Nominations TBS CBS All Access crime Election NYCC kids Freeform Disney Crackle The CW cartoon Netflix Christmas movies Best and Worst Martial Arts Peacock dceu E! festivals See It Skip It Pop Cannes ABC Family cancelled TV shows police drama christmas movies batman Interview SXSW GIFs Food Network period drama X-Men Polls and Games MTV transformers Paramount Fall TV social media award winner President LGBT The Witch TLC Shudder USA indie Nickelodeon theme song Sundance Now television doctor who rotten movies we love RT History Disney Channel Ellie Kemper Lifetime Christmas movies LGBTQ Reality facebook Thanksgiving OWN Drama 21st Century Fox Sundance 24 frames canceled CW Seed Music Hallmark Christmas movies science fiction Fantasy zombies Epix Amazon Prime Video quibi TCA cancelled TV series Superheroe Comedy serial killer Spring TV Rom-Com Awards Tour richard e. Grant Anna Paquin thriller ESPN true crime Acorn TV book Star Trek A24 Photos 007 YouTube Red The Walking Dead latino YA cars Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Character Guide toy story cinemax foreign Ghostbusters Shondaland Set visit finale Star Wars psycho sitcom American Society of Cinematographers Warner Bros. Rocky joker Stephen King BET GoT spanish language Binge Guide TCM TNT First Reviews TV renewals cancelled E3 MSNBC Comedy Central Video Games medical drama Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Ovation Quiz Heroines Syfy Chernobyl Apple Rock 2015 Holidays Summer adaptation A&E mockumentary Toys golden globes crime drama NBC Mary Poppins Returns Winners witnail DC streaming service WGN children's TV Apple TV Plus versus San Diego Comic-Con Amazon First Look teaser Super Bowl USA Network Amazon Prime Tarantino Elton John travel Lucasfilm YouTube Premium animated mutant game of thrones SundanceTV Action Holiday nature DirecTV WarnerMedia DC Universe Trailer Watching Series screenings Animation