After their Internet sci-fi sensation Prey Alone caught the attention of Luc Besson and EuropaCorp, Irish directors James Mather and Stephen St. Leger got the leverage they needed to take on a larger-scale project — resulting in the thriller Lockout. The film’s story centers on a future experimental prison in space where 500 of Earth’s most dangerous convicts are kept in an artificial state of hibernation. When the president’s daughter, Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace), leads a humanitarian expedition to the prison and the inmates are awoken, the ensuing mutiny has the first daughter at the center of a hostage situation. Into this hostile situation President Warnock sends Agent Snow (Guy Pearce), with the mission of bringing back his daughter — and only his daughter.
“When I first read the script, I kept laughing out loud,” Grace says. “I loved it immediately. It reminded me of films I loved back when action movies were really funny. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, it has a sense of fun and it’s irreverent, and it has some great one-liners. I was excited about it. I was like, ‘When do we shoot it?’”
The pairing of the president’s daughter with the savage Snow presented lots of opportunities for both characters. Grace describes how their contrasting natures complemented each other onscreen. “Snow is a little bit of an antihero,” Grace says. “He’s very snide and insincere, ironic and caustic. I like him. The relationship that develops with Emilie Warnock is that kind of tit-for-tat, give-as-good-as-you-get tension, but unexpectedly, they make a good team.
“Emilie Warnock is the American president’s daughter,” she continues. “She’s been raised in a fairly sheltered, regimented sort of vacuum. She has a lot of stepping up to the plate to do in this film. I think it’s Snow’s irreverence that pushes her buttons. Gradually, we realize that she can’t really do anything by the book, and she’s following a man for lack of better options, but really from his attitude, he might just as well be one of the escaped psychotic criminals.”
Lockout is available starting July 17 on Video On Demand. Check your cable system for availability.
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