Cape Town – AMC’s new martial arts drama, Into the Badlands is an instant hit.
A whopping 8.1 million viewers tuned in to its debut in the US which was simultaneously screened across the globe.
South Africans don't have to miss out on the action as it screens within minutes of the US screening on Monday at 04:10 on AMC (DStv 140). There is a repeat screening during primetime at 20:00.
Set in a devastated future world controlled by powerful feudal barons, Into the Badlands tells the story of a ruthless warrior and a young boy who embark on a spiritual odyssey.
The Badlands is divided among seven rival Barons who control the resources.
The land’s newest Baron, The Widow (Emily Beecham), has become a thorn in the side of the other Barons.
We had a quick chat with Emily about her role, those insane fighting scenes and what it’s like to kick ass in stilettos!
Will you tell me a bit more about your character, The Widow.
The Widow is a very strong character. She has faced a lot of obstacles and adversity to get to where she is. She is an incredibly skilled martial artist fighter. She claimed the title of baroness after murdering her husband and son. She is fighting for the equality of both men and women. She is an idealist and wants to change the system, which means she’s going to throw a spanner in the works and cause lots of trouble for the other barons.
What attracted you to the role of The Widow when you first read the script?
She came across as a very strong, unusual and inventive character. I have never read a character like that before. I immediately felt like I knew how I wanted to play her and how I wanted her to look. She was a warrior and a trailblazer and she was a really exciting character to me. She didn’t play up her sexuality she wasn’t searching for admiration but she used her sexuality as a tool much like a weapon in order to manipulate and try to get to where she wanted to be. I liked that she was such a strong leader.
Have you had any previous martial arts training? How did you train for the role?
The training was very intense! It was over five weeks and five days a week. We worked on our flexibility and our strength and we were taught how to use weapons. The Widow’s weapons are daggers and katanas, I specifically worked with them.
You kick ass in heels and wield knives, how much practice went into perfecting that?
(Laughs) I had some stilettos that I occasionally practiced in. But I it tried to avoid it because I thought it would be a very bad idea if I broke my ankle before shooting started. I generally wore the heels when they were in shot but if I could get away with it I would cheat and wear flats. It was really a challenge to fight in heels but it was easier spinning in the heels because you are on your toes. I practiced my knife skills with blunt daggers, I was constantly wielding them around on set.
If you could have one of The Widow's attributes what would it be?
Her savvy leadership qualities!
Describe the show in three words.
Wild, rock ‘n roll, fantastical!
What do you hope viewers will take away from Into the Badlands?
I think a lot of people will want to do martial arts after they see the show. People will see it as a beautiful art, and hopefully they will be inspired to take it up as a sport. I think the show is set to have somewhat of a cult following.
Watch the trailer here:
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Tune in to Into the Badlands, Monday at 04:10 and 20:00 on AMC (DStv 140 )
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