In the new action thriller Fear the Night, it’s Bridesmaids meets The Strangers as women on a bachelorette party at a remote desert house are terrorized by home invaders.
The twist: The sister of the bride, Maggie Q’s Tess, is a hardened Iraqi war veteran and skilled combatant who’s not going down without a fight.
Q, the seasoned action star who got her start in Hong Kong martial arts movies before making the leap to Hollywood in tentpoles like Mission: Impossible III and Live Free or Die Hard, loved the concept from the beginning — and the chance to work with writer-director Neil LaBute (In the Company of Men, Nurse Betty, Lakeview Terrace).
But there was one seismic rewrite the 44-year-old actress requested: “No guns,” she tells us in a new interview.
“I mean, she’s definitely looking for a gun,” Q notes. “She’s trying to find her father’s weapons but it doesn’t happen for them. I said, ‘Let’s get a little more creative.’ If she finds her father’s guns, it’s game over. It’s not interesting.
“The guys who are attacking them can’t use guns because they can’t make noise. I was trying to create something that was a little bit different and more creative in the way that they were meant to get out of their situation. Because [in the original script], she finds guns, and there’s a gunfight and all that sort of stuff. So we changed it.”
Q’s lobbying to strip firearms out of her film is also particularly notable in the ongoing debate around gun violence in movies as gun violence in the U.S. continues to hit tragic new highs. The country saw a record 28 mass killings in the first half of 2023 alone, and all but one case involved guns.
“Exactly,” Q says. “If we don’t have to promote [gun violence], why promote it?”
Watch the trailer:
This interview was accomplished prior to the start of the SAG-AFTRA strike. Look for our full Role Recall interview with Maggie Q next week.
Fear the Night opens in theaters and on demand Friday, July 21.