Kebbel embraces her inner action heroine

Arielle Kebbel
Arielle Kebbel

Q: As a newbie to playing an action heroine, did you have to learn many fighting techniques for your role of assassin Olivia on “Midnight, Texas”?

A: I did. The training part of it all was something I was really looking forward to and, man, it kicked my ass (laughs). I grew up doing sports, so I always thought of myself as athletic but this took it to a whole other level. And I’m so grateful for it, because I really feel like it was needed to show Olivia and her full range of tricks, I needed to be doing the type of training I was doing.

And I worked with John Koyama, who is like one of the best in the business, and we just got so lucky with our stunt team and our props team. Our props guys did “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” Our stunt guys did everything from “Last Samurai” to “Aquaman.” My stunt double just came off of “Wonder Woman.” So we had the best people working with us and I’m so grateful because that’s who I learned from.

And every day I’d be in training for about two to three hours a day on top of filming, so sometimes I’d be training at 4 a.m. if my call time is 6 or 7 a.m., and sometimes I’d be training at 11 at night after a full day of work. I actually took my first ice bath doing this project.

Q: Was there any martial arts training?

A: We did everything from conditioning to kickboxing, boxing to fight choreography to weapon training. So on specific episodes, if I had a fight, then we’d train for that fight. Or if I was using specific weapons, we’d be training with the weapons. But in between that, to keep the character growing and strong, we would just do different workouts every day as well so that that way I was always doing something to keep my body in the rhythm and kind of familiar with all the moves.

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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