(Spoiler alert: Please do not read on if you haven’t watched Sunday’s episode of “Into the Badlands”)
Emily Beecham, who plays The Widow on “Into the Badlands,” wants fans to rest assured that the fighting on the AMC show is more realistic than they realize.
“All the sweat is completely real,” Beecham told TheWrap of the show that films in Louisiana, a state well known for its humid conditions. “It gives it that rough edginess that I think makes it feel more real.”
Beecham enjoys her role on the martial arts-heavy series, but admits that she had no prior fighting training before being cast on the show.
“It was a completely new experience for me,” she said. “I’ve never done action before. I had a small bit of stage combat training at my drama school but it was a very different, very slow medieval style.”
She credits action unit director Stephen Fung, well known for his work in Hong Kong cinema, with preparing her and others in the cast for the show’s intense fight scenes. However, some of the moves required extra effort. Episode 2 opens with The Widow engaging in a massive brawl at a bar that includes some pretty acrobatic maneuvers on her part.
“I found the back bend stab really difficult, because you need really good stomach muscles for that so it was really challenging,” Beecham said. “And also getting up from the splits and stabbing someone is near impossible, so I had to get wired for that.”
On the show, The Widow is currently plotting how to overthrow Quinn (Marton Csokas), the strongest Baron in the Badlands. She unsuccessfully tried to kill Quinn’s son, Ryder (Oliver Stark), but Sunny (Daniel Wu) and M.K. (Aramis Knight) were able to save him.
How Quinn will respond remains to be seen. But Beecham believes that her character’s greatest asset is not her strength, but her mind.”I think her strength lies in her intelligence and keeping her wits about her and using tactics,” she said. “So that’s how she sort of pulls the rug from under Quinn’s feet.”
“Into the Badlands” airs Sundays after “The Walking Dead” at 10 p.m. on AMC.