Interview With Kristanna Loken


AE: I had a chance to watch the first two episodes, and I have to say there already seems to be something of a queer subtext developing between Jane and her friend Maureen, another agent. I was wondering if this was intentional.
That story line between Jane and Maureen is more developed in the comic. We unfortunately don’t really see any of their personal relationship between the two of them in the series, although in talking to Jimmy, he kind of mentioned the fact that they had been lovers at the DEA in the comic, although we never really explore that in the series.

We do have an interesting, cool model episode where Jane and Maureen go undercover in the model world. You know, who doesn’t want to go undercover in that world? We have a model neuro who basically has to kiss these young girls to retain her youth. She’s actually quite old, but she keeps modeling through this — kind of the kiss of death theory. So we do explore some alternative story lines.

I, of course, am always for that in my art and craft, and I think there should never be anything left unexplored, so hopefully we’ll do more of that.

AE: You’ve become known for playing action heroes in your films, but you’ve also played dramatic roles, most recently on The L Word as Paige. Which do you prefer?
I like a combination. I think that was one of the reasons why I was very attracted to the Jane character … [because] she had so many different colors and she was very flawed. I mean, in order to play a superhero you have to have a flaw, so in some way you can root for the hero. Even in T3 when you’re shooting children at point-blank range, you have to somehow want to root for me. So you have to find the human aspects, and Jane on that level had quite a few, so that was attractive to me.

I loved playing the character Paige on The L Word, [a] single mother just dealing with having an open kind of sexual mindset. I like exploring all aspects of these characters, and also within myself, so I’ve really been very open to diverse kinds of roles.

But I did miss carrying a weapon, I have to say. [Laughs.] I like the fight training.

AE: Is that your favorite part of playing a superhero kind of character?
Yeah, it’s fun to practice their strengths. I’ve done some medieval things with swords and shields and axes and spears. I have a dance and horseback riding background, so to me, the choreography is like learning a dance. So it’s definitely a fun aspect for me.

AE: Are there any heroes or heroines you’ve looked to for inspiration in playing the character of Jane?
No, actually, not anyone specific. I think the only thing I can say is that I really got a lot more of the character when I read the comics, so definitely kudos to Jimmy. But as far as — you know, I always liked Sigourney Weaver in Alien . She really has nothing to do with the Jane character, but I always felt she was a real pioneer for strong women in cinema.

AE: In the second episode, Jane receives a call from someone who appears to be her boyfriend. I was wondering if she is ever going to have a romantic life outside of her job.
She does. We do explore a bit of that. It’s not a huge aspect of the show. … but we definitely want to give Jane a sexuality, so we’ll see some of that.

AE: How many episodes of Painkiller Jane have you shot so far?
We’re on about the 13th, I believe, so we’re about halfway through. We are actually going to take the last four episodes to Budapest, to Hungary and shoot them there, which is probably where we will find the … internment center, the holding area for the neuros.

I think shooting abroad always gives a show a really rich, interesting [look]. Highlander did it great when they went to Paris . … And it always brings another aspect. I mean, I’ve shot in Eastern Europe before; the locations are just fantastic, and you really get a sense and feel of the old world, so I think it’ll be really good for the show.

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