Maggie Grace plays the daughter of the U.S. president in the new sci-fi thriller Lockout. In the film, Grace’s character is trapped in a maximum security prison, which, by the way, is in space. Trapped forever it seems! That is, unless CIA agent Snow, played by Guy Pearce, can rescue her.

Grace’s role in the film allowed her to explore new dimensions as an actress. Before filming began, Grace learned stunt, combat, and wire work, and when the shoot began, she tried to perform as many of her own stunts as possible. In fact, what initially drew Grace to the role was the opportunity to play a “kick-ass” woman.

Maggie Grace’s story is a familiar one, though a remarkable one nonetheless. Born in Ohio, Grace lived there until her parents divorced when she was 16. At this point, she dropped out of high-school at 16 and moved to Los Angeles with her mother to pursue an acting career. The first few years in Hollywood were tough. There wasn’t always enough money and sometimes not enough food either. Grace cites her mom as her role model and one of her closest friends. Together the two found a way to get by. In 2001, Grace landed her first role as the title character in the web-based video series Rachel’s Room. Her first major breakthrough came in 2004 when she was cast as Shannon Rutherford on the critically acclaimed series Lost. For her work on the first two seasons, she would win a Screen Actors Guild Award shared with the ensemble cast. Grace would later reprise her role as Shannon Rutherford in the series finale of Lost. Since leaving Lost, Grace has transitioned into film and her career has simply taken off. She has starred in hits like 2008’s Taken, and in 2010 she was cast as Irina in the Twilight film saga. Grace has even had the opportunity to pursue more personal interests, including playing Allegra in The Jane Austen Book Club, a film based on a novel that she likes.

A Midwest girl who grew up in a small, religious town, Grace has done her best to stay away from the drugs and partying that threaten so many young Hollywood stars. But she has no problem being sexy as she was cited by Maxim as one the hottest women in 2005. When Grace isn’t busy playing a “kick-ass” woman, she enjoys playing kickball in L.A.

Lockout reunites Grace and French writer and director Luc Besson, with whom she previously worked on Taken.

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Q: How did you prepare for the stunt you perform in the movie ‘Lockout’? - Uinterview User

I think both Guy [Pearce] and I felt really lucky to be able to get to Belgrade a little bit early, and get to prep and feel really comfortable with all of the stunts — the work up on the wires especially — and iron out some stuff with a few key scenes that we really wanted to talk about and get up on their feet. That was certainly a blessing, because it’s such an unrelenting schedule once you get started. Yeah, we were both really happy to get to Belgrade a little early, as soon as everyone’s schedule permitted. It was an amazing French stunt team. So I was excited to get some lessons on the side, just in case. Maybe we’ll choreograph an extra action scene, you never know. It’s really fun stuff. And great, I think, as a chick to learn really empowering kickboxing and things like that. It definitely makes you feel better in life, too.

Q: How did you prepare for the stunt you perform in the movie ‘Lockout’? - katerinabarons

Gosh, there'€™s a few. I think the most fun to shoot for some reason, we were probably just so slaphappy, you know, long hours and stuff, we just couldn'€™t keep a straight face. There'€™s the scene where he'€™s handing me like, a crazy Uzi of the future and he was like, '€œHere'€™s an apple, and a gun. Don'€™t talk to strangers. Shoot them.'€ That seemed, for some reason, you know, he'€™s sending me off into the world wimping away and he'€™s like, '€œYou'll do great, bye.'€ That scene was so much fun. I think we were just really out of it. At one point I think we composed a 'Lockout: The Musical.' The directors didn'€™t like that idea.

Q: What did you learn from director James Mather and co-star Guy Pearce? - Uinterview User

Oh gosh, so many things. I have so much respect for both of them, and their body of work. It’s nice, Luc has such a history in the genre, although he hasn’t really returned to sci-fi since 'The Fifth Element.' But certainly with action, I mean, an incredible body of work there. So, I’m still catching up with the action world. I grew up watching some of the “biggies,” but in terms of really even understanding some of the homage moments in the film and things like that, people have to catch me up. I just saw 'Die Hard' like a year ago.