KiKi Layne on playing Nile
KiKi Layne plays the young American Marine Nile who got killed in action, and was back to life after a few moments. Confused by the bizarre events, Nile gets her answers– along with more questions– from Andy, who tells her what kind of life awaits her as an immortal.
According to KiKi, the source material really helped her prepare for the role of Nile. However, something that was different for her was the physical demands of the training she had to undergo for the role.
“We started training months in advance. So that [includes] weapons, tactical military training since I was a marine, boxing, martial arts– all of that,” shares KiKi. “So that was the biggest difference. But it was super important because that physicality is an extension of Nile and is such a big part of how this story is told.”
And what can young women take away from the film, specifically from the characters of Andy and Nile? For KiKi, it is that they see themselves being the hero and being the leader.
“You see [Nile] leading this group of women in combat when we first meet her in Afghanistan, and then you see Andy, she’s leading this small group of mercenaries.” says KiKi. “I think it’s something really wonderful for young women to see. These strong leaders who have the trust of the people they’re leading. But there’s also a lot of trust that you have to have for yourself in order to be in that position. So I hope more young women are able to absorb some of that.”
The Old Guard in the real world.
Given the question on what they think the Old Guard would be doing right now in our present world, Rucka, KiKi, and Charlize all agreed that the team would do their part in helping people out. But they’ll do it without compromising their identities, just as they’ve done it for centuries.
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“I wanna believe that they would be out there protesting, but they probably would not want to expose themselves,” says Charlize. The actress believes that the team do not necessarily take action from “a place of always having the answers,” and so they have to make a consensus for their every move.
“I think they would probably try to figure out the most effective way to break down a system that’s incredibly broken and leave it up for the people to rebuild in a more proper, more efficient, more fair way. I would hope that.”
Charlize’s thoughts do not stray far from the answer of The Old Guard creator Greg Rucka. While the writer thinks that the team might be in Yemen right now, he also emphasizes that in pursuing a better world, we can’t simply hope for other people to make it happen for us:
“One person can make a difference, and what we do does matter but at the same time we cannot rely on others to make it better. We have to do it ourselves. Gina at one point asked me, why didn’t they kill Hitler? And I said because that wouldn’t have solved the problem. By the time you have a Hitler, everything else is gone wrong. Their job isn’t to go out there and fix our mistakes. Their job as they see it is to try to make things better.”
Watch The Old Guard on Netflix this July 10.