To the cast and crew of Nikita:
I cannot remember the last time I was completely on board with a show from the very beginning. When The CW had announced that it was picking up Nikita to series, way back during Upfronts in 2010, I had this innate feeling that the show was going to be special. I had never seen the previous incarnations of the character and story, so it was all new to me. My penchant for TV shows featuring strong kick-ass female characters (see: Alias‘ Sydney Bristow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fringe‘s Olivia Dunham, etc.) hooked me in immediately. Oddly enough, finding out that the show was filming in (and around) Toronto was almost revelatory, since I wasn’t use to knowing about my favourite actors or celebrities being somewhat close by, thereby elevating my excitement.
Speaking of the cast, where do I even begin with you guys?! You all are such a talented bunch and a little underrated if I do say so. Lyndsy Fonseca, I only knew from How I Met Your Mother and Desperate Housewives, but as Alex, you’ve come into your own as an actress. Devon Sawa, one of my favourite movies as a kid was Little Giants, and it has been great to see you move up from a recurring guest star to series regular as Owen. Shane West, my early teenage years were filled with your movies, like Whatever It Takes, Get Over It, and A Walk to Remember, but I also remember when you were on Once and Again, ER, and now Nikita – you just continue to surprise. Melinda Clarke, I was a huge fan of The O.C., so I got very excited seeing you as part of the cast (and since Amanda lacks a last name, I’ve come to sometimes refer to her as Amanda Cooper-Nichol, the perfect amalgamation of my two favourite Melinda roles/characters). Also, a special shout-out to the casting department for bringing on actors whom viewers might not have been familiar with or haven’t seen in a while, but have come to love greatly: Aaron Stanford, Noah Bean, Dillon Casey, Lyndie Greenwood, Xander Berkeley, Peter Outerbridge, and all the wonderful guest stars…Then there’s Maggie, who in this humble TV fan’s opinion, was one of the best casting decisions ever.
I am first generation Vietnamese-Canadian in my family. Growing up under the influence of American television, I quickly grew accustomed to not seeing Asian actors in Hollywood entertainment. As terrible as it may sound, I kind of accepted that fact and considered myself a wary fan of pop culture, knowing that it wasn’t a wise decision to completely idolize a specific actor or musician. But then as I wrote essays for some of my Sociology classes in university, talking about minority representation or gender representation in the media, I didn’t realize how important those topics were to me. Just as I graduated university, Nikita comes along with Maggie in the role, and man do I ever wish I could have written a full essay for my classes on the show. I had seen Maggie do small supporting roles in movies like Live Free or Die Hard, Mission Impossible 3, as well as New York, I Love You, among others, so I was familiar with who she was. To cast her as the lead of this gem of a show, it got me excited beyond belief and was just so inspired. I by no means have any intentions on becoming an actress myself, though I would love the opportunity to work in the industry, but to say that I felt proud seeing an Asian actress (who just so happens to also be half-Vietnamese) in a lead role of a TV series would be putting it lightly. I have nothing but complete respect and total admiration for Maggie.
The show wouldn’t be what it is without all the talent behind the scenes, so please allow me to give thanks. First and foremost, Craig Silverstein: thank you so much for bringing new life to this character of Nikita. As I have said before, I was not that familiar with the previous versions of the show and the characters, but you are the reason everyone is here now. Thanks are extended to executive producers McG, Danny Cannon, Peter Johnson, Carlos Coto, Albert Kim, and David Levinson. To the many other producers involved with the show: Marc David Alpert, Andrew Coville, Kalinda Vasquez, Jim Hilton and Amanda Segel – thanks for keeping the show together and being awesome. All the writers on the team, you all are crazy talented at what you do; keeping us fans glued to the edge of our seats with wonderful storytelling, plot lines that feel fresh, real mature relationships and unexpected twists and turns, you guys just never cease to amaze us. The directors that have worked on the show do nothing but add a sleek, almost movie-style finish to the episodes, making each new episode all the more exciting, and that goes along with everyone who does the sound editing, cinematography, and special effects. Last, but certainly not least, a VERY special shout-out to all the crew members working those long days and nights with the cast, everyone else behind the scenes who sometimes don’t get the full recognition they deserve – from lighting to the boom operators, everyone involved with the fight sequences and stunts, hair and make-up, wardrobe, those working in the production office and the PAs – please know that your hard work is appreciated BEYOND BELIEF.
To The CW and Warner Bros. Television, thank you for putting this show on the air and all us fans can only hope that you renew this amazingly wonderful show for many more seasons. All this talent, both in front and behind the camera, are so worth it.
Though I can only hope to one day be able to meet you all in person, give you a hug, maybe buy you some coffee, and personally thank you for all that you’ve done (and I’ve come in close proximity on several occasions of your on location shoots in Cambridge and Toronto), this letter will have to do. Again, thank you for working so hard (especially on those Fraturdays!) to give us this fantastic, yet incredibly underrated show. You are all AMAZING! Love you guys!
One of your biggest fans and supporters,