MAGNUM P.I.: Perdita Weeks Reflects on Higgins' Helicopter Adventure - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

MAGNUM P.I.: Perdita Weeks Reflects on Higgins’ Helicopter Adventure

December 8, 2023 by  

MAGNUM PI Higgins Helicopter

MAGNUM P.I. — “Consciousness of Guilt” Episode 517 — Pictured: Perdita Weeks as Juliet Higgins — (Photo by: Zack Dougan/NBC)

When MAGNUM P.I. star Zachary Knighton made his directorial debut with the Wednesday, December 6 episode of the NBC series, he pointed to the scene when Higgins (Perdita Weeks) saves Jin (Bobby Lee) via a helicopter as his favorite to helm.

“That, to me, is the best sequence,” he told Give Me My Remote at the time. ”We storyboarded that, we worked really hard. I wanted to make sure obviously it went well. Everyone was safe. You’re ultimately the responsible one for everybody’s safety. So I was hyper-concerned about that sequence. But we have the best pilots on the island, and probably some of the best pilots in the world, over here at Magnum [Helicopters] choppers. They did an incredible job. But I would say that’s the sequence I’m most proud of. And Perdy kicked ass in that sequence.”

Weeks was similarly enthusiastic about the experience when Give Me My Remote told her that Knighton cited it as an episode highlight. “It was a great one,” she says in the video below. “He told me about it quite far in advance. He said, ‘Is it okay? Will you be okay to hang out of a helicopter with a massive rifle?’ And I was like, ‘Yes!’”

“It was my first proper time in a helicopter,” she continues. “I had only done a tiny little jaunt in season 1 in the actual working helicopter. So it was great fun. I was out there for hours, like back and forth. We had a grand old time. And then I was taken on the tour when we were waiting for them to get set up. It was a very complicated scene; it was beautifully shot, but it’s very complicated, lots of moving parts, real helicopter, quite dangerous.”

Adding to the complications? The noise from a working helicopter made it nearly impossible to communicate between the ground and air.  But Knighton pulled it off. “It was very impressive,” she says. “Big, big, big set piece, big day. Very cool. I was really pleased for Zach. I think it really came off and it was totally worth it. Bobby Lee is so great. Kelly Frye, who is the guest actress, was so brilliant and really game. But it was quite scary for them because we were really close…it’s quite an intense sort of high-stakes situation, but I must say it was one of my favorite moments of the season.”

While Higgins was a badass on-screen, her portrayer was arguably even more so off-screen—as she was filming that sequence, Weeks was mid-prep for her own directorial debut. (“Extracurricular Activities,” which airs Wednesday, December 13.)

“I was in prep at the time—or I was supposed to be,” she says. “So it was tricky because I was missing meetings. I’m like in the helicopter answering emails about props and what color tents that I’m going to have the guys in when they’re on the camping trip…I was in the helicopter, as I got the gun, [thinking], ‘This is mad.’ It’s fun, all of that. Because I was about to do it myself, I was learning all the time, getting tips from Zach. It was a pretty intense experience.” 

MAGNUM P.I., Wednesdays, 9/8c, NBC


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