A Q&A with the butt-kicking star of ''La Femme Nikita''

Part babe, part nut-crunching machine, 26-year-old Australian import Peta Wilson has taken her place alongside Lucy Lawless as Female Action Figure du Jour with her starring role in the spy drama La Femme Nikita, the USA Network’s top-rated series. But behind her hard-nosed character lies a gal full of goof (”I’m the Magoo of actresses, very accident-prone,” she insists) and giggle: ”I’ve made a lot of grown men cry with laughter, because I really am quite the joke.” Judge for yourself.

YOUR SHOW IS BASED ON CHARACTERS FROM THE 1990 FRENCH FILM. ANY THOUGHTS ON WHY FRENCH PEOPLE CAN BE SO RUDE? For years, they’ve been thinking they’re the best. Now that they’re not ruling the world anymore, I think they’re in a bad mood. Or maybe they eat too much dairy.

HOW DOES ONE ”KICK ASS”? First of all, don’t look like you’re capable of it. Pretend you’re short. Or try using a distraction. Go up to someone and say, ”What’s that thing on your chin?” When they look down, sock ’em and run.

WHAT’S YOUR WORST ON-THE-JOB INJURY? I got a concussion doing a stunt where I was supposed to be thrown against a tree. The director wanted me to really ”feel” the tree. The stuntman was helping me out, shall we say, and I caught the tree at 10 miles an hour. I worked the rest of the day, then had a CAT scan.

ANYTHING IN YOUR CHILDHOOD THAT WOULD EXPLAIN THIS WHOLE TOUGH-CHICK THING? I was scared of the dark. Ohhhh, I’d do anything not to have to sleep on my own. I’d get in bed and cover myself with dolls and teddy bears. I saw An American Werewolf in London when I was little and it took me years to get over it — like six.

IF YOU WERE A STREET SIGN, WHAT WOULD YOU READ? Hazardous materials ahead. Drive slowly.

BEING FROM AUSTRALIA, HAVE YOU EVER EATEN A KANGAROO BURGER? Absolutely not! But I’ve eaten a crocodile burger and a snake. And I ate a dead owl out of a men’s urinal when I was like 3 years old. Lovely, huh? My mother found me in the latrine with bits of feather hanging out of my mouth.

ANY OTHER STRANGE HANK-ERINGS YOU’D LIKE TO CONFESS? I get cravings for tins of condensed milk. I used to make condensed milk sandwiches. Mmmmmm. They’re particularly nice with a bit of banana.

IF THERE WAS A TALKING PETA WILSON DOLL, WHAT WOULD IT SAY? ”Rooooooooger!!!!!” That’s my hair-dresser’s name.

IS FOSTER’S REALLY AUSTRALIAN FOR BEER, MATE? No! VB (Victoria Bitter) is Australian for beer, not Foster’s. They just spend more money on those silly commercials. I’m telling you, VB is a much smoother beer.

IF YOU COULD GUEST-STAR ON ANY SHOW, WHICH WOULD IT BE? NYPD Blue, as Dennis Franz’s naughty long-lost daughter who’s always stealing candy and high heels. I just love him. I think he’s sexier than hell.

La Femme Nikita
  • Movie
  • 115 minutes