Citadel Episode 2 “Spies Appear in Night Time” explains what happened to super spy Nadia Sinh (Priyanka Chopra Jonas) after the show’s literally explosive cold open. While Nadia’s partner Mason Kane (Richard Madden) woke up with amnesia and embarked on a quiet life as a family man named Kyle Conroy, Nadia had a rougher go of things after Manticore ambushed them. Nadia wakes up in a strange Italian man’s cabin, dressed in his t-shirt and boxers, and chained to her bed.
It’s only after Nadia fights this mystery man — whom Amazon X-Ray names Vincenzo (Ivo Nandi) — for her life that she loses her memory. With Citadel compromised, a fail safe is triggered that wipes the memories of agents in the field. Before she loses all of her memories, Nadia writes a note to herself pointing her towards a safe house in Spain…which is where “Kyle” later tracks her down, enjoying life as a high end restaurant manager.
But back to that gnarly Citadel Episode 2 fight scene. Where as most action sequences in the Prime Video spy thriller have had the hallmarks of a glossy big budget film, Nadia’s cabin fight is brutal, desperate, and borderline terrifying. Priyanka Chopra Jonas revealed to Decider that some of the most unnerving elements of the scene were her idea. However as soon as she got on set, she began to regret offering her creative input as it made filming the fight sequence much harder on her body.
“I had a lot of bumps and bruises [after that shooting that scene], I won’t lie,” Chopra Jonas told Decider. “So the scene starts obviously with me in that red dress, right, from that explosion? And we were creatively talking about it with the writers and they were like, ‘Time has passed, you know? How should we start this fight?’ And I was like, ‘You know what? It would be really creepy if this random guy had cleaned her and bathed her and changed her while she’s unconscious. And then he sedates her and cuffs her.’”
“And they were like, ‘That’s a great idea.’ I was like, ‘What if he dresses her in his like boxer shorts and grimy t-shirt?’ They were like, ‘Great, great, great.’”
Chopra Jonas’s creative contribution to the scene lent it an aura of horror and unease. It’s precisely the sort of situation any woman would be absolutely freaked out to find herself in. Ergo it’s a perfect set up for Nadia Sinh to show how indefatigable she is in the face of opposition. The only problem is that when Chopra Jonas got on set and saw that her idea had been perfectly executed, she realized that the grimy t-shirt and boxer shorts costume meant she couldn’t wear any pads to soften her stunt falls.
“So I couldn’t wear any padding: elbow pads, knee pads,” Chopra Jonas said. “So yeah I was a little banged up in that shoot and I’m very mad at myself for that suggestion.”
“But it was amazing to work on that one because I did almost eighty to ninety percent of it myself. I know that Joe and Anthony [Russo] really wanted, and encouraged the actors if they felt good, to be able to do as much of [the stunts] ourselves because this show is not VFX heavy. We don’t have super powers. Like I’m not wearing a mask and then the stunt person is taking over. You’re actually seeing the actors do stuff.”
The actors on Citadel may not have stunt actors tagging in for them under masks, but they still do have, in Chopra Jonas’s words, “an amazing stunt crew.” Citadel‘s stars trained with the team for a year and a half and were given every resource necessary to pull those jaw-dropping fight scenes off.
“It was amazing to work with my co-actor in that scene,” Chopra Jonas said, “because you have to have a dance partner that can do it well with you and actually stop before taking your nose out.”
So the good news is that Chopra Jonas got out of that scene with her nose intact. The bad news is shooting it left her black and blue. The best news? Citadel fans get to enjoy the intensity of that fight scene thanks to Chopra Jonas’s creativity and sacrifice.
Citadel Episode 3 premieres on Prime Video on Friday, May 5.