Michelle Lintel FHM July 2001 | Superhero Style

Superhero Style

Black Scorpion star Michelle Lintel talks Batman, black latex and butt-kicking.

January 3, 2001

Michelle Lintel FHM July 2001

Santa Monica Personal Training client Michelle Lintel on left

As the title crimefighting chick in Sci-Fi Channel’s sexy new serial Black Scorpion, Michelle Lintel gets to take down evil, tool around in a cool car, and schmooze with superheroes galore.

For example, she’s been hangin’ quite a bit these days with none other than Adam West, aka TV’s classic Batman, who plays the villainous Breathtaker on Black Scorpion. “He’s an icon!”

Lintel enthuses. “There is no other Batman. Those movies we saw in the last ten years? Not it. Adam West — that’s it. People have such fond memories of him [of] watching him as a kid. And he’s just so cool with it all. He was telling me the other day…he loves Costco. He bought this cashmere sweater from Costco. It’s like, ‘You’re Batman! We are not having this conversation!'”

So Batman’s a power shopper? We never knew! Still, West and his classic show provided plenty of inspiration for Black Scorpion (debuts Friday, Jan. 5, 8 pm on Sci-Fi Channel), which was co-created and executive produced by cult filmmaker Roger Corman. Like the ’60s Batman, the show melds campy comedy with comic book-style action — and throws in a dash of playful sexiness for good measure.

Lintel stars as Darcy Walker, a stand-up LA cop who leads a double life as the butt-kicking, black latex-wearing Black Scorpion. As Darcy, Lintel has a staunch partner (Scott Valentine) and a by-the-book lifestyle. As Black Scorpion, she has a cachet of high-tech weapons, the sleek, super-fast Scorpionmobile,” and a burning need to avenge her good-cop father, who was murdered by West’s Breathtaker.

The dual role is great fun for Lintel, who enjoys balancing the seemingly disparate aspects of the two characters. “I am, for the most part, very ethical, very helpful and sweet as Darcy Walker,” she says, chatting via phone from Los Angeles. “But when things have to be done and no one else is doin’ it, that’s when Black Scorpion steps in. Someone’s got to do it!”

Black Scorpion Michelle Lintel Darcy Walker

Michelle Lintel stars as Black Scorpion…..and Darcy Walker.

Though she has West and other seasoned vets to call on for advice (Lou “Hulk” Ferrigno and Frank “The Riddler” Gorshin are also slated to appear as villains), Lintel is no stranger to certain superhero trappings — she has quite a thing for martial arts, having trained extensively in Tae Kwon Do.

Way back when, Lintel got her start knocking out competition of another sort — on the teenage pageant circuit. A former Miss Kansas, Lintel got into the pageant thing for one simple reason:

“My mom,” she laughs. “I could sit here and go, ‘Well, I was thinking it might be good…’ My mom. Good old mom. The good thing was, she wasn’t a stage mom. She just said, ‘Hey, you’re very shy, I’m worried about you. Let’s do something about it!’ And I was. I was a very internal, private kid growing up. Cerebral or…psychotic, I don’t know which.”

“[Martial arts are] such a big part of my life,” she says.

“I’ve done so much Tae Kwon Do, but I’ve switched to Krav Maga. It means ‘contact combat,’ and it’s what the Israeli military uses for self-defense. What’s great about this art is that it incorporates all of the other martial arts, as well as street-fighting. You really get a taste of everything. Like, when somebody comes up behind you and sort of grabs you, you know how your elbow kind of jerks? Krav Maga teaches you how to use that natural reaction that you have, but in a way that will just hurt somebody. A girl like me, I could take on somebody 100 pounds over my body weight and really be able to do some damage.”

Which means she does all of her own stunts, right? “I did most of my own stunts,” she laughs. “They wouldn’t let me jump off buildings and things like that…but I wanted to! So that counts for something. As much as I could, I was kickin’ ass.”

To her surprise, Lintel ended up winning her first pageant. Naturally, she still has the crown. “It’s in a box somewhere,” she confides. “I’m sure that will come back, and we’ll see that on National Enquirer. And they’ll have these people from the past going [here, Lintel affects a pitch-perfect E! True Hollywood Story cadence]: ‘Now, when I first saw Michelle, when she was 15, she was terribly shy. But I sat down with her and said ‘You don’t have to be like this in life!” I can see it all,” she laughs.

So can we. But despite the fact that Lintel is on the verge of becoming a bona fide sci-fi star, she’s about as down to Earth as they come. As we continue to chat, she reveals various guilty pleasures (she has a soft spot for the ultra-cheese ’70s game show Match Game) and a penchant for shopping. And like a certain aforementioned crimefighting icon, she’s occasionally inspired to shop…superhero style.

“Yeah, I do some grocery shopping the foam latex rubber suit from time to time,” she jokes. “I have to pick up a few things, I’m in a mood. Batman’s at Costco, Black Scorpion’s at Safeway.”

–Sarah Kuhn is cerebral and psychotic.

 

Check back on Friday for our advance review of Black Scorpion‘s premiere! Photos courtesy of Sci-Fi Channel.

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