SyFy’s new hit original series Helix has been dominating ratings and has quickly become a fan favorite. Helix is an intense thriller from the creator of Battlestar Galactica that centers around a team of scientists from the Centers for Disease Control. The series stars Billy Campbell, Hiroyuki Sanada, Kyra Zagorsky, Mark Ghanimé, Jordan Hayes, Meegwun Fairbrother, Catherine Lemieux, and Neil Napier.
We recently had the pleasure of interview one of the stars of Helix, Kyra Zagorsky. We talk about her work on the series, her character Dr. Julia Walker, and what viewers can expect from the conclusion of season 1.
Read our exclusive interview with Kyra Zagorsky below:
Pop City Life: Can you talk a little bit about your character Dr. Julia Walker?
Kyra Zagorsky: Jules is an accomplished senior scientist at the Center for Disease Control. She is one of the top virologists in her field and she has spent the last few years in Bolivia working with viruses there and escaping her life back in Atlanta.
Especially with such a strong, female character, what originally attracted you to the role?
Kyra: Her intelligence and courage. When I first read for the part, I loved how down to earth and accessible she was. I also liked the idea of doing a Sci-Fi thriller and with Ron Moore attached I knew it had potential to be great.
Helix has been a hit series from the start. How does it feel to be a part of a series that’s so successful?
Kyra: It feels wonderful. This series takes some interesting risks and we didn’t air one episode until the entire season was shot. Of course, I had hoped that people would get into it, but you just never know. It’s been an exciting ride.
What’s it like working with the cast?
Kyra: So much fun. It’s a group of really great, collaborative people. We spend a lot of time in high stakes during shooting and there was always time for laughs in between takes.
What would you say sets Helix apart from similar shows out there?
Kyra: I think the unique quality of Helix is that it is also a psychological thriller. It’s interesting to look at where the mind goes when people are in life and death circumstances. Also, viruses are a real life threat for people. Throughout history there have been a number of epidemics that have wiped out major populations. I think that makes the story relevant to people.
Were there any particular challenges that you faced while filming?
Kyra: It took me a little while to get used to the Racal suits. I’m a bit claustrophobic and I definitely felt pretty sealed up in there. It was also tricky for them to figure out how to get the air flowing into the suits, and how to allow us to hear one another while we were shooting.
Has your athletic background come in handy?
Kyra: Absolutely. I think someone… or something was chasing after me in every episode! There was a lot of fun action for Jules. I love the physical stuff.
How did you get into acting?
Kyra: I grew up in a small town very far from the industry, so I never really knew that a career in acting was an option for me. I ended up going to college at Southern Oregon University with a writing scholarship. Then I discovered the Oregon Shakespeare Festival there in Ashland and became inspired. I got swept up into the theatre department at school and it opened up a whole new world for me.
Has anyone influenced or inspired you as an actor?
Kyra: Countless artists have influenced and inspired me! From huge stars like Cate Blanchett to young actors who are in their very first acting class. I just watched Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in Waiting For Godot on Broadway. Seeing these icons perform live was incredible. There is so much joy and bravery in their work. My ultimate dream is to perform on Broadway so I find a lot of inspiration from the theatre world.
Is there anyone at all you would love to work with someday?
Kyra: That’s another long list. But I would love to get the chance to work with Kathryn Bigelow. That would be amazing! Some of my best theatre experiences have been with female directors but I’ve only worked with one in the TV/ film world.
How has the fan support been?
Kyra: Overwhelming. Sci-Fi fans are very smart and very dedicated. It’s pretty amazing.
Do you have a favorite memory so far from working on the series?
Kyra: Shooting the scenes in the snow covered room from episode 10. I remember working on that set and thinking, “This is something special”.
What can you tease about what viewers can expect in the remainder of season 1?
Kyra: Oh boy. There are some pretty intense new characters coming up. Get ready.
We’d like to thank Kyra Zagorsky for taking the time to answer some questions for us. We really appreciate it!
Be sure to tune in to Helix, Fridays at 10/9c on SyFy.
Keep up to date with Kyra by following her on Twitter @KyraZagorsky.