It's a tale as old as time — a monstrous, tormented beast and the ravishing beauty determined to save him. In 2012, The CW put a fresh spin on the Beauty and the Beast mythology with a new serialized drama starring Smallville alum Kristin Kreuk and New Zealand's Jay Ryan. Daytime Confidential caught up with the equally-beautiful pair this weekend at Comic-Con.
Kreuk and Ryan delved into the psychological underpinnings of their characters, police detective Catherine Chandler and Vincent Keller, a former doctor transformed into a mutant super soldier with murderous rage by a government experiment. Do the talented actors believe in the kind of predestined, star-crossed love their characters share? Keep reading to find out.
Daytime Confidential: Congrats on the show. After doing so many years of series television, what brought you back?
Kristin Kreuk: That’s a good question. It really was Sherri [Cooper] and Jennifer [Levin]. I met with them, and I loved them so much. I know that being on TV for a long time, it’s about the people that you’re working with. They are wonderful and collaborative, and they wanted to work with me, and I liked that a lot, so that’s why I did it. I was a little scared to get back into a full TV show again.
DC: What makes her a beauty, and what makes him a beast?
KK: I really think that a lot of what we’re exploring is that no one is one or the other, but everybody has beauty and beast within them, that we make certain choices in our lives to behave in one way or in another. Catherine’s journey in part is really to come to understand that there are no bad guys, and there are no good guys, that people make decision, and that humanity is blind, so I think that’s a big part of it.
DC: And for you, are you very romantic?
Jay Ryan: Are we romantic?
KK: You mean in life?
DC: In life.
KK: I’m not very romantic, I don’t think. I don’t know what that is, though. I don’t know what the definition of romance is.
DC: It’s a beautiful story.
JR: I’m very much the romance side of it. I’m an advocate for pushing it more and more into the series.
KK: Yes, I think it’s important for the show.
DC: Do you believe [the concept of secret love]?
JR: Absolutely. Yeah. It does exist, maybe not in kind of our big western society cities, but in smaller cultural communities, it still exists. Where it’s forbidden and stuff like that, yeah.
DC: What about destiny?
KK: Destiny, it’s interesting. I could get into a whole spiel, but I’m not going to. You either go fatalism and destiny, or you go free will. So what do you believe in? I can’t prove one or the other, and both are interesting to explore. Are there things that occur because they’re predestined, or do we choose? I love the exploration, but I have no answer for it.
JR: If you choose to believe in destiny, then it will happen.
DC: Why is Muirfield targeting Vincent?
JR: Well, they are a subsidiary of the military, I guess, so they have created these super soldiers under contract, but the experiment’s gone awry, and they’ve basically created these murderous, villainous beasts that they can’t control, so they eradicate them all. Vincent gets away and because of his medical background, he attempts to find the cure, the antidote, to regain his humanity, which is weaved through the whole story. He also has this guy J.T., who’s his roommate, kind of his confidante. Together, they try and make this antidote, but when we come to the pilot, Vincent’s given up. He’s ready to just go, and that’s when she brings hope back to his soul basically, that he can live in this world, maybe as he already is, this creature-man-beast. Or, maybe it gives him more hope to find the antidote even more, have babies, and live happily ever after.
DC: What is the most challenging part of playing Vincent?
JR: Drinking. Not having coffee on set. [Laughs] No, the most challenging part was…I don’t know. I have kind of thrown myself head [first] into the role, but I wanted to [do it] in truth. I wanted this mutations experiment to be believable to people because I find it really believable. I think secretly, there’s stuff going on like that in this world. Maybe not [super soldier experiments], but I wanted it to have a truth so it’s extremely believable, and they bought into him and his situation and have sympathy for him. They want hope for him too.
New episodes of Beauty and the Beast begin airing Oct. 7 at 9/8c on The CW.
Photo credit: The CW