When Tricia Helfer first walked onto the screen in the pilot episode of the Battlestar Galactica reboot, and planted one on a startled human emissary, sci-fi geeks took a collective gasp.
What the hell had happened to the toasters?!
As Cylon Number Six, Tricia Helfer put the sexy into what used to be the SciFi Channel and was now SyFy. The nomenclature change rankled the hardcore purists, but Helfer made it all better.
Ever since Galactica ended in 2009 (no spoilers here), Helfer has been busy with other things. But to fans, she has always belonged on SyFy. If you look her up on IMDb, the first thing you will see is that she is “Known For: Battlestar Galactica.” Go ahead; go look.
But now Helfer is back where she belongs. As Viondra Denninger on Syfy’s Ascension mini-series, Helfer gets six episodes to satiate the hardcores among us.
The New York Post asked Helfer about her character being described as “beautiful, manipulative and dangerous.”
“At first you may think it’s not a compliment,” Helfer replied. “I’m pretty opposite of that in terms of my personality. But the manipulative and dangerous parts mean I’m probably going to have fun with the character. And what I consider fun is not jumping around for joy and having giggles, but something you can sink your teeth into.”
With a subtle nod to Galactica’s premise of a nomadic group of people aboard starships looking for a new world to call home, Ascension is based “in 1963 with a surrounding fear of an impending nuclear war. The U.S. government launched a covert space mission sending hundreds of men, women and children on a century-long voyage aboard the starship Ascension to populate a new world. Nearly 50 years into the journey with no point of return, a mysterious murder of a young woman causes the ship’s population to question the true nature of their mission.”
The show’s co-creator, Philip Levens, said Helfer was in his head for the part from the start.
“In the first draft of the script, I put in a parenthetical next to Viondra’s character description that read, ‘Think Tricia Helfer,’” he said.
Asked why she ends up playing femme fatale parts so much, rather than willowy girl-next-door rom-com types, Helfer laid it out.
“Probably the reason is that I’m really tall, and most male actors are not really tall,” Helfer said. “There’s not many romantic comedies for a girl who’s 5-foot-11.”