Interview with Tricia Helfer of "Dark Blue" on TNT - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Tricia Helfer

Transcript of Interview with Tricia Helfer of "Dark Blue" on TNT 7/22/10

Being sick in bed, I could not make this conference call, but here is the interview transcript anyway.  Ms. Helfer was so nice on the phone last year when I got to talk to her about Burn Notice. She is awesome in this season's Dark Blue, so check it out!

Moderator: Carmen Davenporte
July 21, 2010
3:10 pm CT

Operator: Good day and welcome to the Tricia Helfer conference call. Today’s conference call is being recorded.

At this time, I would like to turn the call over to Ms. Carmen Davenporte. Please go ahead.

Carmen Davenporte: Good afternoon. Thank you for joining the Tricia Helfer conference call. Today, Tricia will be answering your questions about “Dark Blue”. So Operator, please open the queue for questions.

Operator: Thank you, ma’am. The question and answer session will be conducted electronically. If you would like to ask a question, please do so by pressing the star key followed by the digit 1 on your touch-tone telephone. If you are using a speakerphone, please make sure your mute function is turned off to allow your signal to reach our equipment. We will proceed in the order that you signal us and we’ll take as many questions as time permits. Once again, please press star 1 on your touch-tone telephone to ask a question.

Our first question comes from the line of Fred Topel from Hollywood News.

Fred Topel: Hi Tricia. It’s nice to speak with you today.

Tricia Helfer: You too and everyone else. Hello.

Fred Topel: Will you get to where any fabulous wigs on “Dark Blue”?

Tricia Helfer: So far, I have not. No, I didn’t have to wear any wigs. A couple of different hairstyles mostly in the first episode but no wigs, which I’m not too upset about it. It’s quite an ordeal putting a wig on.

Operator: We’ll go to our next question from Jamie Steinberg from Starry Constellation Magazine.

Jamie Steinberg: It’s a pleasure to speak with you.

Tricia Helfer: You as well.

Jamie Steinberg: What drew you to play this particular character?

Tricia Helfer: Sorry?

Jamie Steinberg: What drew you to want to portray this particular character?

Tricia Helfer: I’ve always had a desire to play a cop or FBI. Bit of a tomboy so, you know, it’s fun and I think there’s a lot of challenges and emotionally and mentally playing a role like that and trying to get into the character. You know, and in this role in particular it’s fun because you - there’s also going to be some undercover roles, so roles within the roles so to speak and - which as an actor is a lot of fun to play. And then of course just the team that’s behind it. You know, with the Bruckheimer camp and Warner Horizon and TNT it’s a great group of people and companies to work with.

Operator: Your next question comes from the line of Earl Dittman from Wireless Magazines.

Earl Dittman: Hi Tricia. How are you today?

Tricia Helfer: I’m good, thanks. How are you?

Earl Dittman: Doing great. I’d have to say that probably after “Battlestar Galactica” you were just inundated with a ton of scripts because you did “Burn Notice” of course, you had that great character arc and now you’re on this “Dark Blue.” And I have to say from the first time I saw you with Dylan y’all have great chemistry. It’s obvious you like playing a cop. I mean it just comes (from you) you’re perfect at it.

Did you know working with Dylan that the chem - the chemistry is just perfect? I mean it’s wonderful. Did you know that when the two of you sat down and met and started working together that it would work together as a cop? And is it fulfilling those dreams you talk about of being a cop?

Tricia Helfer: Yeah. You know, I think you never - chemistry is a hard thing. You never really - I don’t think you can force it and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to have great chemistry outside or whatever. It’s just something that kind of sparks on screen or doesn’t. And so when you’re kind of playing it you don’t really see what’s being, you know, you don’t see what other people are seeing obviously behind the monitors.

But Dylan’s a great actor so, you know, I - during the scenes and working with him, you know, I felt the - you know, it was great to work off of him and he gives you a lot as an actor and hopefully, you know, it was reciprocated.

You know, it’s always hard stepping into the second season of a show because everybody else is already a team and working together and they know each other already so it takes a little bit of time to kind of settle in and get to know everybody personally. But it kind of worked for the first episode anyway because Alex was sort of just thrown in there and, you know, they meet undercover and, you know, the characters have chemistry and so you kind of - but don’t really know each other.

And so what I was going through personally I think, and them as well getting to know me, I think kind of worked for the first episode because it was a bit what the characters were going through. Obviously without the one-night stand mind you at the end but - or what they thought was going to be a one-night stand. But no, Dylan’s just a great actor and somebody that offers a lot to be able to work off of. And I think that’s the most important thing when playing characters with chemistry is being able to work off the other actor and be supported in that way.

Operator: Your next question comes from the line of Danielle Turchiano from LA Examiner.

Danielle Turchiano: Hi Tricia. Thanks for taking the call today.

Tricia Helfer: Thank you.

Danielle Turchiano: So I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about how your character is going to be challenging Dylan’s character this season.

Tricia Helfer: Well aside from the whole fact that there’s - that the characters have chemistry and like each other, that they’re going to, you know, having to be kind of holding off, they’re - Alex is challenging Carter because he’s used to being the boss. I mean he is - he’s headed the team, you know, in a joint task force between the FBI and LAPD that the FBI has the final say.

And so Alex comes in and essentially is the boss but she’s smart enough to know that she, you know, that that’s not going to work with this team to just come in and say, “This is the way we’re doing things.” And so she knows and she wants to be part of the team and work with them, not just be their boss.

And so, you know, there’s definitely going to be moments of tension when they disagree on something or disagree how a case should be handled, you know, and that’s a definite challenge for somebody as a strong character like Carter to be able to take an order to stand down or something like that.

But generally they have a pretty good working relationship. They respect each other and, you know, I think that’s the key to working with, you know, successfully working with each other is that they respect each other and their abilities.

Operator: As a reminder if you would like to ask a question, please press star 1. We’ll go to our next question from Lena Lamoray from

Lena Lamoray: Hey Tricia.

Tricia Helfer: Hi.

Lena Lamoray: It’s a pleasure to speak with you.

Tricia Helfer: Likewise.

Lena Lamoray: Thank you. How did you get involved in working on “Dark Blue” and how has your experience been so far?

Tricia Helfer: I got involved through the normal audition process. It was pilot season in Los Angeles and I auditioned for the show and was offered it after auditioning. So they didn’t - I didn’t have a script to work off of. There was just four pages written for the audition. So then after the - after I was offered the role then I spoke with the producers and writers about what they saw for the character for the season and I liked what they had to say and they held up their end of the bargain.

You know, they definitely said she was going to be involved with the team and, you know, a smart, fun, you know, strong character and not just the, you know, FBI finger-pointer or, you know, that kind of thing. And so, you know, I had a great experience on the show. It’s - I really like the character. I really like Alex. I really like playing her.

And it’s already done. We’re already done filming. We’ve been done for about a month now so it happens quickly. Ten episodes goes by really quickly especially when you’ve got a really tough shooting schedule of seven-day episodes which so really kind of the three months you’re filming you’re so immersed in it that you just eat, sleep and breathe it and then it’s done. So hopefully people enjoy what we did.

Operator: We’ll go to our next question. Our next question comes from the line of Fred Topel from Hollywood News.

Fred Topel: Hi. What - my (stock) question is what drives you to succeed and the follow-up is literally what kind of car do you drive?

Tricia Helfer: What drives me to succeed, I think just a, you know, I want to be challenged. I want to be proud of what I do and I want to learn. I want to learn new things and keep learning and growing. So I think that’s what - I’m not very good at resting on my, you know, morals or whatever that saying is. You know, I kind of am a bit of a workaholic and I like to keep busy and active so I think that’s what drives me.

Now what I drive is I drive a Porsche 997 Carrera and I drive a Harley-Davidson Rocker C motorbike.

Operator: Your next question comes from the line of Jamie Steinberg from Starry Constellation Magazine.

Jamie Steinberg: You mentioned before some of the challenges you face with this role but you didn’t really touch on the specifics of them. What do you find challenging about this particular role?

Tricia Helfer: I think, you know, what I find challenging is just trying to bring a truthfulness and a realism to it. Obviously not having been an undercover FBI myself, you know, there’s - you obviously want to bring a truth to it and it’s great to have a consultant on set. We have a consultant that was an undercover cop for many years. And, you know, aside from doing reading myself and, you know, reading on role - reading on that type of job you really obviously haven’t done the job yourself. So you just want to bring a truth to it and, you know, you kind of always challenge yourself that way.

Physically I guess it was fairly recent after I had had, you know, on a personal note, not really for every job, but on a personal note for this job I had gone through massive back surgery a couple of months before and so I was still in recovery. And, you know, so I could do some stunts but luckily for me it just worked out that the ten episodes there wasn’t that much that, you know, I could pretty much do everything except for a fall down the stairs, I couldn’t do that but I wouldn’t have done that anyway even without back surgery. So physically I just had some challenges going in. But it’s been a fun character to play.

Operator: Thank you. We’ll take our next question from Earl Dittman from Wireless Magazines.

Earl Dittman: Are you doing better now because I’ve had back surgery and that’s horrible on you?

Tricia Helfer: Yes. I’m definitely, definitely doing better.

Earl Dittman: Oh, good, good.

Tricia Helfer: But I had four discs replaced with artificial discs.

Earl Dittman: Oh, I had the same thing.

Tricia Helfer: You did?

Earl Dittman: I hope you get better from it. This is a two-tier question. I really do because I know what pain that really is. But the two-tier question is number one you mentioned that you had finished shooting last month, are you going to be continuing with this series or is something else coming up?

And a second one is, everybody seems from “Battlestar” to be working. James is doing “Eureka,” Mary McDonnell is doing “The Closer” and even Jamie Bamber is doing (Loner U.K.) Is it just luck or has Hollywood finally figured out that “Battlestar Galactica” was full of some of the greatest actors in the world? So...

Tricia Helfer: Yeah. I appreciate you saying that. You know, it was a good group of people that were together on the show. And I think actors’ careers have highs and lows and ups and downs and, you know, it just really all depends. So but, you know, “Battlestar” was very respected within the business and so it’s nice to see that people have embraced some of the actors - a lot of the actors, I think most of the actors are working, you know, as quality actors.

And, you know, there’s a lot of great actors out there and but it’s nice to see the “Battlestar” cast is finding other roles. And, you know, you also hear about getting stuck in a science fiction stigma and that’s really not the case with the show because it was, you know, if you don’t know the show, you know it was science - you just think it was science fiction. But if you know the show, you know that it was a lot more of a human drama than just a science fiction show and I think that’s translated to people going, “Okay, well we’ll give them a shot.”

Earl Dittman: And what was next?

Tricia Helfer: Sorry?

Earl Dittman: What do you have coming up next?

Tricia Helfer: What I have coming up next, I have a couple of independent movies coming out, one with Brian Geraghty from the “Hurt Locker” and Stephen Moyer called “Open House.” It’s coming out on DVD in I think August. And I’ve got another film that we’re waiting to hear if it gets into Toronto with Harvey Keitel and J.K. Simmons and Scott Caan called “A Beginner’s Guide to Endings” that I shot last fall and so looking to do a few more independents this fall - to shoot a few more independents this fall.

Operator: As a reminder if you would like to ask a question, please press star 1. We’ll go to our next question from Fred Topel from Hollywood News.

Fred Topel: Hi again. You talked about being a workaholic, which I can relate to and then you drive a Porsche and a Harley, so do you like to treat yourself also?

Tricia Helfer: I do like to treat myself I just don’t do it very often. I think treating myself it finding time to just, you know, relaxing for me is going on a 10-mile hike. Or, you know, when I have time off I like to be at home and spend time with my animals and things like that.

Actually did take a little bit of vacation which I haven’t done very often but so I think that’s treating myself. I’m not the girl that goes out for facials and manicures and pedicures all the time. I wish I did. It would be better for me but I get kind of annoyed. I don’t like sitting still too much. So, yeah, treating myself is more just going out and having a great hike or going on a long motorbike ride or something like that.

Operator: We’ll go to our next question from Lena Lamoray from

Lena Lamoray: Hi again. What type of animals do you have?

Tricia Helfer: I have rescued cats. I have a lot of rescued adopted cats. So they’re all - they tend to be - adopted a couple of older ones. One was in a house fire and had third-degree burns all over his paws and one had been attacked by a dog and had his jaw broken in five places and needs medicine every four days. And one was a really old lady with all abscessed teeth. And, you know, then I fostered some kittens and we ended up adopting three of them and adopting out two. And so they’re all kind of just little - they’ve all got their stories and they’re all just wonderful.

Operator: We’ll go to our last question from Earl Dittman from Wireless Magazines.

Earl Dittman: Tricia, you are a saint. Listen to you taking care of animal outcasts like that and everything. I mean quite a saint.

Tricia Helfer: Well they give me more than I give them I think.

Earl Dittman: If you can talk - two other things. How did you hurt your back? Was it work-related? And B, is this season the only season we’ll see you on or will we be seeing you in another season of “Dark Blue” if it comes back?

Tricia Helfer: If it comes back, fingers crossed, yes, you’ll be seeing more of me...

Earl Dittman: All right.

Tricia Helfer: ...unless something happens or stuff I don’t know about, I will be back and glad to be back.

And in regards to how I hurt my back is a mixture of things. I think being very tall and thin growing up and being very athletic and kind of abusing my body in some ways, crashing into walls, diving on floors to hit that volleyball and things like that. And then just, you know, a mixture of a car accident that got whiplash and doing all my own stunts on “Battlestar” really helped kind of solidify needing surgery.

So, yeah, it was just a mixture of a few things. And then somebody dropped a suitcase on my head on an airplane and that didn’t really do my neck any good. So unfortunately just a series of things that resulted in four discs being replaced.

Carmen Davenporte: Well thank you all for participating in today’s conference call. Just as a reminder, the second season of “Dark Blue” premiers Wednesday, August 4 with back-to-back episodes starting at 9 pm. Thank you so much Tricia.

Tricia Helfer: Thank you.

My review of this season's "Dark Blue"

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