On The CW drama series Beauty and the Beast, which recently won the People’s Choice Award for Best New Drama, Catherine (Kristin Kreuk) risks everything to keep Vincent (Jay Ryan) safe when she suspects that Muirfield might know his whereabouts. In spite of the disastrous possibilities, she is forced to interrupt his romantic cabin getaway with Alex (guest star Bridget Regan), in order to save their lives.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actress Bridget Regan (Legend of the Seeker) talked about how she came to be a part of the show, why she was attracted to the character, how much fun it was to bring a fresh energy to an already-established cast and crew, that the next couple of episodes are really revealing for the characters, how she hopes fans of the show feel for her character, even though they’re ultimately rooting for Catherine and Vincent to be together, what’s most surprised her about her character, her favorite moments to shoot, and how much she loves getting to explore a character over a longer period of time on television. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
Collider: How did you come to be a part of this show? Was it just an audition that you went on?
BRIDGET REGAN: No, they asked me and I was thrilled to do it. It was good timing for me. I had read the pilot script and loved it. I think this show is really special and really cool. I’ve worked with Jay [Ryan] before and I’ve worked with Nina [Lisandrello] before, so it was really fun to see those guys again.
When you have to have chemistry with someone, did it help to already know Jay Ryan?
REGAN: Yeah! Well, Jay was on Legend of the Seeker in New Zealand. I lived there for two years and met my husband down there. I love Kiwis. I like to do my New Zealand accent for Jay, all the time.
What was it about Alex that you felt you could identify with, and what did you think you could bring to the role?
REGAN: What was great for me was that she’s living her own story. She has no idea what’s going on, in terms of the reality of the show, and she’s still in love with this guy that died. She’s tried to move on, but she’s never met anyone as special as him. And there he is. He turns back up in her life. It was a lot of fun to play, to be honest.
Were you nervous about being the new girl on set with an already established family, or was it nice to walk into a show that already had it figured out?
REGAN: It’s fun to come onto a show and bring a fresh energy to it. I remember on Seeker, when guests would come in and be really strong and different, it would just make your job fun. So, I was trying to be like that. I just wanted to go in and do my thing, and bring a fresh vibe to the show. They work really hard. There are a lot of long, cold nights in Toronto. It was good to come in and be fresh and excited and eager.
Vincent and Catherine have all this dark angst going on, but Alex comes in and just is who she is. Was that fun to play?
REGAN: Yeah. You can understand the appeal for Vincent with Alex because she doesn’t even know any of the stuff [about him]. It’s almost like he gets to live a fantasy that this horrible experiment wasn’t done to him. He just gets to pretend when he’s with her and live in the past. It was really fun. I liked playing Alex a lot. She was cool. This next episode coming up, another layer of her is revealed, and it was not an easy one. I think fans will like it. It’s really revealing for the characters.
This show has a very loyal and devoted fan base, especially when it comes to the love story with Catherine and Vincent. So, were you worried about coming in as the other woman?
REGAN: I didn’t know. I had no idea! I had no idea how devoted they are. They’re really something. They are really, really great. To be honest, I understand where the fans are coming from because here I come in, on the 10th episode, and rock the boat. There’s been so much building between Catherine and Vincent, and this tension between them, and then I come in and shake up everything. I can understand why they feel angry. But, I wanted you to feel for her. The truth is that everybody has a past and everybody has an ex, and Vince is a real guy.
With all the things that you learned about your character, was there a storyline or an aspect of her that most surprised you?
REGAN: In this coming episode and the following one, you learn that there’s a lot to her. I originally that she was super solid. She’s an ICU nurse and she works at this care clinic. She just seemed like a really good guy who has her act together. But, there’s a dash of crazy that’s about to get revealed. I won’t say more than that. You see more of her true colors, in these next coming episodes. Get ready for some drama!
There have been some real playful moments between Alex and Vincent, including her dropping her towel in front of him and you guys having fun in the skating rink. Have there been any particular favorite moments to shoot?
REGAN: Not the towel. But, Jay was so sweet and so cool about it all. He has his own fair share of having to take his shirt off, so he was a doll. I loved this episode. All that stuff in the ice rink was so fun. We were like 7-year-olds on an ice rink. It was really cool. The whole thing all blurs together, but I really just loved working with Jay and Kristin [Kreuk]. They’re really great actors and they’re total pros. They really know what they’re doing. It was fun. I loved the character that the writers wrote. The show is written mostly by women, and they have a really great perspective on things.
Do you see Alex as someone who would give up everything to be with Vincent, if she knew the truth about him?
REGAN: Well, the thing is that she has no idea. She has no frame of reference even. She thinks something happened in Afghanistan, and that maybe he saw some really horrible things and has post-traumatic stress. You have to forget what we all know of the series, and imagine it without all that. For her, she has no idea. The challenge for her is, what would she do? It’s crazy, what this poor guy has had to deal with.
You’ve done a lot of television, as a guest star, as a recurring character and as a lead. As an actor, is there something you particularly enjoy about getting to explore a character over a longer period of time?
REGAN: Yeah. Television has gotten so good. So much can happen to a character, over the course of 13 episodes or 22 episodes. With Seeker, we did 44 episodes. You really get to grow and change with them, which is a lot of fun. It’s almost jarring when you go to play a different character, after playing someone for so long. I love it! I think that there’s something really special about doing a series. You get inside the skin of that character ‘cause it’s such a long time.
Do you also enjoy having the opportunity to work with different directors on each episode, or is it weird to get input from different people about this one character that you’re playing?
REGAN: On Seeker, we had the same handful of directors. Maybe there were seven or eight of them, and they would circle in and out. They all got to know the characters on the show and their history, and that helped. You don’t want to be on set going, “Oh, well, last week I did this, so I wouldn’t do that now.” They get it. But, it is great because when directors come in with each episode, they come in fresh and excited and ready to go. They’ve got their own style and take on things, so it is cool. It’s good that they change.
What was it that led you to acting? Was it always something that you’d just wanted to do, or did something specific lead you down that path?
REGAN: I don’t remember not wanting to do it, to be honest. I don’t know. I just always wanted to be an actor. I don’t remember ever not wanting to be an actor. I did a lot of musical theater when I was younger, and I really hope to get back there someday. I miss singing a lot. I listen to Broadway show tunes in my car and sing along to them. I really had no other thing in my mind to do.
Do you know what’s next for you, or are you just auditioning, at the moment?
REGAN: Right now, I’m in the thick of pilot season madness and it’s just crazy. But, you just enjoy that it’s acting. Auditioning is still acting. When I focus on that, it’s great. You can’t possibly be right for everything. That’s the nature of the beast. I love getting to meet all these producers and writers of these amazing shows, and I’m often a fan of their work, so it’s fun to get to go into these rooms and say hello and do my thing. To get to meet them is fun.
Do you have a dream role that you’d love to do or a genre you’d love to work in, if given the opportunity?
REGAN: Gosh, I always just get excited about the character. When something rings true for me, then I’m ready to do it. The genre of television that I love and watch is so vast. There’s not one type of thing I love. Right now, I’m addicted to Girls. I love Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad. I actually like Arrow a lot, too. I love action shows. I love drama. There’s no one type of thing. Television has gotten so good, and there’s so much to do. There’s a lot of really great women’s roles now, when maybe that wasn’t the case, 20 years or 10 years ago.
Beauty and the Beast airs on Thursday nights on The CW.