Interview: Tricia Helfer 2019 San Diego Comic-Con

As Van Helsing gears up for season 4 on September 27, 2019, we thought we would start releasing our press room interviews from 2019 San Diego Comic-Con. If you haven’t heard, Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Gallacia) will be playing the Dark One, Dracula herself in the upcoming season.

The press room for Van Helsing was loud and Tricia was just getting over bronchitis—and the microphone muffled some of the words, but here is out best transcription…:Interview: Tricia Helfer at 2019 San Diego Comic-Con.

Tricia Helfer (TH):  I’m getting over. bronchitis. I’m on the tail end of it, it’s just doesn’t go away. I know, I know I need some Dracula blood in my veins.

When I was offered the role, it was written as the Dark One. In the script page, it’s all on the page.

Anytime, it’s a collaboration. I assumed I would be sauntering in a bustier and whatever. But it wasn’t that at all.

I didn’t want to be the first to hair and makeup,  stilettos. I do wear stilettos mind you.

It’s their vision and my vision just interacting [word difficult to make out] —that there’s just a confidence that needed to be there. And she had been away for a very long time. She’s now being released and she’s experiencing an enjoyment about being. So I wanted to bring a little bit of not humor, a little bit of a bawdiness to the character, as opposed to just to, you know, the slinky type thing. So hopefully that comes across a little bit of like, all the confidence and that enjoyment as well.

Question: You can go back and watch any of the previous takes that inspired the character [Dracula] since this is such a different take on the character?

TH:  You know, I didn’t watch anything. I read everything is in Google nowadays.  I watched some of the show. Before I started I didn’t get a chance to watch all of it.

But I purposely didn’t go back and watch [previous versions of Dracula] because I didn’t want it to kind of inform my decisions so much. I wanted to make it my own because it was a female anyone is already going to be different. And so I didn’t want to even subconsciously try to do something that somebody else had done with the character.

Question: How liberating is it to play a character like this?

TH: So it it was kind of liberating in the way that I can just go in there and be commanding. In that, I think it helped bring a quality to the character… It’s easy to flip into being all powerful.

Daniel Rasmus: How do you deal with the transition? So My wife is a fan. Not of Battlestar Galactica, but she knows you from Operation Christmas. That’s a very different role. As an actress when you think you know doing the prep work and getting mentally prepared to make as dramatically shift as you can get How do you do that? Haven’t had it really what’s your process? You’re thinking you’re

TH: That’s the fun part of acting. If you only get to play one character it would get tiring and limiting. What’s fun about it for me, at least, is finding the differences. But it’s not just the differences. It’s like what I’m playing. I don’t remember the character’s name on Operation Christmas [Olivia Young]. When I’m playing her, I’m not remotely thinking Dracula, Right. So what is going to be motivating that character, getting the psychology of that character. It never once crossed the line while filming that character, of doing something Dracula would do.

How she responds so it’s really nice about different roles is trying to find out what makes that person tick, what their frailties are, night? 

Question: You talked about the confidence of Dracula. Did you find that you changed physically how you were acting versus the bustier and slinky, I  guess overbearing or just…

TH: As i said, it’s not all just about hair and makeup, but actually in some ways it is, and it was really important because I’m change and transformed.

I’m white, but I watch my skin whiten. They shaded me so that I look like Dracula, you know, you start to transform in the chair.  You see yourself changing. I remember when I went glamorous to not glamour makeup. And once you strip off the glamour makeup and start putting on the Dracula stuff I just started shrinking. The makeup artist said to me, “it’s like you’re transforming in my chair while I was talking with you physically.”   

So with Dracula’s you get the nails on and then the contacts you start looking like the character and you just start naturally changing so I never had to put on my costume to start feeling the pat.

It’s like you have a string on the top of your head and up just pull it up and you automatically get that air of superiority, that it’s something that should naturally happen.

More on Tricia Helfer from here.

More on Van Helsing from here.

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