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Janna is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. Born and raised in a small Ontario town, she made her move to Toronto for university and immediately fell in love with the excitement and pace of the big city. She holds an Honors Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production from York University, specializing in editing and screenwriting. She currently works as an assistant editor for a television production company. Janna loves stories told in all mediums, especially film, and takes herself to the movies as much as she possibly can. She can generally be found taking a Zumba class, exploring some of Toronto’s lesser-known gems, or relaxing with her fluffy feline roommate.

The Scientist Speaks: HELIX’s Kyra Zagorsky

Playing a Senior Scientist at the Center for Disease Control is no joke, as actor Kyra Zagorsky quickly discovered when she was cast in the sci-fi thriller Helix two years ago—but with countless roles in television, film, and theater under her belt, playing a scientist is yet another fun task for the actress and mother of two. Zagorsky was raised in small-town Colorado and was always drawn towards the sci-fi genre, so it’s no wonder that she’s appeared in projects such as Syfy’s Stargate: Atlantis, The CW’s Supernatural, and FOX’s Fringe. She also played a lead role in the 26-chapter anthology film The ABC’s of Death.

Zagorsky’s love of sci-fi continues with Syfy’s Helix, which is currently airing its second season. Created by Ron Moore, the series follows a team of scientists from the Center for Disease Control as they investigate a possible disease outbreak. The show averaged 2.1 million viewers in its first season, and Season Two is hotter than ever. Also starring Billy Campbell, Jordan Hayes, and Matt Long, Zagorsky plays the strong and intelligent Dr. Julia Walker, a top scientist who was recruited to the CDC team under not-so-truthful circumstances.

As Season Two thrills audiences every week, The Hudsucker caught up with Zagorsky and got the scoop about her feelings on sci-fi, her castmates, and all things Helix. (Warning: if you aren’t caught up on the second season of Helix yet, we suggest you do so before reading on! Spoilers ahead!)

Credit Wes Klain

The Hudsucker: You’ve done a number of projects in the past that fall under the sci-fi genre. Does anything in particular draw you to that genre? Are you a fan of sci-fi yourself?

Kyra Zagorsky: I am a fan of sci-fi. It opens us up to a world of magic and possibility. Aliens is still one of my all-time favorite movies!

The Hudsucker: What was it about Helix and the role of Dr. Julia Walker that inspired you to audition for the series? Are there any ways in which you yourself relate to Julia?

KZ: I got inspired right away when reading the breakdown and the audition sides. I loved the premise of the show. The idea of a group of CDC doctors being sent to the Arctic to investigate a disease was haunting and interesting. Cameron Porsandeh created a very grounded, real, strongly written character in Julia. And having Ron Moore attached to the project led me to believe that it would be a hit no matter what.

The Hudsucker: The second season of Helix has thrown new locations, new storylines, and new characters into the mix. What in particular are you excited about with this season?

KZ: I was particularly excited for episode 4. Honestly, I think I was more excited to see it than the fans! It was nuts. It was a very challenging episode for me to shoot, but I got to work opposite an incredible actor. I’m also really looking forward to when Julia and Alan meet up again.

The Hudsucker: Julia clearly has a whole new arc this season, with her timeline being thirty years ahead of the others’. What is it like shooting with that timeline gap in mind?

KZ: Julia had an incredible arc in the first season, but this season is on a whole new level. It’s tricky being in the future because I have to take what is on the page and fill in my own back-story in order to connect to the scene and somehow tie it to the present. It’s a mystery! But sometimes as an actor you just have to have trust, make choices, and jump.

Credit Tall Ship Productions

The Hudsucker: This season is obviously full of flashbacks to explain how things have arrived to where we are now. Can you give us any hints as to what’s been going on in Julia’s life in that thirty-year time gap?

KH: My character actually plays in the future and the present. It’s not so much about flashbacks as it is about connecting the dots. I can’t give you any hints, but the future storyline ends up becoming a really beautiful piece of the show this season.

The Hudsucker: Can you tell us about any funny or memorable behind-the-scenes moments from working on Helix?

KZ: When we started shooting in the beginning of August, it was mosquito season. I am actually a bit allergic to them. And I swear they grow them bigger in Quebec! I always get swollen when they bite me and of course, I’m the one they end up going after. I got attacked one day while we were shooting outside, even though I covered myself in bug spray. Got a huge bite on my forehead, and people on the crew thought that I ran into a tree or something because the welt was so big. We had to spend most of episode 4 trying to cover it up!

The Hudsucker: Do you have a co-star you particularly enjoy doing scenes with? Is there anyone you’d like to have more storylines with in the future?

KZ: I enjoy working with everyone in this cast. Each actor brings a something different to the table. I hope I get to explore more of the Julia and Hatake story! Hiroyuki Sanada and I work so well together, and the father/daughter relationship is fascinating. One of my favorite story lines on the show was when I was hallucinating my mother, played by Amber Goldfarb. I had a really great chemistry with her.

Credit Wes Klain

The Hudsucker: Is there anything about Julia that you in particular would like to explore that you haven’t had a chance to yet?

KZ: For me, the best part about season two is the range the writers gave me. I was able to explore so many different sides of the character this season and it was a blast. I really enjoyed getting into the political side of Julia. But I would love to explore her past—even before Arctic Biosystems. And I’d really like to see what she is physically capable of doing!

The Hudsucker: You’re so busy with Helix, but we know how much else you have going on. What other projects do you have on the horizon?

KZ: I can’t say much about the project yet, but I began shooting a feature film this week. I get to be the bad girl on this one. She’s a criminal and a killer so that will be a lot of fun. After that, I’m playing a high-powered executive in a movie called Inside the Seed. My plate is full of fierce female characters, and I’m just going to enjoy it!

Helix airs Fridays at 10pm EST/9pm CT on Syfy. For more information about the current season of Helix, check out the show’s official website. To keep up with Kyra and her upcoming projects, Follow her on Twitter!

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