BY JENNIFER M. CONTINO
After a truncated season of Heroes last year, due to the infamous Writers Strike, fans were promised more action, adventure, thrills and chills. One of the thrills were the new characters introduced; some good, some bad, all wanting to make the world of Heroes grow to new heights. Brea Grant joined the cast as Daphne Millbrook, a speedster whose skills seem to rival that of The Flash, or, maybe more appropriately, Jesse Quick! Grant, who is time master Hiro Nakamura's present nemesis and mind melding Matt Parkman's future lover, told THE PULSE why this role suited her, and teased a little about what's coming up for her character this season.
WARNING THIS INTERVIEW MAY CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS
When Grant's character first zoomed on screen, stealing a piece of an important formula from Hiro that's supposed to spell disaster from the world, it was amazing. She did seem the perfect foil for someone who could literally stop just about anyone dead in his or her tracks. However, as Hiro quickly discovered, his powers didn't "freeze" Daphne, they just slowed her down for a few seconds -- if even that. Hiro was intrigued, and, as Daphne's presence on the series grew, so was everyone else remotely interested in the series. Although Grant's character first appeared to be some kind of rogue or pirate, taking from others for a fee, last week it was revealed she's a part of a bigger picture in the world of Heroes, one with lasting ramifications, one masterminded by Arthur Petrelli, the supposedly dead father of the high-flying Nathan and power-mimicking (and now hungry) Peter Petrelli. But she thinks she's working for someone else and just found out that person wants her to recruit the mind-melding Matt Parkman to their cause.
In a possible future vision Matt had, he was married Daphne. They had a baby, Daniella, and were raising the super powered tracker Molly together. Also in the future the deranged killer/power stealer Sylar had supposedly changed his stripes and was raising a small son, Noah. Disaster struck, as we all know how precarious happy endings are in the world of Heroes. Sylar had a devastating nuclear meltdown after Daphne, invulnerable Claire Bennett (also Sylar's niece) and the fear eater, Benjamin Washington a.k.a. Knox, tried to apprehend him in his home. Through the course of their battle, Knox, who was feeding off the fear of his son, to beat Sylar mercilessly, accidentally killed the boy, Noah. The death drove Sylar over the edge and he literally exploded with anger. As he began to burst, even her super speed couldn't save Daphne from the blast. She made it home, told her husband, "I wasn't fast enough," then died in his arms.
But, as Heroes fans know, nothing is written in stone and many members of the cast have already escaped future death and destruction, due to one shift or change here. Matt is determined to change his future, so it will be interesting to see how he reacts when he comes face to face with Daphne. Grant promised answers are in store for the character as well as a glimpse into her past. But, the actor didn't want to spoil too many things about the series.
She did tell us how she landed the role of Daphne. "I'm a comic book and sci-fi fan," she revealed. "About a year ago, I was auditioning for a lot of shows. One of my friends said, 'You should be on Heroes! It makes sense for you.' I never thought it could happen though."
Grant was thrilled to get this opportunity. "It fits with my personality and what I like watching."
Grant told THE PULSE she isn't a lifelong comic book fan but, like a lot of current readers, discovered them after graduating high school. "I started with Sandman," Grant said. "Then got into Fables. I liked Y The Last Man. Now I'm reading X-Factor. I also recently read Wormwood and Demo. I like Brian Woods' stuff. I guess you could say I like the more 'realistic' or less superhero type stuff."
"I have read a lot of Flash comics though," she continued. "After reading, I keep finding new things to ask the writers about. 'Can I vibrate through walls? Can I run on water?' I bring up stuff I read and ask if I can do it. In the comic, Daphne ran on water, but they haven't shown it on the show. I think the Special Effects people would have a heart attack."
Although Grant is playing a super speedster, she wasn't really into running all that much when she was younger. "I was the least athletic person ever in high school," she told THE PULSE. "In college I rode my bike everywhere, but when I moved to LA, I discovered you don't bike here -- you just don't. So I'm a jogger now. I run at the gym."
"If it doesn't help me with posing on the show, it helps me with endurance," she continued. "I have to run on the show. I've been wearing a lot of heels and running in heels is difficult, unless you run a lot."
Also difficult is getting hit by a gust of wind from a wind machine every time your character stops, but Grant's been weathering that storm like a trooper. "I have a wind machine that follows me around, which viewers don't get to see," Grant began. "When I run and stop, the wind machine blows on me, so it looks like I blew everything around me. It took me several episodes to figure out the timing and what was supposed to be happening. I was really bad at running and hitting the exact mark, so it all would look perfect."
"It took me months to get used to being blown on by the wind machine at the exact time I hit the spot," she continued. "It's tough on my eyes and hair. My hair is all fixed up between takes, then I run in, a wind machine is blown on my face and everything gets messed up again."
Grant is joining a very tight knit cast, but said everyone there was really kind towards her. "They are really open and warm and they don't have to be," she said. "It's so cool. They are so great at what they do. They have every right to be big headed, but they aren't. I've been with other actors on established shows who were not nice. I get it, it's their show, you come in and do it for God knows how long, so it's ok to be protective. But everyone at Heroes was so open. Everyone listened to my ideas about the character and her interactions. We talk about what would be the funniest thing to do or how to play out the scene. It's amazing."
"Heroes is unlike any show I've ever filmed," she continued. "It's intense. It might take fourteen to seventeen days to shoot one episode because of the special effects. Filming here is like a movie every week. There are whole weeks where I'm off because they are shooting a bank robbery or something else. Then, there are times when we're shooting three episodes in one week. We shoot and reshoot some scenes, but it's been very fun."
Grant told THE PULSE some of her character's back story is going to be revealed in upcoming episodes. We've seen a possible future and will get to see how things unfold now in the present and if that can be altered. If she had her dithers, Grant told us how she'd like to see Daphne progress. "I think in the end, even though Daphne is a loner, she would like to have a posse," Grant said. "Not in the sense of the word, but someone to settle down with and friends and a place where she felt like she belonged. Right now she's having fun, but in the end she would like to have people to love her. I'd also like to see her living somewhere fun like in Paris."
Also is her wishes could come true, Grant would like to spend more time on screen with the notorious HRG. "Jack Coleman is a total badass," she said. "In real life too! I would like to do more with him. I have brief exchanges with a lot of the characters, but I'd like more ..."
Grant is taking the newfound celebrity in stride. She gets stopped on the street a lot of times now by people who want her autograph or to get a picture taken with her. She understands fandom and has obliged many requests. "I'm a super fan of a lot of people too, so if I met one of them, I'd love to have a photo," she said. The actor got her first taste of the Heroes craze when she went to this past year's San Diego Comic-Con. After the episode aired, she had several people coming up to her, but she took everything in stride.
The question remains what will happen to her character of Daphne. The answer will unfold weekly on Heroes.