Tricia Helfer on Balancing Sci-Fi and Serious Drama: 'It's Fun to Scream as You're Killing Someone' (Video)

4:55 PM PST 05/15/2012 by Todd Gilchrist

The actress talks about juggling a variety of roles -- on and off camera -- since making her breakthrough as "Battlestar Galactica's" comely Cylon Number Six.

Since making her acting breakthrough as Cylon Number Six in the 2003 reboot of Battlestar Galactica, Tricia Helfer has become an icon of the science-fiction world. In her current project, TRON: Uprising, she’s not just a major character, she’s literally playing The Grid itself – the soothing voice of an oppressive world that exists within Flynn’s computer. But despite locking down a decidedly more tangible role on NBC drama series The Firm, Helfer is eager to embrace both genre fare and traditional dramatic material.

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“That’s the fun of being an actor,” Helfer told The Hollywood Reporter on Saturday. “That’s one of the perks, getting to play all different types of characters. It’s fun to play shrieking Queen of Blades in StarCraft and just scream as you’re killing someone. [But] then it’s fun to go out and play the lawyer and work opposite people.”

The Firm, which is broadcact on NBC, is based upon John Grisham’s best-selling novel of the same name, albeit recontextualized to fit a post-9/11 world – it takes place 10 years after the events in Sydney Pollack’s 1994 adaptation starring Tom Cruise. Helfer said that her work on the show didn’t require a lot of research when it came to understanding and immersing herself within its world, especially since her husband proved to be a particularly valuable legal resource. 

“I’d read the books years ago, Grisham’s books, and I had seen the movie,” she revealed. “But because this picks up 10 years later and my character was not involved in the first at all, I didn’t necessarily feel like I have to be tied to what they’re doing.

“But my husband is a lawyer so I think I used him as a reference -- although he’s not a bad attorney,” she said with a laugh.

Watch the video above for more details about her work as a sci-fi luminary and voice actor. TRON: Uprising premieres on Disney XD June 7.

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