TCA 2012: 'Beauty and the Beast' EPs Defend Handsome Lead, Tout Linda Hamilton Approval

'Beauty and the Beast'

Loosely based on the 1980s CBS series, Beauty and the Beast positions itself as a modern-day romantic love story with a procedural twist.? Smallville's Kristin Kreuk is the Beauty to Jay Ryan's Beast. Austin Basis, Nicole Gale Anderson, Nina Lisandrello, Max Brown and Brian White join them as supporting cast.

Meeting with reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, the team behind the CW's Beauty and the Beast reboot had to answer to one very big question: Where's the beast?

Jay Ryan, who plays Vincent Keller/Beast, is rarely seen in the pilot sporting anything more offensive than a scar on his right cheek. EPs Sherri Cooper and Jennifer Levin chalked it up to going for something more subtle.

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"Most of the beasts in our lives don't look like actual beasts," said Cooper. "He's a ticking time bomb."

Ryan offered a more understandable explanation -- albeit one that prompted another line of questioning.

"It's actually more like the Jekyll and Hyde, like two people," said Ryan. "The beast is more like a serial killer and Vince is trying to suppress him. You don't get a lot of that in the pilot, but there will be more of that as the series goes."

So why Beauty and the Beast and not Jekyll and Hyde? Cooper and Levin were very big fans of the 1987 original starring Linda Hamilton and a grizzly Ron Perlman. Those two characters, names and all, motivated for the reboot.

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"We named them that because when it was brought to us, they said we had the rights to the '80s show," said Cooper. "We loved the '80s show, but we felt like we didn't just want to copy."

As for the original, Hamilton has apparently given the successor to her role a nod of approval. They had a note waiting for new Catherine, Kristin Kreuk, when she started shooting in Toronto.

"I got in on our first day of work and it was in my trailer," said Kreuk. "It was really nice for her to know what we're doing and wishing us well. It's rad."