With a lead role on ABC’s Detroit 1-8-7 as well as guest roles in everything from Private Practice to Hawaii 5-0, Erin Way is not necessarily considered a “new” face on television. But she is a new face for the Alphas team, as her character, Kat, was welcomed into the fold of superhuman crime fighters.
Recently, Way participated in a press call with journalists to speak about her role on the show, as well as her experience in joining the cast and what it’s like being part of the Alphas team.
On the background of her character:
“Kat meets Harken and Hicks both at an underground Alpha fight club, and her special ability is that she basically learns any skill instantly, so that includes knowledge and muscle memory. It’s essentially kind of like, she can just download it almost instantly. And the only downside is that she has a bit of a memory problem, so after about a month or so, she starts losing memories of the past. So while she retains her memories, she can’t remember how she learned them or who she knows or where she came from, which you know, is a little problematic. She retains the abilities, she doesn’t remember that she knows how to do them … but if put in the appropriate situation, she can recall how to do them. So, you know, for example, you could put her in a helicopter and she could very well have the reaction of, ‘oh yes, I totally know how to fly this thing.’ But she wouldn’t be able to tell you unless she was put in the situation.”
On what attracted her to the role and to Alphas:
“Besides the seemingly unlimited new bits of info that come up with a character like this when she essentially has no past really that’s written and it’s all discovered in the moment, she’s a very, very strong female character, which I not only enjoy watching but I enjoy playing. You know, she can fight, she’s tough, and I think that’s a really cool – it’s a cool thing that Syfy tends to do for females in general, to have really strong female characters. So that intrigued me, and then also just the fact that I would be learning a new skill on a weekly basis was kind of cool. I basically would have a new ability on a very regular basis and I was like, ‘Well I’m never going to get bored with this girl because she’s constantly learning something new.’ So that just was fascinating to me and real intriguing.”
On being a fan of sci-fi and being involved in a science fiction based series:
“I’m a huge fan of sci-fi and I’ve never been on a sci-fi show or movie before, so it was kind of a surreal experience. So that was kind of awesome. I had to pinch myself on a couple of occasions that I was going to, you know, be a part of that genre finally. It was really cool. While I love the other genres I’ve been a part of (Private Practice and Detroit 1-8-7), it’s a little bit – I wouldn’t say it’s like comparing apples and oranges because there is definitely the procedural element a little bit in there with Alphas, which makes Alphas a little different in that we are trying to solve, not necessarily crimes, but you know, we’re trying to figure out what’s behind incidents. So in that way, it’s a little bit like a crime drama, like Detroit 1-8-7, but the world of sci-fi is so much bigger, and the possibilities of what can happen and what people are capable of is greater because it’s sci-fi, it doesn’t have to be based in ‘reality.’ So that, to me, is what’s so exciting. That your imagination and the scope of what can occur is huge. And because of that, it really is an exciting genre to be in. And so you kind of look forward to getting that script and being like, ‘okay, what else are they going to stumble upon this week? And you know, what is their ability going to be?’ because you know it’s probably going to be something that you’ve never even thought of. And so that to me is what’s so exciting about this genre and makes my job really fun and never boring and interesting each week.”
On being the “newbie” in the cast:
“They’re so mean! [Laughs] No, they were great. They were just – I mean it could be literally like the freshman at high school that gets picked on. And they had no obligation necessarily to treat me nicely, and they all just bent over backwards to make me feel welcome. And by the end of that first episode, I just – I felt like I was part of a huge family. I think they all have their own perspective on the exciting thing that Kat was going to bring to the team dynamic. I’ve been very blessed on both shows that I’ve worked on for a period of time, Detroit 1-8-7 and this one, to be surrounded by a group of actors that get along really well and that are – that have a kind of collaborative team mentality towards doing the show. So it’s a team. It’s a team of people that want to get along, want to make the show good. And so I felt nothing but good will and you know, just warmth when I came on board. It was a big release because there was a lot to take on my first episode, so had I been intimidated by the cast members it would have been an extra kind of fear to kind of deal with. But they just made me feel super, super comfortable, which was nice.”
On how she relates to her character, Kat:
“I think that Kat is somebody that has a pretty good sense of humor about things, no matter what the situation she can tend to find something funny about it. And that’s definitely a quality that I think I have. I’m not somebody that tends to stay down in the dumps for very long, and that’s a quality of hers. And then – I don’t know if this is a quality of Kat or just something that comes from me being the one to play Kat – but she has kind of a very dry, sarcastic sense of humor, and that’s definitely my kind of humor. So those two qualities for sure. And then she’s a little on the tenacious side, she’s stubborn, and anybody that knows me well knows that I am a little bit of a pit bull if I get my mind set on something. So those are definitely all qualities that she and I share or that comes from me, and I’ve definitely, you know, imbued her with those.”
On working with Malik Yoba (Bill) and their character interactions:
“You’ll see in … my first episode, that what Bill is running into is that he’s getting exhausted, he’s unable to stay amped up for a very long time without totally just wearing himself out. And it’s becoming a bit problematic for him. So Kat is able to kind of teach him how to kind of counteract that, and it’s through a combination of just kind of trusting himself and his ability, and trusting that it’s there and you don’t need to stress out about it, you don’t need to ‘amp-up’ and work so hard, you just need to trust your body more. So it’s interesting, and I think it’s really the key to what bonds the two of them as characters and why he takes such a shining to her because she spots it right away and really just kind of takes him under her wing a little bit, which is cool. You wouldn’t necessarily expect that, seeing the two of them together. So it’s a cool little friendship that they develop over that.”
What would she like to see happen to Kat if she could write her own story?
“I think it would be super-cool if at some point she could hone her ability to such an extent where like it could be kind of like The Matrix, where she just like touches a book and downloads all the information inside. I think that would be really rad. What I’m most excited about seeing, and I have a feeling, should Season 3 occur we’ll probably start seeing some of this, but I’m really – I have my own theories, which I can’t talk about, but I am intrigued about where Kat comes from and who her father is. And who she’s been aligned with in the past. And I am hoping and praying that it is all bad people. That’s my hope, is that Kat discovers that she was affiliated with the bad guys, because I think that’s just so fascinating and it opens up just a variety of questions. It’s like, you know, she wants to remember her past, and then maybe she doesn’t want to remember her past. So that would be a really cool thing. And then I think she needs to have a boyfriend, because I think it would just be hilarious. She’d forget who he was all the time. So I just think that would be really funny as well.”
Photo Courtesy of Syfy