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SHOW PATROL

'Helix' star Kyra Zagorsky grounded by character's darkness

By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol

RedEye

12:50 PM CST, January 16, 2014

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"Helix" star Kyra Zagorsky didn't know much about her character when filming began in Montreal, but she kind of like it that way.

"I had to discover everything and that was, I think, part of the fun in being on the show," the actress said during a recent conference call with writers. "I just realized ... 'I have no idea what's to come, but I have to just trust that I'm her and start working with her.'"

The "her" Zagorsky refers to is Dr. Julia Walker, the tough, smart researcher she plays in Syfy's new hit that infected 1.82 million total viewers in its Jan. 10 debut. The thriller is about a team of scientists from the Centers for Disease Control who travel to a remote research facility called Arctic Biosystems to stop the spread of a deadly virus. Once there, they learn the outbreak may have been caused on purpose.

Walker, Zagorsky learned early on, also happens to be the ex-wife of CDC team leader Dr. Alan Farragut (Billy Campbell), and the ex-love of his brother, Dr. Peter Farragut (Neil Napier), a scientist at the center who is infected with the virus, which compells its victims to infect others. That's the only information Walker had prior to the start of production.

"By the time I was working through the third episode, that was the piece when I really felt I'd gotten myself kind of grounded into the character," Zagorsky said. "I feel like when I find the character's darkness, when everything opens up emotionally, that's when I started going, 'OK, now I'm starting to really feel like I've got a handle on her.'"

As you can see in the teaser above, Walker's situation becomes perilous in Episode 3, airing at 9 p.m. Jan. 17 on Syfy, as she stands in the path of one of the virus's rabid victims. The intense scene is just one of many in the episode, as the scientists discover they're being lied to by the facility's operations manager, Dr. Hiroshi Hatake (Hiroyuki Sanada).   

Zagorsky said the cast was just as thrilled by their storylines as she hopes viewers will be. "It was so exciting," she said. "You could not wait to get your next script to see what was going to happen to you."

Walker already has faced death during a frightening encounter with Peter Farragut in Episode 2, but that's just the tip of the iceberg for the character, Zagorsky said of the "dream role."

"There's so much that I have to go through emotionally, physically, intellectually. It's the whole package," she said. "So yes, I couldn't be happier being able to work on this show."

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