Access Q & A: ‘Bionic Woman’s’ Michelle Ryan
First Published: September 26, 2007 1:18 PM EDT Credit: Access Hollywood
-- LOS ANGELES, Calif. (September 26, 2007) - It’s already a phenomenon despite the fact that NBC’s new sci-fi drama “Bionic Woman” hasn’t yet hit the small screen. Tonight though, all that is about to change as British actress Michelle Ryan leaps into the role of scientifically-altered Jaime Sommers in NBC’s “Bionic Woman.”
Take one devious car crash and several experimental surgeries later and Jaime Sommers is the latest bionic model human. With super-powered limbs, Jaime quickly finds out she has to protect herself from the first bionic woman - Sarah Corvus (Katee Sackhoff) who is pissed off and out of control, all the while still looking after her younger sister Becca (Lucy Hale). Did we mention the agency who put her together wants a part of her too? Oh and of course there’sa romance --with Will Anthros (Chris Bowers).
Prior to joining the cast of “Bionic Woman,” Ryan was best known forstarring on British television screens in “EastEnders,” playing Zoe Slater, the youngest sister in the Slater family. While “EastEnders” saw her character schooling and scheming, Jaime Sommers is pure superhero.
I have to admit I love it. I think Katee and I are in competition to see who can be the most [physical]. I got cuts from fighting with [Chris]. This one today, I got fresh from a gun sort of being smashed into my arm.
I think sometimes when you rehearse some of those people come in too close and it was already at my arm before I had a chance to move. But I have to admit I love it all. We were fighting yesterday and doing all these sort of flying spinning kicks in this really confined space. [I] used to dance so I can pick up the routines instantly . . . I’m really enjoying it.
All of those things. I’m excited that there is so much awareness because when you work really hard, and everyone has given 110% to this project you want people to watch it. But I know the expectations are so high so you hope that the show meets expectations.
It’s not too bad actually. I did an accent on the soap “EastEnders,” [which] I was on for 5 years in England and I worked with a dialect coach for an American accent a good few years ago so I was familiar with it and I feel that from growing up there has always seen a huge influence from America. I guess by osmosis I’ve just kind of absorbed it. Now, when I come to do it it’s not too difficult and I think the longer I spend working on the series the easier it becomes.
I started the show when I was 16 and I spent 5 years on “EastEnders,” so I felt it was a real apprenticeship. I learned so much about myself, about the industry, about life, everything. I felt it was like a great grounding for “Bionic Woman” really.
I think it’s just growing up really. You grow up and sort of grow into your own skin really. Then you become more confident and that’s how I feel with Jaime. All the time I’m sort of learning about myself and learning new things. You just become more comfortable with yourself.
Yeah. I started so young so there were moments when you feel I’m not sure if I actually want to do this. Then . . . I sort of found [out] this is exactly what I wanted to be doing. This is like a dream role — to do all the action sequences, to be up on big locations doing all the different stunt sequences [to] be leading the show? It’s manic and it’s fast moving but I thrive on that. I love that and just playing such a strong empowered character? It’s great really.
Yeah I think, I think it does, just to sort of have a strong young female character. She’s unapologetic about who she is and she’s learning and growing about herself. It’s great to play — to have such a young female character that is so strong and smart and feisty. And she has her vulnerable moments. She makes mistakes but she learns and she wants to do the best by her sister and she sort of owns up to her responsibilities. Yeah it’s great to play a character like that. I think it’s a great message.
I think it’s just accepting who you are. As you grow up you realize nobody is perfect and there is no such thing as perfection. To actually just be healthy and to be strong is a great thing. I still have my days when I don’t feel so great but you just work through it and learn to get over that because it is not just about that in life. There are so many things to sort of concern yourself with. I think it’s just a case when you’re really young you just, you feel self conscious and then you sort of grow into yourself really.
Really, really easy. Will and Katee [Sackhoff], myself, Isaiah are all sort of very sharp and quick when it comes to learning [the fight moves]. It is moving so fast so it is sort of in on the day learn the sequence and then do it. He’s easy to work with and very giving and sort of careful not to hurt one another even though we are sort of going at it. He is focused and yeah, it’s been great.
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