Access Discovers: Michelle Ryan

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (May 8, 2007) — In our ongoing series Access Discovers, brought to you by Windex, we find out that nothing shines brighter than a rising star.

And this rising star has her very own set of superpowers — on screen, that is.

“I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie, so I kind of enjoyed it all,” said Michelle Ryan, the sexy British import who is set to take America by storm this fall in NBC’s very likely fall pilot, “Bionic Woman.”

The 23-year-old actress, who is best known for role as Zoe Slater on the popular BBC drama “EastEnders,” will step into the role as a woman who is transformed into a technological wonder with $50 million worth of bionic body parts.

“There is an awful accident,” Ryan explained about her character, Jamie Sommers, “and then she wakes up and realizes that both her legs have been removed, and one of her arms. And she has all these implants — and she is bionic.”

The word “Bionic” is enough to send sci-fi fans into a tizzy, thanks to the original 1970’s series starring Lindsay Wagner. But this new re-imagining is looking to contemporize the concept for a modern audience.

“I know, the title ‘Bionic Woman’ — everybody has these iconic images, but I think with this series, what they want to do is make it very real,” said Ryan, “So Jamie Sommers is the girl next door, and she has had sort of a tragic younger life.”

In keeping with the “real” themes, Ryan remarked that her character isn’t exactly pleased with what is done to her at first. “She feels violated. She is a young woman, and her body has been altered without her permission,” she explained, but added, “Whatever life throws at her, she deals with it.”

Chances are good that “dealing with it” involves a lot of good old-fashioned fighting. “It’s quite violent, actually,” she admitted. “I’m like, ‘Oh gosh!’”

With an upcoming role in the feature film “I Want Candy” (alongside Carmen Electra), the upcoming horror movie “Flick” (with Faye Dunaway), and positive buzz surrounding “Bionic Woman,” this talented beauty confessed to being a bit overwhelmed:

“How do I feel? I don’t know… I’m speechless. I think that would be the best word. I don’t think any of it has really sunken in.”

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