Beauty And The Beast: Kristin Kreuk Says ‘Girls Will Enjoy’ Sexy Co-Star Jay Ryan

After spending eight years starring on The CW’s “Smallville,” Kristin Kreuk is returning to the network – this time as Catherine Chandler on “Beauty and the Beast.”

And while ladies lusted after her former caped co-star, Tom Welling, Kristin says women won’t be disappointed by her new leading man, Jay Ryan.

“I think [women] will love him,” she told of Jay, at Comic-Con 2012 in San Diego. “He’s a fantastic actor and he’s wonderful, so I think the girls will enjoy him.”

Jay — who also spoke to Access at Comic-Con — hopes to be a hit with the female crowd, but also hopes to earn the allegiance of males fans, as he was a big fan of the original late-‘80s “Beauty and the Beast” series (starring Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton).

“I watched it religiously. It was huge there,” he said, referring to his native New Zealand. “You’d get home from school and that is what you’d watch.

“So all my friends back home are like, ‘Don’t stuff it up, man! because they’re all such [fans],” he added with a laugh.

While the two stars revere the original show, Kristin said her Catherine is a bit more street savvy.

“We really wanted to make sure that it didn’t come across that Catherine would get saved all the time by the Beast, and that that would be the show,” she explained. “That’s not the show — it’s really about a partnership between the two of them.”

“Beauty and the Beast” premieres on October 11 at 9/8c on The CW.

-- Erin O’Sullivan, with additional reporting by Jolie Lash

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