Supermodel turned actor Tricia Helfer is best known to most people for her breakout role as the Cylon-in-human-form Number Six on Syfy’s acclaimed “Battlestar Galactica” revamp. Since then Helfer has continued her acting career, with turns on series like “Burn Notice” and “The Firm,” while expanding into a career as a voice actress for projects ranging from video games like “Mass Effect 2” and “Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty” to animated offerings like “Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated” and “Green Lantern: First Flight.”
Helfer’s current ongoing gig is providing the voice of The Grid in Disney XD’s “Tron: Uprising,” an animated series which takes place in the post-“Tron: Legacy” world. CBR TV spoke with the actress at Comic-Con International in San DIego about her role on the Disney cartoon, the unique challenges it poses and her favorite convention moment of all time.
On her “Tron” background: “I grew up without a television, so I had very few movies. We were out in the country, on a farm, and I never saw the original movie. It’s fun to be involved with it now, but doing interviews with Bruce [Boxleitner, who plays Tron], I can’t even begin to try and compete with his knowledge of the show.”
On the unique challenge in portraying The Grid: “The Grid is very one-level, it’s a very pleasant voice regardless of what’s going on. It’s eerie in it’s own way. As an actor, you do different takes. You’ll be harder one take, you’ll be more vulnerable one take or whatever. To have this Grid that’s just always even keel, it’s just it’s really kind of hard to do, in a way, because you feel like, ‘I’m not doing anything.'”
Voice acting versus traditional acting: “The hardest thing I find with voice acting is, you don’t know the story. You’re not given a script. For the movie, you get the beginning, middle and end. Even with a TV show, at least you get the whole script. It’s more open-ended because you don;t necessarily know what the next script is going to entail, but with voice acting, you — most of the time, you don’t even get your lines the night before. So you show up, and sometimes the first time you’re reading the line, it’s actually being recorded.”
Her favorite convention moment: “I had somebody from the military come up, and ‘Battlestar [Galactica]’ had a lot of fans in the military — I think l they could really relate to the struggles these people were going through. I did a character arc where she [Number Six] had post-traumatic stress disorder, [had been] tortured and everything. And I had somebody come up to me and just start crying and telling me how something similar had happened to them, and how it helped them get through and deal with it themselves. And that just kind of took my breath away, because I went, OK, maybe, in an odd way, my job can actually help somebody.'”