Beauty and the Beast stars Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan joined executive producers Jennifer Levin and Sherri Cooper at Comic-Con International for a discussion about The CW drama’s upcoming second season.
The panelists took the stage after the audience was shown a video presentation recapping the first season, followed by gag reel from the upcoming DVD release.
Levin and Cooper immediately addressed how they brought Catherine and Vincent together romantically by the end of Season 1, saying that after a lot of discussion, they decided they wanted the show to be about romance and the two characters being drawn to each other. Explaining that they thought it felt false to keep them apart for two long, the producers acknowledged they also saw a lot of online chatter asking what they were waiting for.
“I just wanted the fans to stop harassing us on Twitter about it,” Ryan joked.
“It was nice to bring the relationship to that point and not have to worry about the will-they-or-won’t-they aspect of it,” Kreuk said, “and it means we have a lot of places to go from here.”
The panel credited online support from the fans, known as “The Beasties,” for voting Beauty and the Beast as best new drama at the People’s Choice Awards, which played a major factor in the show’s renewal.
One of the aspects of the first season everyone seemed to like was the strong personal and professional relationship between Catherine and her partner Tess (played by Nina Lisandrello).
“Personally, in my life, my closest friends are my girlfriends,” Kreuk said. “I love working with women, and it’s nice to see that reflected [on television]. We have two very different, very strong, flawed women who are partners and are good at their jobs and I love that.” She also mentioned that she likes the strong relationship between Catherine and her sister.
Levin said they initially received a lot of questions about whether it was believable that these two young women are really detectives. They fought hard to make that part of the show feel true. “Sherri and I were adamant: Just because they’re so pretty doesn’t mean they can’t be kickass and powerful and all that. We really wanted to portray that,” she said, as the audience clapped.
Ryan teased there will be a lot of changes for Vincent in Season 2, which picks up about three months after the events of the Season 1 finale. Viewers will see a new “super-charged” Vincent, and how his absence has affected the other characters.
“It’s a bigger mythology this year,” Cooper said, explaining they aren’t just planning a season arc, but rather a multi-season arc.
“Last year was really about getting them together and the romance,” Levin said. “This year is about how hard it is to be in love and the work that it takes. We felt that by the end of last year, Vincent was no longer a beast. He was this really awesome guy. And this year he is going to be ‘beastier’ and our theme for this year with him will be ‘Who am I?’ and that will also apply to all of our characters.”
Catherine will go on a search for her father and uncover some secrets, which will also tie into the “Who am I?” theme of Season 2, Cooper said.
She also promised they will explore and answer the secrets behind the mysterious Muirfield organization, which was kept secretive in Season 1. “We will answer what were they and what was their goal in the first episode of the season,” she said, teasing that Muirfield is part of a bigger, badder, organization with sinister purposes that will play a big part in Season 2. “We’re going to go even bigger.”
Beauty and the Beast returns Sept. 7 on The CW.