SPOILER WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the forthcoming season of "Heroes."
There can be no hero without a formidable villain for he or she to fight. There would be no Spider-Man without the Green Goblin and no Superman without Lex Luthor. So with that in mind, NBC's hit show "Heroes" has decided to come out swinging this season with its appropriately named "Volume Three: Villains."
Over the course of the first two seasons, the heroes have faced off against several questionable characters including Sylar, Linderman and Adam Monroe. However, when the prisoners of Level 5, The Company's top-secret prison for super-powered criminals, escape during the season three opener on September 22, there will be a whole host of new baddies for our heroes to deal with.
CBR News recently stopped by the set of "Heroes" in Los Angeles and spoke to actress Brea Grant ("Friday Night Lights") about her character, the villain and super-speedster Daphne Millbrook, as well as what it's like to join the hit show.
"I think I like laid down and cried. I was in shock. It was very, very exciting," recalled Grant of her reaction to being cast on "Heroes." "I was a huge fan, so it was very exciting. I had watched most of [the first season] from the beginning and then I went back and re-watched everything before I started filming," said the actress.
"They've been really cool," Grant said about joining the show. "It's amazing. They're so nice and so willing to work with you. Not just the cast but the crew too. Everyone has been very, very cool and willing to listen to ideas and help me out."
Producers have described Grant's character, Daphne, as The Joker to Hiro's Batman. Grant talked about the dynamic between her character and the time-traveling hero. "He can stop time but because I'm so fast I can move within his time-stopped world," Grant explained. "We sort of cancel each other's powers out. I can run around in his stopped world but I can't run at super-speeds. He can't do anything about it, so it's a good dynamic between the two of us. He's constantly the good guy, where as I'm more of the bad guy."
Grant defends her character's villainous behavior. "I wouldn't say that deep down she's a terrible person or anything," said Grant. "She's no Sylar but she's a thief. I think in the end she's sort of an innocent. She's been a thief for a long time, she's been on her own and had to take care of herself. Now all of the sudden she is faced with these people who have these much bigger issues at stake and that's going to change the way she reacts to things. But my character has many turns throughout the season. There is much to look forward to."
Of Daphne's arc in "Volume Three: Villains," Grant said, "She's getting rung through the ringer, seeing a lot of things that she hasn't seen before. Where up until now she was a thief, this is the point where she begins her journey to maybe become something else."
Grant revealed that before she was cast, the writers had very specific plans for Daphne and even she wasn't let in on all of them. "I think they had a much stronger idea of the character when I came in than even I did. And now I'm gradually getting the hang of it."
More information about the background of Daphne Millbrook is available in the form of a two-part online comic now appearing on NBC.com. Written by Zach Craley with art by Micah Gunnell of Aspen Comics, "Our Lady Of Blessed Acceleration" is the story of Daphne's days as a thief and her attempt to steal the Mona Lisa.
With the large cast of "Heroes" and its spread-out storylines, many of the actors don't always have the chance to work with each other. However, Grant has had a different experience. "I've talked to a lot of the other people on 'Heroes' and they all say it took them like two seasons to meet everybody," she revealed. "I've been really fortunate. I get to have scenes with a lot of different people for various reasons. My character gets around a lot, she's fast."
While discussing her experience working with a particular actor on the show, Grant revealed some interesting information about the upcoming season. "I got to work with Malcolm McDowell and it was amazing," she said. "He's so cool and has about a million stories. He's also the ultimate bad guy. He's so evil that it's cool."
When asked if what she shot with McDowell was a flashback, Grant confirmed the scene does take place in the present. McDowell's character, Daniel Linderman, an evil mob boss with the ability to heal with his touch, was last seen having his brain yanked from his head by in the finale of "Heroes" season one. How his character will return this season and for how long has yet to be announced.
Much attention has been given to making Daphne's super-speed power look authentic. "The writers and producers and have really helped and been very hands on," Grant said. "We've talked about the physicality of it, as well as there are just practical elements to it. I have to run a certain way, stop really quickly or stop on a dime. Taking the sharp corners in heels is the hardest part. I'm not much of a heels girl. Normally I'm a much better runner, I would say, but the heels through me a bit."
And as to whether Brea Grant is at all disappointed she's not playing a hero on the show, the actress remarked, "It's always more fun being a villain."
"Heroes Volume Three: Villains" speeds into televisions September 22 on NBC.