Kreuk is back at The CW with her new series Beauty and the Beast in which she plays Detective Catherine ‘Cat’ Chandler, a no-nonsense homicide cop who, as a teenager, witnessed the murder of her mother at the hand of two gunmen. She would have been killed herself, if it hadn’t been for a human animal that attacked the assassins.
Years later Cat once again encounters this ‘creature,’ Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan), who was reportedly killed by enemy fire in Afghanistan in 2002. He has been in hiding for years because when he’s enraged, he becomes a terrifying beast, unable to control his super-strength and heightened senses. Cat agrees to protect Vincent’s identity in return for any insight he may have into her mother’s murder.
Kristin Kreuk previously spent seven seasons portraying Lana Lang, Clark Kent’s first girlfriend, on The CW’s popular series Smallville. The show spotlighted the years before Kent became Superman.
Kreuk spoke about her return to The CW at the TV Critics Association.
When people say Beauty and the Beast, different things come to mind, the Disney cartoon or the 80’s TV series with Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton. What was your connection to it?
My reference was very much the Disney cartoon. That’s the Beauty and the Beast that has always stuck in my mind. So when I hear that title, personally that’s the first thing that I think of.
Is it true that you received a note from Linda Hamilton?
Yes, she’s been shooting in Toronto doing a guest spot on Lost Girl, and she signed photos for Jay and me. It was unexpected, surprising and wonderful. I got it on our first day of work, and it’s in my trailer.
It feels really cool to have her know about what we’re doing and wishing us well. It’s rad.
Usually Catherine’s purpose is to be rescued a lot, but in this Catherine can really take care of herself. Was that an aspect that attracted you?
Yeah. After Catherine sees her mother killed in front of her, she’s very committed to being somebody who doesn’t have that happen ever again.
I started doing martial arts when I was a kid, so it’s cool for me to be able to take all that I’ve learned in the span of my life and have that to pull from. I don’t often get that kind of role, although I get to do it periodically, which is a lot of fun for me.
Do you look forward to the stunt people pushing the envelope, or do you have a comfort zone that they won’t dangle you over a dam if you’re not ready for it?
No, absolutely, I want to push the envelope. I want to really challenge myself. Even with Smallville, where we started and where we ended at was a huge shift. And I think that we can do it faster and better here, so I’m excited about that.
What does it feel like to be back on a series after being away from it for a few years?
It’s very different than it was when I started. I was 18. It was really scary.
It’s still uncomfortable, to be honest. But I have a lot more perspective and I feel like I know the realities of what I’m getting into in a way that I didn’t before. So it’s exciting to get back into it.
How did you feel about how they ended Lana’s story on Smallville?
It thought it was a beautiful way to end her story and very poetic. I think it was contentious among some fans, but I think it was great.
I was very happy with it.