Chatting with Continuum’s Rachel Nichols

rac1Last week, to celebrate the season premiere of “Continuum” on Canada’s Showcase network, we featured the first part of an interview with lead actress Rachel Nichols. She talked about some specifics of the return of the “Continuum” TV series, and her character, Kiera Cameron. This week, we find out a bit more about the show, Kiera, science fiction in general, and Rachel’s career. I even get to ask questions this time, imagine that. Check it out, after the jump.

Law and Order

Michael Langley of Crave Online asked, “Listen, if I could just talk about your career a little bit, you’ve been drawn to some very interesting roles of some I think that it’s sort of near the law and order your character Kiera is trying to emulate on “Continuum” – “Alias” to the GI Joe movie to a lot of fan favorites as well. Can you talk about – are you drawn to some of those sort of roles or are people drawn to you for those kinds of roles. What’s your impression of that and what do you think of those roles?”

Rachel Nichols: “You know, I consider myself extremely fortunate because having been established in the physical roles for law enforcement, people who know my work, who know what I’ve done, they believe me in these roles. To get – to be believable –especially when it comes to the physicality anrac2d the fight scenes and the weaponry and all that – when people really see — especially for a woman when they identify you with a character like that — it’s kind of the best gift going because for me once I establish myself as someone who you know, I can kick butt and take names and solve the crimes, I’m believable in that role, in that element so then I don’t have to worry about proving it to people anymore and that’s – I don’t necessarily seek them out but if they didn’t if – I don’t seek them out but I would if they weren’t coming to me because this is what I love to do so it’s definitely a form of flattery for me.

“I’m definitely flattered that people like to see me in these roles and if they find me believable in these roles because it is really what I like to do. I love – it’s a blast. I love the action aspect, I like the guns. I love – you know, and it’s very rewarding when someone says hey, we believe you in this type of role so then I can get hired in that type of role and nobody – and I don’t feel like I have to prove that I can do it.

“So it’s actually very nice and I would pursue that on my own if it didn’t sort of fall on me. But it’s kind of half and half. I pursue it, it pursues me. We get along really well, that kind of thing.”

Rachel Nichols in P2
Rachel Nichols in P2

Favorite Roles

Some guy named Glenn Walker got in there and asked, “Besides on “Continuum,” what’s been your favorite role so far?”

Rachel Nichols: “Good question. I’ve been really lucky and I’ve had some pretty cool – I mean, shooting Gaila in Star Trek was not super fun because I was covered in green sticky paint but the end result was obviously very iconic and very cool to be a part of that franchise. You know, like I said I’ve been extremely lucky. I’ve had the opportunity to play a bunch of different characters.

“On the first G.I. Joe we had a blast. That was so much fun to shoot. We were in LA and then we were in Prague and had such a great time, had such a great cast on that show. And then you know I did this horror movie years ago with Wes Bentley called P2 which sort of came and went. It was a very quiet kind of movie but now it’s a resurgence. There’s a sort of almost fan based kind of following to it and then it’s been playing on TV a lot and then I go on Twitter and I see people like, “My gosh, that was really so good. I loved you as Angela. You were a total ass kicker”

“So yes, I don’t think I can really call out one as being my favorite but I can say that I’ve been blessed with very good work experiences. You know, in Charlie Wilson’s War, I was basically a glorified extra but I got sent a month with Mike Nichols and Tom Hanks and Philip Seymour Hoffman and that was heaven. So yes I can’t – like I said I can’t really pinpoint one that’s my favorite. I’ve just been fortunate enough to have a lot of great experiences.”

rac4Science Fiction

Andrew Powell with The GATE asked, “My question is in terms of there’s a lot of science fiction around right now and it feels like there’s been a move towards darker science fiction even. Can you say maybe how you think the show represents maybe some of the mood of today?”

Rachel Nichols: “You know, the Sci-Fi genre is enchanting and Sci-Fi fans are also equally enchanting. I love the genre because in Sci-Fi you can get away with maybe being a little bit political, maybe having a bit of special commentary, all of these things that were very prevalent in the first season and you can get away with them on a certain level where your show is not a political show, it’s a Sci-Fi show, but you have these aspects to it. And yes, I think for “Continuum” to have been purchased by the number of countries that it was purchased in, on Syfy in the US, Syfy in the UK and on Showcase here.

“Yes, there’s a fascination. There’s still the desire to escape when you watch TV or when you watch a movie I think for the general population. But yes, feeling a little bit darker or a little bit more mysterious and I caught – it’s definitely prevalent and we have a lot of that in the show, where we talk about corporations in 2077 own and run the government. They own and run the police forces.

“There’s no crime in 2077. There’s all this technology. It’s painting a picture of what might become reality and painting a not so great picture of what might become reality and then in effect obviously invite change in the present. But yes, there’s a fascination with the darker underbelly of what may come and we obviously did this a lot on our show Sci-Fi as a great genre to do that, to speculate about the future.

“And the best outcome of that is when fans, whether it’s on Twitter or any other medium sort of start to participate and ask questions and want to have this dialogue about this dark future that may happen. That’s ideally what we want, people who continue to be fascinated with it and I think our show handles it very well.”

rac5SyFy Crossover?

That Glenn Walker guy from Biff Bam Pop! stuck his nose in again with this, “…complete nerd question here. Some of the SyFy series are connected. They have the same universe almost, like in “Warehouse 13” and “Alphas” and “Eureka.” I’m wondering is there a crossover possible in the future for “Continuum”?”

Rachel Nichols: “I would love that. I think that would be fantastic. I – the funny thing for – obviously the show is very complicated and a lot of sci-fi shows are. I’m on a need to know basis and I asked for this from the first season, from the first episode of the first season.

“I’m on a need to know basis and if I need to know something for performance wise — you know, Darth Vader is my father, if I needed to know that then Simon Barry who created the show would tell me that but I’m pretty much left in the dark when it comes to the rest of the stuff because I like the new episodes and I like to read the scripts and I like to be surprised and I like my jaw to drop when I take the twists and turns the audience will eventually take when the show is on TV.

“So crossover, I’d love it. Do I have any knowledge of it ever possibly happening? I don’t. That’s a question for Simon Barry (series creator and executive producer of “Continuum”) but I would definitely support it for sure.”

rac6Kiera’s Tech

Katie Nohr of Press+1 asked about “…Kiera’s tech, specifically the stuff in her head, was shown to be a potential danger to her last season and her attitude towards it to seemed to be changing. Can we expect more of that or does she still rely pretty heavily on it?”

Rachel Nichols: “Yes we can expect more of that for sure. The tech is kind of a double edged sword because yes it’s very powerful and useful and it does help her solve crimes and get where she needs to be. We have to be careful about the amount of tech that we use on the show and obviously her suit’s still with her.

“Alec fixed it in the first season. She’s got her multi tool. She’s got her gun but she also needs to be human and I think the writers do a very good job of keeping her human by limiting the amount of power that the tech has. In season 1 Carlos at one point says, “You know, you have to rely on your instincts.” And in season 1 when we did the flash forward to the future when they say, “Don’t rely on your instincts. Trust the tech. The tech will never let you down.”

“Kiera has to really adapt to 2013 and yes she’s gotta use her instincts and she’s got to rely on things other than the tech because that’s how it works in this period of time so there is the ongoing debate about this too and the multi tool and all that. But yes, season 2, she’s definitely learning how to operate without them. I know it sounds really vague but if I said certain things they might kill me.”

rac7Kiera’s Allies

The final question also came from Katie Nohr who asked, “…Kiera seems somewhat hesitant to get too close to her allies in our time, Carlos and Alec. Will that change at all or is she still going to kind of keep her distance a bit?”

Rachel Nichols: “No it changes. Season 2 – Alec is Kiera’s lifeline. He is her best friend. He knows everything. He’s also her eye in the sky. He’s the guy in her head. Their relationship is I think for — and this is just me talking — the most important relationship on the show and she relies very heavily on Alec. And at the end of season 1 Alec receives a message from his future self and he’s really not sure if he likes who he becomes.

“And so there’s the idea for Alec of changing his own path and Kiera, she needs him on a certain level to become who he becomes because she wants to get home. And so their relationship is very strained. She’s very much a lone wolf at the beginning of Season 2.

“Her relationship with Carlos goes through an extraordinary change, happening through Season 2 and she’s kind of relegated to the fact that she’s here. She’s here for a purpose. She’s got to make the best of it and these are her two dearest friends and those relationships need to be respected and protected. She does what she can but it’s increasingly difficult in Season 2.”

Tune In Tonight!

Wow, we learned some interesting things about both Rachel Nichols, and her character on “Continuum.” The second episode of the new season airs tonight on Showcase, do not miss it, this season is going to be a hell of a ride.

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