Jeri Ryan Interview: Helix guest star Jeri Ryan and series executive producer Steve Maeda weigh in on Ryan’s character, Constance Sutton, and what it’s like to work on a show that’s often gory and gross.
Syfy’s Helix is officially that show that I cannot get enough of. It has more plot twists than Lost, more science than Star Trek and more great performances by actors than just about… well… anything currently on TV. And the show is about to get just that much cooler (no pun intended, as the series is set in the Arctic): Star Trek: Voyager’s 7 of 9, Jeri Ryan, will be guest starring on a “number of episodes” of Syfy’s hit series.
For those unfamiliar with Ryan’s role on the series, Constance Sutton is the head of Ilaria, the company responsible for what’s going on at Arctic Biosystems. In fact, she’s Hatake’s boss, so that puts her at the top of the food chain. And although she seems harmless enough at the beginning of the episode, we’re going to learn that she’s a woman with her own agenda and might not be so nice on the inside. So what was it like to play such a character? Ryan answered with one word: “fun.” She explained, “This was a really fun role to play. Because she’s kind of out there. She’s not subtle. It was fun to just sort of let go and really let her go to those places: that was a treat.”
So what can Maeda and Ryan tell us about Constance. Obviously, they were a little sketchy on some details, particularly about what motivates the character, but tried to describe her as spoiler-free as possible. “She’s kind of a ball buster,” Ryan stated with a laugh.
After agreeing, Maeda continued, “She’s a company employee so I would say she’s trying to be loyal to the Ilaria Corporation and to the folks she’s been working with and been developing this whole plan with. When she finds out that Hatake has been working on his own agenda, she gets pretty damn angry about that.” He also pointed out that Ryan played the role particularly well and that “once the fangs come out,” we see a completely different side of Constance.
“It was a lot of fun to play,” Ryan reiterated. “And you’ll also see she’s definitely in the corporate world and very much looking out for the best interests of Ilaria. But you also find out that there’s a little more personal issue for her.”
Helix is known for its gore factor, along with the fact that, at times, it’s just gross. Ryan, being no stranger to such scenes from working on Body of Proof, was enthusiastic about being a part of that. “I love the gore,” she said. “Are you kidding me? I love gore. I love it. The gore and the guts. I love it. It’s so much fun. ”
Finally, although IMDB has Ryan’s role listed for just two episodes of Helix, she and Maeda wouldn’t confirm or deny that number. And as always, with this being science fiction, neither are writing off the possibility that Ryan might return for future episodes. My guess would be that we will be seeing more of Constance Sutton, perhaps in season two, and I, for one, am looking forward to it.
Meanwhile, check out the sneak peek below of this week’s episode, featuring Ryan. And don’t miss Helix on Syfy at 10/9c.