Huffpost TV
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Bryan Cain-Jackson Headshot

CW's Beauty and the Beast Star Talks About the Series

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

2013-01-24-abasis12_120Edit.jpg

Photo Courtesy of Anderson Group PR

The fall season of 2012 was overflowing with new shows; some will make the final cut while others won't. There are more than a few bright and shining points for all of you TV goers to take into consideration.

CW's reimagining of the series Beauty and the Beast is definitely one of those worth considering.

Wait a minute, stop. I know what you're thinking: "Another damn remake?"

No, not a remake -- a reimagining, and even that word scarcely does it justice. The writing team at this show has taken a classic idea and introduced it to a modern day audience in a way that not only shakes it up, but does plenty to captivate its male and female audiences alike.

One of the show's stars, Austin Basis, talked with me on the phone recently about the show, his character and what we can expect from the series as it progresses.

Thank you for conversing with me today, Austin.

Likewise, Bryan. I appreciate it.

I've watched the series and it is truly a great show. Congratulations to you all on snagging the People's Choice Award for favorite new drama. I guess that means I won't have to ask you what the response to the series has been.

Thank you, the response from our fans has been unbelievable. The newer versions of the voting system have all of these different ways to vote, we also have incredible support internationally speaking. So, I rallied the troops together so to speak; Brian White and Nicole Anderson have huge twitter followings and so through the tweeting and re-tweeting it helped make that support possible. I also should let you know that the fans are calling themselves "beasties."

How cool is that? It's kind of like Trekkies!

It's very cool, we might be up for a future super-fan following award -- kind of like for Twilight there's the "twi-hards" and the "believers." I believe that we'll have the next big TV following.

That's awesome, so tell us about the show and your character.

For the most part, it's a procedural with a supernatural twist. Half of each episode revolves around whatever the case is at the police department while the other half focuses around the love story between Katherine and Vincent. My character, JT, is a best friend and something of a cohort and protector to Vincent. JT is a biochemistry professor that is trying to find out what disease Vincent has and at the same time protect Vincent from the outside world, because he is supposed to be dead.

It's funny how much the television viewing landscape has changed. I grew up watching the original Beauty and the Beast because my aunt was a fan of insane proportions; she was probably the first beastie. Ron Pearlman's portrayal of Vincent appears more beastly, versus Jay Ryan's portrayal which appears human. He obviously serves as the attraction for the female viewing audience. He's supposed to be a beast, but doesn't appear to be. How does that play into the story?

I believe that this story taking place in a post 9/11 New York plays closer to reality. When you watch the series, you see that Jay's portrayal of Vincent shows that there is a shame in what he is capable of. His darkness embodies that beastly characterization. Think about it this way: when someone discovers they were living next door to a serial killer, they're not going to think that guy looked beastly. More than likely, he'll appear as the nicest and sweetest guy that they ever knew. Meanwhile, he really had 20 bodies in his basement. This beast is a good guy, he's a vigilante -- but at the end of the day, he's still killing people. That is his beastly nature.

Truly fascinating.

It is. It's also very interesting to see how a good looking person is personified vs. someone who would look like a beast. Obviously a beast looks beastly and because of that he would be thought of as someone who is incapable of good; meanwhile, he might have the best heart on the inside. If a great looking guy who has chiseled abs comes into play, he has to be the kindest and sweetest guy -- but actually a beast is within him. It turns the concept on its head in a very interesting way.

That's very true. It's evident that the show's writers have made superficiality work in an intelligent way. There's something you don't see every day. So, can you give us anything along the lines of a sneak peek of things to come?

Well, I can tell you that in the coming episodes that JT starts to realize that Vincent is changing and that his condition is changing. They're trying to figure out what the end result is. Is he getting worse or is he getting better? His DNA is shifting, is he becoming more animal than human? That will be the question that everyone will want to watch and get the answer to.

To continue following the story of Catherine and Vincent, watch Beauty and the Beast on CW; Thursday nights at 9/8c.