Van Helsing star Tricia Helfer sinks her teeth into Dracula

Tricia Helfer stars as Dracula in SyFy's Van Helsing. Photo Credit: Manfred Baumann/Courtesy of STATUS PR.
Tricia Helfer stars as Dracula in SyFy's Van Helsing. Photo Credit: Manfred Baumann/Courtesy of STATUS PR. /

Before the Van Helsing season 4 finale, Tricia Helfer tells Hidden Remote what it’s like to play Dracula and how she put her own spin on the Dark One.

Van Helsing found a killer Dracula when it cast Tricia Helfer to portray the legendary vampire. Helfer has taken the character and made it her own throughout her appearances on the SyFy series, and it all comes to a head Friday in the season finale.

Before the final showdown, Hidden Remote sat down with Tricia to discuss how she approached the role, what it’s been like to assume the mantle of Dracula, and how the bloody awesome world of Van Helsing compares to her past roles on series like Lucifer and Battlestar Galactica.

Check out what she had to say in our interview with Tricia Helfer below, then don’t miss the end of Van Helsing season 4 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT tonight on SyFy!

Hidden Remote: How did you prepare for Van Helsing considering how much happens in the show and how legendary Dracula is?

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Tricia Helfer: It’s so complex. There’s so much going on…you get cast and then all of a sudden you’re up there a few days later, and so I was like I can’t watch all the episodes in this amount of time!

Michael Eklund [who plays Abraham Van Helsing] was great. He was like your character’s talked about in season 3, and season 3 wasn’t on Netflix yet, so the producers sent me [episodes] and I watched as much as I could.

In the fourth season, there’s so much going on, and you’re not privy to the scripts you’re not in. I felt a little bit of the initial actor’s stress of I don’t know what’s going on, but then I had this epiphany moment. The Dark One doesn’t know what’s been going on anyway. She’s been locked away forever down this portal…so that kind of made me relax a little bit.

It’s a very complicated show but such a nice group of people. It was so easy to go in and blend with them. And my first episode was directed by Jonathan Scarfe, who plays Axel, and I worked with him on a movie of the week years earlier. So it was nice to go into a friendly space and be directed by someone you know how to work together [with] already.

HR: Your entrance in episode 7 is one of the most epic scenes in Van Helsing history. What was it like to film that first scene?

TH: I was worried because so much of the first part of that entrance is special effects. I’m not actually evolving out of smoke, and that’s where you do have to use your imagination and pray that the visual effects are going to make it not look like you’re just twirling into the scene.

But Christopher [Heyerdahl, who plays Sam] was great to work with. It was fairly dramatic when I announce I’m your master, Dracula, and it seemed to me that it was written more for projection [like] you’re announcing it. But we get there and it’s such an intimate moment. Jack and Violet haven’t noticed them yet, and so it was really about Dracula and Sam in that moment. So we both intuitively made it more a connection between the two. It felt more private in that moment to Sam, who had given up.

HR: What was the most interesting thing for you about playing Dracula?

TH: I had such a fun time doing these two episodes because she’s all-powerful. She gets conned at the end of the seventh episode and gets put back in the portal, but unlike some others, say with Number Six [from Battlestar Galactica] who is physically strong but she was also struggling with a vulnerability and a love for Gaius [Baltar], with Dracula, the Dark One, she just is powerful and that was fun.

In my first episode, she’s just sort of taking things in and getting a handle on things, but when I come back, now she’s back. She was conned by Vanessa, and now she’s back and ready to play. So it’s fun to just be that kind of strength without any kind of apprehension. It allowed me to play and have fun.

HR: You’ve played a number of diverse TV and film roles this year, from Dracula on Van Helsing to Creepshow and you have a new Hallmark Christmas movie coming as well. How do you look back at Tricia Helfer’s 2019?

TH: I feel very lucky in that regard. I said to somebody the other day, I play these strong characters, I’m going to try someone messed up. I’m pleased that I get to play really strong characters, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes as an actor you want to play all different facets of humanity and I have.

From Creepshow, this strong businesswoman to Dracula and [in the new film] Bombshell, I have a very tiny role but I play Alisyn Camerota. I’m playing somebody that I see on TV, I watch in the mornings. It’s fun to get to play different types of roles, because if you were only playing the same thing over and over again, I think it could get boring.

HR: What comes next for you after the Van Helsing finale?

TH: I’m about to start recording the third season of my podcast, Battlestar Galacticast. We don’t have an exact launch date yet, but we’re looking at sometime in January. It got a little delayed because I was filming a Hallmark Christmas movie for a month. My Hallmark Christmas movie I shot with Eric Mabius [It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas] comes out on December 22nd. It’s a completely different character!

dark. Next. Van Helsing gets fifth and final season

The Van Helsing season finale airs tonight at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on SyFy.