Dana Davis, Heroes
Yes, some of the many (many) Heroes
newbies aren't quite yet dazzling us with their different-ness. But Dana Davis
' Monica, introduced last week, perhaps boasts one of the coolest powers of the season: By merely witnessing an actor or talent, she can mimic it near-instantly. TVGuide.com invited the alumna of ABC's tragically truncated The Nine
to preview what's to come for her plucky New Orleans heroine.
TVGuide.com: Having done the short-lived The Nine and Point Pleasant, were you nervous about joining an established hit/phenomenon like Heroes?
Davis: Yes, I was! I mean, I sort of compare it to being a high-school senior in your second semester and having to switch schools. It was so unbelievably stressful. The cast has sort of established themselves as something so awesome and amazing and you're absolutely the new kid on the block. There's no getting around that. I wanted to live up to the Heroes expectation, like, right away, but just like being the new kid at school, it's hard to make your presence known. Luckily, the cast was so genuine and wonderful to me. They made it an easy transition.
TVGuide.com: What was the extent of your familiarity with Heroes?
Davis: I was a huge fan. I remember getting a stack of pilots from my agency after pilot season last year and being totally bored until I came across Heroes. I couldn't believe how excited I was. You would think I had discovered a pile of gold or something. I called my roommate and was like, "Ohmigosh, I have the newest hit!" and he got all excited and I watched it again with him and then I called my other friends and watched it with them. Needless to say, Heroes had me at hello. It became a Monday-night ritual. We would be all, "It's 8:55.... Five more minutes until Heroes. Yay!" We're so goofy.
TVGuide.com: "Electricity" as a power is, well, blah. But in my opinion, Monica's power is very cool. What was your reaction when you found it out?
Davis: Excited doesn't even begin to describe how I felt. It felt like this was way too good to be true. It made me work 10 times harder to book the job. I had never in my life worked so hard at an audition and then after joining the cast and being thrown into the stunt world, I was so over the moon. I love going to work because I always get to do something so physical. It's dangerous being Monica! I spent the first three weeks of work sore and covered in that stinky stuff [you apply] for sore muscles. But it was a good pain; I would wake up sore, and I'd smile and be all, "I'm a superhero!"
TVGuide.com: After the tomato-carving and wrestling move, what else might we see her do soon?
Davis: Everything! Monica is so badass. It's cool to think of superpowers, like invisibility and mind-reading, but if you really think about it, God has blessed human beings with some serious gifts and abilities. Most of us "normal" human beings will never be able to slam like Michael Jordan or run like Carl Lewis, so imagine a human who can do it all. How exciting! The sky is the limit with Monica. Lots of fans are wondering if she'll watch any martial-arts movies, and the answer is yep! She'll be doing lots of martial arts and even a little parkour action, to give just a few hints.
TVGuide.com: How about some ballroom dancing — maybe steal away some of those DWTS watchers!
Davis: Seriously, you never know with Heroes, and honestly, I'd be so down for that. Since I was born with two left feet I could use a bit of dance training. Bring it on, NBC!
TVGuide.com: Was having Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) as your "grandmother" icing on the cake?
Davis: It was more icing on top of icing. I remember punching Greg Beaman, one of our producers, when he told me the news: "Shut up! No way!" I was so excited to work with her. Huge Fan. Everybody is.
TVGuide.com: Nichelle is a very interesting woman — very colorful and free-speaking!
Davis: Yes, and when she speaks, everybody listens. No joke, she can ask a question to the director and even the crew will be like, "Shhh... " so they can all hear what the great Uhura has to say. I love that she's so honest and free-speaking. If I want an honest opinion, I just ask Nichelle.
TVGuide.com: How long will Monica be in New Orleans? Stuck there for a bit?
Davis: Stuck there for a bit, for now. Monica is making her mark in the city and bringing back lots of hope to a community very much in need. But don't worry, the writers have this awesome way of taking all these storylines and bringing them together. Just like they did in Season 1.
TVGuide.com: But might she still cross paths with original Heroes besides Micah?
Davis: Monica does run up with Sendhil [Ramamurthy's Mohinder] and Ali [Larter's Niki] — not to give away too much — so she's not alone down there in the Big Easy. And like I said, the Heroes always find a way to unite somehow. It'll be fun to see how it all plays out. Let's just hope Monica stays clear of Dania [Ramirez]'s character, Maya. But Monica's pretty upbeat — I'm sure she can keep her happy. She'd better! Please nobody make that girl cry!
TVGuide.com: Considering its serialized nature, did you think The Nine would have gotten a better chance to succeed/find an audience?
Davis: I think in the beginning The Nine was marketed as a bang-bang, shoot-'em-up, cop/hostage show, when really it was a show about people. It never found its audience because of that. And yes, I did think The Nine would have been more successful. For myself as an actor, I never attach myself to anything I don't believe in. I believed in The Nine. I'm a better actor having played a part in something so amazing.
TVGuide.com: Do you know anything about Felicia's hostage experience that we will never get to see?
Davis: Oh yeah, Felicia's story got so good. Well, she almost got raped by Jeffery Pierce's character and good 'ol good-guy/bad-guy Lucas, played by Owain Yeoman, saved her. Also, she found out that her dad was in on it and was in fact the inside man, if you know what I mean. He planned the whole thing and never meant for Felicia to be there that day. Finding that out sent Felicia into shock and she lost her memory. But we shot 13 episodes of The Nine and by Episode 13, Felicia did finally get her memory back. Man, it was gettin' good!
TVGuide.com: Tell me about your role in the Prom Night remake.
Davis: I play this girl named Lisa who happens to be Brittany Snow's best friend. Lisa is the most popular girl in school, homecoming queen and prom-queen candidate.... She's the kind of girl who's popular for a reason, because she's a blast and fun and so sweet to everybody.
TVGuide.com: Oh, my god, Lisa is so going to die!
Davis: Will she bite the big one in this slasher flick? Well, let's just say Lisa is a fighter.
TVGuide.com: Is Prom Night a straight-on horror flick, or played with a wink?
Davis: It's more of a thriller. Sure, there's a slasher on the loose, and lots of blood and whatnot. But it's set with the backdrop of the best prom ever. I mean, imagine the prom of all proms. This is prom Hollywood-style, with designer dresses and giant confetti cannons, glitz, glamour and blood.... Sounds like a winning formula to me!
TVGuide.com: What sort of TV do you like?
Davis: House, House and more House. I was actually just watching House on TiVo before this interview. I love Hugh Laurie; is he married? [Laughs] I'm sure he is. All the good ones are. I'm also a bit of a reality-TV junkie. I say junkie because really it's like an addiction. A really bad addiction.
TVGuide.com: But not like Flavor of Love, right?
Davis: Flavor of Love and all that stuff! It's rotting my brain cells, but I can't turn the channel.
TVGuide.com: OK, but not, like, Tila Tequila-level stuff....
Davis: Noooo.... I gotta draw the line somewhere.
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