Tawny Cypress, <EM>Heroes</EM> Tawny Cypress, Heroes

If a girl's gotta go, this is the way to do it. The Feb. 19 episode of NBC's Heroes (Mondays at 9 pm/ET) ended with the accidental shooting of Simone Deveaux, played by Tawny Cypress. The sexy art dealer died cradled by her two heartthrob boyfriends, Isaac (Santiago Cabrera), who fired the fatal shot, and Peter (Milo Ventimiglia). A surprisingly chipper Cypress called to give TVGuide.com the lowdown on her outta-nowhere demise. 

TVGuide.com: Condolences, babe. How long have you known about this?
Tawny Cypress: Since mid-December. [Heroes creator/executive producer] Tim Kring called me personally. The second I heard his voice on the phone, I knew. I was really in shock. I went into a cave and didn't talk to anybody. But after much crying, I'm OK with it. Besides, it's not over over. In the world of Heroes, anything can happen! I come back in the Mar. 5 episode, and I come back on at least one other occasion after that. So it's not the end end for me, but it's the end of what was.

TVGuide.com: At least you went out in style!
Cypress: I loved that it was beautiful, almost theatrical. It wasn't gross and gruesome, like the other deaths on the show. They just wanted me to sort of fade away. And what better way to die than being surrounded by your men? It's actually kinda cool. It's the first time I've died on screen, and I couldn't ask for a better way. So I'm good. 

TVGuide.com: Really? C'mon, wallow in some misery with me here. Isn't it a drag to become a regular on the hottest series on TV and then get killed off?
Well, yeah, but I'm not the only regular who dies this season. There's another death coming. [Laughs] From now on I'm only taking appointments for series where people don't die. That's my new thing!

TVGuide.com: So you're already pounding the pavement?
Yep, it's back to the ol' actor's grind! But you know what? A lot more doors have opened for me as a result of Heroes. I've been in meetings all day. It's a pretty cool position to be in.    

TVGuide.com: Could anything have been done to prevent this? Like maybe giving Simone a superpower?    
It was inevitable. They had thrown around so many different ideas for my character, and none of them panned out. They never intended Simone to have a power, and it would have been cheesy to have her suddenly develop one. She was basically there to be the heart in the story line with Peter and Isaac, not another superhero. 

TVGuide.com: Well, you're being a "super" saint about the whole damn thing. 
Hey, I got to be part of something big and went out in a blaze of glory, so how can I complain? Simone's death made good TV, and Heroes just keeps getting tighter and tighter and better and better. I'm a huge fan, and I will never stop watching. I can't wait to see what they do next!

Heroes fans can find exclusive behind-the-scenes photos from their favorite show in the Feb. 26 TV Guide.

Send your comments on this Q&A to online_insider@tvguide.com