Alphas is a SYFY show about a world teeming with people who have unique ability to push the barriers of the human mind, granting them unique physical and mental powers that far surpass any abilities of normal humans. So far this show has been a surprisingly big hit, with a unique cast of characters that have depth. One of my favorite character is extremely socially sensitive and just happens to be able to naturally read arrays electromagnetic waves with only the use of his eyes and the twitch of a fingers. The cast has recently grown by one with the introduction of Kat, played by Erin Way. Her character has an almost perfect muscle memory so she can naturally remember how to do any physical task, the only down side is that she can only remember a month into her past at most.
During a Q&A call with Alphas newest cast member Erin Way,, we discovered a little bit more about her characters story and unique ability.
Read the Q&A about Erin below:
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your character on Alphas?
Erin Way: Yes, I play the character of Kat, and she meets Harken at – I guess Harken and Hicks both at an underground Alpha fight club. And her special ability is that she basically learn any skill instantly, so that includes knowledge and muscle memory. She can – it’s essentially kind of like she can just download it almost instantly.
And the only downside is that she has a bit of a memory problem. So after about a month or so she starts loosing memories of the past. So while she retains her memories she can’t remember how she learned them or who she knows or where she came from, which you know, is a little problematic.
Q: Sure, sure. But she retains the abilities? Or does she lose the abilities over time as well?
Erin Way: She retains the abilities, she doesn’t remember that she knows how to do them. But if put in the appropriate situation she can recall how to do them. So you know, for example you could put her in a helicopter and she could very well have the reaction of like, “Oh yes, I totally know how to fly this thing.” But she wouldn’t be able to tell you unless she was put in the situation.
Q: So what attracted you to the role?
Erin Way: Well, besides the seemingly unlimited new bits of info that come up with a character like this when she essentially has no past really that’s written, and you know, it’s all discovered in the moment, she’s a very, very strong female character, which I not only enjoy watching but I enjoy playing. You know, she can fight, she’s tough, and I think that’s a really cool – it’s a cool thing that Syfy tends to do for females in general, is that they tend to have really strong female characters.
So that intrigued, and then also just the fact that I would be learning a new skill on a weekly basis, was kind of cool. You know, and I basically would have a new ability each – on a very regular basis which I just found – I was like, “Well I’m never going to get bored with this girl because she’s constantly learning something new.” So that just was fascinating to me and real intriguing.
Q: How do you feel about the way Kat’s ability compliments the needs of the existing Alphas?
Erin Way: That’s a good question. You know, it sounds kind of simple, but the Alphas as a whole can tend to be – the team, Rosen’s team, can be a little on the serious side.
And Kat just comes in and is – because of her ability or the downside of her ability, the way she’s chosen to survive with it is just to be very live in the moment, not get too heady about stuff because you know, she doesn’t – or she’s not burdened by anything really in the past because she forgets everything.
So essentially, she just comes in and really kind of mixes it up, is very – doesn’t really care about the rules, the protocol, how you’re supposed to behave, kind of makes fun of them for being so serious. And in a sense, because of that, kind of just ruffles everybody’s feathers a little bit, which I think just makes for not only some comic relief, but also you know, maybe helps some of the characters find a different perspective on their situation.
So yes, I would say that in that sense she compliments each of the team members in a different way, but it’s all through that same kind of irreverence that she kind of approaches life with.
Q: Well how hard was it to really get to know a character who has memory issues and lives in the moment? Like where did you begin to understand her as a person?
Erin Way: Yes, it’s tricky, because I remember when I first met all of the writers I was like, “Okay so you know, how about we talk about this girl’s history. You know, where does she come from and so I can like start to get to know this girl?” And they were like, “Yes, we don’t have that, sorry, to give you, so basically blank slate.” And I was like, “Awesome guys.”
So it’s really hard, but in a way I’m glad that they didn’t give me that because Kat doesn’t have that so it’s not really fair for me to have any of that information. So basically it was just – I had to build it on extinct.
I had a very instant impression of who this girl was from how the writing – the tone of the writing was and it just forced me to be kind of like, “Okay well it’s based on the tone of the writing and the voice of the writing and based on the fact that she’s just taking things as they come and not worrying about the past or the future, what – how would that make a person behave?”
And then from there on it’s just – it’s really just about instincts and reacting in what’s going on in the moment. And you’ve got to keep it simple with her because none of that other stuff comes into play. So it’s where I kind of had to start, and then from then on it was a matter of like trusting myself that I knew who this girl was.
So but it’s an interesting challenge, I’ve never had to do that before so.
Q: So can you kind of give us an idea of some of the fun skills that you get to use on the show, maybe some of your favorites?
Erin Way: Gosh, okay I’m not going to give too much away but…
…I will say, I told that I – I was told that I could give stuff away about Alpha Dogs, so I’ll start with that.
I’m a very tiny person, and Harken is a very large person, and we have to fight each other in the episode. And so what I learn how to do is basically I learn a style and a form of kickboxing basically that, instead of relying upon size, it relies upon knowing where the pressure points and how to use one’s own weight to kind of counterbalance – or use it against the other person, so basically finding their weak spots and winning in that way.
So that was an interesting thing. While I didn’t get fully trained in that, I did have to learn a lot of kickboxing, which was – it’s brutal as far, I’ve never been so sore in my entire life, but it was really cool to learn, and to learn that you know, a tiny little thing like me can – could actually win against somebody twice their size, just using the power of her skill. So that was really cool.
And then in another episode I had to kind of learn how to reassemble a carburetor, which I’m not mechanical in a car kind of way at all, so that was cool to kind of learn how – you know, where the plugs go in and stuff like that.
So each week they bring me something new. I usually end up having to learn it within a few minutes of filming the scene, unless I know beforehand and then I can kind of do some research online. So it’s cool to just kind of have to be like, “And now you’re going to learn this knife trick,” and then I’m like, “Okay.” And then you just kind of have to learn it and try to do the best you can. So and that was another one, I had to kind of learn the knife trick.
So yes, I mean I think, probably the kickboxing was my Number 1 favorite because I did the most in-depth training of it. But there’s a few other cool ones that’ll come up, but I’m not going to give too much away.
Q: All right, sounds like a lot of fun. The other thing I wanted to ask you is obviously her memory loss and everything is going to cause a lot of tension, like you said. But can you talk specifically about Kat and Gary? Because from what I’m reading – been reading, he kind of doesn’t get along her real great at the beginning.
Erin Way: Yes. Yes, he doesn’t like me at all. In fact, I think I rub him the wrong way the most out of anybody. And that’s you know, to be expected; Gary is somebody that relies upon routine and protocol and the rules, you know, he duplicates the rules very specifically and doesn’t really – he’s not comfortable and doesn’t enjoy people kind of like breaking those rules and breaking his routine and stable – his stable pieces of information. And so Kat is not somebody that’s going to be like – because somebody tells her, “Hey you know, so Gary likes his routine so try not to interrupt him or he doesn’t like it when you touch him or” – she’s not literally will – if you tell her that, she’s most likely going to – it’s just going to make her want to do it more. And so she’s constantly touchingGary, trying to hugGary, just basically doing everything that he will tell her not to do. So it’s very upsetting to him, he doesn’t like it at all.
And that’s at the beginning of the season. While I’m not going to give everything away, we do – it’s not a smooth road by the end, I still manage to upset him on many occasions. But there are a few occasions where because of my kind of irreverence for, you know, who he is and his condition, which I think I’m kind of like, “I don’t care, you know, what he has, I’m just going to treat him the same as everybody,” because of that attitude, she kind of trusts Gary with tasks that other people would not. And because of that I think he does grow to kind of like her a little bit because she lets him – she’s willing to let him do things that other people would not let him do just because she really doesn’t care about the rules.
So I think by the end we’re in a little bit of a better place, with the occasional argument. I see a good future for Kat and Gary, I think we’re going to be fine.
Personally I cant wait to see more of this show and more of this characters progress.