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Ali Larter on her 'Heroes' transformation

Alilarter_l

Alilarter_lOn last night’s Heroes (read Marc Bernardin’s episode recap here), we found out a surprising fact about the origin of Ali Larter’s tightly wound political animal, Tracy. Now the ice princess has a season’s worth of exploring to do. We caught up with Larter yesterday to try to pry some secrets out of her cold dead…er, find out what she likes about her new direction on the show. Read all about it – after the jump!

It was a great twist to find out that you were indeed playing anew, separate character, and not just a version of Niki. What did youthink of it when you read it?
I didn’t expect it. I didn’t know what direction they weregoing in, but the fact that it’s an entirely different character hasbeen really exciting and challenging.

Had you asked for something like this?
I loved playing Niki. So for me, I think it was kind of, “Whatworks for the show?” In TV they do what they want to do. And as anactor you have to go, “Oh, okay.” And I think we’re all lucky on theshow that we love the writing.

Does this feel like it’s part of a change in direction for the show?
They’vehoned the instincts of the show, if you could kind of say that. Thething that worked the first year was these ordinary people thatdiscovered they had extraordinary abilities, and how it affected theirlives. They’re really going back to the root of it. This volume iscalled Villains. When you play a hero or you play a villain,it’s not interesting when you go all the way. It’s that place in theconflict between the two that makes it really interesting to watch. AndI think that’s what we all try to do in this volume.

Can you hint at what’s to come for Tracy?
The interesting about her is, instead of being stricken by this ability [to freeze things] that she has, she becomes kind of in awe of it. And kind of excited by it and fascinated by it at the same time. She’s pulled out of her world and has to find different ways to figure out her life and figure out why these things were happening to her. So she’s kind of on this journey of understanding who she is.

How does that differ from Niki’s journey?
I think Niki hated it. She was afraid of hurting people. It put her in jeopardy of losing her child. She wasn’t able to control it, whereas Tracy is a completely different being in that way. She doesn’t get stricken with fear. She would find ways to use it or manipulate the situation.

From what you know of where they’re going, what does this mean in terms of where these powers come from and the larger mythology?
One thing that I love about the show is that it’s always one beat from science. With adrenaline and all that, it just makes sense to me. It just makes sense that if you can go in and understand all these different adrenal glands and adrenal places, it is possible, if you can focus on that one place. I think [the writers] always come up with really good explanations.

How much is Tracy a part of everything going forward?
I’ve done a ton of work with Adrian [Pasdar] this year. And this next volume that we’re going into, which is called Fugitives, will kind of take us all out of our comfort zones.

So, you’re really excited about this character and this season.

I love the show. I think it’s something special. I’m just really proud of being on Heroes. We’re trying to push the envelope of what’s on TV and when you do that, sometimes you win, sometimes you fail, but in the end, we’re all giving our all.

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Originally posted September 30 2008 — 1:52 PM EDT

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