Surviving Outbreaks, the Arctic and Working with an Ex with Helix’s Kyra Zagorsky

January 13, 2014

Colorado native Kyra Zagorsky is no stranger to rough conditions, but years of exposure to high-elevation climates may not be enough to survive Helix. The series takes place in an Arctic research facility that becomes the staging ground for a terrifying conflict that may decide the fate of the human race. Kyra plays Dr. Julia Walker, a senior scientist at the CDC, and one of the key people trying to ensure the survival of all humanity.

There are tremendous expectations for Helix, which comes to us from producers and writers of Lost, Battlestar: Galactica, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and other great shows. How does that pressure affect you as an actor?

I come in prepared and ready to give it all I’ve got. The bar is set high and I want to tell the story as best I can in order to live up to the expectation that is put on us as a cast. At the same time, I don’t feel intimidated by that pressure. I trust that the show is in exceptional hands considering who is driving Helix.

You play Dr. Julia Walker, a top virologist from the Centers for Disease Control. Unless you’re secretly a disease scientist in real life, how did you prepare for the role?

Research. YouTube has never been so helpful! I am lucky because I became friends with a woman who is a scientist and has done similar work to what Dr. Walker is doing. Any time I had questions, I would sit down with her and ask her to walk me through the science of it all. Fortunately we have advisors on set who are the real deal so on the day they were always there to make sure we looked like we knew what we were doing.

Your character is the ex-wife of Dr. Alan Farragut (Billy Campbell). Working alongside an ex is hard enough without trying to contain a deadly disease that threatens to destroy the human race. If Dr. Walker could offer any relationship advice, what would it be?

Best friends and brothers are off limits.

Sounds like viewers should expect insane twists throughout the entire season of Helix. Can we convince you to share a little about one of your favorite twists?

One of my favorite twists comes in the shape of the beautiful and talented Jeri Ryan.

You were born in New York, raised in a small town in Colorado and studied in Oregon and California. We’re not surprised you wound up in the Arctic. Does your pioneer spirit inform your character’s ability to navigate whatever comes her way at the Arctic research facility?

Unfortunately, no. Julia Walker experiences a whole mess of things that I’ve never encountered in my globetrotting. However, I wear a pair of hiking boots for half of the series as my character and that makes me feel right at home.

Watch all-new episodes of Helix Fridays at 10/9c on Syfy (Channel 244).