Erica Cerra plays Deputy Jo Lupo on SyFy's Eureka, and boy, can that girl handle a gun! Lupo may not be a genius like the rest of Eureka, but she is certainly a prodigy in the weapons department. The show has been renewed for a fourth season, and Cerra tells us that this one is going to throw fans for a serious loop! She also says, however, that it doesn't look like the promised musical episode is going to happen. Newsarama recently got to chat with Cerra, who tells us that she is a proud geek, with aspirations to play the ultimate woman warrior. She also gave us a sneak peek at her upcoming role in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. She's playing a goddess.
Newsarama: Congratulations on Eureka being renewed! Where are you guys in filming right now?
Erica Cerra: Thanks! And you know what? It's very funny. I had an interview, and a woman asked me what to expect for this season, and...I never know, ever. They always throw us for a loop. We give them little sort of tidbits about, this is what we'd like to see, this is what we'd like to do, but it never ever necessarily pans out, right? And I ended up getting a phone call after the interview from Jamie Paglia, who is one of our executives, and creator of the show, and one of our head writers, and this season...I don't even know what I could give away. But it is going to throw everyone for an absolute loop. Basically...I can't. I don't even know what I could say, but we haven't started yet. We start March 18th, and we're doing twenty episodes. And I think that this season is going to be by far the best one yet. It's amazing! The concept is fantastic! So for all the fans, personally I think they're going to love it.
Nrama: So what do you want to see happen for Jo? Personally.
Cerra: You know, I think that they're going to answer that. I would love to see her a bit more back to her roots. You know? For the last, I think, two seasons, there's been a lot of love. A lot of love going around. [laughs] And I think that that's great. And it's given me an opportunity to discover new things about the character. And working with Niall (Matter) who plays Zane has been absolutely wonderful. We have a blast working together. We have a great chemistry. But I think it would be really cool to see Jo back to the tough Special Forces Lupo. I have to say that I'm pretty excited about possibility that that is something that's going to happen this season.
Nrama: Hey, kick ass chicks rock! I was very curious about new weapons this season. Any that you'd particularly like to use?
Cerra: I'd like to say that I do, but I don't. They always give me...it's based on the episode, right? So every story that they've written, they give me some new gak. And unfortunately, with television, you don't get much time to learn or play with your new toy. It's generally given to you on the day...and half the time they were made from scratch, so it takes them months to create. I don't know, but I can only imagine what they've come up with so far. [laughs] I'm sure it will be pretty spectacular.
Nrama: Any chance we're going to see more singing from Jo? That was so much fun last season.
Cerra: [laughs] You know, it was so funny. That was the one thing, when I read that script, where I was like, 'What? Sing?' We were supposed to do a two part...they did the announcement at Comic Con...a two part musical, which I think has been actually knocked off. I don't think we're doing that anymore. So I have no idea. Coincidentally, I went and took some singing lessons after I had heard that, because I was like, OK, well...anybody can croon, in my opinion. That's one of the easiest things to do. To do it really well, that's a whole different thing. We'll leave that to Micheal Buble. [laughs] I do really love singing. It's something that I have always liked to do. I'm sure just to spite me, they'll find a way to throw it in. But I'm preparing myself...at least this time, I'll be like, 'OK, I got this!'
Nrama: Any more romance with Fargo (Neil Grayston)?
Cerra: [laughs] Again, this is going to be a new season, and there is going to be...a lot of stuff is changing, but...I wish I could give something away, but I really can't. It's the season premiere and I can't spoil anything, unfortunately, but...yeah, there is going to be a lot of loops. A lot of things that are going to throw people for a loop. That will be really interesting.
Nrama: I saw the episode of Sanctuary you were on. Any chance you'll return to that? Or any of the other SyFy shows?
Cerra: You know, I would love to do Sanctuary again! I was trying really hard to not have my character go to jail, because I love their crew and their cast, and Amanda (Tapping) I think is amazing, and I would have been on the show again. I was like, 'Come on guys! That would be great! I'm done on Eureka and I can come on Sanctuary, we can finish working here...' But I don't know that that's going to happen. I would love to say that it's going to happen. You never know. They could always say that my character gets brought out of jail. Amanda and I actually met at Up Fronts in New York...and we hit it off right away. We had a really great rapport. And we got to talking more at the airport, because she and I were taking the same flight...I think she is lovely and I had a really wonderful time on the show. Not only working with her, but being directed by her. She knows what she wants, she's got a great eye and she knows how to get what she wants from her performers. So it was a lot of fun.
Nrama: I know you must have heard this before, but there are tons of fans out there who would love to see you play Wonder Woman. I heard it brought up at Comic Con at the round table interviews we did with you.
Cerra: [laughs] That's awesome! I would love to play Wonder Woman! I think that would be wicked...that was actually brought to my attention by someone. 'That would be really cool. You should see if you can play Wonder Woman.' I said, 'If I had that kind of power, that would be wonderful. Call someone up and say OK, I'm ready to be Wonder Woman. Make it happen.' [laughs] But we can throw that out there in as many news articles as we possibly can, that Erica would love the opportunity to play Wonder Woman! [laughs] I'd have to work out a lot just to fit in that tiny little outfit. But I'd do it! I have the right hair, and doesn't she have green eyes? I have green eyes. Green eyes, dark hair...done! The big breasts I may be lacking. [laughs] We can make those happen! It's fine.
Nrama: Hey, Angelina did it in Tomb Raider!
Cerra: She did. You're right! Done. I'm going to play Wonder Woman. [laughs]
Nrama: You're on SyFy, you're in a sci-fi movie...I have to ask, are you a geek?
Cerra: You know what, I am! I have to admit it. And I don't say that in a sad way! As you're growing up, everyone has this misconception of a geek. When I grew up, my dad always used to watch Star Trek and any and every sci-fi show you could imagine. I used to watch it with him and I loved it. I loved all fantasy and I always thought that the ideal job as a performer and an entertainer would be to take on a mythical character, you know? Make someone up. Give them a voice, a mannerism, whatever. I always thought that that was the coolest way to do. And then you get older and everyone wants to be the cool kid. And you get a little older and you start realizing how stupid that is, and you just get to be who you are. And I am a geek. I love my sci-fi. I love my fantasy. Yeah! I can say it. I'm a geek. I'm a geek and I'm a proud geek!
Nrama: And speaking of playing mythical characters, you're playing the Goddess Hera in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.
Cerra: It's very cool.
Nrama: So tell us about the film.
Cerra: Percy Jackson & the Olympians is a five book series. I'm hoping that they'll do every single one of them, as my character Hera is one of the many gods that helps Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) and his crew achieve their goal in every story. Gives them advice, gives them direction, helps them when they get into trouble...in the first book, all the gods characters are introduced, and then as the stories go...they help them along. In one of the later books, that I'm more than positive they're going to create because of the success of Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, [laughs] my character will be helping him achieve his goals. I personally think the movie is going to be a great success. I definitely think there is room in the world for another hero, and a mythical hero, which is even better. It looks amazing. Have you seen the trailer?
Nrama: I have and it looks really cool!
Cerra: I knew that it would, for a ton of reasons. I think that they've taken the energy to really make a great script. From what I know, they really weren't giving a lot more information to people. They basically were giving the cast members what they needed to know. They were really, really secretive with the script. I know that they have made the films for a broader audience. Because the stories are more, I think, for children...with the movies, they've made them for a broader audience. I think more people will learn to love Percy Jackson and the stories that they have. I know that the script is a bit different than the story. There are a lot of gods and goddesses that are not introduced in the first story, and they are introduced in the film. Who knows what's to come for the films? But I think they will be a big success.
Nrama: What is Hera like in this? Greek myths are very much a soap opera.
Cerra: [laughs] Oh god, yes!
Nrama: So how close is she to the mythical Hera?
Cerra: I don't think she differs. The mythological Hera is very similar to the Olympian stories Hera. She is the goddess of marriage and she is a bit of a prude. I think she wants people to be loyal, and stay where they should and not go and fool around with human beings, and so on and so forth. So I don't think she's too happy with what's going on with the gods and now this half son of Poseidon and half human comes along, and he's messing with their world. I don't think she's too happy about what goes on. I think she wants everyone to stick with what they know and their own kind.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief opens on February 12th, 2010.