Kristin Kreuk says Season Two’s a Beauty –
Kreuk and Ryan; he’s looking less beastly this season

I’m not anywhere near The CW’s target demo and have to admit Beauty and the Beast is not normally on my radar. I think if you’re old enough to remember the first one you’re probably disqualified from the current one.
I am, however, a fan of Kristin Kreuk, who returns with co-star Jay Ryan for a second season of the fantasy hour (Sunday at 8 p.m. on Showcase and Monday at 9 on The CW).
Kreuk, Ryan and co-stars Nina Lisandello and Sendhil Ramamurthy made time for interviews earlier this week when I popped down to their studio in Etobicoke. The gigantic former glass factory that is Cinespace is home to several TV shows these days, including the upcoming FX series The Strain and another CW production, Reign.
The cast was working on the sixth episode of the season. Kruek looks so young you forget she has a decade of U.S. network TV stardom under her (brown, as in karate) belt, including seven seasons on Smallville. Despite being named one of Hello! magazine’s most beautiful Canadians last May, the 30-year-old actress has stayed very down to earth, self-effacing and spontaneous despite all those years in the spotlight.
She says her series has been re-booted, with Ryan’s Beast getting a pretty thorough makeover. Gone is the scar, for one thing. His Beast makeup has also been altered to look more realistic in Hi-Def. His Vincent character has also been re-programmed and has had his memory erased–a problem for Kreuk’s cop character as the series resumes.
With a new showrunner, the whole series is more of a romantic fantasy, less of a procedural cop show–which should please fans of the first series.
Vancouver-native Kreuk seems to be really digging T.O. which she says is beginning to feel like home after a season of Beast. “I guess that’s part of the actor’s life, you know, you adjust to places,” she says. “Vancouver is vastly different from Toronto, but, I don’t know, I like the energy here, I like how hard people work, I like that the business is centred here and that people are making things and really strive to get stuff done. I appreciate that.”
Ryan, who hails from New Zealand, describes Kreuk as “a really hard worker. She never complains, which is amazing, ‘cause I complain all the time.” Kreuk is an open book, he adds, “very down to earth, very Zen and she’s really a nice balance to me, I guess.”

If Ryan seems a little beastly at times, blame the little beauty at home—his six month old daughter. “I’m trying to balance it out right now,” he says of the daddy duty/long days on the set. “It’s put everything into perspective.”
Off the set, Kreuk says she’s started a blog with her friend Sima Kumar. It’s called New Culture Revolution.
“It’s on Tumblr and it’s really us sharing things we love, our lives.”
Kreuk has posted about the Ai Weiwei Nuit Blanche exhibit in Toronto and also writes about health, beauty and yoga. There’s plenty to read at the site, which is a heady, positive and gracefully empowering place for Kreuk to be sending her many young female fans.
The blog started out as an idea for a TV series “which would be about trends, globally.” Doing it as a blog for now allows her to share a little of herself between takes on Beast.
I told her I’d write about her blog if she wrote about mine but, after reading hers, I’m not going to hold her to it. I’d have to raise the whole tone here and, frankly, that’s a lot of work.
Kreuk says she dabbles in social networks but doesn’t get in too deep. She tweets, but just now and then. She has an Instagram account, and figures its been six months since her last post there. 
All very healthy signs.
You can read more about Kreuk, Ryan and Beauty and the Beast in this story I wrote which appeared in Friday’s edition of The Toronto Star.

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