Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Interview (Being Erica): Erin Karpluk Continues Righting Past Wrongs

The time-travel dramedy “Being Erica” is back on SOAPnet for its second season beginning tonight, and no one could be happier than the series’ star, Erin Karpluk. “I am over the moon” that SOAPnet picked it up for Season Two, Erin tells me. While “Being Erica” already is a popular show in its native Canada — the show was nominated for seven Geminis (equivalent to our Emmy Awards), with Erin winning the Best Actress Gemini — the show is steadily picking up steam here in America.

For those unfamiliar with the show, “Being Erica” is a quirky and inventive drama (with many comedic moments) where the show’s protagonist, Erica Strange, is going through a unique kind of psychiatric therapy: Each show brings a new situation where Erica gets to travel back in time to one of her past regrets, and she gets to do things differently to try to make things right.

Last season, Erica did a lot of learning and self-evaluating. “This season,” Erin tells me, “Erica uses what she has been learning and applies it in her own life, and also uses it to try to help others. The show is sexier and edgier, and it is more forward-thinking. We are also pushing the boundaries of time travel.”

Part of this boundary-pushing is the introduction of a new character, Kai Booker, whom Erica soon learns is undergoing the same type of time-travel therapy that she is. Hence the idea of Erica using what she is learning to try to help others.

Kai is played by Sebastian Pigott, a top-10 finalist from Season Six’s “Canadian Idol.” Erin was very impressed by her new co-star. “He is so talented, such a great singer and performer. He even sings one of his own songs on the show, ‘Alien.’ You’ll be very impressed.”

Season Two started with a bang: After Dr. Tom dropped Erica for violating his trust at the end of the previous season, this first episode focused on what made Dr. Tom who he is today and why he reacted to Erica in such a severe way. Erin tells me: “Michael (Riley) is a fantastic actor. It was great to see more of Dr. Tom — to see him being vulnerable and adding more layers onto his character. We also answered the questions posed in the cliffhanger, while blasting open even more questions for the rest of the season.”

While Erica is exploring life and love, much will take place at her workplace, River Rock Publishing. This season will see a change in allegiances, as Brent (played by Morgan Kelly) angles for more responsibility and a possible promotion. As this happens, his friendship with Erica becomes threatened.

“As actors, Morgan and I were devastated, because we love working together and sharing the office camaraderie, but we know that there has to be conflict. The writers have to throw in some hooks and mix it up.”

On the flip side, we’ll see the blossoming of Erica’s relationship with her snarky boss, Julianne, played by the wonderful Reagan Pasternak. “Reagan is a riot; she is so great,” Erin reveals. “Erica’s relationship with Julianne continues to grow. We’ll get to see more shades of Julianne’s character without her losing her edge.”

Erin was also excited to explore Erica’s relationship with Ethan, her longtime best friend who became her boyfriend at the end of last season. “Erica learns a lot about herself by being in a relationship with Ethan. She is learning and growing. She is not just the girl filled with regrets.”

Would Erin like to have a “do-over” in her own life, if one were offered to her? Her answer sounds very Dr. Tom-esque: “Sure, there are some things I’d like to do over. But I also feel it is important to make mistakes in life, and learn from them. They make you who you are.”

You can catch “Being Erica” every Wednesday on SOAPnet at 10 p.m. (ET/PT).