It seems that former Battlestar Galactica star Kandyse McClure has an animal instinct that leads her to take part in some great genre shows, and her all-new horror series Hemlock Grove is no exception. The amiable actress unlocks a few supernatural secrets for ETonline, plus revels in a few funny memories from the Galactica set!
Premiering exclusively on Netflix on April 19 and based on the Brian McGreevy novel, Hemlock Grove casts Kandyse as Dr. Clementine Chasseur, an animal expert brought in to aid the local law enforcement's investigation of a brutal murder.
"They think there's a wild beast on the loose and all evidence points to that, but local law enforcement doesn't really have the tools so they call in the expert, Dr. Chasseur, to hunt and track this animal, to get into its mind, trying to figure out where it's going to be and what it's going to do next," explains Kandyse. "She is obsessed with the idea of predation and seeks to sort of exist in the mind of this predator. … She throws herself into her work, channels that obsession into finding the truth about what's going on in Hemlock Grove as a way of litigating her chaotic emotional life."
As she discovers more clues, she comes to realize that almost everyone in town hides an extraordinary supernatural secret: Hemlock Grove is overrun with werewolves!
"We're really trying to play with the idea of what a monster is," she reveals. "Yes, there is this legendary werewolf, and the idea of the werewolf, where sometimes man becomes a monster. But we also pose the question of who the monsters really are and what makes a monster: Is it fangs and changing under the moon, or wearing a coat of fur? Or is it the choices that you make and the person that you are? Are the monsters really in the places that we think they are? Or are they just very cleverly disguised?"
Surprisingly, werewolves aren't the least of Hemlock Grove's problems. There are also other monsters on the prowl, called Upires: "I guess I can describe an Upir as an evolved vampire, one that can exist in the day," says Kandyse, "and has evolved quite out of their appetite for blood."
But before the star reveals too much, we ask her if the Hemlock Grove producers gave her any ground rules about what she can talk about – and what she can't. She replies with a laugh, "They did. There was a very strict email that went out."
Executive-produced by Hostel director Eli Roth, Hemlock Grove also stars Famke Janssen, Dougray Scott, Lili Taylor, Bill Skarsgard, Penelope Mitchell, Freya Tingley, Landon Liboiron and Kandyse's fellow Galactica mate Aaron Douglas. The show was filmed in and around Ontario, just outside Toronto, and she amusingly calls herself and fellow actors "migrant bean counters," saying, "We go where work is -- you've got your tool belt and you go where they're calling for people with your skills and hope that they pick you up. So it was Vancouver before that, it was Toronto for a little while -- I move back and forth to Los Angeles where I am at the moment, and, well, I don't even know where else I'll be living in June. … I'm down here for pilot season so I'm looking forward to seeing the response that Hemlock Grove gets in April."
She adds, "There are some exciting things happening in my personal life, and I'm just taking the time to enjoy those things."
Unless the potential success of Hemlock Grove changes perceptions -- and it very well might -- Kandyse still remains best known as "Dee" Dualla from Galactica, which ran on SyFy from 2004 to 2009. We asked her to reveal a few of her fondest memories from working on the fan-favorite drama, and you'd be surprised at some of the gems she's willing to share.
"Oh gosh, fondest memories," she thinks. "Being in the C.I.C. [the "bridge" of the ship] for the miniseries, just the energy -- it's a completely enclosed set, so you really could give yourself over to this imaginative time and place, and sitting there on my console, I would rarely wear my pants."
Wait, what?! Kandyse quickly clarifies, "I mean, I would have my 'whatever' day pants on, but I wouldn't wear my usual [uniform] pants, because nobody can see them [below the camera frame cutoff]! And I had these pink Crocs -- I know, I'm sorry, I can't believe I'm admitting to having worn Crocs for so long, but I totally did -- underneath the console. But then standing there listening to Edward James Olmos deliver, take command of this room, everybody was so possessed by it. Everyone was so in awe of it, we were all such fans already of what we were doing. Michael Hogan is hilarious. He's the funniest person on that set. You wouldn't think it. … He would always play the geriatric joke, you know? … It was good times."
Asked if the cast knew they were onto something big when they first started, she responds, "I have to say we did. That kind of synergy amongst people and admiration for the project -- for each other -- is rare, and we were all aware of how rare that was. We were all cognizant that something bigger than what we thought it was going to be was happening, something bigger than all of us was going on, and Eddie actually said it: That first table read, he stood up and said, 'Kids, manage your energy. This thing is going to be about stamina, because we're in this for the long haul.' He was right."
That Battlestar bond continues to this day, as Kandyse details who she's seen lately: "I had dinner with Tahmoh Penikett and James Callis and his gorgeous wife and Rekha Sharma and her lovely husband the other day. I e-mailed Grace Kim -- we have little exchanges -- we both have our birthdays [in the same month], so we always try and find each other in March. We get along very well. We're both sort of globetrotting pseudo-hippies."
Reflecting on the familial nature of the Galactica cast, she concludes, "We shared so many milestones with each other: Grace got married during the show, people had children, there were births and deaths and weddings and funeral and other jobs, and we fought like brothers and sisters and then made up like family, so we went through all of it, and it's priceless. I will never let go of those relationships. I will always know these people."
Stay tuned to ET for more with Kandyse McClure and the cast of Hemlock Grove! Watch the trailer here: