While she might not yet be a household name, actress Erica Cerra is sure to be familiar to sci-fi fans. Along with her recurring role as Deputy Jo Lupo in the popular Syfy series “Eureka,” Cerra has appeared in a number of science fiction faves, including “Battlestar Galactica,” “Smallville,” “Reaper” and “Warehouse 13.” Now, Cerra prepares to take control of the big screen, playing the Greek goddess Hera in the highly anticipated fantasy adaptation Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Based on the popular book series by Rick Riordan and directed by Harry Potter helmer Chris Columbus, the movie revolves around teenager Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) who discovers he’s the descendant of the Greek god Poseidon, and embarks on an epic adventure to prevent a war between the gods. In addition to Cerra, the impressive cast includes Pierce Brosnan, Uma Thurman, Catherine Keener, Sean Bean, Steve Coogan and Rosario Dawson.
Just before the movie’s release on February 12, Cerra spoke with MM about her role in the movie and wanting to play Wonder Woman.
Kyle Rupprecht (MM): Tell us a bit about your character Hera in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. How do you prepare to play a Greek goddess?
Erica Cerra (EC): My character in the movie is much like the mythology, Hera is the Mother of the Gods and the Goddess of Marriage. When I heard about the movie, I went out and bought all the books so I could read up and be more prepared!
MM: You’ve worked extensively in television. What was it like shooting a big-budget fantasy movie, as opposed to appearing on a TV series? Do you prefer one medium more than the other?
EC: I love working on television, that being said I’ve always wanted to do film and having the opportunity to work on a big picture like Percy Jackson has left me eager for more.
MM: One of your most memorable roles to date has been Deputy Jo Lupo on the Syfy hit series, “Eureka.” What’s your favorite aspect of playing the character? What can fans expect for the fourth season, slated to air this summer?
EC: This next season is full of twists and turns. I can’t wait to start filming what I think will be a hit storyline. One of my favorite aspects of playing Jo has been the low maintenance of the character… zero makeup, one wardrobe, two hair styles! Seriously, we have a wonderful cast and crew that have taught me so much. It has been a very beneficial couple of years for me.
MM: Much of your work has been in the sci-fi/fantasy genre. What attracts you to this kind of material? Is it purely coincidental that you’ve worked a fair amount in the genre?
EC: Vancouver is home to a lot of sci-fi genre series—actual series from the Syfy Network and other additional fantasy film and television. That is where I was born and raised, and live now. So is it purely coincidental that I have worked a fair amount in the genre? Maybe! That being said, I absolutely enjoy the world of make-believe.
MM: Looking ahead to the future, is there a kind of role you haven’t played yet, but would like to? If so, what is it?
EC: I was just told on a ton of fan sites, people would like to see me play Wonder Woman. How much fun would that be! I really love working and the bigger the challenge the better… maybe my future will be filled with wonder (no pun intended!) and adventure.