The newest star of NBC’s Heroes is Dana Davis, who plays New Orleans Hero Monica Dawson. Last Monday viewers got a glimpse of her talents as she made a tomato rose and whooped a robber’s butt. Surrounded by her cousin Micah (Noah Gray-Cabey) and grandmother (Nichelle Nichols), Monica is still in the beginning stages of understanding her power.
BuddyTV spoke to Dana Davis about her role on Heroes. Davis talked about what her character’s powers are, the experience of working with Gray-Cabey and Nichols, and she also hinted at a very big development for her character several episodes down the road. Below you will find the mo3 audio file as well as a transcript of the interview.
Hi this is John from BuddyTV and I’m talking to Dana Davis, one of the news stars of NBC’s Heroes. How are you doing?
I’m good, how are you?
I’m doin’ great. Now just off the bat, how did you get this role? Was it a straight audition process?
It was. It was a straight audition process, but not typical. Typically with something like this you audition like … five, six, seven times. For this one, I just auditioned once and I was hired after that.
So there must have been something that they really enjoyed about your performance. Did you do anything special in the audition to get this role?
Like back-flip into the room or something? Haha. No. I think what they were looking for was like an innocent, sweet spiritless Monica and I think that they just found it right away with me. So, that was fun. That was cool.
And last week we saw the first glimpse of what your characters power is, I guess. It’s sort of like you can imitate things you see on TV, or how would you describe this power?
Well a lot of people think that because of the first episode that it’s what I see on TV, but actually anything Monica sees she can replicate. It just so happens the first thing she saw that she could replicate was on TV, but anything she sees. Like if she watches and NBA game, she can play ball like an NBA player.
Okay. And you got to do some … well, I’m not sure if you actually got to do it, but there was some pretty serious action going on. A big fight scene in the first episode. Did you get to do any of those stunts yourself?
I got to do some of it, but the bulk of it I have a stunt girl who’s like a little gymnast and she did, you know, the hard stuff. So, yeah, that was fun. And Monica’s power … I do physical things like every time I go to work, there’s like some huge stunt that I have to do. So, it’s been hard work. It’s been taxing on my body, but it’s been fun.
Before you got the role, were you a fan of Heroes? Had you seen the first season?
Oh yeah, I was a huge fan. I watched Heroes before it came out. I got a hold of the pilot somehow and I watched it and I was like … I had my friends over and we watched. I watched it like 4 times, the season premiere, like the same episode. And then it became a ritual for me and my friends. We’d watch it every Monday night, it would be our Heroes night. So I was a huge fan, so it was such like a treat to join the cast, you know?
Exactly. And I’d imagine your friends are all excited for you as well. Are they constantly trying to get you to spill what’s going on?
No actually, it’s the exact opposite. They’re like: ‘Don’t tell me. Don’t tell me.’ Anytime I talk about it, they’re like: ‘I don’t wanna hear. I don’t wanna hear.’ And so they’re such big fans they don’t want me to ruin anything for them.
Thus far we’ve only seen your character a little bit, in the one scene, or the one location. Throughout the season, will your character get to interact with more of the Heroes?
Yeah. Yeah. Eventually I think all the heroes are going to meet up, but in the beginning I run up with Sendhil [Ramamurthy’s] character, who plays Mohinder and also with Ali Larter’s character. But eventually the way it works is we’ll all run up together, but right now Monica’s kind of making her mark in New Orleans and she also ends up doing something that no NBC hero has done before. So we’ll get to see that and it’s really fun. So around episode 12 or 13 you’ll see Monica do that.
That no NBC girl has done before?
No NBC hero has done before.
Ah. No NBC hero. And your character, one of the other big additions this season is Nichelle Nichols that you get to play a lot of scenes with. Obviously of Star Trek. Were you a Star Trek fan or have any Trekkies in your family?
Yeah I do. My mom’s a Trekkie so I grew up watching Star Trek. So when I found out that she was going to be playing my Grandma, I remember the producer told me and I like punched him. I was like, “Shut up,” like I was so excited, and he’s all, “Ow.” But I was so excited and it’s been a treat. Everyone is such a huge fan of Nichelle and she’s always getting like, “Oh Nichelle can I get your autograph? Can I get a picture.” And she’s just so sweet about it always so, yeah, it’s been a treat.
And your other scenes are also with the young actor, Noah Gray-Cabey on the show. How do you compare working with adult actors versus working with child actors?
Noah like … I’m really like 12 years old mentally, so me and Noah we clicked right away. We just have fun. We laugh through every scene, and he’s like the little brother I always wanted but never got. So, I love working with him. Sometimes with adults, they can be very serious and you know they’re method actors and always in character, and I’ve never been that kind of actor. I’ve been the kind of actor who can laugh and joke up until action. And kids are like that to, so I end up having a lot of fun with kids.
And finally I guess, just as a fan beforehand, are there any of the actors or the other characters that you really want to interact with? Like, who is your favorite hero from the first season?
My favorite hero is probably Milo [Ventimiglia], who plays Peter Petrelli. I’m hoping somehow that Monica can end up in Ireland or he can get out of Ireland … just that something will happen there. But it would be so cool to work with him.
Okay. Dana, thank you very much for talking to us today.
Thanks. It’s been fun.
-Interview conducted by John Kubicek
(Image courtesy of NBC)