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The Marvel Life

The Marvel Life: Tricia Helfer

We chatted with the Battlestar Galactica star about voicing Black Cat, geeking out over Game of Thrones, cats and more!

Black Cat in 'Spider-Man: Web of Shadows"

By Blake Garris

Actress and former model Tricia Helfer may be best known for playing Number Six on Battlestar Galactica as well as numerous cameos on hit shows, but when she’s not acting she spends her time doing charity work rescuing cats in need. 

So it’s no surprise that she was the choice to play the voice of Black Cat in the “Spectacular Spider-Man” animated series as well as the “Spider-Man: Web of Shadows” video game. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Ms. Helfer to talk about all these topics, her new show on NBC, and how she may have been a little too seductive as a voice in a children’s cartoon.

Marvel.com: You’ve voiced Black Cat in a few Spider-Man projects. What was that like?

Black Cat in 'The Spectacular Spider-Man"

Tricia Helfer: Yes, I was the voice of Black Cat in “Spectacular Spider-Man” and also in “Spider-Man: Web of Shadows,” the video game. It was great.

Actually I have a little funny story about “Spectacular Spider-Man.” I’ve done two episodes and the first time I did it, it was sort of right around the time that I did the video game. And I don’t know how I missed this note that it was a morning kid’s show, but I guess I’d been doing some video games and a lot of the [Black Cat] lines were very suggestive in their own way--as Black Cat can be. And I was making her very purrish and sexy, but nobody said anything!

Black Cat in 'Spider-Man: Web of Shadows"

And then I read an article that came up about it when it premiered and it said something about Tricia Helfer and her Black Cat turning a lot of 10-year-old boys into puberty. And I went, “It’s a cartoon! Oh my gosh!” So I went back and when I did the second episode I told the producers, I was like, “I was being a little sexier than I would have if I had known it was for kids.” But they had a good laugh over that.

Marvel.com: Have you thought about voicing other Marvel characters?

Tricia Helfer: Oh, I don’t know. I mean, Black Cat would really be my dream, I think just because I’m a crazy cat lady. I got lots of cats. And my Chinese sign is a tiger, so I am a cat.

Marvel.com: What upcoming projects are you working on?

Tricia Helfer: I actually just started work on a new NBC series called “The Firm,” based on the John Grisham novel, and it’s going to be premiering sometime this winter on NBC. So I’m pretty excited about that; it’s a great group of people. Lukas Reiter is the showrunner/executive producer. John Grisham’s involved; he’s an executive producer. There’s a great list of people: Juliette Lewis, Josh Lucas, Molly Parker and Callum Keith Rennie--another “Battlestar” alum. I haven’t had any scenes with him yet, but I hope to.

Marvel.com: What’s it like having been part of a project like “Battlestar Galactica” that the fans still love?

Tricia Helfer: It’s amazing to be part of something, [such as] “Battlestar Galactica,” that has that staying power. And I think it’s because it was so socially relevant and it just touches on human issues. I think it’s something that’s timeless in that respect. While we were shooting it, it was actuall--in some ways completely by coincidence--very poignant for our time that we were living in. But I think it’s something that will be timeless and can be watched in future generations and still have a meaning and importance to them, for sure.

Marvel.com: How do you like going to conventions?

Tricia Helfer: Dragon*Con is such a huge convention and you know, I think conventions are good. They get a bad wrap sometimes, but it’s like anything; it’s like a sporting event. You go to a sporting event and everybody’s dressed up in uniforms and cheering for their team, so I think if you enjoy it and it’s your passion, I think it’s great. It’s great that there’s a venue and something that people can get together and talk about their shared interests.

Black Cat in 'Spider-Man: Web of Shadows"

Marvel.com: Tell us about your charity work.

Tricia Helfer: I really am an animal lover, so that’s what most of my charity work is for; you know, just supporting The Humane Society. I’ve presented at their Genesis awards a couple of times. And I did an ad for PETA with one of my cats Mr. Nix.

I work closely with Kitten Rescue in Los Angeles, all volunteer-run; [it’s an] amazing small organization. And RAPS--Richland Animal Protection Society in Vancouver, which is I think the largest no-kill shelter in North America. It’s amazingly run.

I have a Helfer Fund, so anybody can donate to the Helfer Fund. And it is specifically for older cats with medical issues. And on my website, TriciaHelfer.com, I have a shop section where I sell autographs and memorabilia from shows and things that I have, and 100 percent of the profits go to animal charities. [They’re] usually divided up between Kitten Rescue and RAPS in Vancouver.

Marvel.com: Finally, what stuff do you geek out over?

Spider-Man and Black Cat in 'Spider-Man: Web of Shadows"

Tricia Helfer: Um, what do I geek out over? I have to say that I’ve become a huge fan of the “Game of Thrones” books, so I kinda geek out over that. I auditioned for Cercei; that’s how I found out about it because I auditioned and I loved the script so much that even though I didn’t get the part I said I’ve gotta read the books. And I was just fascinated by it. So I’ve just recently got the fifth book that just came out—“A Dance With Dragons”--and I’m about a quarter of the way into it.

Marvel.com: So just “Game of Thrones”?

Tricia Helfer: “Game of Thrones.” In terms of other things; I don’t know. I mean, can you geek out over animals? I don’t know, I mean I’d probably be the biggest geek out there if you [counted] geeking out over animals. Like when some women get all googly over a baby, I get all googly over an animal. So a baby I can be like “mehhhh, take it!” But give me any kind of animal in need, and I go a little crazy.

You can learn more about Tricia Helfer at her website TriciaHelfer.com as well on Twitter @trutriciahelfer. And if you’d like to donate to the various organizations mentioned, visit www.kittenrescue.org or www.rapsociety.com.

Do you know of a celebrity, athlete or musician who we should spotlight in The Marvel Life? Tweet 
@Marvel or @Agent_M with the hashtag #MarvelLife and let us know!

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MasterTy plus member

Tricia should be Black Cat in the movies.