'Beauty and the Beast' stars Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan on damsels in distress and shades of grey

beauty-and-the-beast-the-cw.jpg "Beauty and the Beast" might have already caught some flack ahead of its debut for the simple fact that its Beast, a former military man-turned-experiment gone wrong, has a single, sexy scar running down his cheek. But that's no reason not to tune in to The CW's newest drama, premiering Thursday, Oct. 11 at 9 p.m., following "The Vampire Diaries."

The new show features former "Smallville" star Kristin Kreuk as the Beauty, Catherine, a New York cop who was drawn to the force after her mother's murder. She stumble's upon the Beast, Vincent ( Jay Ryan), and discovers he's somehow connected to the case. Together, they solve crimes.

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Zap2it sat down with Kreuk and Ryan ahead of their show's debut, where they discussed why their show is more than just a procedural, why the Beauty is no damsel in distress, and the flirtation between their two characters.

Zap2it: So, your show is a cop procedural, but there are other elements to it.
JR: It's a procedural with a huge mythological element to it. I feel like procedural is kind of like the "A" storyline, the case of the week that will continue on and on, but the "B" storyline is the mythological stuff, the relationship between Catherine and Vincent. And there's almost a "C" storyline, which is this dark, sort of presence of [the company behind the Beast experiment] who are trying to hunt Vincent down.
KK: Those are the three basic elements of our show.

How do they find each other?
KK: The reason Catherine finds him in the first place is because of her job. Because she's a detective, she can find this stuff out, which is why she chose to do it in the first place. She wanted to be able to have access to all of that information and feel in control of that. So as we go through each episode, the climb will generally be a metaphor for what's going on for the characters. Sometimes it will be more obvious, sometimes less obvious, but there's a connection between them. Sometimes Vincent will be involved and sometimes he won't be. [Laughs] But no matter what's going on, the cases will push Catherine into a certain emotional space, or her relationship with Vincent will, and will help tie everything together.

So, what kind of relationship will they have?
JR: It's going to be a dangerous, spontaneous, give-and-take sort of relationship. It's going to be the ultimate relationship that people hope to have but when they're in it it's really...
KK: I don't hope to have that relationship.
JR: You don't? That's about passion and love and everything's hiding. I think that when you're really in love, you go to all of those extremes.
KK: Yeah, they'll see the darkest parts of each other, which is important for love to develop in any way. Like, true love doesn't exist [only] in the world of, "I see the best in you all the time. La la la la la." It's like, "I see you. And I know that you aren't bad. You aren't the bad stuff that you do."

Obviously Catherine is a cop and she's tough, but Vincent is there trying to come and save her. How do you prevent her from being a damsel in distress?
KK: I was just talking about this a little while ago. It's interesting because, let's be honest, the Beast is stronger than Catherine. Physically, his capacity is incredible. In certain circumstances, physically as a person, she can't do everything herself. So, there is that element where I don't think it's bad that he is there to do that. I think if it happens all the time, we draw an assumption that she is unable to take care of herself, which isn't true. So they won't be doing that. There's going to the partnership. Also, and it may not be from kicking people, but she's going to help him and protect him as well as he will her, and it becomes something they do together, not just one-sided where there's the damsel and then there's the hero.
JR: Yeah. It's a very balanced relationship and they respect what they give each other. And what happens will be playing out on the series. They're two very similar characters. I keep saying they're two Alphas. And they both want the same things but do them in a very different way. So that's a big learning process for the two of them.
KK: Yeah. In some ways, I think, Catherine is very righteous. I think he is a little more grey.
JR: He is too. He has a little bit more baggage, though, around him. And whatever his actions are, there's consequences for not only him, but everyone around him.
KK: And Catherine doesn't see that in her life. She believes there's a "right" and a "wrong," and a "good" and a "bad," and you have to do things to make sure that the bad people go away, which isn't true. And that's gonna all unravel.
JR:It's not black and white.

"Beauty and the Beast" airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.
Photo/Video credit: The CW