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Beauty and the Beast Season Two Premiere Preview: “Who Am I?” [VIDEO and INTERVIEW] 

Who Am I?
Photo Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW

[WARNING: Spoilers for new season of Beauty and the Beast]

It’s Fall TV and we’re finally getting to the premieres of the CW shows. Beauty and the Beast returns on a new night starting tonight.

“Who Am I?” Synopsis: VINCENT AND CATHERINE REUNITE, BUT VINCENT HAS CHANGED — Three months after Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan) was abducted by Muirfield, Detective Catherine Chandler (Kristin Kreuk), is reunited with him – but not in the way she planned. He’s changed: his scar has disappeared, his memory has been wiped clean and he returns as a supercharged beast on a mysterious mission. Catherine needs to unravel the reasons behind Vincent’s change if she has any hopes of recovering their epic love, while also trying to solve the secrets that swirl around her own life. Also starring Nina Lisandrello, Austin Basis and Sendhil Ramamurthy. Stuart Gillard directed the episode written by Brad Kern.

At this summer’s Comic-Con, we talked to BatB‘s Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan about what to expect this season:

How season two is different from season one

KRISTIN KREUK: Our show is going to be very, very different this year. We have a new show runner [Brad Kern, Charmed] on board who’s amazing just…like an amazing man. So I talked to [EPs Jennifer Levin and Sherri Cooper-Landsman] and they…the really cool thing is that this year has a full arc — beginning, middle and full season character arcs — already kind of mapped which is so wonderful to me. I’m so excited about it. And I love where it’s going because it’s really about self-definition and who am I apart from a man and who am I when my family is not the family that I thought I had. And I love that for her [Catherine] so much.

JAY RYAN: This season, we’ve made it be scarier. It’s got a lot of what you won’t see. and what is implied that the beast has done – that is a way that you can shoot television and make it kind of  compete against those big Marvel movies. You know, we don’t have the budget or the time to do that. So we got to go back to the old school sort of Jaws tactics I guess in a way. So we’re really gonna play with that a bit more. And I think things will develop as we go along. It’s something new for me to work with. Vincent’s universe is gonna really open up this season. You’re gonna discover, finally, who he was raised with, why he’s J.T.’s friend, what J.T.’s ultimate purpose is for protecting Vincent for so long…his loyalty, where that lies. We’re really focusing in on the mythology this season and the procedural has kind of slipped away. Our purpose for it to establish characters is no longer needed.

The Vincent/Catherine relationship at the beginning of season two

KRISTIN: Well, there’s a little bit of turmoil. This season has them kind of tested rather intensely. Catherine has been kind of obsessed with him and has sacrificed a lot in her life. I can’t give a ton of away but they’re going to be falling in love and also pulled apart by so many forces this year. Including Catherine’s real father.

JAY: In season one we put them together so quickly because, you know, everyone knows that they’re destined to be together — those two characters. So in season two they’re gonna be challenged. The whole mantra of season two for everyone is ‘who am I’ and that’s what we come in with. For Vincent it’s am I man or am I beast? And that’s through his current dilemma of being captured by his creator — which is Muirfield — and they’ve basically rewired him in a sense to make him the beast, the super soldier that they intended him to always be. So when he’s finally found by Catherine he’s really gonna have to navigate that with her. And I think they’re gonna have to discover…a bit of self discovery to come back and make their relationship stronger. The bond stronger.

Catherine’s emotional state at the beginning of season two

KRISTIN: She’s messed up. The girl hasn’t dealt with anything in her life. She hasn’t emotionally dealt with anything. She’s shut down. She’s driven. She’s probably not eating, hardly ever sleeping, drinking a lot of coffee, constantly — it’ s been three months of doing this. she goes for runs but when she’s running she’s still trying to find him. It’s everything in her life. And Heather hasn’t even had the chance to tell her that the man Catherine thinks is her father isn’t her father. Because Catherine hasn’t let there be a moment of breath. So she’s kind of a wreck without letting herself be a wreck.

The excitement of playing a super-charged Vincent this season

JAY: I’m really excited. It gives me something more to play with and we’ve also redeveloped the actual beast prosthetic makeup. So we’ve really honed that down into what it should be. And I’ve had a lot more input this time was well because now I can and things hadn’t been already decided when you come into a season. So I’m excited. I can do so much more. We’ve got a great new team — the stunt coordinators — and they’re really working with me to create this new super soldier kind of beast movement and how that all works.

The Catherine/Tess friendship

KRISTIN: Tess and Joe are split up by the time we come back in season two and Tess is watching Catherine kind of destroy herself, essentially, in this obsession. And she’s looking out for her best friend. She wants Catherine to be okay and she can see that if she keeps doing things the way she’s doing she’s gonna just fall apart. So they’re very close and tight but in a different way because Catherine’s so not paying attention to anybody else in her life.

The Vincent and J.T. relationship 

JAY: It’s tough, you know? He has a lot of guilt within him — Vincent. He feels guilty for being captured. For not really saving or protecting Catherine in the way that he should. He feels like he’s failed. So he really…I don’t know. He feels disconnected from J.T. And from Catherine. A lot. And so he really has to — I don’t know. He just kind of has to decide if he’s man or he’s beast.

Season two of Beauty and the Beast kicks off tonight at 9/8c on the CW.

Extended Preview

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