Laura Vandervoort gets ready to sink her teeth into 'Bitten'

Laura Vandervoort as Elena Michaels in Bitten. (Matt Barnes/Syfy, handout)

Laura Vandervoort as Elena Michaels in Bitten. (Matt Barnes/Syfy, handout)

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:24 PM ET

If Laura Vandervoort feels the need to strip naked and go running through the forest, she can just proceed. She doesn't necessarily have to go to the trouble of transforming into a werewolf.

“I'm sure there's a better way to do it, but we want to be as amazing for the audience as we can, so why not?” Vandervoort replied with a laugh. She was referring to her new supernatural series Bitten, which debuts Saturday, Jan. 11 on Space.

But you know, Laura, I've noticed something through my many years watching TV. Only good-looking people tend to strip naked for jogs through the woods, werewolves or not. It's never some fat, hairy dude for whom the difference between man and beast is subtle.

“Right? Well, some of the guys on the show grow the hair when they're changing,” Toronto-born Vandervoort said. “But I'm glad that TV has been so introspective for you. That's what TV is, it's all fake and smoke and mirrors and not reality.”

Well, the reality for Bitten, which is based on novels by acclaimed Sudbury author Kelley Armstrong, is that Vandervoort is starring as lead character Elena Michaels. Elena is torn between two worlds, as she has built a human life for herself since becoming a werewolf. Now she must weigh just how much loyalty she feels to her secret and unwanted “pack.”

In that sense, Bitten really is about the responsibilities of so-called family. What is reasonable and what is unreasonable to expect of someone?

“Exactly, yeah - I've been comparing this show lightly to The Sopranos, just in terms of the family dynamic and protecting your family at all costs,” Vandervoort said. “Elena hates that she has become this creature, but she also never really had a family before. She grew up in the foster-care system.

“I read the book and fell in love with Elena, everything that she is, both perfect and flawed, strong and weak. I guess I could say I relate to Elena more than most of the characters I've played, and I know that's odd to say because she's a werewolf. But just with her having two different lives and trying to be who people want her to be, there are a lot of parallels.”

Known previously for her roles on TV shows such as V and Smallville, and movies such as Ted, Bitten marks the first time Vandervoort is sinking her teeth into being a series lead.

“I started acting when I was 13 and this was a great opportunity for me to finally get a chance to really challenge myself, day in and day out, in every scene,” said Vandervoort, 29. “And I love action, I grew up doing martial arts, so it kind of had a bit of everything I wanted to do.

“There's a lot more pressure involved. Not only are we bringing a book to life that has a huge fan base, but also just setting the tone. I want to fulfill what they saw in Elena, having chosen me.”

Just be careful with all that running around naked in the woods, Laura Vandervoort. It's cold outside. I worry.

“Thanks,” Vandervoort said. “I will make sure that the hot chocolate and the blankets are on standby for season two.”

Twitter: @billharris_tv

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca


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