Few broadcast-network stars can talk about the start of their show’s new season already knowing there will be another beyond it.
Kristin Kreuk is in that happy position: Soon after the third-season premiere of “Beauty and the Beast” — which returns Thursday (June 11) on The CW — she’ll go back before the cameras to start filming Season 4, likely to air next year. She never had that kind of early job security during her “Smallville” run as Lana Lang, so it’s a big bonus for her that the love story of police-detective beauty Catherine Chandler and her “beastly” beau Vincent (Jay Ryan) is guaranteed to go on.
“It is awesome,” Kreuk tells Zap2it of having a fourth season of “Beauty” in store. She notes she’s “never actually experienced” completing a whole round of a show before it airs, as with Season 3, but “it feels good to have it done. The weird thing is that we’ll be shooting Season 4 while Season 3 is airing, which will be funny, I think. The fans will be talking about what we did earlier.”
Kreuk gives major credit to those fans, often referred to as “Beasties,” for helping to keep the series going. “It’s pretty amazing. They will watch it wherever it’s placed on the schedule, and that is so fantastic. They’re solid and they’re engaged and they care deeply, and that’s all you can ask for from fans. And I think every guest star who comes in and tweets about their experience just gets bombarded by Beastie love.”
“Beauty and the Beast” could have ended with Season 2, since the closing scene that gave Catherine and Vincent the prospect of a happy life together would have served that purpose. “We weren’t sure,” Kreuk recalls, “so Brad [executive producer Kern] ended it purposely that way. There was a cliffhanger in there, but there also was a finality to it. We did that in New York at the end of shooting, and you usually never know if you’re coming back. You’re constantly in limbo.”
However, “Beauty and the Beast” picks up from that point with what Kreuk deems “a new chapter for the characters. They have come to a very different place after Season 2, especially in regard to their relationship. They have as normal a life as they’ve ever had … so with that feeling solid for them, all the drama in Season 3 is easier to navigate.”
The same may — or may not — hold true for Catherine’s police partner Tess (Nina Lisandrello) and Vincent’s comrade J.T (Austin Basis), who have become personally involved. Nicole Gale Anderson has series-regular status now as Catherine’s ever-lively sister Heather, and familiar faces Natasha Henstridge (“Species”) and Jason Gedrick (“Boomtown”) have been added in new roles.
“The season has a lot of space for humor” from Catherine and Vincent, Kreuk notes, “with two people who clearly are abnormal trying to be normal. And not able to quite be that.”