I had the privilege of speaking with two of the showrunners of Beauty and the Beast, Sherri Cooper and Jennifer Levin, at a press roundtable during New York Comic Con. If you haven’t already, check out my interview with Jay Ryan and Kristin Kreuk! Beauty and the Beast airs Monday nights at 9/8 central on the CW.
Can you explain the rationality for breaking Cat and Vincent up and having them basically start all over again?
Sherri Cooper: Well we felt a little bit…
Jennifer Levin: We missed stuff.
SC: We skipped beats, we felt like, and in a first season show…whatever it happens, and things are crazy. In one shot, they are like “We ordered a procedural show. Wait, no we don’t need the crime story.” So, in looking at it, we thought we don’t really have a lot of place, right now he felt like he wasn’t a beast.
JL: That was one of the other things, he felt like, by the end of the season to us, he was a dude in a warehouse with this other dude.
SC: We are just waiting for her to show up.
JL: He didn’t really have a drive. We were always like, “What’s his drive? What does he want in life?” So, we came up with this.
SC: We have this new showrunner, Brad Kern, who we adore, and he had come up with this great idea. He had gone through amnesia. It was temporary, but it was based off an authentic experience that he went through. The more we talked about it and realized it would be sort of romantic, and theirs is something when you have to start over, you can always do it better the second time around, so it does feel very…We are eight episodes or nine episodes in, so we have the benefit of seeing that, so it gets very romantic because you do truly fall in love a second time. You get to have first kisses all over again.
JL: What if he’s not the same person you fell in love with?
SC: And what does that mean?
JL: And that challenge. We really wanted to challenge ourselves with challenging their relationship, and that seems like a huge challenge. He’s worse. He doesn’t remember. He’s worse. Throwing all the obstacles that we could that we didn’t really do last year.
There was also a feeling of “When are they going to kiss?!”
SC: Yes, I agree! I totally agree.
JL: We did not want it to be a will they or won’t they show. It was not going to be that. It was like they are. Now what’s the problem?
SC: You’re totally right about the kiss, but then it felt like towards the end, they were all in with each other, so by episode 13, I agree. We both felt like: “Fuck! Kiss him already! What are we waiting for other than TV stuff?” And that’s why they kissed in episode 13. Initially, we thought they weren’t going to kiss until 22, and then we felt totally similar: “Fuck this!” I guess it was that and then organically if Muirfield did catch him, and this was all real life, wouldn’t they to make a soldier erase all that shit, run back to her? It felt like, when we thought about it, the right authentic thing, and then we can play with what emotional memories, and you’ll see it through… He may not remember, but he emotionally knows he has this feeling for her. He can still hear her heartbeat. He can still pull to her, and he can’t explain why.
So for Vincent the theme is who am I, what is Cat really dealing with this season?
SC: A lot of things. Who am I, once she figures out who her biological father is? Who am I that I am willing to deal with a guy like this? Who am I, am I defined by my relationship? Who am I, am I a danger junkie? A lot of identities. We go through a lot of that.
Q: She has a lot to work through.
SC: Yes! They both do. They have to earn their way back to each other.
JL: And the beginning is Vincent centric because…
SC: Because he is the one with amnesia.
JL: But it does become about her and her issues.
What do you think is in store for Cat and Vincent? Leave me your thoughts on the interview in a comment below.
Photo Credit: HerThing