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Dana Davis and Nichelle Nichols Speak on Characters, New Orleans

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Dana Davis and Nichelle Nichols had a difficult enough job coming aboard Heroes for season two. Many fans are skeptical about adding new characters.

But these two actresses are also involved in a story line that reflects a real-like tragedy: the effects of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans.

Nichelle Nichols PhotoThey talked about that in a recent interview:

On whether it was emotionally difficult to play characters who had been affected by Katrina:
Dana: I have to say in the beginning it was, because when I did my research, I watched some documentaries about Katrina. I'm the kind of person that when I see someone crying I cry too. I take on that emotion, so sometimes I run from it. And when I got this part I couldn't run anymore.

It really made it real to me, because you know, Heroes is so surreal and it's fun. Bringing in this element of reality, it was hard for me. So I have to find a way to kind of put it in a box so I could play this fun, upbeat character. But I think it makes the character more real.

Nichelle: I watched Katrina on television like a junkie, I couldn't turn it off and I was at the crying stage daily, especially with the little children and the people who lost their homes, those who succumbed to the pain and those who stood tall through thick and thin. I thought, my god, this is real; this is the reality of what can happen.

I'm in the fire zone, and though my house is safe, it brought home just how delicate your existence can be at any given time and to be able to play this role and to have this circumstance, I could relate to her so powerfully and how she had stood tall and diffident and it either makes you or breaks you, and I could see that Nana was not broken. Injured but not broken.

Click here to read the full interview.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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