It’s been five years since Heroes, the TV show that followed a group of everyday people (remember the Cheerleader?) as they grappled with newly discovered superpowers, went off the air. Beginning this month, those heroes and a whole slate of new ones are back in Heroes Reborn, a new NBC miniseries that revisits the topic.
Here Danika Yarosh, who plays the weather-controlling teenager Malina, talks about the secretive audition process, binge-watching the original series and what she’d choose as her own superpower.
Were you a fan of Heroes when it was first around?
I didn’t watch it when it first came out because I was really young, but before we started filming I binge watched it on Netflix. I saw the first season in just a few days, and I was obsessed. I’m a huge fan, so I’m so, so stoked to be a part of this.
Are those people who were fanatical about the original going to find what they’re looking for in this series?
Oh, yeah, I think people will love this. You could say I’m excited for it because I’m in it, but no, it’s because it’s going to be awesome. You still have the factors of the original, but it gets a lot more intense and you have a lot of characters returning as well. It’s not a totally new group of people, so you can look forward to that. It’s a really, really awesome storyline and there are a lot of things that are happening.
You’re almost done filming the 13 episodes in the season. Are you having a good time?
Oh, my God, I am having the best time. It’s so great. Everyone is so sweet and so friendly and warm; the cast is a huge family. We’re all really close so we all hang out on our free time. We’ll have movie night or game night or we go out and play Ping-Pong.
That sounds great. Did you know what you were getting into when you auditioned for the part?
It was actually so secretive, and I didn’t fully know what I was auditioning for. There was a fake name that they gave us, and no character descriptions. They wrote sides that were just for the audition that didn’t give anything away. It was a pretty quick audition process, and then when I found out that I got it is when I actually found out who I’d be playing and what powers I had, so that was exciting.
And you’re happy with it?
I play Malina, a very unique teenage girl. She had a very different upbringing than most: From the beginning, as long as she can remember, she was told that she has a destiny and that she is meant for greatness. She kind of grew up totally isolated from the real world, so that she could train and learn to fully develop her abilities. It’s so awesome. When I was younger I used to go around the house and the yard pretending I was controlling all the elements, and now I actually get to do that for real. I have real time effects going on and everything, it’s awesome.
So, you’ve just been training for this your whole life.
Yeah, exactly. I know what I’m doing.
If you had real-life superpowers, what would you want?
Part of me wants to say the ability to control the elements, because if I could control the elements, that technically means that I could fly—I’ve talked to the show’s writers about it and they’re like, “Nope,”—but maybe if I had the ability to sprout French fries from my fingers, I could just eat them whenever I’m hungry. That’d be great.