Olesya Rulin, like so many young actors, is just happy when she lands a job. In the case of being cast in the Playstation Network series, “Powers,” the complexity of the character is an even bigger blessing.
The Russia-born Rulin returns to the role of Calista Secor, who will become the new Retro Girl in the second season of the series. Season one – based on the graphic novel by Brian Michael Bendis – followed the lives of two homicide detectives, Christian Walker (Sharlto Copley) and Deena Pilgrim (Susan Heyward), who deal with cases involving superhumans. Their biggest case is the surprising death of Retro Girl (Michelle Forbes).
Calista started out as a teenage Power wannabe with street smarts, attitude and vulnerability but at the end of the first season found herself with Retro Girl-type powers.
“It’s rare for an female to get a strong role like this one. Usually you get cast just because you are pretty and if you aren’t that pretty then you are cast as the pretty girl’s friend,” Rulin says. “With this role, I can be sexy, strong, broken and make horrible mistakes.
“I get to just be a woman. With that there is a sexuality. I can be strong or I can wear a push-up bra. It’s good to be able to show the female – and the male – demographics that a blonde can be pretty and strong.”
Rulin knew from the comic books that her character had the potential to become a major force. But, she found out the transition from the comics to a TV series doesn’t mean everything will be the same. She’s happy that the path the series writers have taken has given her the opportunity to play a character who is so strong and positive.
She’s already earned major points with her older brother, Daniel, who is both a fan of PlayStation and the comics. He was the one who coached her on the “Powers” history for the audition.
Now, Rulin, says he brags to all his “Tour of Duty” buddies that his sister is one of the “Powers.”
One of the powers her character has is the ability to fly. In the season two opener – one of three episodes that will be available on PlayStation Network on Tuesday, May 31 – Calista tries to perfect her flying skills. Most of the work is her tumbling through the air and to the ground.
Those scenes were easier for Rulin because it was her first time in a flying harness and a lot of the screaming is real. One thing that helped was her ballet training.
“The harness is only on the lower half of your body and so you have to control the top part. My training as a ballerina helped me do that,” Rulin says.
Her ballet training also helped her land roles in the three “High School Musical” films. It wasn’t long after Rulin and her family immigrated from a small town four miles outside Moscow to Utah that she started acting. Her work has ranged from a guest spot on “CSI: Miami” to playing Abby in “Greek.”
Just don’t ask Rulin to do a Russian accent. Her English is so good that she describes herself as a “Russian who can’t play Russian.” That doesn’t matter with “Powers.”
You can see her work through a PS3 and PS4 game console, online via www.playstationstore.com, on any Web browser or through the PlayStation Video app on select Android devices. Joining the cast this year are some familiar faces: Michael Madsen, Tricia Helfer, Wil Wheaton and Enrico Colantoni.
Rulin loves that her show is being shown via the PlayStation and online channels because it gives freedom to the actors.
“We are able to say and do things that we couldn’t do elsewhere, including some of my wardrobe choices,” Rulin says.
One new episodes of the 10-episode second season will be available each Tuesday after the season begins.
- 12:01 a.m. May 31, PlayStation Network