When The Orville: New Horizons arrives on Hulu this week, fans will notice a new face among Captain Ed Mercer’s (Seth MacFarlane) crew: Charly Burke, a young ensign whose navigational talents have landed her a spot on the bridge. In “Electric Sheep,” the first episode, we quickly get to know her—and her intense personality.
Without spoiling anything that happens in the episode, let’s just say Charly has been through a lot and she’s tough as nails as a result. But does she have a lighter side? “It’s possible,” actor Anne Winters (13 Reasons Why) told io9 at a recent Orville press day. “She definitely grows in the season and I’m excited for everyone to see her arc, because she has a massive storyline and is coming in with such a strong point of view ... but yeah, you might see a bit of a lighter side. I guess actually, I would really be curious to see what the audience has to say about that, because even Charly’s lighter side may not be super light.”
Being the new person on the set is something that Winters’ co-star, Jessica Szohr—who plays Lieutenant Talla Keyali, the ship’s superstrong alien security chief—knows a bit about, since she joined The Orville in its second season. “I knew that they were searching for this role up and down and really making sure, obviously, that the right person got it and brought this character to life—[her] arc is so intense and is a big arc of the season,” Szohr said. “But she really just knocked it out of the park and came in ready to rock and roll.”
For her part, Winters said she felt at home right away. “Everyone on set was very welcoming, honestly. I mean, to come in after two seasons of a show is sometimes intimidating, but you never really know until you get there. So I felt very welcomed. It was it was a joy to work with the whole cast.”
As for the season ahead, Winters obviously couldn’t share too much about Charly’s big arc. But she did mention one thing that was extra exciting for her. “I loved working with Victor Garber [who plays Fleet Admiral Halsey, Mercer’s boss]. That was so fun because I was—I don’t know, I just still see him as the Legally Blonde professor, and that was one of my favorite movies. So I got to go on a little adventure with him and some of the other crew. Each episode is a different adventure and it also looks completely different—the sets and everything are just incredible, and completely different each episode.”
Szohr shared Winters’ enthusiasm. “I always say it’s every piece of the puzzle, from post-production, to the whole cast and crew, to pre-production, everything. It takes so much to make this work and our sets are beautiful, and we all put our blood, sweat, and tears into this,” she said. “I’m so excited for after so many years, it’ll be worth the wait. And I keep saying everyone needs to buckle up and enjoy the ride because it’s going to be a bumpy but fun one.”
The Orville: New Horizons premieres June 2 on Hulu.
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