The much-anticipated sci-fi series ALPHAS is finally debuting on July 11th on Syfy. Optimistic about the show and her role in it is Azita Ghanizada, who portrays Rachel Pirzad, a young woman gifted with a “synesthete” ability — meaning she can temporarily enhance one of her primary senses, but only at the expense of all her other senses. So if she enhances her eyesight for a few minutes, she cannot hear during that time. It is an extraordinary ability, but one that leads to all sorts of predicaments. Fortunately, Rachel is not alone. In ALPHAS, they have a team of extra-perceptory individuals – each with their own special skill.
Azita describes ALPHAS as, “ordinary individuals with exceptional powers.” She also admits that is what initially drew her to the role. She said, “There are real human aspects to them – especially Rachel, whose family is very conservative and ethnic; so they think her ability is a curse.” Thus, the show is about self-discovery and self-acceptance as much as it is about using their amazing abilities for quasi-government purposes. As Azita explained, “Rachel is coming out of her shell. Finding out it is not a curse is huge.” Another attraction to the role was the challenge of portraying someone who is so shy and uncomfortable, which is just the opposite of herself.
When asked what is the word she would use to describe Rachel, Azita thoughtfully said, “Precious.” She then added, “She is so honest and refreshing.” She further explained that she admired, “[Rachel’s] ability to break free. She is just beginning to experience the world; yet she has durability and she is super smart.”
So while Rachel is blossoming into being an intriguing young woman, Azita admitted that she also found it a challenge to play Rachel’s deeply-rooted gullibility, which Azita attributes to, “She wants to be loved, but people want to take advantage of her — and, unfortunately, she’s dealing with difficult and dangerous people.” Thus, the lesson to be learned is that it is not easy being special and yet the whole world wants to exploit you for their own purposes. To have to keep up your guard when it goes against everything you have known is hard. As an actor, Azita also wrestles with that inherent contradiction in the character.
In a world of deceit, Rachel’s one constant is Dr. Rosen (played by David Strathairn). As Rachel’s quasi-savior/mentor, “He admires and deals with Alphas. He has an almost parental bond with Rachel. He’s someone who accepts her and can guide her. So they are comfortable together and he’s very protective of her.” Azita also laughingly admitted, “Their relationship is a testament to my relationship with David!” She then added, “David’s exquisite! He’s really classy, comes from the theatre, and is a great aspect of every scene. He treats everyone as a partner-in-crime and lets you go toe-to-toe with him. So while everyone on the set couldn’t be more different in real-life, we’re always laughing and get along great.”
While Dr. Rosen maybe the one person Rachel feels comfortable with, that does not mean that there are not any romantic interests on the horizon. In fact, Rachel will go on her first date, which gets complicated due to her extra-perceptory abilities.
Another fun thing that Azita recalled from the show was that she got to wear a doggy-cam. She explained it as, “They are cameras used by the military. It was great fun!” Apparently, Rachel has a period where she is infected by another Alpha and Azita had the time of her life going “bat-shit crazy.” Azita laughingly admitted, “I had a great time playing her inner-rage and doing things she wouldn’t normally do, if she wasn’t infected.”
Sharing something that viewers may not initially know about Rachel, Azita revealed, “When we first meet Rachel in the pilot, she’s not who she will be in future episodes. She was originally written as Jewish and she wears frumpy, oversized clothes. But she wants to become a young professional and that emerges in the upcoming episodes when she becomes who she really is. So she ultimately becomes a lot more than how the first episode portrays her.” With a clothing and image makeover headed her way, as well as some life lessons, Rachel is one to watch. She is going to surprises us all!
Finally, as a teaser about what the big overall arcing theme of the season will be, Azita said that future episodes will introduce other types of Alphas, some that have more of a criminal-side, and more will be revealed about their arch-nemeses Red Flag and why it is hunting the Alphas.
With all that to look forward to this summer, Azita hopes you will tune in for ALPHA which starting July 11th airs Monday nights at 10:00PM on Syfy (Space in Canada)
Tiffany Vogt is a contributing writer to TheTVAddict. She has a great love for television and firmly believes that entertainment is a world of wondrous adventures that deserves to be shared and explored – she invites you to join her. Please feel free to contact Tiffany at Tiffany_Vogt_2000@yahoo.com or follow her at on Twitter (@TVWatchtower).