HEROES REBORN -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Judi Shekoni as Joanne -- (Photo by: Jeff Riedel/NBC)

HEROES REBORN  – Judi Shekoni as Joanne — (Photo by: Jeff Riedel/NBC)

*NBC described “Heroes Reborn” as a “retooling” rather than a reboot, and last week the two-hour season premiere saw the return (and mention) of some familiar characters, and introduced us to a slew of new ones, including British actress Judi Shekoni who plays Evo assassin Joanne Collins.

Evos are evolved humans (super powers), and the most captivating of them so far is Miko, a young Japanese girl who discovers she is the real-life inspiration for the video game, “Evernow.” She can enter the game world by touching an ancient sword her father left for her. Once there, she goes on a quest to save him in Japan.

HEROES REBORN -- "Under the Mask" Episode 103 -- Pictured: Kiki Sukezane as Miko Otomo -- (Photo by: Ian Watson/NBC)

HEROES REBORN — Pictured: Kiki Sukezane as Miko Otomo — (Photo by: Ian Watson/NBC)

The first part of the premiere, called ‘Brave New World’ (same title as the Season 4 finale), reveals somewhat of a budding utopia in little Odessa, Texas, where Evos and humans co-exist peacefully until the town is obliterated by a terrorist attack – killing hundreds, including Claire – maybe (she’s only mentioned) – but HRG is back and he sets out to confirm if his Claire Bear is truly deceased. He teams with a conspiracy theorist to uncover how he survived the attack, why he has no memory post-attack and why the event is blamed on Mohinder Suresh, who is referenced but never seen.

HEROES REBORN -- "Brave New World / Odessa" Episode 101/102 -- Pictured: (l-r) Judith Shekoni as Joanne Collins, Zachary Levi as Luke Collins -- (Photo by: Christos Kalohoridis/NBC)

HEROES REBORN — Pictured: Judith Shekoni, Zachary Levi — (Photo by: Christos Kalohoridis/NBC)

After losing their young son in the Odessa attack, Judi’s character and her husband (played by Zachary Levi) are tracking down Evos, one bullet at a time. The Electronic Urban Report/EURweb caught up with Judi to discuss the series and her character – a role she said she feels “blessed” to have. We also asked if Tim Kring’s “retooling” will be as dark and twisted as the original.

“I think with a lot of characters they want to keep it hush-hush because they want to save all the twists and the turns for the audience experience,” Judi said. “Joanne is a vigilante, she’s on a mission to eradicate people with special powers for what they did to [her] son.”

Judi said Kring’s new vision of “Heroes” will transport us into a world “where people with special powers are being bagged and tagged and have limited resources and their freedom is restricted. You see a world that is more paranoid, feels afraid and rejected, and feels suppressed. From a perspective of energy, it’s a little darker but from the perspective of a audience, it means there’s more conflict and that always leads to a more exciting journey for the audience.”

Judi, who played Zafrina in “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2,” revealed that she’s a “real sci-fi chick,” and that she’s “very much into special powers and what’s possible for people,” adding that she feels blessed to be working at a time when Hollywood is starting to cast “commercial projects” with diverse actors, especially strong women.


“About three years ago, I went to some general meetings at the studios, and they were explaining how this was going to happen,” she revealed. “Because if you look at where society is, and if you look at the mix of the population that is changing so quickly,  the audience itself is becoming so diverse that television has to reflect it.  I remember them saying that they were taking strides to keep up with the audience and the population. Now three years later, I think we’re witnessing it on the screen.”

What are you hoping “Heroes Reborn” adds to the TV landscape?

“If you think about life, you make new friends and new people come into your life. There are friends who’ve been in your life and they’ve gone away – and they leave a little hole because you always remember certain qualities of them that you don’t have anymore. The ideal situation would be that “Heroes” would fill the space of that old friend that you enjoyed the company of [who] went away and came back.”

“Heroes Reborn” airs Thursdays at 8/7c on NBC.