Beastly problems part of actor's art

ARA JANSEN

Austin Basis is about to up stumps on his life again but it's all in the name of Beauty and the Beast, his latest show. Next month the actor temporarily relocates from his home in Los Angeles to Toronto where the second season of Beauty and the Beast will be filming.

Basis will live in the Canadian city with fellow cast members until the season is done, around March next year. The first season of Beauty and the Beast has recently started airing in Australia.

In the show, the geeky Basis stars alongside Kristin Kreuk (Smallville's Lana Lang) and the broody, explosive Vincent Keller played by Kiwi and adopted Aussie Jay Ryan.

Loosely based on the 1987 series of the same name, Beauty and the Beast mixes a police procedural with elements of the supernatural, and, of course, there's plenty of moodiness and romance thrown in for good measure.

Basis plays biochemistry professor J.T. Forbes, Vincent's boyhood friend whom he keeps safe from prying eyes. A doctor, Vincent joined the army after 9/11 and through a series of government experiments was turned into a beastly super soldier who was supposedly killed in action. Trying to help those in danger, Vincent saves Detective Catherine Chandler (Kreuk) after her mother is murdered in front of her. Nine years later they cross paths and after some bumpy early meetings Vincent starts to covertly help Catherine .

The first season of Beauty and the Beast was filmed in Vancouver but Basis now has a whole new city in Toronto to amuse himself in when he's not working.

"You try and find your spots," Basis says about getting acquainted with a new city. "You find a gym, good places to eat and places to go when you have a day off."

He'll also need to find himself an apartment once work starts.

"I come from the school of acting where you can't really deny what you are going through in your personal life," he says.

"But as an actor you have to get in there and do the scene with the right emotion - even if you can't find an apartment.

"Whatever is going on, you try and use that to deliver your scene in the right way. The hardest times are shooting happy scenes when you, for example, can't find a place to live."

What Basis loves about the first season of Beauty and the Beast is that just about everything Vincent and J.T. do is life or death. They've been in a warehouse working on a cure for Vincent's condition and suddenly a woman has inserted herself into their world.

"She has invaded their space and brought with her a lot of attention, which throws J.T. into a world of worry. He has enough to deal with, with his life at the university and at home.

"He's juggling all the balls and now there are three of them who know the truth."

Beauty and the Beast airs on a new night and channel, today at 8.30pm on Eleven.