Arlene Tur is best known for her role as badass detective, Bebe Arcel in the short lived Starz series, Crash (2008-2009), but the Cuban actress is about to get a new legion of loyal fans, thanks to her new starring role in the Starz original series, Torchwood: Miracle Day, which premiered on Friday, July 8th.
In the sci-fi series (which is in its fourth season), Tur plays Vera Juarez, a no-nonsense ER surgeon who develops a connection to Miracle Day and gets involved with the CIA. The talented actress spoke to Latina.com about her new role, dished on her love of sci-fi, and told us what she loves about being Latina!
Tell us about your character, Vera Juarez in Torchwood: Miracle Day!
Dr. Vera Juarez is a very determined, very focused individual. She’s always looking out for the best interest of her patients. So even when Captain Jack Harkness, (John Barrowman) says, “Maybe you should cut his head off and see what happens,” she’s still worried about the person even though there isn’t much of a person left. That’s something that happens in the first episode.
Were you a sci-fi fan going into this project?
I wasn’t a total fan yet. I loved sci-fi and enjoyed watching it, but I wasn’t really a die-hard follower of certain shows where you would say I was a Sci-Fi geek. Now I am so taken by the genre because you really never know what’s going to happen. There’s no such thing as reality and there are no truths we need to be aware of. There is nothing that’s a fact—the story can go anywhere. You’re really at the mercy of your writers’ imagination. That made it very appealing to me and it’s incredibly fun to film.
What was it like working with the show’s British cast and the American cast on the same set?
It was remarkable. I thought it was a wonderful collaboration and everyone brought their best to the table. It was very wise for BBC and Starz to collaborate. I think after the fans see it, they’ll agree.
Why should viewers check out the show?
It’s a hybrid of all shows. It’s a sci-fi show, a doctor show, a law show, a government show, and there’s a lot of comedy throughout. People should watch it because Torchwood is not only entertaining, but it provokes and challenges the viewers to question their position on controversial issues. For instance, should a person like Oswald Danes (Bill Pullman) have the opportunity to redeem himself or could our society actually handle immortality?
What do you love about being Latina?
Everything! [Laughs] I’m very thankful that I feel so close to my culture. When I was raised in Miami, I lived in a very Latin community where we would walk to the grocery store and everyone in the grocery store spoke Spanish. Yes, we were proud to be American—I’m very proud to be American—but I feel like my parents did an excellent job of letting me grow up in my culture. I think we have wonderful music, wonderful customs, we have a great love for our family, and I feel like our being Latin is a lot about how much we take care and love our own and our families.
What’s your favorite Latin dish?
I would have to say arroz con pollo. My mom made it when I was a kid and my aunt was an excellent chef. That’s my dish when I have everyone over for Cuban food. Thank God it’s always delicious!