Megalyn Echikunwoke - "The 4400"
Comic Con International - San Diego, CA - Sun. July 29, 2007

Playing a superhero is one thing, but playing someone who is unstoppable, and seemingly indesctructable is something else, especially when that character is undefined and may be bent on world destruction. Megalyn Echikunwoke plays the role of Isabelle Tyler, a character sent back in time on “The 4400” to assumably stop all people with acquired powers. But the character is confusing, and one never knows what they’ll get from her.Megalyn herself has a mischievous side as we met with her during the press meet at Comic Con International. Outgoing and personable, with a dose of confidence is the best way to describe Megalyn as we talked about “The 4400” and her career. As we started the quick chat, the first subject was referring to character Isabelle’s loss of her indestructible powers.

K2K: Will you get your powers back?
(drawn out) Maybe I will... maybe I won’t. (sly smile) Well, it would be pretty boring if I didn’t. I even said, “You wouldn’t dream of me not having my powers back, right?” They said, “Don’t worry.” So, yeah, I do get them back. Where are we? Seventh episode [that aired that evening]. Yeah, we’ll see.

K2K: What else is coming up for you this season?
On the show? Um... if you’ve already seen episode six, then you know that it’s been a very hard, dark road. But, uh... I can’t tell you. There’s an interesting romance, if you can imagine. I won’t say anything else.

K2K: Your real name, Megalyn, in Nigerian, means “Leader of men.” Is that fitting?
I think so. Yeah, I think so. I don’t mind it.

K2K: Are you the dominant type?
Yeah. It’s inspired me a bit.

K2K: Also, your brother and sister are also named starting with the letter “M.” Your parents had thing for that letter?
Yes! I think so. I actually have two brothers with the letter “M,” and the sister. Yeah, they never mentioned, like, “Oh I really like the letter ‘M’.” I have a brother named Melindo [sic], a brother named Mikilette [sic], me, and a sister named Missy, so we have four “M’s.” But our initials are “M.E.”, which are pretty cool initials, and spell “Me.”

K2K: Are any of them in the business?
No. Not at all. Although, I’m trying to get my sister to become a stylist, purely for selfish reasons. And she also designs jewelry. So pretty soon, she’ll be styling the stars.

K2K: You were doing autograph signings last year at the booth. What was that like?
At the booth? That was exhausting. But it was also cool, because you really got to interact with the fans, and people really loved it.

K2K: You have trading cards as well?
Yeah, because I didn’t know that we had trading cards. That was kind of cool. I had my own little card. I wonder if people actually trading them.

K2K: Are you going to have an action figure?
I wish! I wouldn’t mind. Not at all. Maybe on my next Sci-Fi phase.

K2K: What did you do on “Supernatural”?
I played Jensen Ackles’ long lost love. [Editor’s note: She actually played character Dean Winchester’s love, as Jensen is the actor.] With no powers.

K2K: What was it like for you to be raised on a Navajo reservation [when growing up]?
It was great. It was really cool.

K2K: Do you have any affinity for the heritage from that?
Yeah, sort of, in a way. I can always go back, like a sanctuary. It’s really beautiful. A really beautiful culture that I got to really learn more about.

K2K: How did you end up there?
My mom’s a nurse. She worked for the government, and then they needed teachers, and doctors and nurses, so she sort of took that on.

K2K: So it was more the job rather than spiritual?
I think it was kind of both. She was always... she had a very anthropological mind, and was into that kind of thing. She studied that in college. She was drawn more to the Native American culture. She had the opportunity, so she took it.

K2K: Any other projects in the works?
Right now I’m working on an independent feature that’s shooting through August. It’s sort of a road movie, that’s shot over the course of one day. One day, a heroin addict has to get to rehab, and about the adventures in their action packed day. It’s quite cool. It should look very good.

K2K: Who else is in that?
It stars Olivia Wilde. Also Shawn Andrews.

K2K: What do you like? Sci-Fi, adventure, comedy...
I’d love to do more... I love doing drama. I mean everything. Comedy is drama too. I love doing comedy. It’s definitely it’s own thing. But after doing “The 4400,” I’m thinking I’d really like to get into doing action. You know action, but Sci-Fi action. It’s really fun.

K2K: You’d get the dedicated fans from it.
Yeah, yeah! Really. I mean, people really like that.

K2K: How many seasons will “The 4400” put out?
I have no idea. I’m really amazed at how the writers can keep the... they seem to have a well of stories. Who’d have thought.

K2K: Do you think your character is still evil, or getting better? What direction is it going?
Poor Isabelle. She’s just misguided or something.

And with that, poor Megalyn was grabbed up for the next press meeting.

Written by Philip Anderson / Photos © 2007 Keith Denison

Philip Anderson is a musician, in addition to being a writer/photographer. He has performed as a guitarist/vocalist, as well as songwriter, in several bands over the past 20 years. As a writer and photographer, he has been published by several magazines and in several books, and had his works appear on television.

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