Taylor Cole knows what the Event is going to be, but she's not telling anyone.
Even several of Cole's co-stars on The Event, TV's new sci-fi conspiracy thriller mash-up, are still in the dark. That includes Jason Ritter, the show's leading man.
"It's really funny," says Cole, an Arlington native. "Jason is like: 'Wait. You know already? Why do you know?' So I tease him about it. I'm like (in a taunting sing-song), 'I know more than you know.'"
The Event, which premieres at 8 p.m. Monday on NBC, follows Sean Walker (Ritter), an Everyman who investigates the disappearance of his girlfriend (Sarah Roemer). That puts him on the scent of the biggest cover-up in history, one so monumental that it could change the fate of mankind.
Ritter isn't the only one pumping Cole for information.
"But we have confidentiality agreements," Cole says. "Our scripts are not to be read by anybody, whether it's publicists, managers, best friends, assistants, family, you-name-it. The funniest part is how offended people get when you refuse to tell. They'll go: 'But it's me! Come on! I won't tell!'
"But you know how that works: If you start telling people, it never quite stays under wraps."
The mere fact that we're profiling Cole in this story, in fact, is a bit of a spoiler. It suggests that her character, Vicky Roberts, will be a major player in The Event. In the first episode, Vicky seems to be just a random girl who meets Sean and his girlfriend Leila on the day before Leila vanishes without a trace.
Yet Cole is a series regular, so it stands to reason that she's going to be around for a reason.
"Yes, that's true," she says. "There is an air of mystery to Vicky that I love. Let's just say that nice girls aren't always what they seem. In Episode 2, many questions will be answered, and you definitely will see a different side of Vicky that is not expected."
Given that she's sharing, what can she tell us about the Event?
" The Event will redefine the world as we know it," she says. "But have no fear: There is life after The Event. That's as much as I can say."
Cole learned a lot about keeping secrets when she was attached to the cult hit TV series Heroes, which also closely guarded its plotlines. In December 2008, she starred in an Internet series spinoff called Heroes: The Recruit. Her character, Rachel Mills, a Marine private with the power of teleportation, also appeared in a handful of the TV episodes.
Cole is a 2002 Lamar High School grad who broke into the acting business six years ago as a series regular in the WB's Summerland.
"It was pretty much an accident," she recalls. "I was living in New York as a model, and I came out to California to visit my mom. I never had any acting experience, but while I was out here, I went out on a few auditions and booked my first TV show, Summerland, as a guest star [in the pilot episode].
"I moved back to New York after I finished, and then I got a phone call that Summerland got picked up and they wanted me as a series regular instead of just a guest star. So I said, 'Heck, yeah, I'm moving to California.' And I haven't stopped working since" with guest roles in such TV shows as CSI, Supernatural, NCIS and Entourage and supporting parts in a handful of feature films.
"It's sort of a false view of Hollywood, because it doesn't usually happen like that. I'm one of the very lucky ones. Even booking one thing doesn't guarantee a successful career."
Raised by her father, who still lives in Arlington, Cole was a tomboy and an athlete growing up. She played volleyball in high school and on club teams until she tore her ACL during her senior year.
That's why she enjoys doing scenes that involve "guns and shooting and running around and being physical" on the set of The Event.
"It's unbelievable to get to the stuff they're writing for me," she says. "I can't wait for everybody to see it: friends, family, fans. It's going to a crazy, crazy thrill ride."
Cole recently came back to North Texas for a close friend's wedding, but the return visits are few and far between. "My dad is like, 'No, stay where you are; I'll come visit you,' and most of my friends have moved away," she explains.
"But I still take pride in my Texas roots," Cole adds. "Anytime I tell somebody I'm from Texas, immediately they're drawn to me or they tell me about somebody they know who's from Texas and it's always a good story. It's good to know that all our Texans are holding up our good reputations."