Chris Weeks/AP Images for Ford
People Staff
June 24, 2008 12:00 AM

After some fans complained of a sophomore slump, Heroes cast members — like Hayden Panettiere and Greg Gunberg — are confident in what’s coming up for the hit show’s third season.

“In order to have a show called Heroes you kind of always have to have a villain,” Panettiere told PEOPLE at the Ford Flex Rally afterparty, where she bonded with new cast member Brea Grant while their costar Greg Grunberg rocked out with his band, The Band from TV. “But the villains just seem to get worse and worse. There’s always someone meaner and bigger and badder.”

Does that mean her character, the famously indestructible cheerleader Claire, will go to the dark side? “It’s awesome. I play two Claires.” One good and one bad? “Pretty much!”

Also taking a possible turn for the worse: Grunberg’s mind-reading police officer Matt Parkman. “I’m going to be leaning or going to the dark side,” he said.

One definite villain this season: Daphne, played by Brea Grant, whose power is speed. “The first episode is probably going to shock ,” Grant says. “It has a lot of action, a lot of stuff that are really craving to see on the show.”

Adds Grunberg: “It’s like that feeling that we had season one. It’s like you couldn’t put down the script.”

There will also be more interaction between the characters, including a steamy love scene or two.

“You have hot, young . Let’s make it interesting and sexy and fun,” says Dania Ramirez, who plays the dangerous Maya. “I took off the crucifix! Maya’s in a whole different journey this year.” –Jenny SundelChris Weeks/AP Images for Ford

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