Evil's Katja Herbers Says Playing Her 'Extreme' Character Makes Her Think She's 'Losing Her Mind'
"The show is maybe more bonkers than it was last season, which I love," Katja Herbers tells PEOPLE of her return for season 2 of Evil, airing Sundays on Paramount+
Katja Herbers has a tendency to lose herself in her starring role on the Paramount+ supernatural drama Evil.
The Dutch actress, 40, tells PEOPLE that playing Dr. Kristen Bouchard, a skeptical forensic psychologist tasked with investigating the supernatural on behalf of the Catholic church, has a tendency to rub off on her personal life.
"It's because Kristen, in this season, she gets so extreme that maybe I'm a little bit more extreme in my own life as well," she says of returning to the role in season 2. "I think I'm quite a calm, level-headed person, but I've noticed with playing Kristen that I really take no bull—. And she takes no bull—. So it's a muscle that I'm practicing."
Herbers admits that the process of getting into Kristen's head hasn't been all positive. "I don't like it when she feels like she's losing her mind," she says. "I do have to unwind from that a little because if you pretend to be losing your mind, very easily you think that you are maybe losing your mind."
Herbers has served some decent scares on the supernatural procedural from creators Robert and Michelle King (the married duo that also launched The Good Wife), but even after filming with a very realistic demon hovering over her paralyzed body, she doesn't lose any sleep.
"Because we're all pretending. I know the guy in the suit," Herbers explains. "That's not scary to me to act that, but I would be very scared if I were to watch it and I didn't know it was coming. Some of my friends, or my mom, who watched the show and are scared for things like that, I would tell them in advance when the demon shows up."
The Westworld alum notes that in real life, she's possibly even more skeptical of the supernatural than her character. "I'm not religious," she says. "I grew up in Holland, and it's a very secular country. I didn't grow up with any kind of religion, I still am not religious."
"I think Kristen is maybe drawn in a little bit more than I would to the supernatural element," Herbers continues. "I really don't believe those kinds of things. But I think whatever she can't explain starts to get under her skin, and things start to happen that make her doubt her scientific approach. And maybe she starts to sway a little more from being a pure skeptic to somebody who allows doubt. I think maybe I'm even more a skeptic than Kristen is."
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As Kristen, she's already taken on angel voices, demonic possessions and urban legends in season 2 of Evil, alongside costars Mike Colter and Aasif Mandvi. But she teases that the best is yet to come in this "bonkers" season.
"I think it's some of the wildest acting I've got to do in my career, which has been just great," Herbers notes. "Because Kristen loses her mind, which has been really thrilling to do. And I hope also thrilling to watch. The show is maybe more bonkers than it was last season, which I love."
With the show's recent move from CBS to Paramount+, the episodes are able to run a little longer, while the actors aren't as censored. "The move also came right as we were filming the last two episodes. So yeah, I've gone back and done some ADR and added a 'f---' and a 's---' in the first [episode]," Herbers explains. "Some of those in there. I didn't have to say to 'fricking,' but I could just say 'f—ing.'"
New episodes of Evil are released on Sundays on Paramount+. The show was renewed for a third season this week.
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