301FLW301_New_blood_0455_hires2

The new blood on ‘The Following’ mixes it up in the kitchen

BY CINDY PEARLMAN | BIG PICTURE NEWS INC.

A role as Kevin Bacon’s new girlfriend on the show “The Following” might not be the healthiest of jobs.

Is something bad – bloody, knife-wielding, screaming awful — going to happen to actress Zuleikha Robinson on the Fox serial killer drama, beginning its third season at 7 p.m. Monday on WFLD-Channel 32?

“I can’t answer that because we’re still shooting. Wait. No pun intended,” says the screen beauty, who gets to canoodle with Bacon’s troubled crimefighting hero Ryan Hardy.

“When the show starts we’ve been together for some time and my character brings something new to his life that he hasn’t experienced before: normalcy. They have a beautiful, fun relationship and we get to see him smile a lot. I know that sounds odd for ‘The Following,’ ” she says during an interview from the set.

“There’s still a lot of darkness.”

The London-born actress is known for her roles as Gala on “Rome,” Roya Hammad on “Homeland” and Amara in “Once Upon a Time.” Her first name means “someone beautiful” in Persian.

How does she stay that way?

Robinson says that she focuses on healthy habits in order to do these intense roles. She likes to mix up her fitness and food routines because she can get bored.

“I’m all over the place,” Robinson admits. “I have to keep trying different ways to stay healthy, which is a good way not to get bored. You don’t have to just lock into just one thing.

“I’m the type who has to force herself to work out. I have so many friends who can’t wait to get to the gym, but that’s not me. I found myself asking, ‘What’s wrong with me?’  But I also found if I mix it up I don’t get tired of it. The same thing goes for food.

“I’ve been a vegan and I tend to eat that way most of the time now, but I will eat meat once in a blue moon. If I crave something, I go for it. You need to give yourself a break in life.”

As for exercise, she’s a die-hard Pilates fan. “I can’t run. I can’t spin. I have bad knees. I’ve found that Pilates is a great way to stay strong all over,” she said.

But she’s also cheating on Pilates. “I just started boxing, which is super fun,” she says. “It’s not a natural thing for me to want to be physical. But I’m excited about boxing because I feel like I’m doing something with my time. Also, with boxing, you have to focus. And I know I’m getting physically stronger.”

Forget yoga. “I can’t do yoga because my mind wanders. Again, that’s what I like about boxing. You have to focus,” she said.

As far as focusing on “The Following,” her body looks pretty amazing during love scenes with Bacon. “It’s pretty amazing when you can make out with one of your high school crushes,” she admits. “He’s a great guy. Fun. And a great actor.”

But how long will she stay in clinches with him?

“I can say that the scripts shock me each week,” she says. “They definitely push the limits.”