, darling of Donalda and sex-oozing Cylon of TV's hit Battlestar Galactica, is baring all in the latest Playboy.
What's that sound you hear? Geeks shattering the sound barrier on their way to the 7-Eleven across from their parents' basement?
Or gasps of disapproval from her hometown, a central Alberta village of fewer than 300 residents?
Helfer knows to expect both.
"I haven't heard from anybody back home (yet), so I'm sure I'll get a little bit more inundated next week," Helfer says from L.A.
As for what the reaction to the 10-page nude pictorial -- shot in Acapulco -- will be, she admits, "I'm not sure. Obviously, there are all spectrums (of opinion), but I went into it knowing that. There will be people who disagree with it and people who think it's fantastic. But I didn't do it for other people, I did it for myself.
"I talked to every member of my family and essentially asked their permission. I wouldn't do something to highly embarrass my family.
"They were all supportive. I went over the details with all of them."
She concludes, "Everyone's going to get to see a lot more of me."
The appearance -- a no-brainer, really, considering as Number Six, a smouldering cyborg siren, Helfer has become science fiction's newly minted sex symbol -- comes after a two-year courtship in which the magazine's editors pursued the statuesque former model.
So why did Helf say yes to Hef -- or at least Hugh Hefner's empire -- now?
"I guess the timing is key quite often. In my mind, the timing was right. I got to choose the photographer and I always wanted to work with Sante D'Orazio and I had photo approval and my husband is 100 per cent behind it."
She was further swayed when the magazine's editors pointed out the other women who had doffed their duds in Playboy.
, Gabrielle Reece
, models like Stephanie Seymour
and Cindy Crawford
, Jaime Pressly
-- I respect these women. I looked at the photos they had done. They were beautiful, tasteful pictures. And coming from the modelling world, I certainly was not squeamish about nudity. We all have the same parts ... (Modelling), you have to get used it. Not that that means you're walking down the street flashing everyone."
And while two years ago, she was still trying to establish herself as an actress -- turning her back on a lucrative modelling career to do so -- she now finds herself on Battlestar, a series which has garnered critical acclaim far surpassing anyone's expectations.
Remember, in the goofy 1970s original series people wore capes, jumpsuits and played with robotic teddy bears. The disarmingly gritty redo, conversely, concerns itself with war, terrorism and paranoia.
"I wanted to get a base out there of people who know me as as an actor. I didn't want to be thought of as someone who got one lucky job. I now have a career and my resume is growing. (The Playboy pictorial) is a compliment to a building career."
It's a career that just as easily may never have happened. Born and raised on a farm in Donalda, Alta., Helfer began modelling after she was discovered standing in a movie-ticket line.
She moved to New York and modelled for a decade in which she was featured in campaigns for Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Victoria's Secret and Giorgio Armani.
Now 32, Helfer spoke to the Sun after attending a luncheon sponsored by the American Film Institute, where the best of television was being honoured.
There, she found herself sitting among such luminaries as Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood with Battlestar being hailed among the finest series on the air, alongside such dramas as 24 and The Wire.
This week, Helfer heads to New York to tape an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman tomorrow (the episode airs Friday). Then on Tuesday, she's a guest on Howard Stern's radio show.
It's her first time being interviewed by either media titan.
"I'm incredibly excited and incredibly terrified. Who knows? I may be crying all the way back ... or maybe I'll be bouncing off the ceiling of the plane because I'm so elated."
Stern, one expects, will reference the Playboy photos once. Or twice. Or more.
"Who knows where (that conversation) will go? But Howard Stern is a big Battlestar fan, so that may make it a little easier. Or it may make it worse."
After that, she travels to Vancouver to film an episode of the CW series Supernatural. (As Canadian fans already know, she won't be returning to host the second season of Canada's Next Top Model.)
Meanwhile, she awaits reaction to the Playboy spread from Donalda, which she just visited for four days at Christmastime.
What might guys she dated in high school think when perusing the magazine, for example?
She laughs, " 'I never saw those before!' "