'V' Star Morena Baccarin Is No Cold-Blooded Alien
First of all, congratulations on last night's great ratings!
I've been told to ask you only questions that would "paint you in a positive light."
"[laughs] Excellent! That's what I like to hear. But 'feel free to ask anything'."
I have to get this out of the way since I know it's probably the first thing you get asked. The rodents...
"[laughs] Oh yeah!"
In the original 'V', the head alien, Diana, ate a rodent. Were you nervous about that during the audition?
"It wasn't really a thought that crossed my mind right away, but then I realized as I got the job, oh crap. After I YouTube'd it, I remembered. [laughs] And I knew, obviously, that it wasn't in the pilot script. There were a lot of jokes by the producers about being ready for the hamsters. But I haven't had to do it yet. I think that their position is, let's wait but let's also give the people what they want. I think that they want to do it in a different way. Pay homage to that moment without necessarily sticking a hamster down my throat."
Now, should that actually happen, are you OK with rodents?
"You know, I don't love 'em! [laughs] It's not necessarily something I look forward to. I don't know. I think I have to wait and see when I'm in the room with it. I might have a total freak out."
I know there are going to be nods to the classic series. Have you filmed any that were surprising to you?
"Yeah, there were some really great things in the script. The stories have been really, really fun. We're not just redoing the original. We're updating it. I thought it was wonderful the way they adapted the script to embody the fears we have today, post 9/11. Things like that that really make sense in today's world."
Anna is a very different sort of V leader than Diana was in the original. What sort of things have you done to make her your own?
"Well, I have a memory of the original from when I was little and watched it, but I don't really remember everything she did. This character is very different. I remember the character of Diana being very, very evil. And I think that, in order to do the show well in today's world, we have to be a little more subtle. I think it's a lot creepier when there is more manipulation, and a subtly to it that you can't quite figure out why you don't trust this person. So that's more what I'm going for. I want people to be drawn to her and to follow her in spite of themselves, but have this intuition that something is terribly wrong."
I don't know if you've been on the web this morning, but there are a bunch of stories about V paralleling the Obama campaign...the show talks about hope and change and universal health care, and it premiered on November 2nd. What do you think about all that?
"I don't know. I think it's great that people are talking about it. But I think people have opinions about everything, and we have this compulsion, I think, in our culture, to put everything in a box and say that's what it is, because then we can understand it. And it certainly does echo that a little bit. It echos the Obama campaign. But I think that would be so rude to say that Obama is an alien or is Anna. [laughs] I mean, the man is the President of our country. I think that there's a sense of irony in our show...a realistic irony, that it takes aliens to give us health care. It is so difficult to get anything passed. To get this whole health care thing figured out. I think it's kind of funny and it speaks of our culture, and the fact that we are looking for somebody to rescue us, and pull us out of this hole we got ourselves into. And it might as well be an alien. [laughs]"
When I mentioned that I was doing this interview, one of the main things I was asked to ask you was your decision to cut your hair. You also got no less than seven marriage proposals.
Do you think it's strange that people are so focused on a haircut?
"Yeah, it's a little weird for me. I'm obviously inside myself so I can't tell what people are seeing, but I do think it's a little odd. I mean, it's very complimentary, and if people don't like it, oh well. What can I do? And it's a little odd that again, we kind of obsess in this culture about labeling people, and, 'Ooh, what does that mean?' or 'What does that represent?' I think it's very appropriate for this character. I had my hair cut short before for another film role I did, and I just happened to keep it because I thought it was unique and I felt very comfortable in it. And when this all came about I thought, wow, this is perfect for this role because it's different. And a lot of people are afraid to do this to themselves, to give themselves such a drastic haircut, because they're afraid of what people are going to think. And I thought it would be really amazing to have a leader with this haircut. I think it's a really fun addition to the character. And you know, if people want to talk about my hair, great! [laughs] Let's talk about it!"
Most of the comments were positive, by the way. I just thought it was interesting that there were so many of them!
"Yeah! It was like that with Jennifer Aniston for a while. Everyone wanted the Jennifer Aniston haircut."
Maybe you'll start a trend. It might be interesting to see on the show...everyone emulating Anna's haircut.
I know, right? That would be really funny. Although it would take a lot of people cutting their hair.
Your face is on billboards everywhere and all over TV. How has this experience been different from the one you had with 'Firefly'?
"It's been unique. It's been very different to be recognized on the street and have everybody looking at me, going, 'Oh my god, it's that girl!' Yesterday was my first experience with that. Yesterday after the show aired. And it's very exciting, but it's a little weird, I have to admit. [laughs] I kind of feel like I have to prepare myself, but I don't know exactly what to prepare myself for. It's really, really unbelievably exciting and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. I'm really glad that people are watching the show. I'm having a really great time doing it."
I know they are showing the series in 'pods' and there have been some reports of production issues. How much have you filmed and when do you start shooting again?
"We filmed four episodes and they're all in November, and we go back into production in January... we have a little break right now."
Have you seen the scripts? Do you know if they feel different?
"I haven't seen the new scripts. I don't know if they've been written yet. There have been changes and things going on and to be honest, I'm a little out of the loop. As actors we just basically get the script and we shoot what we're given. It's been fun. I mean, there's all this talk of stuff happening. There's been some changes made. We haven't felt major...we haven't gotten like, 'Oh my god we can't shoot this scene!' They've been taking care of it and it's all been...with a show like this, it's so high profile and there are so many things about the show that they are really careful with every detail. I just think everybody is being extra careful and really attentive, which is a wonderful thing, because we want to but the best product out there."
Joss Whedon fans and 'Firefly'/'Serenity' fans can be rather vocal. Is there a line that people yell out at you on the street?
"The 'Firefly' fans that I've encountered are super shy, really sweet, and they kind of look at me and decide whether or not they're going to say something. You can see the whole process happening. [laughs] And then they go, 'I really loved 'Firefly' and I'm really sorry that it didn't continue.' I mean, that's the big line. 'Why couldn't it have gone on and is there going to be more?' That's the biggest question I get."
Are you tired of being asked if there will be a 'Serenity 2'?
"No, it's a huge compliment. But I also feel bad because I wish I could say yes. But at this point, it's been a few years now. Maybe we should put it to rest."
[laughs] We're all sad about that.
"It was a great show!"
It certainly was! You know, I just read that your 'Firefly' costar Nathan Fillion asked you to do a 'Castle' guest spot. I know you couldn't do it, but would you do one in the future?
"I don't know. We've been texting each other and I know he's really excited about the prospect. It's an ABC show and I don't know how ABC would feel about that, so we'd have to run it by them. It's just a conversation that he and I have been having. I don't know if anything is actually being considered. But it would be fun and I would love to."
He did a little nod to 'Firefly' in the Halloween episode...
"Yeah! I heard about it but I didn't see it."
Since Joss Whedon likes to cast people he's worked with before, I have to ask this. Would you want to do a role in the 'Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog' sequel?
"Oh my god! I would love to! I'm not joking when I say, if Joss Whedon called me up and said, 'Do you want to come over and read a script for me?' I would be like, yes! I would do anything that man says."
So you'd be comfortable singing?
"No. But we'd figure that out. [laughs] I have a terrible voice. But I'm sure he could create me a character that would have a terrible voice."
Finally, why do you think the series strikes a chord in people?
"I think the idea of an alien invasion is something that we will forever be fascinated by. It's very vulnerable and it's something that plays at all of our vulnerabilities and fears as humans. So I think that in itself is an amazing subject matter. And the way the show is made, I think, is so intriguing. The original was obviously relevant at the time. In the eighties. And it was a social commentary at that time. And ours definitely taps into the fear we have now, that we can't trust our neighbors. So I think that the show becomes very relevant and hits close to home, and people worry, and gravitate towards that."
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