The Betty Interview: V’s Morena Baccarin
The star of one of TV’s most anticipated shows gives BettyConfidential the scoop on all things V, as well as a peak into what makes this hot young actress tick.
Morena Baccarin is no stranger to sci-fi fans. The Brazil-born and New York City-educated beauty, who now calls Los Angeles home, has a rabid following thanks to her short-lived, but cult-classic TV show, Firefly, which later spawned the movie Serenity [both by Joss Whedon]. “Comic Con fans are my kind of people,” laughs Morena, 30, who remembers loving Star Wars and Labyrinth as a kid. “I certainly can’t complain at what a welcome response I’ve gotten from sci-fi fans. They are so nice and loyal and I think Firefly fans will really love V.”
In the updated, reimagined version of the ’80s hit, Morena plays Anna, the beautiful yet mysterious leader of the Visitors — sinister lizard-like aliens who disguise themselves as friendly, human-looking beings in order to gain Earthlings’ trust, so they can annihilate them. “When I got the script, I was drawn to how creepy it was,” reveals Morena, who remembers watching the original series with her younger brother back in the day. “Anna is so nice, but you know there is more to it that she’s not revealing behind those smiles. Don’t believe her when she says they ‘Come in peace, always!’”
While the original had political commentary on communism and the Cold War, the new version incorporates post 9-11 fears about terrorists and sleeper cells. In this case, aliens who have been living among humans for 50 years, just waiting for their time to pounce. “I don’t think you need to know anything about the old V to embrace the new one,” says Morena. “You don’t even really have to be into sci-fi because of the great story lines and cast.” Along with Julliard-trained Morena, the V cast is rounded out by TV and movie vets including Scott Wolf as a TV reporter, Elizabeth Mitchell of Lost fame as an FBI agent and Morris Chestnut, who plays her boyfriend with an out-of-this-world secret. The show debuts tonight on ABC.
Read on to find out more about V’s brightest new star, Morena Baccarin.
You studied at the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York City, which is the school that inspired Fame and High School Musical. Was it anything like either?
There weren’t many people dancing on tables during lunch! But otherwise, yes. It was this crazy, artistic high school in the middle of New York City, where kids got to study their passions as well as math, science and English.
So you knew at an early age that acting is what you wanted to do?
Well, I come from a very artistic family. My mom is an actress in Brazil, my uncle was an actor, and my great uncle was a famous theater director in Brazil, so I always grew up around the arts. But I was actually really shy as a kid, so I thought acting would help me face my fears of speaking in public. I think it’s worked.