A Few Brief Bits on Morena Baccarin
photos by Aleksandar Tomovic
Born in Rio De Janeiro, raised in New York, and educated at Juilliard, actor Morena Baccarin’s talent is as unmistakable as her beauty is striking. Her skill at giving relatability to characters in atypical situations has brought her international fans and won her an Emmy nomination last year for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series playing Jessica Brody on Showtime’s smash hit Homeland.
Given the chance to toss her a few questions, one of the things I was curious to learn was if her work on Homeland had made her more attuned to government activities around the world –particularly since the series has recently been mentioned by the mainstream media for its similarities to the real world case of P.O.W. Bowe Bergdahl, (the American soldier who was swapped for five Taliban Guantanamo prisoners last month)– and although Baccarin allowed that it ‘probably’ has, the difference was not obvious. “I have always tried to keep up with the latest news,” she added.
That statement is evident given her off-screen commitment to the humanitarian relief group, International Rescue Committee. As an IRC Voice, she helps to raise awareness of the plight of refugees and also works to promote one of the group’s goals of protecting and empowering women and girls from around the world.
It’s a good fit for her, with her noticeable penchant for playing empowered women. Two of which immediately spring to mind; the beloved Inara Serra in Joss Whedon’s Firefly and Serenity, and as Anna, the leader of the alien invaders of earth on ABC’s V.
Inara especially, who as a Companion to both men and women, was that rare female character that was straight-forward and forthright about sex in general but who wasn’t crass or in some way a victim. “I loved playing that role,” Baccarin said. “She was classy and sexy and smart. What more could you want?”
Firefly fans once again got their browncoats in a twist this past April when news hit the internet that Netflix would produce all new episodes of the series for its streaming service. It turned out to be an April Fool’s Day prank, which was familiar ground for the cast of the show. “We all pranked each other all the time,” she acknowledged. “It was very fun. It’s been a while so I don’t remember anything specific.” As to her own thoughts about bringing new life to the cult favorite she revealed, “I selfishly would love to work with everyone again. But I do feel like it might be time to let it go and be what it was. I’m afraid of trying to repeat something great and ruining it.”
Another off-screen role that is helping to keep Baccarin busy lately is that of “new mother”, having given birth to a son this past October, and it’s one that provides her the opportunity to get her hands dirty in a fun way “whenever possible”. She explained, “having a child keeps you young in that way.”
Out of all the characters Baccarin has played, Homeland’s Brody is the one she admits is closest to this new real-life role but she is also careful not to mix practicing her craft when playing with her toddler. “I try to keep my work and personal life as separate as possible,” Baccarin insisted. “Obviously I use parts of myself for different roles. But I am mostly unaware. Otherwise it would make me self-conscious.” It seems like a firm line she’s drawn for herself — to not bring her work home with her. Even when asked if she might draw on any of her former characters in dealing with real-world situations she answered, “Not really. When I am done with a role I let it go.”
Looking forward, we can expect to see a departure from Baccarin’s heavier roles in the upcoming feature comedy Spy from Bridesmaids director Paul Feig, which also features Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jude Law, Allison Janney, Jason Statham, and others. “It was really fun to improvise and work with such amazing actors,” Baccarin extolled. “I learned a lot and got to flex a new muscle.”
Lastly, while doing research online, I was struck by how much interest there seemed to be with Baccarin’s hair. Seriously, google “Morena Baccarin hair”. The pages go on and on. The fascination reached a fever pitch when she debuted on V having replaced her long flowing locks with an extreme pixie cut, so I had to ask how it felt that first night after having it chopped off. “I loved it right away,” she proclaimed. “It was a shock, but I really liked it. It changed my attitude about myself and my clothes.” With performances as stellar as the ones she has already given us, I can’t wait to see what changes she has in store for us down the road.
photographer ALEKSANDAR TOMOVIC www.alekandsteph.com
stylist TARA WILLIAMS
makeup LINA HANSEN Lina Hanson Global Beauty at Traceymatitngly.com
hair JILL CROSBY for Cloutierremix
Production Bello Media Group | words by Kerry Bailey