Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Morena Baccarin was raised in New York and attended the prestigious Juilliard School. Her role as the Companion, Inara, in the short-lived cult science fiction show 'Firefly' and its big-screen follow-up 'Serenity' has made her recognisable to sci-fi fans around the world. She is now appearing in the tenth season of 'Stargate SG1' as Adria, daughter of intergalactic maverick Vala Mal Doran (Claudia Black). And there are hints in the wind that she will soon be taking on the lead role in a new version of 'Wonderwoman', a rumour neither confirmed nor denied by Morena Baccarin in this question and answer session with Carole Gordon.
CG: Your mother was an actor. Did you always want to follow her into acting?
MB: I never thought I was going to be an actor. My entire family was in the business in Brazil and I wanted to do something completely different. And look where I ended up?!
CG: What do you consider to be your best work?
MB: Some things here and there. A couple of scenes in 'Firefly' I really like. Like the one I tell the Captain I'm leaving. Also some plays I did in school because they are characters I probably won't get to play for a long time.
CG: How did you get the role of Inara on 'Firefly'?
MB: I auditioned for the casting directors in LA and then they had me wait around to meet Joss. After that I had to test for the network. It all happened very quickly since they were already a week into shooting.
CG: How would you describe Inara?
MB: She is an incredibly smart and studied woman with a very deep dark secret. She is someone that has seen a lot and carries the weight of her experiences with her. She is compassionate and at the same time resourceful.
CG: Inara's relationship with Mal seemed at times antagonistic. Was it leading to something else if the show had continued?
MB: They are star-crossed lovers. Too stubborn to see past their own hang-ups. I have no idea what would have happened had the show gone on, but it would have been interesting.
CG: Were the cast shocked that Joss Whedon killed off Book and Wash in 'Serenity'?
CG: Were the cast and producers happy with how 'Serenity' turned out?
CG: Any news on a follow-up series or movie?
CG: If the show were to return, what developments would you wish to see in Inara's storyline?
MB: I'd like to see more of her past.
CG: What would you feel about continuing on the show without Wash and Book?
MB: I'm sure Joss would find a way to bring them back. It wouldn't be the same without them.
CG: It's often reported that the cast of 'Firefly' are very close. Do you all still keep in touch?
MB: Yes. We see each other every once in a while. At BBQ's or lunches. We stay in touch for sure.
CG: Since then, you have appeared in 'The OC'. Was it hard to move on after 'Firefly'?
MB: I unfairly compare every experience to 'Firefly'. Nothing quite equals it.
CG: You now have a recurring role on 'Stargate SG1' as Adria. Could you say something about this character?
MB: She is truly evil. It is so fun playing her. She is sure that her religion is the way and she won't take no for an answer.
CG: How do you feel about playing the baddie?
MB: It allows a lot of freedom. I love the powers I got to play with.
CG: How did you approach the role?
MB: I had to do some research on who everybody was and what was my history since my character had already been introduced. 'Stargate' is confusing if you haven't been watching the past few episodes. I had to get the names of all the kinds of people down.
CG: How do you get on with your "mother" (Claudia Black)?
MB: She is amazing. A very sweet person and an incredible actress. She was very welcoming and warm.
CG: How difficult was it stepping into a group like the SG1 cast and crew, many of whom have worked together for several years?
MB: They all made me feel very welcome. They know each other well and have a good rapport with one another, so they just opened the doors for me to step in.
CG: Do you have any anecdotes about filming with the Stargate team?
MB: There were a lot of World Cup soccer arguments going on. Being from Brazil I was sure we were going to win. I may have been a touch obnoxious about it. But it was all in good fun.
CG: Both 'Firefly' and 'Stargate' have very loyal fanbases. Is it scary to have such dedicated fans?
MB: No. I have certainly appreciated the encouragement. It was the fan base that got 'Serenity' going so...
CG: You have done a number of conventions. Have you had any memorable moments at a convention?
MB: There are always a couple of jerks here and there that can make you feel uncomfortable but for the most part people are very nice. It is fun to get a chance to meet face to face the people that are watching you.
CG: Do you think life is getting harder for actors these days? Are reality shows reducing the availability of roles for actors?
MB: Business is tough anywhere. I have experienced a lack of work overall. In TV and films. Hopefully the drought will end soon, with some sort of new media.
CG: Which current TV shows do you particularly admire?
MB: I love 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'Boston Legal'.
CG: Are there any actors and directors you would particularly love to work with?
MB: The list is very long. Terrence Malick, Ralph Fiennes, Spielberg.... it doesn't end.
CG: Do you have other projects in the pipeline?