Morena Baccarin was born in Rio De Janero, Brazil in 1979, but was raised in New York City. She was exposed to the world of acting at a very young age through her mother, Vera Setta, a well-known Brazilian actress who worked on both stage and television. In 1989, Morena and her family moved to Greenwich Village, New York. A few years later she attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. Upon graduation, she was accepted into the prestigious Julliard School for the Performing Arts. Morena landed her first film role in 2001 in the independent film Perfume, which turned a critical eye on the fashion business and the lives of those who work in it. The same year she played the lead role of Rebecca in the film Way Off Broadway, which garnered rave reviews and earned Morena the "Best Actress" award at the Wine Country Film Festival. In 2002, she got her first television role as Inara Serra on the critically acclaimed series Firefly. And in 2006, she was offered the role of Adria in the 10th season of Stargate SG-1 for 5 episodes.
Beware for major spoilers for the second half of season 10
Morena Baccarin interview
Gilles Nuytens: Your costumes on Stargate (and Firefly too!) are incredibly amazing, how did you feel wearing such cool dresses, is that a girls dream?
Morena Baccarin: The dresses on Firefly were very special, most of them were made for me, to fit my body. I absolutely felt like a princess. Although, hang out in those costumes for 12 hours a day and you feel more like a tired princess.
Gilles Nuytens: In the first episodes you appear in SG-1, you wear yellow contact lenses, but you don't wear them anymore in the latest episodes, is there a specific reason for that?
Morena Baccarin: Well, the real reason is that they killed my eyes. I tried to wear them for as long as possible but they really hurt. I had to see an optometrist who then told me I was not allowed to wear them. So we were then creative in explaining why all of a sudden I was back to normal.
Gilles Nuytens: How aware are you of the fanbase? Do you sometimes look for feedback on internet?
Morena Baccarin: I'm never really online searching for that stuff but I do know it's out there. It's quite humbling to hear about all the fans and how much people still love the shows. I feel honored to know that people were and are as passionate about it as I am.
Gilles Nuytens: What was your favorite scene from SG-1 and why?
Morena Baccarin: I really like the scene where Ba'al has me in a cage. I enjoyed shooting that scene very much. It was fun to play opposite Cliff and see how the two bad guys interact.
Gilles Nuytens: There were rumours that Joss Whedon wanted you to play "Wonder Woman" in the feature movie he was originally going to produce. Would you have liked the opportunity to portray this character and what do you feel you would have brought to the character?
Morena Baccarin: Who wouldn't love to play Wonder Woman?
Gilles Nuytens: Can we expect to see you in the upcoming direct-to-DVD Stargate movie "The Ark Of Truth"?
Morena Baccarin: We're trying to work that out right now. I am shooting a tv series at the same time (called Heartland).
Gilles Nuytens: In Dominion, Adria makes it to ascension, do you think that the ascension has made her lose the human part she has? I mean especially the love she has for her mother.
Morena Baccarin: I'm not sure what ascension really entails, I am afterall new to the series. But my guess would be no. Adria need her human side to use her evil ways!
Gilles Nuytens: I was quite surprised by the fate of Adria in Dominion and I think you didn't expect that either, so before reading the script, how did you imagine the fate of Adria? And what do you think of that unexpected turn for your character?
Morena Baccarin: I honestly had no idea where it was going, because obviously she couldn't get what she wanted- world domination. I like where they took it.
Gilles Nuytens: What are your other projects, I mean current projects, upcoming projects, where and when can we expect to see you again on the screen? And can you speak about these projects?
Morena Baccarin: I just shot a film called The Sands of Oblivion. A sort of Indiana Jones meets The Mummy. And right now I am working on a show for TNT called Heartland. A doctor show starring Treat Williams. It begins airing in June.
Gilles Nuytens: Do you ever feel a little unlucky to be a part of two very great shows (SG-1 and Firefly) for such a short period of time through no fault or choice of your own?
Morena Baccarin: I feel very lucky and blessed to have worked on such great material and worked with such great people.
Gilles Nuytens: What was your motivation to become an actress; your mother was also an actress, I assume that this has influenced your choice? What did she bring to you in a career perspective?
Morena Baccarin: I grew up around actors and thought that was what normal people did for a living. So I guess I was influenced indirectly. My mother never encouraged me to be an actress, but never discouraged me. It's certainly nice to have that support from a parent that knows about the struggles first hand. I sort of fell into acting though. I started doing it in high school and totally fell in love with it.
Gilles Nuytens: Every actor I know that has played evil characters are quite happy and have a lot of fun playing their role, do you think that actors like to be able to cross to the forbidden behavior, do you think that it can be considered as some kind of bleed, psychologically speaking?
Morena Baccarin: I think it's fun to play evil because it is purely creative. You have to put yourself in situations that are fantastical and that you normally wouldn't be in. So you have to use the imagination and there is usually a lot of room to play.
Gilles Nuytens: I think everybody will agree that you are a very attractive woman, did you ever consider doing some modelling work?
Morena Baccarin: Thank you. I toyed around with the idea when I was a teenager but I had a problem with trying to be too skinny. I like to eat. A lot. The lifestyle also doesn't appeal to me.
Gilles Nuytens: I know by personal experience that the people on the sets of Stargate are really nice, very welcoming, so can you speak about how they welcomed you, how was it to be a newcomer on a show that has existed for so long? Who was the most welcoming?
Morena Baccarin: Everybody was sweet. They all told me watch out for Chris. Just Kidding. They were all nice. Everyone did what they could to make me feel welcome. Claudia Black had just had her baby, so I spent a lot of time in her trailer playing with her son, and on weekends when I felt all alone in Vancouver she invited me to her house for play dates. It was sweet.
Gilles Nuytens: Quite similar question, what was your best memory being on the sets of Stargate? Any story you'd like to share?
Morena Baccarin: I had a particularly hard time shooting the scene where I die and ascend (is that how you spell it?). Claudia who was in the scene with me helped me a lot, but Michael Shanks watched from the monitors and also helped by giving me some tips on how to die better. I thought that was really sweet. I had never done this kind of acting before and it was nice to know that they had my back.
Gilles Nuytens: If I am right, you didn't audition for Stargate, they offered you the role, so can you speak about how that happened?
Morena Baccarin: I think they probably have more info on that than me. I got a phone call from my agent saying they offered me the role of Adria. I assumed it was because they were fans of Firefly, since they had already worked with Jewel and Adam I believe.
Gilles Nuytens: In 1 or 2 words, how would you describe your co-stars from Stargate?
Morena Baccarin: Sweet professionals.