Hello Morena and thank you so much for giving us at SGPnet the chance to have this interview with you. We are very proud about that opportunity, because we know you must be very busy at the moment.
On "Firefly" you played the trained and well educated companion Inara Serra who rented a shuttle and lived on it aboard Malcolm Reynolds' ship called "Serenity". She was a friend to the crew and she was very close to Kaylee, River and Shepherd Book. She also had a friendship with Captain Reynolds, however, her job and their different perspectives always got them into fighting. And although neither of them would ever admit it, they do have strong feelings for each other.
Thank you for bringing Inara to life, for showing us her way of living in this rough and dirty world and for co-creating one of two parts of a sweet and sometimes funny but also confusing relationship.
So, why don't we start with the questions?
SGPnet: How are you today?
Morena Baccarin: I'm good, thanks, although I feel like I will be answering these questions forever!
SGPnet: Let's talk about "Firefly" first. Can you tell us, what is so interesting for you about the "Firefly"-universe Joss Whedon created? And what makes "Firefly" so different from other science-fiction-shows?
MB: "Firefly" had a reality and grittiness to it that I have not seen before. It was visionary and at the same time grim. Easy to identify with.
SGPnet: How did you get the role of Inara Serra? Did you have to go to an audition?
MB: I read a treatment for the script when I was in New York and passed because I was in NY and didn't want to go on tape and because I didn't really understand the concept. Then as fate would have it, the original Inara fell out of the project and this time I happened to be in Los Angeles and met with Joss, auditioned, tested for the FOX executives and got the job. All very quickly and insanely.
SGPnet: "Firefly" didn't air on German television yet, it just came out on DVD last year in November. What can the audience expect of Inara? How is she like?
MB: Just watch it!
SGPnet: Did you model Inara after another character, actor or figure? Or is she the sum of your imagination and the notes of the producers?
MB: She was a collaboration of what I brought to the role, what Joss wrote and the happy accidents that come together magically when you create a role.
SGPnet: Did you have any concerns about playing some kind of a future prostitute?
MB: Of course, my first reaction was "I don't want to be a space whore." But after I met Joss I had no more fears. I knew that I could trust his vision and my part in it.
SGPnet: How was a day for you on the set of "Firefly" like?
MB: Always fun, always a lot of work and usually some standing on the balcony and screaming, "Mal!" (laughs)
SGPnet: What is your favourite episode and can you also tell us why?
MB: I love "Objects in Space" because it freaks me out. And I love "Out of Gas" because in my opinion it is brilliant story-telling.
SGPnet: What was your funniest moment on set? Was there anything happening like someone messed up his lines or couldn't get them out right, somebody had a funny accident, or even someone just started laughing and couldn't calm down?
MB: Jewel [Staite] and I had a lot of moments where we couldn't stop laughing. For no reason, really, just giddiness. And of course the time Nathan [Fillion] bent over and split his pants pretty much takes the cake.
SGPnet: Has there been any improvising or was it not allowed? And how was working with Joss Whedon like?
MB: There was hardly any improvising; Joss believes that what he wrote should be what we say. And he's right. We would ask him to change things sometimes but usually his way worked best. He was really giving and listened even when we were wrong and always let us try stuff out. Even if he never rolled the camera.
SGPnet: How did you and your fellow cast members react, when you learned that "Firefly" got cancelled in the middle of its first season?
MB: It was a sad, sad time. We were all heartbroken.
SGPnet: Let's leave "Firefly" for now and talk about the movie "Serenity": What made you come back to play Inara Serra again, when you heard, that they were making a feature-film?
MB: Are you kidding? Why wouldn't I?
SGPnet: "Serenity" wouldn't have been possible, if there hadn't been Joss Whedon first, but also if there weren't so many enthusiastic fans of the show from all over the world, who wouldn't take this bad ending and who started campaigns, raised money, wrote letters to get a complete season and bought the DVDs. Do you think that such things have an influence to the decisions of the bosses and does the opinion of the fans still matter in the business, or is it just about ratings and numbers?
MB: The fans are the ratings and numbers and I think we owe our success to the fans. Of course there are a little people involved in making the movie and how it went from a little show to a big fat movie, but without the fans we would be doing nothing.
SGPnet: Would you come back again, if there was another movie or even a TV-film or a TV-show again?
SGPnet: What kind of message do you want the fans to pick up from "Serenity"?
MB: Everybody will take something different away from it; to me the lesson was that if you want something bad enough don't ever let anybody tell you you can't have it.
SGPnet: How much of Morena Baccarin is in Inara Serra? What is different?
MB: You can probably answer that better than I can. I don't know. It is me talking and walking and speaking but I chose to believe that I have created somebody out of my imagination.
SGPnet: Are you still in contact with your colleagues and do you see them sometimes? Everybody is moving on, working at all different places and on different projects. Do you miss them sometimes?
MB: We all are pretty good about keeping in touch. I see Nathan and Jewel most of all. Ron I see a lot too, I don't know. Everybody always comes to Nathan's BBQs and we are all connected and always will be through this experience.
SGPnet: Let's talk about your current projects. What is the TV-series "Still Life" about? What can we expect of your character named Maggie Jones?
MB: "Still Life" unfortunately never made to the air so you won't see it. But I am currently working on "Stargate SG1".
SGPnet: There are some rumours, you should be the next "Wonder Woman". Joss Whedon is working on the script at the moment. Would you like play the super-heroine, if you are asked to?
MB: Of course.
SGPnet: Which famous actor or actress would you love to play with in a movie someday?
MB: Ralph Fiennes, Rachel McAdams, Meryl Streep, Christian Bale ... the list goes on.
SGPnet: How does it feel, seeing yourself on the big screen, on TV, magazines or posters? Do people recognize you on the street? Is it strange that everybody thinks to know you?
MB: I try not to watch myself too much, don't like it. And yes it's funny to be recognized. It feels a little invasive but when I stop to think about it, it's also an opportunity to thank all the fans.
SGPnet: How should a character you are considering to play be like? Is it the strong and tough warrior woman or is it the loving, breakable and caring woman? Or, do you try to find a role that mixes all of this together into a character with a lot of different layers?
MB: I'd like to think that I can play it all.
SGPnet: Would you be interested in playing a woman, who is out of her mind or insane someday?
SGPnet: You are the daughter of Vera Setta, which is a famous actress in Brazil. So, you got in touch with show-business early in your life. During your childhood has it always been your dream to become an actress, or did you wish to do another job?
MB: I only knew I wanted to be an actress in High school. Before that I didn't really give it much thought.
SGPnet: Do you have any helpful hints for young people who want to become an actor?
MB: Only do it if you cannot live without it, and study, study, study.
SGPnet: What kinds of music do you like? And what is your favourite song at the moment?
MB: I like all kinds of music; I have been listening to Fiona Apple's new album and "Cat Power".
SGPnet: Do you like watching TV or going to the movies? Is there any science-fiction-TV-series you like?
MB: I don't watch TV.
SGPnet: Have you ever been to Germany? If you have been here before, what did you like the best? If not, what would you like to see and which city would you like to visit?
MB: I'd love to go everywhere in Germany. I love to travel and am very interested in all cities.
SGPnet: I know you visited some conventions. What do you think about conventions and what do you expect from them for yourself? Would you also visit a German convention someday, if you are invited?
MB: Yes I would, and they can be fun, too. It's a chance to meet the fans of the show and travel.
SGPnet: Do you sometimes browse the internet to find out, what the fans think about your work? What is your opinion about this kind of feedback or interaction with your fans?
MB: I'm not really that into the internet. I check my e-mails - that's about it. I don't really want to know what people are saying about me, good or bad. I'd rather go about my life doing what I hope is good work.
SGPnet: Quick-Shooting-Round - I give you a headword and you reply with one or a few words, which are coming into your mind spontaneously.
1. Thunderstorm ... Rain
2. Candle ... Birthday
3. Fast Food ... Yuck!
4. Internet ... OK
5. New Year's Eve ... Fun
6. Audition ... Hell
7. Soccer ... Brazil
8. Joss Whedon ... Love
9. Ice-Cream ... Good
10. Traffic Jam ... Sucks
SGPnet: That would be all for now. If you would like to write some greetings or a personal message to your German fans, you can do it now.
MB: Just a heart felt thank you.
SGPnet: Last but not least I have to thank you for the interview, for the time you took for us and I wish you all the best for 2006 and for your future. I would be very happy, when we can do another interview someday again.