Posted by on 7 February 2016 with Comments Off on Deadpool actress Morena Baccarin on becoming a mum: It’s the best thing in the world

via Sunday Express:

She’s done her fair share of sci-fi shows so Morena Baccarin is used to fans geeking out when they meet her. “I’ve had some strange fan encounters, that’s for sure,” says the actress who has Stargate, V and Gotham on her CV and is in this month’s Deadpool movie. “Nothing threatening or terrible but sometimes people ask me to marry them, which is a little odd.”

It’s also highly unlikely Morena would say yes. She’s very much with Ben McKenzie, who she first encountered on the set of The O.C. when she guested on the show in 2006 and who she became romantically involved with after they started working together on Gotham a couple of years ago.

They’re not married yet although Morena, whose face is most familiar from Homeland (she was Brody’s wife on the first three series), has been married before. She was married to director/ producer Austin Chick for four years and they have a two-year-old son called Julius.

Becoming a mum was a life-changer for the 37 year old. “It’s the best thing in the world,” she tells me. “It takes you out of yourself and makes you look at the world in a whole new way. It gives you a compassion you didn’t have before.”

And Morena’s about to become a mum again. She and Ben are expecting their first child together anytime soon, which has made filming the second series of Gotham a bit tricky. In the show she’s Dr Leslie Thompkins and the producers have had to work around her baby bump.

“But they’re not changing any storylines for me or doing anything different,” says the actress, who was also pregnant during Homeland and had a body double for some of the scenes.

If she knows the sex of the baby she’s keeping quiet about it. She and Ben are a private couple and “we’re together and we’re very happy” is all she’ll say about their relationship. Nor does her son Julius know his mum is a Hollywood star. “He has no concept of that and I’ll try to shield him from it as long as possible,” Morena says. “He should just be a kid and be playing outside and having a great time.”

With Gotham to wrap and Deadpool to promote, she’s the busiest of expectant parents and days off are few and far between. “I kind of really need one of those right now,” Morena sighs. Her dream day off? “It’d be a long walk, a leisurely time to not have to be anywhere, spending time with my son, making meals together and just hanging out.”

The actress is excited about Deadpool, the new Marvel movie that stars Ryan Reynolds as a Special Forces operative-turned mercenary superhero Wade Wilson and Morena as his shape-shifting girlfriend Vanessa Carlysle.

Morena was in Spy (the spoof movie with Melissa McCarthy and Jason Statham) but only briefly, so this is her first big film role with all the attention that’s going to bring. “But I try not to think about things like that,” she laughs. “If I did I’d be paralysed.”

Vanessa goes by the superhero name of Copycat thanks to her ability to duplicate other people’s appearances. “And she’s a blast to play,” Morena says. “She’s a very brassy and sassy but soulful woman. She’s a really good match for Deadpool. She’s not afraid to speak her mind and she’s not very conventional.”

Does any of that describe the real Morena?

“I don’t think so,” she laughs before adding: “Well, you know, you always have a little bit of the same qualities as your characters but in this case it’s definitely not all of them.”

And does she get in on the action? “I do, yes. There’s a lot of action in the movie and Vanessa gets captured and is thrown around a bit. It was a newish thing for me. I’d done some action stuff before but it’s been a while and it was fun. We did this awesome stunt where she’s falling off a flight deck that’s tilting. It was a blast to do it.”

That, of course, was done before she fell pregnant and after she’d done some fight training. “Just the basics of how to fall without hurting myself, how to take a punch, all that stuff that when you’re on set you don’t have time to learn last-minute but it’s something you should have in your repertoire. I worked with a personal trainer because Vanessa is the type of girl who’s a little bit scrappy. I felt I had to be physically strong, fit and just ready to go.”

There were no major injuries, although she hurt her neck a couple of times – but she sees it as all part of the job. “There’s always small stuff that happens when you’re being physically aggressive with yourself but there was nothing major.”

Vanessa sounds like a big contrast to Jessica Brody on Homeland, whose most heroic act was negotiating her husband’s mood swings and his affair with Carrie Mathison. “She’s very different, yes,” the actress agrees.

“The dream as an actor is being able to bounce back and forth between different things. That’s what I got to do on this film and it’s always a pleasure. There are some roles that are more still and internal and emotional, and others that are more physical, which get you out of your mind for a while.”

The woman with the tongue-twisting full name of Morena Silva de Vaz Setta Baccarin was born in Rio. Her mother Vera is also an actress and her father Fernando is a journalist – Morena has vivid memories of the seven years she spent in the colourful Brazilian city, before they relocated to the United States. “It’s mostly memories of being with family, being at the beach, the food, the flavours, the sun. It’s a really amazing environment, not just the heat but the people as well.”

When her father got a job at a New York-based Brazilian TV network, they moved to Greenwich Village. “Luckily it was towards the end of summer so I didn’t have that total climate shock, plus Rio is a large cosmopolitan city with lots of cars so I was used to that.”

Brazil is still very much in her blood. “I grew up in the States but I go back to Brazil quite often and a big part of me is very Brazilian, so there’s a constant struggle between the two cultures within me. They’re very different approaches to life.”

That said, America set Morena on her dream of becoming an actress. She studied drama in high school and was in the same class as Claire Danes. “She was amazing,” Morena recalls of the future Homeland star. “I remember her performing a monologue in class and she was just incredible.

I remember watching her and thinking, ‘I don’t know how to do that.’”

Morena describes her younger self as “a total drama dork”, reading plays and studying more than socialising. “I sort of grew up in my own shell,” she recalls, “and I was very shy around people. Then when I got to college, I realised you needed a social life. That was an important aspect of growing up for me.”

There were the usual day jobs – babysitting, working in a restaurant – but once she graduated from drama school there was no more of that. “I was stupid lucky. I was able to graduate, start acting professionally and go from one job to the next.”

Morena made her debut way down the cast list of the 2001 fashion industry comedy Perfume, but worked her way up

to bigger roles in Firefly on TV and Serenity on screen. She guested on Stargate and had a recurring role on V. Then came Homeland and Gotham, the former upping her profile considerably and the latter introducing her to McKenzie.

She doesn’t feel pigeonholed as a Latina actress but admits: “I do think I started at a time when the industry was really embracing ethnicity and the differences between people, but it was a little tough at first.

There was a lot of typecasting and I often got told I couldn’t play the white best friend in a movie or whatever because I was too different-looking. But that changed pretty quickly.

“If you look at my work the majority of what I play is a nondescript, culturally neutral person. In Homeland I’m obviously an American and in V I’m an alien. I get to do a lot of different things so it’s great.”

Speaking of Homeland, she had no idea it would be so successful. She loved the script and her castmates, and knew from the off that she wanted to do it. “But none of us knew how big it would become. I just feel lucky that I got involved in something which became such a huge success. That’s been a big highlight for me.”

Morena has nothing but praise for her on-screen husband Damian Lewis, saying: “He was very serious about the work but also very welcoming and very warm. He’d already been shooting by the time I joined the cast so I felt a little bit like the new kid but he was so helpful.”

And she loved starring opposite Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool. “I had a really great time with him,” she raves. “He’s a genuinely good, sweet person, a goofball but also really focused.” Is she a goofball herself? “Not really, no. I get very focused when I’m on set. I want to work well and do my job properly.”

She’s a doctor in Gotham but couldn’t be one for real. “No way,” she laughs. “I’m definitely too squeamish.” Acting aside, her dream job would be as a singer. “If I could have a voice like Adele I’d be happy.” And where is she on a scale of one to Adele?

“Like minus five. I’m that bad! The only time I sing is to my son at bedtime, when the lights are out and no one else is around.”

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