Name: Morena Baccarin
Best Known As: Inara Serra, cosmic courtesan, on Joss Whedon’s Firefly
How We Were First Introduced: Baccarin was a relative unknown prior to becoming a fixture in the wild and wicked Whedon-verse. She had landed small movie roles and was even Natalie Portman’s understudy in a Central Park theater performance of The Seagull, but, naturally, becoming a bi-sexual space geisha in Joss’ Western-esque space opera proved to be the game-changing career move. (Really, how can ‘bi-sexual space geisha’ be anything BUT game-changing?). Initially the role of Inara Serra was to be played by Rebecca Gayheart, but within one day of filming, it was quickly determined that Gayheart was not up to the task. Baccarin became the last-minute (and much celebrated) pinch hitter in the role.
On Being Enveloped By Whedon-mania: “I still can’t believe that people were as into that show as they were and are,” Baccarin said in an interview at IF Magazine. “It’s great and I loved the series, because I was in it and working and loved the people that I worked with. I am always amazed and humbled by the amount of fans out there for FIREFLY and its so touching to me that people feel as passionately about it as I did. Just the other day I went to eat in a restaurant here in Los Angeles, and the owners were huge FIRELFY fans wearing SERENITY shirts. I had no idea and told the owner that I liked her shirt and she said, “Oh my God, I was hoping one of you would come in eventually.” It’s so great. It’s so sweet.”
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Personal Life: Reportedly dated Jericho‘s Brad Beyer several years ago. If there’s a current paramour, he’s flying under the radar. For now.
What She’s Doing Now: Leading an alien invasion of earth. Indeed, Baccarin is on the verge of becoming huuuuuuge: witness her face filling the skies of central Manhattan (and Paris, and L.A., and…..) in this preview clip for V. As many are well aware by now, Baccarin landed the plum role of leader of the Visitors (that’s Visitors with a capital V….emphatic capitalization seems warranted here, seeing as how they’ve come from such a loooong way away…..) in this ‘us vs. them’ saga. With looks and charisma to spare, Morena’s inevitable subjugation of all males on earth is pretty much a given.
Roles She’d Rather Forget? Not yet. As Baccarin happily admitted in an interview with Playboy: “I’m lucky to say that I have a very young career. I don’t think I’ve had the time to do anything really cheesy yet. Although I’m sure somebody will find some audition or something.”