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Individuals of all economic strata are shedding their jobs, hometowns, and lifestyle to embrace a wider experience and a more meaningful existence.

Morena Baccarin

Morena BaccarinMorena Baccarin, born June 2, 1979 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is a Brazilian-American actress. She is known for her role as Inara Serra in the series Firefly and the follow-up film Serenity, Adria in Stargate SG-1 and the follow-up film Stargate: The Ark of Truth, Anna in the 2009 version of the series V, Vanessa in the superhero comedy film Deadpool, and Jessica Brody in the Showtime series Homeland.

She received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2013 for Homeland. She plays the role of Dr. Leslie Thompkins in the Fox television series Gotham.

Baccarin was born to Vera Setta, an actress, and Fernando Baccarin, who is a journalist. Her mother played a character named 'Morena' in the movie O Vampiro de Copacabana in 1976, three years before her daughter 'Morena' was born.

Morena means brunette in her native Portuguese. It was her mother that was first to introduce the theatrical show "Os Monologos da Vagina" (The Vagina Monologues) to Brazil.

When she was seven years old, she moved with her family to Greenwich Village in New York City, due to her father being transferred to work as an editor at Globo TV's headquarters.

She attended Public School 41 and New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies, where she and fellow Homeland co-star Claire Danes were classmates.

Morena BaccarinShe later attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts before she entering the theater program at Juilliard from 1996 to 2000. While at Julliard, she was one of the subjects of the PBS series American Masters which focused on the school and its students.

Baccarin landed her first film role in the fashion-world comedy Perfume in 2001, following by a lead role in Way Off Broadway later in 2001.

Baccarin eventually decided to take the plunge and move to Los Angeles:

"I was understudying a lot of theatre - I understudied Natalie Portman in The Seagull and I did regional theatre in Minneapolis, but I could not get any work in theatre in New York City," she says.

"So I thought - Well, I need to be on a TV show. I need to first make a living doing what I love to do, and maybe I can get in that way.

Well, I hate L.A., I'm a total New Yorker, but it's time for me to face my fears and try something new."

It would appear that was the right move because a few days after arriving in Los Angeles, she was cast as Inara in Joss Whedon's sci-fi western series, Firefly.

"My agent said: There's something coming in for you this afternoon. It has to be really quick because they've already started shooting. You have to go in for it this afternoon. I contemplated saying no, because I hate doing that."

Morena Baccarin"I want to always show my best work, but when I went in there, it just all worked out great. I literally got the job the next day, went down to the set, and started working, like, two days later. It was pretty crazy."

The craziness didn't end there. Despite strong fan support and positive critical acclaim, the show was cancelled before it finished its first season. For a TV rookie this was a tough experience.

"It was my first TV show, so I got extremely attached to it and to the people who were working on it," she says.

"I was really hurt and really sad when it was cancelled. We all bonded so quickly. I kind of didn't know what to make of it. At a certain point, I think, you harden yourself to the realities of the business.

I thought - Okay, it's cancelled, I'm going to move on now. I've been hurt by this and I am not going to let it happen again.

She was Natalie Portman's understudy in the Central Park production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull.

In 2002, Firefly was Baccarin's first television series and she reprised her role of Inara Serra for the 2005 film Serenity.

Morena BaccarinBut Joss Whedon refused to let the Firefly project die. He created a Firefly feature film that reunited the entire cast.

"When they called me up and said, "Do you want to do a movie of Firefly ?" I was, like, "Excuse me ?" I couldn't believe it, and I could not have been happier. Shooting the movie was just as much fun as shooting the television show, if not more, because we had a bigger budget."

"If you haven't seen the television episodes, you have to go get them! I think it was ahead of its time... I think it was network television at a time where there really wasn't much sci-fi on network TV and I think the show was very rooted in reality."

"It wasn't about monsters and goblins and aliens - it was about people trying to make it in the new frontier. The relationships were great and the writing was SO funny and in that Joss Whedon style. I thought the stories were captivating and it was really sort of a character-driven, quirky drama with some great dialogue."

In February 2005, Baccarin provided the voice for Black Canary in multiple episodes of the animated series Justice League Unlimited. She also guest starred in three episodes of the television series The O.C. in 2006.

Baccarin also appeared in the unaired pilot episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, in which she played Carmen, a male-to-female transsexual.

Morena BaccarinIt was announced in April of 2006 that Baccarin would be playing the adult version of Adria, a recurring villain in the tenth season of Stargate SG-1.

She first appeared in season 10 episode "Counterstrike" as adult Adria. She reprised her role as Adria in the movie Stargate: The Ark of Truth.

In May 2009, Baccarin made her Off-Broadway debut in Theresa Rebeck's television satire Our House at Playwrights Horizons in New York City.

She landed the lead role of Anna, the leader of the alien Visitors, in ABC's 2009-2011 series V - a remake of the 1984 series. But, in May of 2011, following the airing of the show's second season finale, it was announced that the show would not return for a third season.

It was in that same month that Baccarin joined the cast of the Showtime television drama Homeland, for which she received good notices for her role as the conflicted wife of a former prisoner of war.

On July 18, 2013, she was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series at the 2013 Primetime Emmy awards for her performance.

Baccarin appeared alongside Melissa McCarthy in the 2015 action-comedy, Spy and in 2016, Baccarin appeared with Ryan Reynolds in the film, Deadpool, as Vanessa Carlysle.

Morena BaccarinBaccarin married American film producer and director Austin Chick in November 2011 and their son, Julius, was born in 2013. Chick filed for divorce in 2015 with court documents citing irreconcilable differences.

As of September 2015, Baccarin was expecting her second child, her first with her Gotham co-star, Benjamin McKenzie.

Even though she is an exceptionally beautiful woman she did not start her career as a model. Baccarin toyed around with the idea when she was a teenager but had a problem with trying to be too skinny. She likes to eat and the lifestyle of a model also didn't appeal to her.

"I would love to be a Bond girl. That is on my bucket list, definitely."

"My whole family is very artistic - my uncles are all actors and theatre directors. My mom is an actress, but she never really pushed me into it, and it was never something I thought I would be doing.

She was very happy when I decided to, but she certainly doesn't offer me criticism because she knows I'd tell her to shut up! Nobody wants to hear that from their mum!"

"I grew up around actors and thought that was what normal people did for a living. So I guess I was influenced indirectly."

"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."

Morena Baccarin"I'd love to do more movies. Just because I am interested in the medium very much. I have done a lot of theatre at this point, and I've done a lot of TV and I've done a few independent films - but a lot of them have not seen the light of day. It'd be really nice to be in a film that gets out there."

"I can't complain. I'm making a living out of what I do, which is really rare for a lot of actors. The hard part is staying confident and staying with it."

Follow Morena on Twitter




Year Title Role Notes
2001 Perfume Monica
2001 Way Off Broadway Rebecca
2002 Roger Dodger Girl in Bar
2005 Serenity Inara Serra
2008 Death in Love Beautiful Woman
2008 Stargate: The Ark of Truth Adria Direct-to-DVD
2009 Stolen Rose Montgomery
2014 Back in the Day Lori
2014 Son of Batman Talia al Ghul Direct-to-DVD; voice role
2015 Spy Karen Walker
2016 Batman: Bad Blood Talia al Ghul Direct-to-DVD; voice role
2016 Deadpool Vanessa Carlysle


Year Title Role Notes
2002-2003 Firefly Inara Serra 14 episodes
2005 It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Carmen Episode: "It's Always Sunny on TV" (unaired pilot)
2005-2006 Justice League Unlimited Black Canary (voice) 3 episodes
2006 The O.C. Maya Griffin 3 episodes
2006 How I Met Your Mother Chloe Episode: Swarley
2006 Justice Lisa Cruz Episode: "Christmas Party"
2006-2007 Stargate SG-1 Adria 5 episodes
2007 Las Vegas Sara Samari Episode: "The Burning Bedouin"
2007 Heartland Nurse Jessica Kivala 9 episodes
2007 Sands of Oblivion Alice Carter Movie
2008 Dirt Claire Leland Episode: "And the Winner Is"
2008 Numbers Lynn Potter Episode: "Blowback"
2009 Medium Brooke Hoyt Episode: "All in the Family"
2009-2011 V Anna 22 episodes
2010 The Deep End Beth Bancroft Episode: "Unaired Pilot"
2011 Batman: The Brave and the Bold Cheetah (voice) Episode: "Triumvirate of Terror!"
2011 Look Again Allison Movie
2011-2014 The Mentalist Erica Flynn 3 episodes
2011-2013 Homeland Jessica Brody 29 episodes
2012-2013 The Good Wife Isobel Swift 2 episodes
2014 Warriors Tory Pilot
2014-2015 The Flash Gideon (voice) 7 episodes
2014 The Red Tent Rachel 2 episodes
2014-present Gotham Dr. Leslie Thompkins 31 episodes

Awards and Nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
2001 Wine Country Film Festival Best Actress Way Off Broadway Won
2010 Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actress on Television V Nominated
Scream Awards Breakout Performance - Female V Nominated
NewNowNext Awards Brink of Fame: Actor V Nominated
2011 Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actress on Television V Nominated
2013 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Homeland Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Homeland Nominated

Morena Baccarin Photoshoot


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