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Morena Baccarin - "Homeland" Tv Series - Esquire Magazine October 2012 Interview
mercredi 26 septembre 2012, par Webmaster
Today, under the lacquered blue-enamel sky, in a black-belted black dress, stepping out of the nap-time grasp of an SUV, Morena Baccarin is clearly — honest-to-God, and to every vision of woman ever beheld, without a hint of exaggeration or intended pain to anyone who’s borne the title before or will bear it hence — the most beautiful woman in the world.
Never mind where — west and north of L.A., in a kind of near-desert, in the parking lot of a wine bar, her jet hair coated by the brightness of a midafternoon sun rigged high. The world behind her falls away quickly enough. With every step across the careless splash of asphalt, her unlumpy purse hooked over the sinew of her shoulder, finger dangling her keys, Baccarin smiles, which is of course part of why she’s the most beautiful woman in the world today.
She keeps on : smiling at something, if only the equation of the afternoon that was or will be. It’s hours till dark, and she looks every bit the glorious occasion, the kind of woman you want to take with you, the kind who could bring fortune in places where things are happening.
So maybe it’s a little bit like luck. Maybe she wants to go to the track ? To drowse for a while in the owners’ boxes ? No. "I’m terrible at gambling," she says. "I don’t have a mathematical mind. No luck, either. On my last movie, I lost my entire per diem at a riverboat casino. No, no. Let’s drink wine. Let’s go down." She means down into the cellar, the damp dark of an otherwise deserted bar. She knows what she wants — to start in on the wine flights and the cheeses — and knowing is certainly a part of beauty, too. So, down the steep staircase, heels tonk, tonk, tonking the concrete, sliding into a seat against a cold stone wall — the whole way laughing. All the time with the pleasant, not-too-loud laugh of hers. This is just one more reason she’s the most beautiful woman in the world today. "I drive to a cellar on a bright day, sit here with a lot of wine and cheese, and tell you all about my gambling right out of the box," she says. "I’m just going to get in trouble." The Brazilian-born Baccarin, age thirty-three, was until recently — and maybe still is — best known for her role on the short-lived 2009 ABC series V, on which she played the doe-eyed, pixie-cut alien queen with an excellent Q rating. And removable skin. It’s her iconic role to date, save perhaps her part on the culty Firefly, which turned the heads of a thousand, thousand fanboys. "It’s a coincidence," she says of starring in two major science-fiction projects. "I really look for strong female characters, or weak female characters, for that matter — something defined, tucked inside a great story. Reading V gave me straight-out goosebumps. You know, not knowing who your neighbors are, discovering that you live in an occupied state. Firefly I grabbed. We all thought it would last."
On this afternoon, the most beautiful woman in the world looks relieved when she mentions that she’s just about to start filming the second season of Showtime’s Homeland, on which she plays what is quickly becoming her newest most memorable role : the suburban wife of a returning POW and possible Al Qaeda sleeper agent. The first season didn’t test her acting chops much, but she’s optimistic. "This season, I finally get to stop crying into my pillow," she says. "So far there’s been a lot of crying, a lot of cooking dinner, and more crying. I mean, I like dishwashing fluid just as much as any other gel, but you know, you gotta move on." Here she takes an immodest gulp of wine, falls into her modest laugh, holds a piece of hard Spanish cheese in her teeth like a man chewing a cigar stub. "I just read the first episode of the season, and there’s this emergence of the political life. My character likes the meeting of people, the rubbing of elbows, just the possibility of getting to Washington. She’s coming to life this year."
You never think you’d say this about the most beautiful woman in the world, especially alone, underground, bound up in three leaps of wine and more, but Morena Baccarin’s hair appears to be in transition, caught somewhere between Alien Queen and Weepy Soldier’s Wife. What happened to the pixie cut she featured in her brief but epic run on the more recent resurrection of V ?
She takes a fistful of hair, then lets it go. "Here’s the story of the pixie cut : Growing up, I had long hair. Superlong. It was that way forever," she says. "Then I did a movie that called for short hair, and I kept going back and forth — cut it, or wear a wig ? On and on. Until my boyfriend at the time said, ’Stop. You need to cut your hair because you’re going to look ridiculous with all that long hair pushed up under a wig.’ And for a while I thought, Shit, I’m going to look like a boy, I’m going to have a fat face. But finally I said fine. I treated it almost like a dare. And that short hair was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. For myself, I mean. It was liberating and it was fun. And I kept it for four years. Now I’m growing it out for Homeland."
She takes another sip of wine, blinks a long, slow blink, gives a little shake of her head. "I’m just sick of it. You know ?"
There is a picture of her, widely spread on the Internet, with blond hair. That, too, one suspects, had to be for a movie.
"That was boredom," she says. "That was summer. That was blonds have more fun."
Do they ?
"Not really," she says. "Brunettes are far superior."
It’s hard to argue with the most beautiful woman in the world. Not that there’s any fight in the afternoon. Even in an empty room, in darkness hidden from a sun-bald day, she is without tension, without a sense of anywhere better to be. "This is good," she says. "I spent the afternoon with my hands in the dirt, working on my succulents." What are you gonna do ? It sounds like a word that both fits perfectly and isn’t what she meant at all — succulence. And she is smiling, because she knows it. The word itself becomes a kind of laughable currency for her.
You gotta love succulents.
"You do, right ? I mean they grow anywhere. They don’t need anything. Not here, anyway."
Where did you come from ? You live close to this place ?
"I do. I live around the corner."
Are there lots of succulents between here and there ?
"Mmm, yes. There are succulents everywhere. This is a succulent neighborhood. They like the air, the lack of water."
Why did you drive here ?
"I almost walked, but I had these heels on. And I just didn’t think I could manage that for you."
This goes on. Later she talks about acting. Serious stuff, about working with Philip Seymour Hoffman as an understudy for Natalie Portman in Chekhov’s The Seagull, in Central Park. She praises her colleague Claire Danes for her work on Homeland. Ho hum. Then every once in a while, she goes back to succulence/succulents. It makes her laugh, this word salad. More wine is ordered. Evening comes, and still the most beautiful woman in the world is only too happy to play. That’s more than just a part of it. It’s probably the whole deal, the very reason she won the title all those hours ago.
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