Morena Baccarin is leaving those human-skinned aliens of “V” behind and heading to “Homeland” on Showtime this October.
“It’s nice to be human again and play emotions and to have a lot going on emotionally,” Morena told Access Hollywood after Showtime’s “Homeland” panel at the Television Critics Association Summer Session 2011 in Beverly Hills on Thursday.
In “Homeland,” Morena stars as Jessica Brody, wife to Scott Brody (Damian Lewis), a military man who is rescued after being an Al Qaida prisoner of war for eight years, long after everyone thought he had been killed, and after her character has moved on with a new lover.
“It gets very intense,” Morena said of her upcoming story line, which finds her husband starting out unaware of her new relationship. “And you can’t blame her – [her husband Scott] was gone for eight years and at a certain point you have to assume he’s dead. And just as she was putting that behind her, he comes home, so it’s just a really impossible situation for everybody and it gets really intense.”
While her short, Audrey Hepburn-esque crop was a trademark of her “V” character, alien leader Anna, Morena has a softer, chin-length ‘do for “Homeland” thanks to a wig, and the actress confirmed she’s ready to leave her short haircut behind in her own life.
“I’m growing it out, yeah,” she said. “I’m just ready for a change.”
“This woman is a very different woman from Anna and I felt it was very important for me to play this character to morph into something else and the hair was a part of that,” Morena added.
The role also sees the actress playing a mother of two children whose lives are rocked when their presumed-dead father comes home.
“I did have a daughter on ‘V,’ even though [in real life] she was five years younger than I was — and a lot of incubated babies. It’s really fun, it’s very grounding, it’s different,” Morena said of playing a military wife and mother. “I don’t have kids of my own, but I think any woman can imagine having children. It’s really nice… It’s very real and it’s very grounded in the home stories of these characters. I think that adds to the heartbreak aspect of this man being gone for eight years.”
The show also reunites Morena with Claire Danes (who plays CIA agent Carrie Anderson), her former junior high classmate.
“We were in the same homeroom and we were together for about a year, a year in a half,” she said.
As for what she remembers about a pre-teen Claire?
“I remember she had orange hair or pink hair at one point after she’d got back from doing [the] ‘My So Called Life’ pilot and [we] were just [recently] bonding over the fact that we had the same bully in junior high,” she laughed.
“Homeland” premieres on Showtime on Sunday October 2 at 10 PM ET/PT following the return of “Dexter.”