Morena Baccarin is a Brazilian American actress probably best known for her role as Jessica Brody on the show “Homeland.”
Though born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Morena Baccarin and her family moved to New York City when she was 7. Her father was a news coordinator and her mother, a stage actress. Morena said she feels right down the middle as to whether she’s more American or Brazilian. “I love this country and I’m so happy I grew up here. It afforded me opportunities that I never would have had in Brazil…but in Brazil there’s a joy in life that people in the US forget because we are so busy being ambitious.”
Morena Baccarin attended PS 41 and the New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies, where she was a classmate of Claire Danes. “I was a dork, and I thought [Claire] was really cool. We had the same nemesis, so we’ve bonded over that.” After graduation, she went to the Julliard School for the Performing Arts and studied theatre.
Morena spent time in New York theatre, including “The Seagull” in the Central Park production, where she was Natalie Portman’s understudy. Meryl Streep told her during rehearsal, “You were amazing. The new joke around the set is going to be: nobody gets sick, because the understudy is great.”
Morena can speak English and Portuguese, and her first name “Morena” means “brunette” in Portuguese. She is sometimes referred to, with her delicate feature and pixie haircut as the Latina Audrey Hepburn.
In 2002, Morena Baccarin moved to Los Angeles and was cast in Joss Whedon’s series “Firefly.” She has also appeared on “V,” “The Mentalist,” “The Good Wife” and “Homeland,” where she plays “an incredibly emotionally layered character.” She said of her sex scenes in “Homeland,” “It is what a lot of people focus on. But it’s such a small part of my job.” She told GQ she is ready for something different. “Especially being a Bond girl. Oh, yes, I would love to be a Bond girl. That is on my bucket list, definitely.”
Morena Baccarin added about her sex scenes, “The vulnerability portrayed in those scenes are the most difficult moments to act.”
She said being a sci-fi goddess can be a little strange. “One time, a fan asked me to ask his girlfriend to marry him – at a convention’s autograph table.”
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Morena Baccarin is married to director Austin Chick. She also owns a duplex in Los Angeles, where Jessica Pare from “Mad Men” was a tenant.