EXCLUSIVE: 'Homeland' Star Morena Baccarin: "This Country Makes a Huge Deal About Nudity"

Showtime

In the new Showtime drama Homeland, Brazilian actress Morena Baccarin plays a woman who is married to one man and in love with another. Baccarin, who is best known for her roles on hit sci-fi shows like V and Serenity, spoke to Latina.com about her character's love triangle on the show, why her topless scenes aren't gratuitous at all, and what it felt like to hear that the show has been renewed for a second season earlier this week. 

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Tell us about your new show Homeland!

It’s a show about a Marine Sergeant {named} Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) who goes missing in Afghanistan and becomes a POW. He’s gone for eight years and I play his wife Jessica. I assume that he’s dead—we all do. The office of Homeland Security gets knowledge that two POW’s have been found. They do this special ops operation and rescue them. Simultaneous to that happening, Claire Danes’ character (Carrie Mathison) gets Intel that an American POW has been turned—and she believes that it’s my husband. And as a viewer, you have no idea who’s right or who’s wrong. Has he been turned? Is he a terrorist? Or is she just crazy? My character has to deal with her husband coming home and she has started a relationship with his best friend because she thought he was dead.

What is your character Jessica like?

Jessica is obviously a survivor. She has two kids with {her husband} and she’s had to deal with him being gone for eight years and has taken care of her family. She doesn’t have the luxury of falling apart—she’s got to give her kids something to live for and educate them and be their mom. When Brody comes back—and is a total mess—she knows that she made a commitment to him, and even though she’s in love with this guy Mike (Diego Klattenhoff)—she’s decided that she has to let go and make it work with her husband and really support him and be there for him. So I think she’s a very selfless, very strong survivor.

What’s coming up for your character this season?

I think it’s a really phenomenal and interesting dynamic between the love Jessica lost for Nick—the man she used to know. Eight years is a very long time—my son doesn’t know his father because he was two when he left. So there’s this incredible dynamic with getting reacquainted with your husband—who has turned into a completely different person and who’s distant and damaged. You see Jessica struggle with that and try to be there for him. Ultimately they have sort of a face off—an ultimatum—because he becomes abusive to her in some ways, because he’s so distraught and damaged.  You also see a huge loss with Mike, who was Brody’s friend. There’s kind of a love triangle with those three characters and it kind of blows up in their face. You’ll get to see that.

How did it feel when you found out earlier this week that your show has been renewed for a second season?

Oh it was incredibly exciting! We had a feeling—because our ratings have been so great. But I guess you never know. And it was just so phenomenal. I feel so lucky to be a part of this incredible cast and crew and we were all so excited yesterday and spirits were high. I can’t wait to see what happens next season. I can’t believe I’m not getting anymore scripts. {Laughs}.

A lot has been written about your topless scenes on the show. Being from Brazil, do you think Americans are too uptight about nudity?

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think in general this country makes a huge deal about nudity and not a big enough deal about violence. We’re allowed to cut people’s heads off on shows—but not allowed to show breasts or somebody breastfeeding or whatever. I think it’s a big deal in America especially. But I think to each is own. I  certainly am not doing nudity because I think lightly of it—I don’t think it’s something that one should just jump into without thinking about it. For this role, I thought it was written so well and I respect how the writers wrote that scene and I think it would be a very different character without the nudity that I’ve ben able to do. It was all to further the story. 

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