‘Deadpool’: 12 Things Fans Should Know About Morena Baccarin
In the hit Marvel films Deadpool and Deadpool 2, ( and possibly the now confirmed Deadpool 3) Morena Baccarin plays Vanessa – a prostitute and strip-club waitress that falls in love with Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) – who is nothing like Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane in Spider-Man or Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts in the Iron Man franchise. She is a sex worker, but she isn’t a broken woman. Instead, Vanessa is a different type of subversive hero who goes against comic book stereotypes, and she is a survivor, not a victim.
Baccarin became an instant hit with Deadpool fans. But there is much more to this 39-year-old than just playing a superhero’s love interest. Here are 12 things that every Deadpool fan should know about the actress.
12. She Was Nominated for an Emmy
In 2013, Baccarin received an Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actress category for her role as Jessica Brody, the wife of newly-returned POW Nicholas Brody, on the Showtime drama Homeland. She played the role for three seasons, and her character had to deal with the changes in her husband, and also found herself in emotionally-taxing situations.
However, another actress played the role in the show’s pilot. But when Baccarin took over, she made the character her own.
Baccarin also starred with Claire Danes, who she attended middle school with at the New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies.
11. She Is A Sci-Fi Queen
Baccarin’s first television role was as courtesan Inara Serra on the popular space Western Firefly back in 2002. Joss Whedon created the show that the Fox network canceled after just one season, but it had such a cult following that it returned in 2005 with the film Serenity. Baccarin reprised her role in the movie, and it earned her a lot of love from sci-fi fans.
In 2009, Baccarin returned to sci-fi TV in the ABC remake of V, where she played the unscrupulous alien queen Anna. She caught fans’ attention with a short pixie cut, but the striking hairstyle wasn’t enough to save the series, which ABC canceled in 2011.
10. She wanted Superpowers
Vanessa Carlysle died in the first few minutes of Deadpool 2, but is she really dead? Thanks to Cable’s time travel device, it is possible that Baccarin will return for Deadpool 3. And, as fans of the comic book know, Vanessa is also the mutant, Copycat. Before the first sequel came out, Baccarin revealed that she would love to see how Vanessa becomes her comic book counterpart.
“I would love to see the evolution of [Copycat], and how she becomes that. I also think it’s very interesting to see the relationship with her and Wade after the whole thing. His whole demeanor changing. And just how they continue their relationship,” said Baccarin.
9. She could be James Bond
Baccarin’s exotic beauty and screen presence could easily land her a role as a Bond girl, but she thinks she would be a much better fit as 007 himself…or herself.
With her experience in action movies and TV shows, Baccarin thinks she is ready for a lead role in an action movie, and is ready to put the days of playing a love interest behind her.
“I think it’s going to be me,” she said about being the next James Bond. “Of course, I have to be the next one. I have training.”
Baccarin might have been joking, but it’s really not a far-fetched idea. Franchise producer Barbara Broccoli has said that she is open to the next 007 being a person of color or a woman, so the studio is definitely considering making a change.
8. She Got Caught Cheating
Baccarin was still married to Chick when she got the role of Leslie Thompkins on Gotham back in 2014. She kept her love life very low key at the time, but things changed when she started having an affair with her on-screen lover, Ben McKenzie.
In the summer of 2015, TMZ reported that Chick filed for divorce after finding out that Baccarin had cheated. He had no idea about the affair until a fan sent him a photo of McKenzie and Baccarin together in Vancouver where she was filming Deadpool.
“Austin was totally shocked when he found out about the affair,” said an insider. “Totally blindsided. When Morena left him for Ben, Austin was devastated — completely shocked.”
7. She Didn’t Deny It
The 39-year-old actress was not shy about leaving Chick for McKenzie, and she didn’t hide the affair when it was happening. Between March and May of 2015, McKenzie visited her numerous times on the Deadpool set and stayed in her condo when he visited.
Chick didn’t get the photo evidence until June of that year, and when he confronted Baccarin about the affair, she didn’t deny it. She also told Chick that she didn’t want to work on their marriage anymore.
Three months later, when Chick filed for divorce in September 2015, Baccarin was three months pregnant – with McKenzie’s baby.
6. Her Split Took Years To Settle
Even though they split in the summer of 2015, it wasn’t until January of 2018 that Baccarin and Chick’s custody battle over Julius ended. According to TMZ, the former couple will share custody of their son, and Chick will move to New York, which is where Baccarin lives and works, so the custodial transitions are easier.
She will also have to pay the $5,000 a month in spousal support until 2019, and Baccarin is responsible for $3,500 a month in child support until Julius turns 18.
The actress also split some of her residuals from Gotham’s first season and Deadpool, but she retained ownership of their properties in Los Angeles and Brazil. Baccarin also kept their 2001 Lexus, but she had to cut Chick a $406,000 check when they settled.
5. She Was Born in Rio
Her full name is Morena Silva de Vaz Setta Baccarin, and she was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 2, 1979. Her father Fernando is a journalist and her mom, Vera, is an actress. Baccarin lived in Rio for seven years, and she has vivid memories of her life there before her family moved to the United States.
“It’s mostly memories of being with family, being at the beach, the food, the flavors, the sun. It’s a really amazing environment, not just the heat but the people as well,” Baccarin said.
The family moved to Greenwich Village when her dad got a job at a New York-based Brazilian TV network, but she says that Brazil is still very much a part of her. She says she did grow up in the States, but she goes back to Brazil often because there is a constant struggle within her between the two cultures.
4. She Has An Impressive Educational Background
When Baccarin moved to New York, she attended elementary school at Public School 41 before entering the New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies for junior high. We already talked about how she and Danes were classmates, and when they both attended the Fiorella H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Performing Arts (the inspiration for the movie Fame), Danes’ talent blew her away.
“She was amazing,” Morena recalls. “I remember her performing a monologue in class and she was just incredible. I remember watching her and thinking, ‘I don’t know how to do that.’”
Later, Baccarin studied theater at the prestigious Juilliard School where she was in the Drama Division’s Group 29. She appeared in multiple productions including Mary Stuart, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and The Importance of Being Earnest.
3. She Wasn’t Supposed to Die in ‘Deadpool 2’
In the original script, the writers didn’t kill off Vanessa. Instead, she was a victim of a broken heart. In addition to the first movie’s raunchy jokes and violent action, a major part of the plot was the great romance between Wade and Vanessa. So when they killed off Baccarin’s character in the first part of the sequel, it caused a major divide among fans.
It was the latest example of fridging — killing off a female character to provide an emotional arc for a male hero — but that wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. The earliest script ideas kept her alive, with Vanessa and Wade breaking up. It could have possibly resonated just as well as killing her off, but it is impossible to say for sure.
2. When She Was Pregnant on ‘Gotham‘, She Was Pregnant in Real Life
When Baccarin and McKenzie’s characters on Gotham were expecting a baby, the couple was also pregnant in real life. She says it was a “total coincidence,” and the writers had already planned on her character getting pregnant. So, when she told them she was expecting, they were happy, and things worked out perfectly.
However, she was further along than the character at first, so she had to wear jackets, and they put chairs everywhere so she could easily sit down when she had a break. Baccarin added that it was nice to work with her significant other when she was pregnant because she got extra TLC.
1. She is Nothing Like Vanessa
Vanessa, or Copycat, is a “blast to play” says Morena. The character is a “brassy and sassy but soulful woman. She’s a really good match for Deadpool. She’s not afraid to speak her mind, and she’s not very conventional.”
However, that doesn’t describe the real-life Baccarin. She says you always have a little bit of the same qualities as a character, but she didn’t have all of them in this case.
When it comes to the action in the Deadpool movies, Baccarin says that it was fun to get back into it because it had been a while.
“We did this awesome stunt where she’s falling off a flight deck that’s tilting. It was a blast to do it,” said Baccarin.