As truly beautiful as she is, Homeland‘s Morena Baccarin offers no indications that she uses it as a coat of armor. Instead, when we interview her for AStarWasBorn.com, she breaks into the brightest of smiles at introduction and very soon it’s like chatting to a long-time acquaintance. No distance here.
Born in Rio de Janeiro to a Brazilian TV and stage actress mother and a journalist father, she moved with her parents to New York after her father got an editorial job at a television station, however she still considers Brazil her “homeland”.
This Cidade Maravilhosa or “Marvelous City” as it is known, is famous for its annual “Carnaval of Brazil” celebration – a six-day religious and cultural festival, held six weeks before the beginning of Easter. The city’s popularity continues – in 2014, Rio de Janeiro will be host of the FIFA World Cup Games and in 2016 home to the Summer Olympics.
The Rio de Janeiro harbor is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. A visit to the world-famous “Christ the Redeemer” Statue at the top of Morro de Corcovado offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the city and harbor below.
Morena Baccarin landed her first television role in the Sci-Fi drama, Firefly. She followed this up with roles in The O.C., Stargate SG-1 and V, the ABC series re-make of the 1980s’ Sci-Fi series.
At least for now, she’s hung up her Sci-Fi cape, this time getting to play a victimized, conflicted wife on the hit, Showtime series, Homeland.
ASWB: You were born in Brazil, Rio?
ASWB: What was that like growing up?
MB: It was amazing. I moved very early in life….and I had to split my time so I am a little bit bipolar, you can say.
ASWB: What do you remember most about Brazil?
MB: The food was amazing — and my family and that warmth that comes from a different country, something that we don’t do here.
Brazilian food is as colorful and festive as the city. This feast includes comida mineira, a regional style of cooking, originating from Minas Gerais.
ASWB: Were there certain places in Rio that have great meaning even today?
MB: My home, my apartment, but also the beach, Ipanema Beach. Just sitting on the beach. It hits me in the heart.
“It’s the most gorgeous beach you will ever see in your life”.
Above: Ipanema Beach is in the southern region of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
ASWB: Do you ever go back to Rio?
MB: I go back once a year, sometimes more.
ASWB: What do you do when you go back there?
MB: I go to the beach. I see my family. I eat a lot.
ASWB: What do you eat?
MB: Rice and beans and steak and fish stew and all of the things they have, and lots of fruits.
Below: Some Brazilian favorites, including “Feijoada” – a black bean stew with big chunks of meat like sausages, pork and beef.
ASWB: Any particular kind of fruit?
MB: Passion fruit.
ASWB: Travel books have their “must-sees”, what would you tell tourists are “must-sees” in Rio?
MB: Ipanema Beach. It’s the most gorgeous beach you will ever see in your life.
Aerial view of Morena Baccarin’s favorite beach, Ipanema Beach, in Rio de Janeiro.
ASWB: Do you have any friends that you are still in touch with from high school?
MB: I do, yeah, a few…. Claire Danes and I went to high school together and now we’re working together (on Homeland).
ASWB: What do you think about her about to become a mom?
MB: I’m very excited for her. She’ll be an unbelievable mom.
Escadaria Selarón or “Santa Teresa Steps” – contain over 2000 tiles from over 60 countries around the world. Named for the artist, Selaron, who began renovating the dilapidated steps as a labor of love in 1990 and continues to this day. The steps became part of the video clip for Rio’s successful 2016 Summer Olympics bid.