“V” returns to ABC tonight for its second season premiere with a treat for followers of the original version that aired in the 80’s: the addition of fan favorite Jane Badler to the cast.
In the two hit “V” miniseries and weekly TV show, Badler portrayed the crimson clad cold-blooded Diana, a high ranking leader in the invading army of alien lizard Visitors, and probably one of the most memorable sci-fi television villains of all time.
Although Badler will be once again playing a character named Diana in ABC’s current reboot, it is not the same villain seen in the classic series, despite nods to the original (like similar colors in costume).
“The first day was the day I had chills on my arm and had a couple of crew [members] come over and say they were kind of freaked I was there,” Jane told Access Hollywood. “That was all amazing. But after that, it all became a show and a character I was recreating.”
As the season unfolds, it will be revealed that this Diana is, in fact, the mother of the show’s reining lizard queen, Anna (Morena Baccarin).
“It’s not really the original,” Badler revealed to Access last October. “I’m this new Diana who’s a lot more patient, has a lot more wisdom, a lot more maturity. I think the old Diana was more impetuous.”
Access Hollywood first caught up with the actress and her on-screen “V” daughter and granddaughter — Baccarin and Laura Vandervoort — following their first ever on-stage appearance together at NY Comic-Con last fall.
In addition, Badler’s co-stars described their experiences working with her, who at the time had only been shooting with them in Vancouver for about a month.
“We had this great moment on set when we first did our scene where she comes out of this cocoon and turns around. I had goose bumps on set because I remember that face scaring me in my childhood,” Baccarin said of Badler’s lasting impression on her from the previous version of the show.
“I’ve seen the original so I knew she could be pretty terrifying,” Vandervoort added.
In the current storyline, Diana, the dethroned queen of the Visitors, is presumed dead and has been imprisoned for the past 15 years in an elaborate alien dungeon in the depths of Ana’s spaceship. This leads to many heavy scenes solely between Badler and Baccarin and a rather unique family dynamic.
“I just love watching her do this role,” Badler said of her co-star in a recent follow-up phone interview with Access from her home in Australia.
“To me it was really lucky to be working with her. It got me right into it. To be feeding off her when I first arrived. Right from the start I thought, ‘This works. This completely works.’
“I was brought on as a foil to Morena, who really has no one to answer to. I am the only person who makes her feel vulnerable, and you see a slight weakness in her because of her relationship with me,” she said regarding their dysfunctional family dynamic.
“It helped being her mother,” she admitted. “The resonation of me, who once played the role she is now playing, and now playing her mother who is fighting back to have that again.”
“On a personal level, fighting to have that again, to regain my youth, regain the role that made me. It felt very deep,” she revealed about the many levels involved in her new role.
Badler also pointed out how things have changed since the time she was in the original series, when things on the set were, for lack of a better term, a lot more tangible.
“Every time I worked, I was in front of that bloody green screen,” she laughed. “At first it was quite daunting. Weirdly enough I had never worked in front of a green screen. When I was doing ‘V,’ it was a blue screen and it was imaginary objects you had to react to. ‘Here comes the plane. Here comes the jet.’ But now it was like my entire environment was created. So I was just in an empty room and everything was later on injected into it. I had to imagine all that. That was new for me.”
Shooting on all 10 episodes of the second season wrapped in mid- December, and Badler promised Diana eventually does escape her daughter’s prison.
”I do get out of the dungeon, but I never get off the green screen. I never get on the Earth. I don’t think I had one day I didn’t work on a green screen,” she recalled.
Looking ahead as the show heads towards the exciting season finale, Badler is excited for what is in store for loyal fans.
“Crazy stuff, really crazy stuff. Huge ending. There’s death. Unexpected people dying. There’s quite a monumental ending. And I think a lot of twists,” she revealed. “I think people are going to be very excited. It gets better and better and great special effects. They really put it all in there.”
“V” kicks off its second season tonight on ABC at 9 PM.
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