Rising Star: Morena Baccarin

In the weeks since ABC starting churning out the promos for the buzz-worthy reboot of the 1980s sci-fi mini-series “V,” Morena Baccarin’s angelic face has been everywhere. But the Brazilian-born, U.S.-bred beauty – AccessHollywood.com’s newest Rising Star – who plays Anna, the breathtaking and mysterious leader of the Visitors, hasn’t yet had a chance to enjoy the spoils of being television’s newest “it” girl.

“I’m in Vancouver, so I’m kind of in a bubble here. There aren’t a lot of ‘V’ posters,” she laughed with AccessHollywood.com during a break from filming the special-event series drama, which premieres November 3 at 8 PM on ABC. “I was out to dinner here last night and a waiter recognized me. He was like, ‘I’m so excited for the show.’ That was the first time. I’m sort of like, bracing myself. I don’t know what’s going to happen when I get back to LA.”

Sci-fi fans are already aware of the newly 30-year-old actress who starred as Inara Serra alongside “Castle’s” Nathan Fillion and former “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” actress Summer Glau in the 2002 cult Joss Whedon drama, “Firefly,” and later in the TV series’ leap to the big screen — 2005’s “Serenity.”

However, playing the bewitching alien Anna on “V” has Morena poised to break out to the masses. As the so-far polite-and-alluring-in-public and politely-pushy-in-private Visitor leader, Morena has already won heaps of praise from critics, even if she wasn’t a shoe-in for the part.

“I was unaware of the other people they were seeing,” she said of the casting process, which reportedly initially had the actress placed into the “no” pile. “I knew they were seeing a lot of people for the role, but I had heard of the original and I had seen it when I was little in Brazil and I thought it was really exciting that they were remaking it. When I read the pilot, I immediately thought I knew what I wanted to do with the role. When I went into the audition, it felt really right.”

Also right was the boyish (yet delicate) haircut Morena already had, a look which has suited just a handful of celebrity faces over time – Audrey Hepburn, a young Mia Farrow, Halle Berry and Jean Seberg, whose picture Morena took to the hairdressers.

“It was really scary,” she said of chopping off her dark, lengthy locks. “I really didn’t think I would be able to do it and I thought I would look like a boy. I had all this fear and anxiety about it… but I just decided to go with it and it turned out to be great.”

When asked if she feels like the sexy crop is her “Rachel from ‘Friends’” ‘do, Morena laughed.

“I guess,” she giggled. “There are some people who like it and some people who don’t like it. People will always have an opinion on your look.”

And it seems the haircut may end up the most defining characteristic of Morena’s turn as Anna, a part she’s working to keep mysterious.

“I’m always thinking about [Anna being alien] and embodying it and knowing that she’s different, that she’s not human,” she said. “I don’t want people to look at her and go, ‘Oh, well she does this, this and this.’ I just want her to be sort of like, ‘I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something really odd,’ you know?”

ABC will air “V” in two parts – four episodes before the holidays – and the remainder following the Olympics in 2010. But those captivated by the Rising Star will have other places to see Morena in the near future, including the big screen drama “Stolen Lives,” alongside “Sweet Home Alabama’s” Josh Lucas and “Mad Men’s” John Hamm.

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