By Félix Caraballo Martínez, MWN
In the tradition of series such as “24,” an intense proposal about a manipulative prisoner who calls herself the Queen and who keeps New York City in suspense by simultaneously hijacking seven major banks in the city, “The Endgame” has recently hit NBC.
Her counterpart, a cunning FBI agent (Ryan Michelle Bathe), will have to decipher a series of clues left by the villain to prevent the situation from escalating, while “the Queen’s motivations” are revealed.
This entertaining TV chess game is produced by and stars actress Morena Baccarin, who has on-camera experience in action dramas like “Homeland” and sci-fi dramas like “Firefly and Greenland,” and who is also remembered as Ryan Reynolds’ wife in the fun “Deadpool” movies.
Metro had the opportunity to chat via video call with the performer who talked about the challenges of producing and starring in a series with many twists and turns and elements of action and tension, as well as whether she will return to the arms of the irreverent superhero.
What can you tell us about how you were introduced to the project and the character… and what was your reaction?
Yeah, it’s funny, because I just had a baby who was three or four months old when I got the call about the pilot and I didn’t feel ready to go back to work yet. I found the story of these two women intriguing. So, I read it and thought it was a very appealing opportunity. It’s action-packed, and the story is told in a very clever way. Also, I found very exciting the fact that there were these two powerful but vulnerable women at the front.
Your character, Elena, is very complex and different from what you’ve done before. You’re the one who moves the pieces. What can you tell us about her? How did you create her, and how much of Morena is in Elena?
I would say nothing, but at the same time, a lot. I think she’s a powerful woman, but with a certain vulnerability. And that’s where the character really comes from. She’s a bad girl who has an Achilles heel, but she also has a heart. What she’s doing, and what she’s fighting for, ultimately, is revenge for what was done to her family and that’s a very noble cause. So you immediately connect with her and you can identify with that feeling, you know, if you’ve been stripped of so much, of course, you don’t want to resort to violence, but that’s why this is a story and a fairy tale in a way at the same time. I think it’s told in a very funny way. She’s having fun, dishing out revenge and she’s definitely a creative character, powerful and funny. It’s been great. I really try to focus on having a good time, but making sure she’s authentic and real, and not just a character.
That’s what I love about your character and the series, but I also find it fascinating how still in the fourth episode, the intensity of the action and tension hasn’t let up. Tell me a little bit about that, this specific aspect of the intensity of the series.
I think it’s the kind of show that you want to binge-watch. So it’s very hard to go from episode to episode, I mean, I guess you’ll be able to watch all the episodes at a stretch. There are at least five episodes available now. I don’t know if it’s just that the narrative is so good, but it has an equally exciting pace. And it’s the kind of show that you’ll want to watch more than once anyway. So I feel like the narrative and the pacing of the story make it very easy to digest.
What was it like working with Ryan Michelle? Did you have any kind of technique or strategy for projecting what the material calls for, given that you’re both the main pieces in this chess game?
Yes. She’s great. We both have theater backgrounds. So we really love to pick apart the scenes and work on them together and find ways to make them even deeper, if possible. But we really try to know the meaning behind each line and make sure we’re moving the plot forward together. And in our scenes, there are a lot of layers. So it always takes us two or three rehearsals on set to actually understand, especially my lines. There are so many meanings behind everything I say. And we have to find a way to simplify things so we can be as specific as possible.
I see some similarities with movies like “The Silence of the Lambs” or series like “Alias,” “24,” and many more. Are there any references or similarities to these or other projects?
Oh, interesting. I can see an element of “The Silence of the Lambs,” such as being close to a criminal, but at the same time needing to get informed. I’m not going to eat anybody though. [*Laughs*] I can see a little bit of “Moonlighting,” some of the relationships where they fight with each other, but they really get along, there’s a little bit of “Killing Eve.” I don’t think my character is that dangerous. Maybe she is, I don’t know. It depends on her motivation.