FAST CHARLIE: Check Out Our Exclusive Interview With Star Morena Baccarin!

FAST CHARLIE: Check Out Our Exclusive Interview With Star Morena Baccarin!

We talk to Morena Baccarin (Deadpool) about her standout role in Fast Charlie alongside Pierce Brosnan, learning how she prepared for this challenging part, her collaboration with the former 007, and more!

By JoshWilding - Dec 11, 2023 11:12 AM EST
Filed Under: Movies

In Fast Charlie, Charlie Swift (Pierce Brosnan) is a fixer with a problem: the target he's whacked is missing his head. And he must prove it's the intended target to the man who paid for the hit - New Orleans' most prominent and most ruthless mobster, Beggar Mercado (Gbenga Akinnagbe). Charlie enlists Marcie Kramer (Morena Baccarin), the victim's ex-wife and a woman with the backbone and skillset Charlie needs.

Dragging Marcie back into a past she was determined to escape sends the two of them on a wild and unpredictable odyssey that's unexpectedly amusing, action-propelled, and ultimately heartfelt. Along the way, Charlie and Marcie fight to protect the legacy of Charlie's best friend and mentor, Stan Mullen (James Caan in his final performance), while bringing down Beggar and his entire operation.

The movie arrived in select theaters and On Demand this past Friday, and it's a fun, action-packed ride we'd strongly recommend tracking down. Last week, we sat down with Baccarin to discuss her memorable role in filmmaker Phillip Noyce's (Salt) latest movie, taking a deep dive into her standout performance.

Along the way, we learn how the actress prepared for the role, what she enjoyed most about playing such a strong, compelling female lead, and how she went about establishing such a strong rapport with Brosnan. 

The Firefly and Gotham alum also confirms she'll return as Vanessa in Deadpool 3, teasing fun surprises for Marvel fans and weighs in on a possible role in DC Studios' DCU. Plus, could Baccarin play Bond? You can check out the full interview below.

From the moment we meet her, Marcie is very matter-of-fact and makes it clear to Charlie that she’s no damsel in distress; what is it about a character like this that you most enjoy exploring? 

I thought she was such a phenomenal person. She’s also very complex with certain vulnerabilities, pains and regrets in her life which she buries very deep. Given where she’s living, in a house on the end of the world on stilts, you can tell that she wants to be alone and is trying to elevate her life, quite literally. Enter, Charlie, with all these problems to drag her into the life she was hoping to leave behind. I liked that sort of conflict of having to do something to finally close the chapter and then getting sucked into that life again, while realising Charlie is a little bit different. The way these characters connect is quite genuine and touching and I like that the romance is hinted at and there’s definite possibility but it’s not at the core of what is important in these two peoples’ lives. Getting to work with Pierce and Phillip was incredible.

The vast majority of your scenes are with Pierce Brosnan, of course, so how was he as a co-star and what did you enjoy most about exploring this dynamic with him?

We [have a great back and forth]. I came into this movie quite late. They had started shooting by the time I arrived and both he and Phillip greeted me with open arms and were willing to have many conversations and make me feel welcome and comfortable. Pierce is a bona fide movie star and a man with a huge body of work. It was really intimidating but he was so open and kind but so charming and smart and lovely to work with. I can’t say enough good things about him and he was really willing to get down in the trenches and discuss these characters and the scenes. There was no ego or power struggles. We really worked together and it was so refreshing and inspiring. Philip was really wonderful at being able to facilitate that and allow us to discuss these characters and come up with ideas. He was open to hearing our takes on things and I couldn’t have asked for a better scene partner. 

That scene with Sharon Gless is both bizarre and hilarious, but how was it for you dealing with that torrent of abuse she’s throwing Marcie’s way?

It was impossible to keep a straight face, I have to say. She was very funny and had very specific ideas of things she wanted to do and it was phenomenal. She’s such a sweet woman and obviously such an icon. It was really hard to shoot those scenes [Laughs] because I just wanted to enjoy it with her and I had to be angry at her!

I feel like we have to talk about the woodcock scene. How much fun is a day like that on set and was the fact you could get hands-on with a little bit of the action part of what drew you to this project?

A lot of those scenes were. I love that she gets down and dirty and is part of the action as well. Like you mentioned, she’s not the damsel in distress and she’s not just sitting there waiting to be rescued by the guy. She’s quite feisty. That’s such a wonderful scene. I love the banter in that scene and the guy is such a moron. It came with its challenges, of course, because we’re dealing with a low-budget situation and it’s really tight, small spaces without the ability to do scenes over and over again. We really had to get it right and then, on the day, we have this bird coming out of an eye and it’s such a bizarre thing to deal with on set. The actors were so amazing and having to do stunts and things like that in an environment where you don’t get a tonne of time to rehearse can be a little bit harrowing, but everybody was very careful and we were able to get through it and make it better. Phillip works in such a specific way. He really visualises the shot so it was very helpful for me to see it first with my stand-in or have him do a take and for me to watch it. His framing is so specific to a moment and to be able to cater to that specific shot every time was really helpful. 

Phillip Noyce is a great filmmaker but what was your collaboration with him like when it came to crafting this character and the important role she plays in the story?

He was very available. He’s one of the quickest text responders I’ve ever experienced [Laughs]. He was very willing to listen. A lot of times, there’s a power struggle between actors and directors because you have non-aligning views of the project but it was not that way with us. I had a lot of ideas I thought could totally deepen the relationships and characters and he completely agreed. We went back and forth quite a bit and was also quite helpful on set in terms of knowing how to elevate a moment with a simple look or doing less is more. I really enjoyed the collaboration with him. I think he’s incredibly astute and knows actors really, really well. He loves actors and, honestly, that’s rare in the director 

In terms of tapping into who Marcie is, how important is something like the accent we hear you use in this movie? 

Yes, for this character, it was the core of who she was and where she came from is a big part of the story. New Orleans and the surrounding areas are very much a character in the film. I had limited time but worked with our dialogue coach who is incredible and just drilled into that very specific, very interesting accent which comes from a lot of different cultures. Including Irish, which I didn’t know about! It was really incredible to realise that, once I got there and was in the vicinity, it became easier because you embody the place a little bit more. That, the tattoos, and her general look. We went for a very bare, no makeup look which I think came together for me to realise, ‘Yeah, this is Marcie.’

I read that you shot the movie in 25 days, and as you’re someone who has worked on a mix of television and big-budget projects, what about the experience of working on a movie like this do you find most rewarding? 

Honestly, the collaboration with everyone involved was such a joy and so creatively fulfilling. Getting to work with Phillip was a dream come true and Pierce. When you get a good group who care so much about something, you can do so much with so little and that was the case with us. 

Pierce was always my James Bond growing up, and we’ve rightly since seen the concept of Bond Girls evolve into these badass Bond Women. Is that sort of role one you’d ever be excited to explore as an actor?

Yeah, of course, though I think I’m angling more to be Bond [Laughs].

Marcie’s passion for taxidermy is a fun character trait, so did you walk away with a new appreciation for that or were you, understandably, glad to maybe get away from the dead animals? 

It was so fascinating. It’s something I’d never really thought about extensively and then I got to watch a taxidermist work on Zoom on a bird and I was taken aback by the artistry involved in making the animals look alive again and not just stuffed. It was definitely a revelation, not that it’s something I’m that interested in pursuing but it woke me up to a whole other aspect when you see animals like that in a museum. The artistry that is involved in doing that is really amazing. 

On another note, earlier this year, you told Michael Rosenbaum a Deadpool 3 return "may or may not work out," so…has it worked out? 

It did work out! I finished my shooting days on it, already. I think the film is now underway again after the strike and I think it's going to be quite good! Yeah, I think fans are in for a fun surprise.

Regardless of whether or not it happens next year, do you think it’s about time for Vanessa to suit up as Copycat, blue skin and all?

[Laughs] I think, yes! But I think she's also competing with a very large universe.

You’ve also had so many memorable roles in the DC Universe over the years, so with James Gunn rebooting that franchise, are you hopeful we could perhaps finally see you as a character like Catwoman or Wonder Woman, for example?

There are phenomenal characters in both universes. I loved doing Gotham when I had the chance, but yeah, I would love to. I think, for me, it’s all about that strong female part. 

So many movies are now upwards of 150 or 180 minutes, but Fast Charlie really hits that sweet spot at 90. As a filmgoer, do you prefer watching a movie like this where you get thrown into a story and it just keeps you hooked from start to finish?

I do. I really enjoy a movie where you don’t have time to think. You’re just along for the ride. That said, there are amazing artsy movies like Tree of Life. It’s such an odd film with so many different images, but the journey you go on is completely different. With Fast Charlie, it’s like, you know, you’re immediately in a different universe and Piece is so alluring with his accent and the things he’s struggling with that you’re immediately rooting for him. I also loved the eccentric characters in this piece. There’s a lot of humour in it too which I think every great movie should have. 

I appreciate not every movie needs a sequel, but I had so much fun with these characters - do you ever find yourself wishing you could revisit roles like this when you’re done or is moving on to the next character quite easy for you?

I think that when you have an experience wanting more, it means it was a fantastic experience. You know what I mean? Then, the films where you’re like, ‘Ugh, I don’t want to back to that’ means it’s good that it’s over [Laughs].

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