Fans of Elizabeth Mitchell can rejoice in knowing that one of our favorite ladies is return to weekly television as her sci-fi series, V, is set to launch into Season 2 on January 4, on ABC.
While Mitchell’s character, Erica, had a hell of a first season trying to save her teenage son, fight off alien invaders and, in the process, save the world, Mitchell told AfterEllen.com last week that we haven’t seen anything yet. Has the show changed at all from Season 1 to 2? How is Mitchell coping with the stunts and action, week after week? And who on the show is suggesting that Erica and the evil alien leader Anna (Morena Baccarin) lock lips? Read on and find out.
AfterEllen.com: Talk to me about the journey from Season 1 to 2. Has there been some fine-tuning?
Elizabeth Mitchell: I think it’s a lot different than Season 1. I’ve been pretty vocal about the fact that I thought, in Season 1, we did too much talking about what we needed to do, and not as much doing what we needed to do.
In Season 2, we’re doing what we need to do and I really prefer that. It’s much more fun to watch. I think it’s a sci-fi show. What I’ve always hoped for is an intelligent popcorn thriller. I’m not hoping for a beautiful Merchant-Ivory film or Anna Karenina. I just want it to be really, really fun and kind of believable at the same time.
AE: In watching the first three episodes of the upcoming season, you’re really kicking butt and taking names. How have you held up with all the physicality of playing Erica?
EM: I trained all summer so I could do it and do it with ease, so it’s been pretty good and it’s always good to outrun the boys! I’ve had a great time and it definitely breaks up the monotony of a 16-hour shoot at night. It’s like kindergarten when you get to go out for recess. That’s what the stunts are! It gives you a bit of a recess.
AE: You have a great fight scene in the new season with Rekha Sharma, who plays a V mole on the show. How much preparation goes into a sequence like that?
EM: We had to kind of change that fight up because I’m about a foot taller that Rekha. I couldn’t get anywhere near her or I would have hurt her. She’s the most beautiful little thing, so when we choreographed it, she would just throw me around. That’s what the whole thing was.
She was so strong [in the script]. It was much better than if it had actually been a fight fight. She just looked massive, so she would basically touch me and I’d go flying. It’s always fun to get all sorts of scars and blood all over your face. I love that stuff.
AE: So far, there hasn’t been a strong lesbian presence on the show. Is there a place for lesbians in the world of V?
EM: I keep pitching for Erica and Anna to get together! [laughs] I hope so! That would be wonderful! I mean, it certainly is a wonderful place to have all kinds of love. I’m all for it!
I’m always a fan of showing all different sides of human nature, human sexuality and sensuality. I much prefer that. I think they’re so story-driven right now that they aren’t thinking about romance unless it just falls in their lap. If I just started going up there and kissing every woman, maybe it would change things. Maybe that’s what the tactic I need to take.
AE: That would spike the ratings for a certain demographic, don’t you think?
EM: Works for me! They’re my favorite demographic!
AE: So far, Anna has not figured out that you were the one to kill her babies.
EM: I feel like it’s going to be really bad when she does. I have a feeling.
AE: I’m guessing you can’t tell me when and if that is going to happen, right?
EM: I can’t tell you but I don’t think she’s going to be particularly pleased with me.
AE: I love that Jane Badler from the original V series is joining the show as Anna’s mother. She’s so jovial in real life but then you see her as Diana and she’s so scary!
EM: You watch her onscreen and she’s something else, but then you meet her and she’s down to earth and funny and kind and just lovely. I had a great time with her.
AE: In the beginning, Diana is being held prisoner by her daughter. Is it safe to say she won’t be Anna’s little prisoner forever?
EM: I think it’s pretty safe to say. That’s the hope anyway.
AE: Does it put pressure on you that it’s an ensemble show but your name comes up first and you’re seen as the lead. Does that create pressure?
EM: No, I’m not much of a pressure girl. I just do what I want to and then go back to my quiet little life. I don’t feel too much pressure [but] I do feel that it’s quite a bit of work because I’m always there. Marina is the face of the show and she’s definitely the one who’s out there. She’s so captivating and that’s really fun.
I’m surrounded by a bunch of pretty wonderful people and I get to spend a great deal of time with them. And I try really hard [to ensure] that we do the best work we can. But it’s not pressure. I think that you succeed or you don’t succeed. I don’t get too wrapped up in that. I’m too old. [laughs] I just enjoy where I am.
AE: Gia is something that has stuck with you throughout your career. Do you still hear from the fans about it?
EM: I do hear from them. Sometimes, people have just seen it. I’ve had some of my best encounters with people because of that movie. I’ve had young women hug me and say, “Thank you.” I’m very grateful that I did it and grateful that people are still seeing it, [some] for the first time.
AE: It seems that taking on gay roles today is less of a negative thing for a career then it might have been when you did Gia. Do you agree it’s less risky now?
EM: That’s what I was told when I did it. One thing that has always been a really big deal for me: People should be able to love the people they want to love. Whenever I was offered [roles] along those lines, that made me happy. Because it makes me quite sick when people can’t [love whom they choose.] It makes me crazy.
I think it’s worked out the way it was supposed to. I think it’s kind of a way of putting things out there and showing how beautiful life can be, in so many different ways. And I like that. It should be that way.
AE: What can you tell me about the movie Answers To Nothing? I know it doesn’t have a release date yet but what is your role in the film?
EM: I play a wife who is in a tenuously unhappy relationship and is trying to have a baby. There are a lot of little things that happen here and there and it’s a huge ensemble in the truest sense of the world.
AE: The ensemble includes Julie Benz, Barbara Hershey and Dane Cook. What was that like?
EM: Sometimes, you get to play a role where its’ all in the words, and all in the writing. It’s all just lyrical and beautiful and you just live here. That’s what I got to do with my character, Kate.
I don’t know when [audiences] will see it – I just saw it because they sent me a copy. I loved my little character and that she was such a tragic person. I truly loved it.
AE: Anything fun planned for the holidays?
EM: I’m just hanging out with my little boy and being a Jedi Master, as I am most times with him! [laughs] I have only men around me, so what am I going to do?
I come from an enormous family of women, which is probably the reason I’m so captivated by women. That’s all I really know. Men are, “Oh, what is this strange creature?” But women, I know. I’m having all my sisters and all my female friends gather here for a pretty massive slumber party, so that will be great.
V returns to ABC on January 4 at 9/8c.