Laura Vandervoort has a knack for playing alien princesses: She was Kara on Smallville, and now she's heir to the alien throne on V. So why does she have to be in her underwear in every episode? We asked her.
Tomorrow night's episode of V is a huge episode for Vandervoort's character, Lisa. She explains:
It's the first time you're really going to get to know her true voice, and connect with her... She's always under the control of her mother, and this is going to let you connect with her.
In the episode, Lisa is found with her legs broken and a "V" symbol carved into her cheek. It took a couple of hours to do the prosthetics work for these scenes, says Vandervoort. "That was exciting for me, because it let her look weaker, and doing scenes with Elizabeth [Mitchell] was great," she says. "It was a very emotional scene."
Here's a clip:
After we watched that clip, the biggest question in our minds was: Why does the battered, disfigured Lisa have to be in her underwear for this scene? It seemed a bit weird, so we asked Vandervoort what she thought:
I asked that question to the producers, too — why does she have to be in her underwear again? And they were very determined [that] we should see her broken legs. [In the longer cut of the scene] they show her legs are broken, and they're healing her. Yeah, but she's in her bra and underwear again. [Laughs].
And Vandervoort says that we should remember that in a previous episode, Lisa was forced to take the "empathy test" and fails. "So the audience knows she has real emotions, which was in question before." And after the scene where Lisa and Tyler make love for the first time, we know that Lisa loves Tyler, and "everything she does from now on is to protect him. She's walking a fine line, and she's next in line to be queen." At the same time, Lisa is spending a lot of time around Erica, and "realizing what a mother should be like."
So we couldn't help asking Vandervoort if she wanted her character to become the queen V sometime soon. And she's torn:
On the one side, I'd like for her to become queen V, because then she could lead people on a more peaceful demeanor rather than world domination or something. On the other hand, it would mean something would have happened to her mother. There's a lot of storylines that need to be balanced before she becomes queen.
And given that Lisa has empathy, she might actually transform the culture of the Visitors.
Vandervoort adds that she's asked the producers a lot of questions about "V" culture, and her impression is that there's only one queen for the entire race. "And that's Anna, and she's given birth to every single V, even the ones on the other ships hovering [out in space]. And only one queen is born every generation... There are soldier Vs, there are worker Vs, and then one is royalty."
So if something happens to Lisa, "there's no hope" for the Vs. "I'm hoping that means they can't kill me," she adds with a laugh.
We couldn't resist pointing out that if Lisa does become queen, she'll have to be naked in every episode instead of just in her underwear. "Yeah," Vandervoort laughs. "That comes with the territory of the show. It's never easy but... it's kind of almost a joke at this point, because Lisa's always in the same skivvies. It's like her uniform."
Vandervoort says that Erica is actually a great mom, even though she's "trying to juggle everything," what with being a single mom and having a career and saving the entire world. Lisa sees that Erica "really does care for her son." And she was really excited when she got to play that scene with Mitchell, where the two of them talk alone in Erica's kitchen. "There was a nice balance of them getting to say things without saying them," says Lisa. And she says that it's weird that Morena Baccarin is playing her mother, because there's not much of an age gap between them. But they're both relaxed and love to laugh when they're not working, and then take their work very seriously, so they get along great.
Vandervoort says she doesn't mind playing aliens in multiple TV shows:
It's just a happy coincidence that I played an alien more than once... Kara on Smallville was a comic-book character, and she was very strong and dominating and had a very specific look, [so] I didn't have as much freedom with her. Whereas on V, Lisa, my character, was built from the ground up. There was a certain type the Vs had to be, but I was able to mold her. And with the season progressing, I get to play with her emotions ab it more... I don't have the lizard skin at this point [but] It's been a different type of alien. Both of my aliens have been very human-looking, so it hasn't been too far off.
V is on ABC tomorrow night at 10, after a new Lost.