We’ve got not one but two Firefly-related birthdays happening today. We’re lighting (space) candles on a pair of (space) cakes for Morena Baccarin and Jewel Staite, who turn 34 and 32 today, respectively. GFR wishes you ladies a spectacular day!
Morena Baccarin is beloved by Firefly fans for playing the elegant companion Inara, one of several female members of the Firefly crew with a particular talent for putting Mal in his place. (It didn’t hurt that he was usually crushing on her pretty hard.) While Firefly is definitely the science fiction role she’s best known for, it’s hardly the only one Baccarin has played. After her stint on Joss Whedon’s sci-fi Western, she appeared as Adria, leader of the armies of the Ori, in Stargate SG-1 and the Stargate: The Ark of Truth TV movie. She was the deceptively beautiful leader of the Visitors in ABC’s V reboot, and she even voiced Black Canary in the Justice League cartoons. More recently, she played Jessica Brody, wife of the conflicted and traitorous Nicolas Brody on Showtime’s Homeland, and did further voice work as Talia al Ghul in the Son of Batman animated movie. We’ll always miss her love/hate banter with Mal the most…
Jewel Staite got her sci-fi start early, appearing in the 1995 X-Files episode “Oubliette” as Amy, a young girl whose kidnapping sets off a set of strange occurrences with another woman, who was herself kidnapped 15 years ago. From there, Staite went on to play Catalina, the rainbow-haired engineer in Nickelodeon’s Space Cases, which was co-created by sci-fi author Peter David and actor Bill Mumy (Lost in Space, Babylon 5). Yes, Staite played another engineer aboard a spaceship some six years before she did so as Kaylee on Firefly. What can I say? She clearly has a talent for making you believe she knows her way around an engine room. And she looks much better in a frilly pink dress than Scotty does.
After Firefly, Staite has popped up on Bryan Fuller’s Wonderfalls, Warehouse 13, and Stargate: Atlantis, where she played Dr. Jennifer Keller. These days she’s been working on the trippy sci-fi web series State of Syn. She also delivered the line “Goin’ on a year now I ain’t had nothin’ twixt my nethers weren’t run on batteries!” like nobody else could.
If you missed it last month, you can check out our coverage of the recent Firefly reunion panel in Dallas, Texas right here. (Sadly, Morena wasn’t on hand, but Jewel was, alongside pretty much everybody except Joss and Alan Tudyk. It was shiny.)