Posted NOVEMBER 2, 2009 Special Feature: Laura Vandervoort Talks V & A Smallville Return

Laura VandervoortBy Craig Byrne - Webmaster

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Laura Vandervoort first became known to fans of genre television in the role of Superman's cousin, Kara, on the CW television series Smallville. In the show's seventh season as well as an episode of Season 8, Laura got rave reviews for her portrayal of the series' "Supergirl."

Laura plays another alien in the series V, playing "Lisa," a recruitor for the Visitors' Peace Ambassadors program. In this interview, she talks about Lisa, the show and what to expect, the possibility of a Smallville return, and more.

Please be aware there ARE spoilers about the true nature of the Visitors within. And be sure to watch V on Tuesday night, November 3 at 8PM on ABC!

When you took the role of Lisa, were you reluctant at all to take another "young alien female" role?

That was one of the concerns when they called, and they said "you'll be playing an alien from another planet." I thought that they were very similar to the Kara role, but when I read the script and they explained the scenario and the synopsis, [Kara and Lisa] are nothing alike. That was an original concern, because I didn't want to get typecast, but they're so different.

When you took the role of Lisa, was it originally written for just the pilot?

Yes. As far as I was told, it was just going to be two days of work, and she was a guest star, possibly recurring, and when it got picked up, I was happy to hear that I was going to be a part of the cast.

In the pilot there is a lot of interaction between your character and Logan Huffman's Tyler. Who else do you get to work with in the course of the first four episodes?

I recently worked with Morena [Baccarin], who plays Anna. We had a scene together. I have a brief scene with Elizabeth [Mitchell], who plays Tyler's mother. I can't tell you what the scene was because that might give away some plot. [I will say] they're both amazing women.

tyler lisa vCan you talk about working with Logan Huffman as Tyler?

Logan's great. He's great for Tyler. He's got that innocent quality; he's very vulnerable, like a little lost puppy dog when you're working with him. It works well for Tyler, because Lisa - we think she's using him for whatever reasons there may be, but I think she slowly starts to fall for him, and Logan being as sweet and endearing as he is, it's not hard. I'm sure that girls will be falling over themselves once they see him on the screen.

What was it was like to work with director Yves Simoneau?

Yves is wonderful. He's done most of our episodes. He did our pilot and two others, and he's really understanding of the actors and how to work with actors, and where we're coming from. He knows how to talk to us and give us tips on what might work better, and I really enjoy his stuff.

Do you think the fact that the same director did three of the first four episodes gives the show a sense of continuity?

Yves has a definite vision of how the show should look, and we had a discussion about that. He said "a lot of directors will have different ways that they want to shoot it, and this is the way I want it to come across," and he's given us the look that you see in the pilot, and that will be continuous throughout the series. He's a huge part of the show.

Did the producers lay out for you much of what Lisa's character arc would be?

As far as I knew when I took it, it was a guest star [role], and she was a Peace Ambassador recruiter, but slowly, with every episode I'm realizing she's a little more important than the audience is going to know off the top. There is a huge reveal in one of the first four episodes about who Lisa is, and her role within the Visitors.

Laura VandervoortCan you talk about the Peace Ambassadors program?

The Peace Ambassador program is - I wouldn't say it's a cult, but it's what Lisa stands for. She's recruiting people to become Peace Ambassadors and spread their word of peace and hope throughout Earth, [starting with] New York. It's her job. It's her mission.

What experience did you have with knowing the original V?

I didn't have any experience with the original V, and to be honest with you, I had never heard of it, but I believe it came out the year I was born, so that would be a reason. But as soon as I mentioned V to my parents, they immediately knew what it was, and that it was a huge cult classic. It didn't last long, but it had a huge following, so I knew it was going to be a big deal. I bought it - I've watched pieces of it, but I don't want to watch too much because I don't it to affect me. Everyone's mentioning the gerbil eating and the skin peeling, and I want to let this V be my original V, because it's so different.

Did you have a similar approach to playing Supergirl?

Yes. Everyone asked if I had seen the original Supergirl movie, and I hadn't, and I wanted to keep it that way. I've seen pieces of it, but I didn't want it to have anything to do with what I was doing. It was almost a brand new character. It's the same with V. we're basing it on the general landscape of the original, but it's a re-imagining, and it's post-9/11 V, and the world we live in now.

There's no comparison [between this and the original V]. We're not trying to out-do it or re-do it; we're trying to continue on in its memory.

Laura VandervoortHas there been any talk of you returning to Smallville at some point this season?

I've heard rumors, and that's weird because I haven't heard anything from them. I've been getting text messages from my friends whose co-workers heard that I was going to return, and they think that I am because I am in Vancouver working on a Warner Bros.-produced show, but no. They haven't called, and I'm sad to say that. I'd love to return.

Are you prepared for the inevitable reveal of lizard skin?

I think it would be great, because I would love to do the prosthetics. I've never had prosthetics. But I also fear that at the moment Lisa shows her lizard skin, it's probably the end of that character. [laughs] So I'm looking forward to it, but it also might be a sad moment, because you'd think that by the time she's showing her skin, she's either being killed, revealing herself and then being killed, or just off the show.

Is Lisa a character that we'll see in every episode?

Thus far, yes. There are eight main cast members so there are so many different storylines and interactions between them, so there's always the possibility of not being in an episode. It just depends. I hope that my character will grow throughout the show, and that you'll see more of me as it continues.

Do you think V will appeal to the viewers who might know you from Smallville?

I do, obviously for the sense of sci-fi. If they love Smallville which is a very grounded, character-driven show, but it's in a sci-fi-ish world, then they're going to love V. We don't focus on the fact that we're lizards. You don't see skin every episode. You're not going to see people flying around in spaceships every episode. There's always going to be a sci-fi aspect. We're not ignoring the fact that there is a spaceship above us throughout the episode, but it's really about the characters and their relationships and the interactions that they all have, much like Smallville.

Be sure to watch the series premiere of V, November 3 at 8PM on ABC. Here are some extras associated with the premiere episode that you may enjoy:

Forum - Image Gallery - Episodic Image Gallery - V Cast Bios - Promo Screencaps - Official ABC Description - Spoilers

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