Morena Baccarin — already a part of one of TV’s very best dramas, Homeland — is keeping quite busy during her hiatus from the Showtime hit. Tonight at 10/9, she’s reprising her role of mischievous matchmaker Erica Flynn on CBS’ The Mentalist, and then on March 4 she’ll pay a visit to The Good Wife to accuse Dylan Baker’s Colin Sweeney of, well, the impossible. And that’s not to mention the film she’s shooting next month, starring opposite director Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville).
TVLine spoke with the brunette stunner about her “intense” reunion with Patrick Jane and facing off against Lockhart Gardner, as well as tried to secure some top-secret Homeland Season 2 intel.
TVLINE | When we spoke during Homeland‘s first season, you hadn’t seen your new Mentalist script but speculated that Erica Flynn had perhaps dodged prison. It would seem you guessed wrong.
Yes, I did. [Laughs] I guess there was too much evidence. But you know she always finds her way out of these things. She always finds a way.
TVLINE | How long a stint is she serving?
A long time. I think 20-to-life? So she’s angling to get out for a few days so she can enjoy her last breath of real life and fresh air, in exchange for helping [CBI] catch a killer.
TVLINE | What sort of case is at hand, and what information does she claim to have?
A woman who works at a charitable foundation is murdered, and it turns out that she was a client of Erica’s matchmaking company, so Erica knows a lot about her and the men who were in her life at that time.
Watch a video sneak peek, then read on for much more:
TVLINE | Does CBI at first try to deal with her from behind bars?
Yeah, but she pretty much leverages [a furlough] from the beginning. “I will help you if….” But she has to always be accompanied by somebody, and of course it turns out to be Patrick.
TVLINE | Does Erica find opportunity to work her considerable wiles on Patrick, or any other men?
Yes! Their relationship gets a little deeper, actually – to both of their surprise. It’s pretty fairly intense, and they work together and get to know each other more. They’re enjoying each other’s company. She’s manipulative, so you never know with her what’s actually happening, what’s the truth, but in the end the audience will get a sense of the real connection they have.
TVLINE | Did this encore sate your desire to dip back into your “evil roots”?
It did! It was really, really fun. What’s great about this character is she reminds me a lot of the woman from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. You think the guys are the con artists but in the end she tricks them all. I mean, Erica’s not really harming anybody; she’s just after what she wants. But in the process, she surprise herself by her relationship with Patrick.
TVLINE | And what are you doing on The Good Wife next month?
I play an event planner who worked for [Colin Sweeney’s] company before he went to jail. Now he’s out and trying to get control of his company again, and I’m suing him for sexual harassment. It turns out that he allegedly fathered a child with me, but the real mystery is how, since we never had sex. [Laughs] It’s a really, really fun episode, as we get to prove all kinds of weird things. Lockhart Gardner represents him, while I’m represented by Kate Burton’s character.
TVLINE | I see Bebe Neuwirth playing the judge, and Good Wife seldom has ordinary judges. What’s her style?
She’s kind of hot and fiery, and at the same time very professional. Dylan Baker[‘s character] likes to play to the ladies so he is trying to get a rise out of her. It’s very funny, and she is fantastic.
TVLINE | Are you getting wind of anything yet for Homeland Season 2?
Just a few little things. I heard we’re not picking up where left off, that there’s a bit of a time lapse. And I heard that maybe [Sergeant] Brody’s in office to some extent. I’m dying to get a script.
TVLINE | What is Jessica to make of that bit of insanity that took place on her lawn in the finale, with Carrie?
It’ll be interesting to see what happens. I’m sure that she doesn’t want to hear mention of that woman’s name or see her any more, but of course that’s probably what’s going to happen!
TVLINE | Are you almost afraid to someday play the storyline where Jessica herself starts suspecting her husband is a terrorist?
Yeah…. It’s never easy going to work on that show, but it’s so juicy and so incredible to tell the stories were telling.