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December 22, 2014

Q&A: 'Firefly' star Jewel Staite on Reavers, 'V', and Clooney

by Stephanie Earp, posted Mar 23rd 2010 11:34PM


Being a cast member of Joss Whedon's space western 'Firefly' pretty much means you have a standing invitation to Wizard World Toronto Comic Con. Jewel Staite, who played tomboy Kaylee Frye, has RSVP'ed for the Toronto event, from March 26 - 28.

This gave us a great excuse to find out how she feels about being her own doppelganger, suspecting her bridesmaid Morena Baccarin of eating people, and playing video games on the big screen.

Being a cast member of Joss Whedon's space western 'Firefly' pretty much means you have a standing invitation to Wizard World Toronto Comic Con. Jewel Staite, who played tomboy Kaylee Frye, has RSVP'ed for the Toronto event, from March 26 - 28.

This gave us a great excuse to find out how she feels about being her own doppelganger, suspecting her bridesmaid Morena Baccarin of eating people, and playing video games on the big screen.

What is the strangest experience you've ever had at a Comic Con?

I was in a packed elevator at a Comic Con. This guy turns to me and says, "Has anybody ever told you that you look like Jewel Staite?" The friend I was with burst out laughing, and then the guy looks at me and says "No, no! It's a compliment!" Guess he didn't get the memo that I was at the convention.

What is the strangest experience you haven't had yet at a Comic Con?

I'm always worried that somebody's going to approach me and ask doctor-related questions because of my character from 'Stargate: Atlantis'. Some people have a hard time separating what's real and what's not. So I'm just praying there isn't a medical emergency and I'm called upon to do brain surgery or something... Because that's super hard to fake.

Joss Whedon has promised to create a show just for you, but he wants you to come up with the basic premise for your character. Who are you?

Joss is so great at writing ass-kicking female characters. So I'd like to be the tough girl for once. Maybe a tough-but-girly superhero. OK, I just want a really cool superhero outfit.

Is there a noticeable difference between a TV show set and a film set, even when the cast and crew are the same? Like 'Firefly' vs. '
Serenity' or 'Stargate: Atlantis' vs. 'Stargate: Extinction'?

The only real difference between shooting 'Firefly' and 'Serenity' was that on 'Serenity,' we had a lot more freedom with time. When you're shooting a television show, you usually have anywhere between six and nine pages of script to shoot a day, and only twelve hours to do it. But with 'Serenity,' we could shoot one scene all day long.

Also, on the movie, we had this really fancy set that was built on hydraulics, so we didn't have to do the cheesy pretend-shake when we were in the middle of a space battle. The set actually shook!

Sci-fi seems to offer the best roles for women, especially on TV. Why do you think that is?

I think the only explanation is because the people who write those roles are usually intelligent men who worship strong, confident women. There's nothing sexier than a capable, confident woman. And there's nothing better than portraying one!

Have you been watching your 'Firefly' co-star and bridesmaid Morena Baccarin in 'V'? If so, in your opinion, what is scarier - Anna or Reavers? Explain.


Morena. No, seriously, I'm definitely going with Anna on this one. She's cool and calculated, and I'm pretty sure she eats people. So she's like a reaver with brains. And a skirt suit.

When is the next time you will be called upon to wear a really spectacular dress, as far as you can anticipate?

Are you kidding? I'm wearing one right now!

Would you ever consider getting behind the camera to direct or run a show of your own?


I have no desire to direct at all. I know how much pressure it is, and, trust me, it's so much easier and so much more fun to be an actor. I'm always incredibly impressed when an actor is able to do both successfully. Especially when they look like George Clooney.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

Besides craft service? My job is never boring. It's always new, exciting, and challenging, and I get a rush every time I go to work. I'm the luckiest person on the planet to be able to do what I love for a living.

When you were starting out, what was the first thing you splurged on when you realized you might actually be able to make a living acting?

The first big purchase I made was when I was twelve, and it was a 55-inch TV that took up my entire bedroom wall. Can you imagine playing Super Mario on a TV that size when you're twelve? It was amazing! I was like, "This acting thing's alright!"

- Catch up with Jewel at Comic Con and ask your own questions. Details on her website.

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