Exclusive: V’s Laura Vandervoort Interview

Laura Vandervoort in V (ABC)

V returns to ABC on January 4 for a ten episode second season with a massive fleet of Visitors hovering over Earth and Anna (Morena Baccarin) determined to avenge the death of her soldiers. Jane Badler, star of the original 1980s V, is joining the show to stir things up as Anna’s mother, and Erica (Elizabeth Mitchell) seems to be losing her son Tyler (Logan Huffman) to Anna and the Visitors.

In the center of all this is Anna’s daughter Lisa, played by Laura Vandervoort. The queen in waiting, Lisa’s loyalty to her mother was shaken the more she learned about humans, and in the first season finale, she helped Erica kill Anna’s soldier embryos. She enters the second season a stronger, more determined character ready to make her own decisions.

Daemon’s TV talked to Laura about all the changes Lisa will be facing this season, what complications Lisa and Tyler will face, and what it means to have Lisa’s grandmother thrown into the mix.

I can’t wait for the second season of ‘V’ to start.

Laura Vandervoort: Thank you. I’m excited. It’s going to be pretty great.

There was a lot of setup early on in season one, but by the time we got into the finale there was a lot of action. It looks like that continues into the second season. Is that what we can expect?

Laura Vandervoort: Oh, yeah. Our scripts are pretty thick and full with action and drama and even romance and death. A little bit of everything. And we did ten episodes so there is quite a bit of character revelation and things going on in every episode. So you can expect that for sure.

Lisa decided to support The Fifth Column and kill her mother’s embryos. How is this going to play out for her? How serious is she about this?

Laura Vandervoort: Well, they were just simple decisions like taking up with her mother’s enemies and killing her brothers and sisters. She’s been dealing with quite a bit in the last season and this season for sure doesn’t get any easier. She even has more weight on her shoulders, but she does make some definite decisions and decides which side she’s permanently on. The decisions do affect her this season, but she’s also going through, I guess I’ve been calling V puberty. She’s fertile this season and that’s kind of affecting this season and that’s affecting her judgment and she’s physically changing to be a bit more of the lizard skin for her. She’s struggling with that and her urges, the more animalistic side of her. She’s got to keep that in check. So she’s dealing with quite a bit this season.

And she’s still being groomed to be queen–she’s a queen in waiting, right?

Laura Vandervoort: Oh, yes. She’s still queen in waiting and she’s still hiding everything from her mother. She’s being very careful, but the thing is that this season you don’t know who you can trust because people you expect are one side might be on another. Things are changing quickly in every episode and you really have to keep track of who has relationships with whom.

And then Jane Badler is coming in as Lisa’s grandmother. How will that affect things between Lisa and Anna? Why is it that Diana isn’t queen?

Laura Vandervoort: Well, yes, Jane Badler does show up. She’s playing grandma and I can’t say where she’s been or what she’s going to do, but I can tell you it’s been a lot of fun working with her and it does mix up the relationship and interaction that Anna has with Lisa because now grandma is there. And you don’t know which side grandma is going to be on. So it changes quite a bit and it makes it that much more exciting, too.

Tyler is becoming more and more entranced by the V’s and Anna especially.

Laura Vandervoort: Yeah. I like to call it brainwashed.

That works. What can we expect for Tyler and Lisa as he moves toward Anna and Lisa pulls away, toward the humans?

Laura Vandervoort: You’re bang on with that. The further that Tyler is becoming enthralled with the V’s, Lisa is pulling away from her people, or at least from her mother. She’s leaning more towards humans, especially Erica. I’m working a lot more with Elizabeth [Mitchell] this season and Lisa is kind of finding a motherly figure in her. That’s affecting her judgment as well. There’s the fact that Tyler and Lisa have different beliefs and not only that, but Lisa knows more than Tyler about everything. She’s got to be very tender with him in how she explains things and doesn’t give things away. She can see her mother kind of manipulating Tyler. So she’s torn, but it creates some interesting drama between the two of them.

So, Lisa is getting along worse with her mother, her grandmother is in the mix, she’s going through V puberty and getting close to a human as a mother?

Laura Vandervoort: Yeah. With the fertility thing she’s got urges that she’s never had to deal with before. So, basically, you’re right. She’s dealing with grandma showing up. She’s dealing with her boyfriend kind of being brainwashed. She’s dealing with new emotions. She’s fighting her instincts. She’s deciding whether or not to save the human race and also whether or not to take over the throne and become the queen of her people, let alone that she just killed her brothers and sisters. So she’s kind of busy right now dealing with things.

This has got to be a fun role to play –

Laura Vandervoort: It is. Season one, I feel like we never got a chance to know Lisa towards the end, especially before we found out that she was Anna’s daughter. This season it’s like a completely new character. She’s got her own opinions. She’s standing up for herself. She’s becoming more mature and more of an adult. She’s always been queen in waiting, but I feel like she’s finally ready. So it’s great. I have a lot of fun. And I’m playing so many different sides to her and within the finale you’ll understand that a little bit more. But I’m playing – it depends on who I’m in the room with. She’s got so many secrets and so many exteriors to keep up, depending on who she’s in the room with. So it’s a lot of fun.

What’s the most challenging part about playing her?

Laura Vandervoort: I think for me it would be that if I were in her place I would just get it done. Lisa is very methodical and plans things out which is the safer route to take. Sometimes she can be a little bit too careful when I feel like she could just get the job done. So it’s a little tough sometimes, like, ‘Why doesn’t Lisa just do this right now?’ We want to keep the audience guessing. Sometimes I just want her to be a little more strong. Other than that she’s a great character to play.

How was it going back to ‘Smallville’ as Kara this season?

Laura Vandervoort: It was fantastic. I was excited to go back because she’s been gone for so long and the audience has been asking where she’s been. So it was a lot of fun and did get a chance to try and teach Clark to fly again which was nice. It was a bit of a nod to the Supergirl costume.

It looked great.

Laura Vandervoort: Thank you, yeah. It was kind of ‘Smallville’s’ version of the costume itself without being too cheesy and making it look exactly the same. So that was great and I had a chance to do a few other projects this year as well. So I got to mix it up a little bit.

‘Smallville’ left it open for a return for your character, but if you don’t make it back, are you happy with where Kara was left?

Laura Vandervoort: They kept it open ended. I would love to return and really kind of tie a bow on it and say goodbye to Kara. I think there can be more done with that, but if not I think the audience was happy to just see her again. She was there to help Clark and teach him a few lessons.

I saw you shot ‘This Means War’ with Reese Witherspoon. How was that?

Laura Vandervoort: That was great, and just before ‘V’ I did a movie called ‘Entitled’ with Ray Liotta which was a lot of fun and a very different character for me. Then I did ‘This Means War’ towards the end of the season. It was just a small cameo and I did my scene with Chris Pine and Tom Hardy. It was a lot of fun. It was a different look for me and it was kind of improvising and more comedic which is something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while.

The second season of V premieres on ABC Tuesday, January 4 at 9pm eastern/8pm central. You can read all our V coverage here.

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Laura Vandervoort in V (ABC)