Actress Laura Vandervoort has become well-known to sci-fi fans for her work both as Supergirl on the popular TV series Smallville, currently in its 10th and final season, and currently as Lisa, the daughter of the Queen of the alien visitors on the drama series V. Being groomed to take over the throne by her mother while her heart lies with the Fifth Column resistence movement, her character Lisa is becoming more and more conflicted as she has to hide her true emotions from the V’s on the mothership or risk putting her life in jeopardy.
At the party celebrating the ABC portion of the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, Laura Vandervoort talked about her character’s journey in Season 2, getting to make Lisa a little more human in her behavior and appearance, and how shocked she thinks viewers will be by the season finale. She also reflected on her experience on Smallville and expressed her desire to return before that series ends this year. Check out what she had to say after the jump:
LAURA VANDERVOORT: She’s growing. She’s more mature. She’s independent. You see a lot more of her this season, which is nice. And, she’s chosen what side she’s on, finally. She’s on the Fifth Column’s side, but she’s still dealing with a lot of the issues she was before, like becoming the next Queen, the stresses that come along with that, hiding that from her mother, protecting the man she loves and saving the human race. She’s dealing with quite a bit.
Are there still moments where she has to do things that she disagrees with, in order to keep her mother from finding out which side she’s chosen?
VANDERVOORT: Oh, yeah. She’s got to continue to hide that and that’s difficult because she is walking on Earth and helping out with the Fifth Column. She’s really got to watch her step. Because the Ambassador jackets have cameras on them, she needs to make sure she’s never saying the wrong thing when she’s wearing that jacket. It’s a lot of fun to play her.
Is it fun to get to explore some more emotion this season?
VANDERVOORT: Yes. I’m so excited about where Lisa has gone this season, compared to last season. She’s more interesting, you know more about her and I am able to show more emotion. We had to play it very much V-like, which is not showing a lot of emotion. That can be great and that’s a bit of a task, but now, to be able to play both sides of it, I can be with Erica (Elizabeth Mitchell) and be crying, and then go to the next scene and just be emotionless and only showing it in my eyes. It’s nice, as an actor, to be able to play both sides.
VANDERVOORT: I think that when the V’s start to feel emotion, the longer they feel it and the more they feel it, the less easy it is for them to hide. The first season, I was able to hide it because I kind of felt it. But this season, because the audience knows I have full-fledged emotion, when I’m with my mother, I’ll play it a little bit more for the audience, but not so much that she’ll notice. It’s that fine balance, but I am getting into tricky situations because of it.
Was it fun to know that you were going to have original V cast members Jane Badler and Marc Singer as part of the cast this season?
VANDERVOORT: Yeah, I think we were all excited to have them on the show. Jane plays my grandma, so we have a lot of fun playing those roles together. Our interaction in our scenes is usually a pretty interesting dynamic because of the two separate generations and the beliefs. I haven’t worked with Marc Singer yet, so that’s exciting as well.
Do you get to be more physical this season? Is Lisa part of the action at all?
VANDERVOORT: Helping the Fifth Column, I do get off the ship more and I do get out more, and I wear human clothes, but in terms of action, not so much. The V’s don’t have to lift a finger. I don’t have to fight anyone. If I need to, I just whip my tail out and stab them. So, I get more action, but not physical action.
What did you think the first time you saw what the V’s really look like?
VANDERVOORT: In the first episode this season, they showed our bone structure. That was bizarre because I didn’t quite understand how the human skin over the top and how that worked, so that was neat. And, you do see more of my lizard skin this year, too. Hopefully, you’ll see a lot more of it.
VANDERVOORT: Yeah, I’m excited about most of the episodes, but in particular, the finale. I think people are going to be shocked when they see the finale.
Did you get to have any input into the development of your character?
VANDERVOORT: They don’t necessarily ask specifically, but we do talk to the producers and we tell them, “I’d love for this to happen,” or I’ll hint that I want her to become a little tougher. So, they do take into consideration what we think, but a lot of the times, they have an idea of where it’s going. And, once the producers get to know us, they do tweak the character to make it more similar to who we are and how we speak. Also, I asked if we could make the hair more human this season, so I got that one.
What’s it like to look back and know that you’re a part of television history with Smallville, now that it’s made it to 10 seasons?
VANDERVOORT: First of all, I was lucky to even get the chance to audition for it. And then, to play Supergirl was one of the best experiences for me, in terms of a learning process. I was able to return two more times, and then one time this season, but we still didn’t really get to wrap up the character, so I’m hoping we’ll get a chance to. Right now, she’s sort of flying around the Metropolis area. I’m wondering if she’s going to come back.
How have the sci-fi fans been to you? Have they been really supportive with your career?
VANDERVOORT: Yeah. I’m lucky. In the sci-fi world, the fans are pretty loyal. Coming from one alien to another, and playing two different aliens, the audience trickles into V. They’ll watch the show. The sci-fi fans, in general, do support me, which I love them for. They’re great fans. I go to comic conventions and they’ll tell you what they think. Whether it’s good or bad, it’s helpful and I do listen. I’m thrilled to be in sci-fi because they write the women very strong, and you don’t often get that on television.