Interview with Jenni Baird

We got the opportunity to do an interview with Jenni Baird from "The 4400". The Australian actress talks about her character Meghan Doyle, the end of the show and her other activities apart from acting.


The interview is © myFanbase 2008. Please do not copy it to other websites or message boards.

1. In December show runner Scott Peters announced that there will be no fifth season of "The 4400". When did you hear about the cancellation?

I heard rumblings of a cancellation a little earlier than Scott's announcement but not much, generally they like to make their decisions as late as possible.

2. You character Meghan Doyle is a big fan of classical films, especially of "La Dolce Vita". Do you have this in common? Does this film also have a special meaning to you?

Funnily enough I did a year of film theory in my communications degree at university of technology, Sydney. Antonioni was my film maker of choice to study, so "La Dolce Vita" didn't feature strongly but that dimension of Meghan was a dimension I definitely could relate to.

3. If there were a fifth season, do you think that Meghan and Tom would still be a couple?

I think there are many unresolved issues between Meghan and Tom. They didn't get resolution at all in the season 4 finale, it is a big deal to find out the guy you are sleeping with is possessed by an evil entity! I think they may part but re-unite if the show were to have a 5th season. I am a big fan of unresolved sexual tension, however.

4. At the moment fans are trying to save the show at least for another season and they are sending sunflower seeds from all over the world to the network's executives. Did you hear from that campaign? Something similar happened to "Jericho" and it seemed to work, what chance do you think does "The 4400" have?

My publicist told me of the sunflower seed movement and so did Jacqui, it was all over the CNN website. I am considering appealing to the CBS/Paramount execs in Japan for help, as they really support the show and I'd love to do another season.

5. Nevertheless, at the moment the show seems to be over, do you already know in which film or show your fans can see you next?

I shot a 1950's period sci-fi "homage" feature called "Alien Trespass" with Eric McCormack which is getting close to being finished and released.

6. Comparing yourself to the character Meghan Doyle on "The 4400", where are the differences and what do you have in common? You both seem to be very practical persons.

That's funny you would make that observation from what you know of me! I am a Taurus, and have many pragmatic qualities, I would say. Meghan is in fact more direct and "let's get down to business" than me simply due to her job at NTAC. As an actor, I tend to get emotional about many many things it may be best to get "practical" about.

7. How do you decide whether you take a part in a show / movie or not? Which criteria are important to you when you read a script?

Firstly the character must be fun to play. I can't see myself having much fun simply playing some guy's girlfriend week to week. What attracted me to Meghan was her sassiness and her freedom to play outside the box. Being so young, too, in such a senior position brought tension into the show and story lines that every actor appreciates. Conflict is what we love to play! I don't feel attracted to extreme violence or sex in shows/movies. I need to feel morally in line with what I choose to do. I would still say I am liberal and open minded, just not believing in gratuitous violence and exploitation of women as sexual objects.

8. Imagine yourself in 10 years, where do you see yourself?

Hopefully still working in Hollywood, with some trips back to Australia under my belt. I am still pushing my Aussie agent to find a great Australian film to do.

9. Coming from Australia, why did you decide to move to America? Was it only because of better work opportunities?

I was due to better work opportunities. It is hard to work consistently in Australia as the work simply isn't there in the volumes it is in the US.
Plus working in the US gives you a global profile which then generates more work everywhere in the world, Australia too.

10. In 2007 you announced that you and your brother Mark were going to open an Australian coffee shop in America. Did you really do it and why?

We are still in planning and about to approach investors. I am helping him with it at the moment, actually. You cannot get coffee in LA like you can in Sydney and Sydney and Melbourne coffee is outstanding. I'm not sure many people know that, but after we open our Espresso bar many more people will.
Our place will provide a real point of difference for all the coffee connoisseurs in this city and a welcome addition for all the Latte starved Aussies here.

11. What do you do when you are not at work? What are your hobbies?

I love to read. It's like taking my mind out for a jog. The espresso bar has been what's kept me busy while not working and I love to cook and travel.

12. During the last months the American film and television industry have been deeply influenced by the writer's strike. What have you done during this time?

I went to Australia for 2 months! It was great to see my family and have Christmas.

13. Since myFanbase is an online magazine about TV series do you have a favorite one?

"Grey's Anatomy" was my favorite for a while but now it's HBO's "In Treatment". My mother is a therapist and I'm buying it for her as soon as it's available on DVD.

Catherine Bühnsack - myFanbase