When ABC's V returns, the alien invasion series will welcome a very familiar face.
Jane Badler, who starred in the original 1983 miniseries, returns to the world as Diana, the mother of the ruthless leader of the Visitors, Anna (Morena Baccarin). While her character's name is the same, the new Diana is nothing like the Diana of before. (Makes sense: The series is a reboot, not a continuation of the original miniseries.)
In the original, Diana was the sadistic deputy leader of the Visitors who pioneered the mind control experiments on humans. Like the remake's Anna, Diana was not someone to be messed with.
But Diana 2.0 is different in significant ways, Badler says. She's a lot more enigmatic. "At first, I was trying to bring the old Diana into [the new character] even though [the producers] told me that it wasn't that Diana," Badler says. "The more that the character developed, the more it became a separate entity and evolved into a new incarnation. This Diana is a lot more mature."
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The introduction of Diana brings out a new side of Anna, too. You might say, Diana keeps Anna in check. "Anna is kind of like the old Diana, with her immorality, her impetuousness and her youth — all the qualities I had as the old Diana," Badler explains. "I come on as the voice of reason. Although I'm equally as powerful and would probably be as ruthless if I did take control, ultimately I'm a counterpoint to her views — someone that can have control over her. I'm brought on as a foil for her character."
Surprisingly, Badler reveals she had to audition for the role of Diana. "As much as actors hate auditioning, you feel like you really won something," the actress says. But getting back into Diana-esque mind gave her the chills. "That first day on the set was a big day for me," Badler says. "Right from the beginning, it felt very right to be there and it felt like I owned the character."
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When we first meet Diana, she is imprisoned in the bowels of the ship, which are made to resemble the Visitor's home world. "Ultimately, I do get out, but it takes a while," she says.
Once she's free, look for Diana to team up with her granddaughter, Lisa (Laura Vandervoort), and possibly the Fifth Column.
"Whatever it takes," Badler says of teaming with the resistance. "I don't know if she sympathizes with them, but she'll ultimately use whatever tools that are available to overthrow her daughter. Her daughter has imprisoned her in a dungeon, so no matter how fair Diana may be, revenge is always in the back of her mind."
V returns Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 9/8c on ABC.