Deadpool Star Morena Baccarin Recalls Failed Audition for The Avengers Role

Before she was Vanessa in Deadpool, Morena Baccarin auditioned to play S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Maria Hill in Marvel's The Avengers. In an interview promoting new NBC series The Endgame, the Gotham actor recalls her audition for writer-director Joss Whedon and how she "didn't get" the character as adapted by Whedon. Cobie Smulders would ultimately land the role of the right-hand woman of S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), returning in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, three Avengers sequels, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and television's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

"I didn't get it at all," Baccarin said on the Happy Sad Confused podcast. "I loved that [Whedon] brought me in for it. He kept telling me she was like Sigourney Weaver in Alien, that she had this kind of hard edge to her. I was like, 'I don't understand.' I couldn't see it on the page, I couldn't do it."

Baccarin continued, "I tested, I was there with Cobie. We tested against each other, and I was like, 'She's gonna get this part. I can see it.' He wanted me to be emotional, but hold it all in and be hard, and I was like, 'I don't know what you're asking me to do. I can't do this.'" 

Baccarin would go on to star opposite Ryan Reynolds in 2016's Deadpool and 2018 sequel Deadpool 2. Smulders will reprise her role as Hill and reunite with Jackson in Disney+'s espionage thriller Secret Invasion, now in production from Kevin Feige's Marvel Studios. 

In new heist drama series The Endgame, Baccarin plays Elena Federova, a recently captured international arms dealer and brilliant criminal mastermind who orchestrates a number of coordinated bank heists throughout New York City for a mysterious purpose. Her antagonist is Val Turner (Ryan Michelle Bathé), the principled, relentless and socially outcast FBI agent who will stop at nothing to foil her ambitious plan. The gripping heist drama reveals how far some people will go for love, justice and the most valuable commodity in the world: the truth. Episodes of The Endgame are streaming on Peacock and air Mondays at 10/9c on NBC.