Once the sexiest and most malevolent alien on prime time T.V., Jane Badler is prepared to effectively conquer the world of independent films, starting with Spain.
Many former television stars have found it exceedingly difficult to continue their careers after their series reached their inevitable end. It isn’t a rare sight to spot many of these once much sought after celebrities doing a minor part in a big studio production, barely seen among the newer crop of Hollywood’s studio clique, or, quite the opposite, playing major parts in exceedingly mediocre films.
Some managed, however to do a complete turn around; they explored new talents, moved to far and out places, and managed to succeed in a whole different and unexpected light. Jane Badler, better known for her role as evil alien fatale Diana in the 1980’s sci-fi cult show V, had from the start the maximum pull of the show, testified by the many fans all over the world who still remember her as either their first onscreen crush, or as the rather unconventional role model of female strength and sensuality. Thirty years after the show’s finale, Badler is still remembered as the embodiment of Diana, who despotically appeared on our television screens ready to annihilate humanity, clad in a black and white skin-tight uniform.
Jane Badler, in the glory days of “V”-
She is inherently different from her much adored alter ego, unveiling charming and friendly persona, eager to talk about her recent and upcoming projects in the field of indie films, particularly her latest collaboration in Spanish film De Chica En Chica based on the television series, Chica Busca Chica (Girl Seeks Girl).
Jane Badler with the cast of De Chica En Chica- Photo courtesy of Ana Carrera Lopez
A Brooklyn native, Jane Badler began her career in the entertainment industry, as the newly elected Miss New Hampshire, 1972 before landing a role in the popular soap opera, One Life to Live. Afterwards, she went on to study drama at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Although she participated in other soap operas and t.v. series in the beginning of her career, V was without a doubt her takeoff role.
V began as a mini-series, originally written and directed by Kenneth Johnson, and launched by NBC in 1983, returning in 1984 with a three-part sequel, V: The Final Battle. Wanting to cash in on V’s unexpected success, NBC decided to launch it as a full-time show in 1984; however, the show ended abruptly in 1985, and Badler moved on to star in the revival of the popular 1960’s show, Mission: Impossible, as agent Shannon Reed in 1987. The series was shot on location in Australia, where Badler met her soon to be husband Stephen Haines, and subsequently relocated there after Mission: Impossible ended.
Although Badler participated in several Aussie television series, it was the launch of her singing career which put her on the map once again, and made her the subject of a renovated frenzy among Gen X fans, along with a surprisingly younger crowd, who didn’t know Badler from her V days, but were more than willing to form part of a devoted group of fans who crowd her Facebook page.
A few years back, Badler enjoyed a successful new phase as a singer, initially with Melbourne band Sir, releasing in 2008 the album titled The Devil Has My Double. Three years later, in 2011, she launched Tears Again, many times combining her record debuts with live performances, and as Badler herself states, “beautiful cinematic videos”. However, Badler firmly settled the issue regarding the continuation of her music career, saying that her time as a singer, thrilling as it was, is now over and done with. Much to the potential dismay of her many acquired music fans, her new goal now, is to focus on her acting, her sight firmly set on indie films, particularly in the European market.
De Chica En Chica is only one of Badler’s pending projects, particularly refreshing after ABC’s failed attempt to bring back V, with actress Morena Baccarin in the lead role of alien leader, Ana. Due in great part to abundant fan requests, the writers decided to pencil in an unexpected character: Baccarin’s estranged mother, coincidentally to be named Diana. However, fans of the original V were shocked when producers let the word out through the series website, that it wasn’t guaranteed that Jane Badler would play Diana in the new series. Allegedly, it was possible that this Diana, wouldn’t even BE the same Diana who of the original series, and that Badler would have to audition for the part, along with other potential actresses “I felt so strongly about wanting to be on it, you know” Badler said. “I didn’t even know I felt so strongly about it until it actually happened, I mean, who else were they going to cast? It was all so stupid”. It wasn’t long before fans agreed with her assessment and cried out in outrage; in the end, Badler was finally brought in as Diana.
Unfortunately Badler’s presence could only help the show so much. “They brought me in, and never told me how many episodes I was going to be in. I was away from my family and completely in the dark about how long I was supposed to be there. It was a very, very cliquey set, so it felt really strange to be there. In the end, I was put in a total of three episodes, all taking place in this dark dungeon, you know. They didn’t even use me like they could have, I mean they had me there already, let me do something! It was so disappointing”.
On a side note, Badler speaks warmly of Morena Baccarin who played the deranged alien daughter who would ultimately kill her. “She’s a real sweetheart, and it was so great working with her. She’s such a great actress, and I know she’s going to be in a lot of great things in the future”. Unfortunately, ABC could not make the new V take off with the success they had initially expected, and the show was canceled after only two seasons; Badler was more than ready to let Diana go for the second time, and focus her attention on new horizons. In addition, she has quite the group of devoted fans, who seem to support anything she does very enthusiastically, and who are sure to welcome this new stage as an actress in independent films, as they welcomed her first album back in 2008. “Fans are so amazing” she boasts proudly. “I love them, and they are so loyal. I’m very popular with the gay crowd. I don’t know why exactly, I just am. And I’m so fucking proud of that”.
Art Film File spoke to Jane Badler, in a rather refreshing phone interview, about De Chica En Chica. She admits surprise in discovering how much she enjoyed stepping away from the dramatic, and diving into a much lighter and humorous role. “It was terrifying at first, but I found that I actually love doing comedy. And there is so much comedy in this film; it was really fun to do.”Jane Badler’s role in De Chica En Chica is anything but traditional, breathing life into Kirsten, an American woman who hastily travels to Spain after falling head over heels for Ines, an admitted promiscuous lesbian, whose free spirit can commit to no one when it comes to intimate relationships. The film trails Ines and her group of dysfunctional and sexually confused amigas, as they fall in and out of love, leaving behind a trail of comically baffling situations and lovesick paramours, in the best tradition of Spanish non-conventional rom-coms.
Jane Badler in De Chica En Chica- Photo courtesy of Ana Carrera Lopez
De Chica En Chica, will be launched on September 25 in Spain, and perhaps it will afterwards become available in the U.S. To further guarantee that fans will see a lot more of her on the big screen, it was recently announced that Badler has joined the cast of Virtual Revolution, an ambitious cyber punk feature, set in the year 2047, amidst a cyber-reality driven dystopian Europe. The film is currently in its funding stage, on the popular site, Indiegogo (click here to see the film’s site on Indiegogo). If it’s one thing earthlings can be sure of, is that we have yet to see the best of Jane Badler.
Check out the trailer for De Chica En Chica here: