Mira Furlan had just left her home in Yugoslavia and moved to the United States when she filmed the pilot episode of Babylon 5. Shortly after that episode was aired, she attended her first Con in New York. Having been a successful actress in her homeland, she was unsure how the American fans would react to her. Mira was in for a pleasant shock – during the convention a fan said, “Welcome to the family.” This simple statement brought tears to her eyes, and made her feel as if she had been “reborn.”
Mira’s view on acting is that it allows a person the opportunity to explore as well as bare the soul, and affords the additional element of being able to play one’s emotions in a way that cannot be done in real life.
When asked if she had a favorite episode from Babylon 5, Mira declared in two segments of the Q and A panel that “Come The Inquisitor” was her personal favorite and that she is also very fond of the episode “Ship Of Tears”.
When asked what she liked about Delenn, she replied that a combination of traits appealed to her: Delenn’s strength, vulnerability, and spirituality were among the items she admired in the character. Mira enjoyed the development of the character and was often surprised by some of her character’s actions. J. Michael Strasinsky was able to accomplish something few writers attempt – to create an interesting and complex female main character.
Mira experienced some concerns during the taping of the series: season one – too much makeup; season five – not enough character usage and Delenn being to “wifey”; throughout the series – the lack of eyebrows (Strasinsky decided VERY firmly that “Minbari do NOT have eyebrows”). Even with all of that, she still misses the experience of being excited every time she received a new “still hot script”.
When one fan asked “How much of you (Mira) is in your character (Delenn) and how much control did you have over your character’s development?”, Mira quickly replied “Joe holds ALL the control.” She then went on to say that Joe was always open to suggestions and incorporated many of her ideas into the character. Mira also quipped at one point that “we did not want it to end – it COULD have gone on for another year.”
When queried about the final days of taping B5, she related that Jerry Doyle (Michael Garibaldi) had likened the experience of being present while the sets were being packed up as like “Coming to my own funeral”, which seemed to mirror her own feelings on the subject.
When questioned about the political situation in Yugoslavia, Mira sadly admits that she cannot see an end to the hatred in her homeland. She has written open letters to the press and has been speaking her views on the conflict – she feels there was a way to prevent the war before it began, but nobody seemed to want peace.
Mira still has family, including her father, living in Croatia. While her father is able to see B5, he does not get to hear his daughter’s voice – the voice of Delenn is being synchronized in German.
Mira has been working on several projects since the end of Babylon 5. She wrote a song for her son, then unborn, which is included on a CD compilation of work produced by Billy Mumy. Mira admits to missing stage work and would love to do a movie and in fact has two possible movie roles she is currently investigating.
Mira is currently attending Dragon*Con ’99 with her husband and 6 month old son. We hope Mira and her family enjoy Dragon*Con as much as we enjoy having them here.