May 8, 2014 at 10:23 AM ET
The 1968 film adaptation of "Rosemary's Baby" remains one of the most memorable psychological horror tales ever to hit the big screen. Now the small screen will have its very own version in the upcoming two-part miniseries of the same name. But will the tale of a demonic pregnancy still pack the same punch it once did?
According to leading lady Zoe Saldana, who takes on the role first made famous by Mia Farrow, the TV version of "Baby" definitely offers up its own share of scares.
"(The original) was never graphic," the actress explained to TODAY anchor Matt Lauer. "It was just left to your own imagination. We did leave that element in in this retelling of it, but we were able to be a little graphic."
In fact, Saldana didn't really focus on the earlier production when preparing for her turn as the young wife from the story. She went back to the source material, the 1967 novel by Ira Levin, to understand Rosemary and her husband Guy.
"They were very much in love when you meet them," she said. "They're young, and they're vibrant and they're basically starting their lives. They're coming into this world with these people that — God knows how long they've been on this Earth, 'cause you don't know how old they really, really are — and they are hospitable. They take them in as surrogate parents, but there's something very sinister about them."
Well, this is a story about the occult after all. But it's also a story about a woman becoming a mother, something Saldana hasn't experienced yet.
"Not being a mom, you've never given birth to the devil's baby," Lauer said with a chuckle before asking the actress how she prepared for the on-screen pregnancy.
"I have a lot of mommies around me," she said, adding that she also read plenty of mom blogs. "It doesn't take that long for you to sort of sympathize with a mother, and I'm a woman and I do want to have a family one day. What I did realize is that you get a lot of special treatment."
Even when your baby bump is a prosthetic one.
"I definitely took advantage of that," Saldana smiled. "You know they would always get up and give you that extra seat. I never had to get my food. … It felt really sweet."
But she won't be able to sit back and take it easy in her upcoming projects. That's because the actress is due to reprise the part of Neytiri in the next three installments in the "Avatar" sci-fi/action franchise.
"I just saw (director James Cameron) last week," she teased. "He's finishing up the scripts, and as soon as he's done, then we're going to get the call and we're going to go back."
The first of the "Avatar" sequels is due to hit theaters in 2016.
"Rosemary's Baby" kicks off Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
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