Summer Glau is stepping into the shoes of Arnold Schwarzenegger. He’s a former Mr. Universe, one of the world’s biggest action stars and is currently the Governor of California. Summer Glau is a petite Texan. You’d think that Glau, taking over the role of protector terminator on FOX’s new Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, might be a bit overwhelmed. She’s not. If you’ve seen Serenity or Firefly, you’re well aware of Glau’s butt-kicking abilities. Glau already possesses a stable of loyal fans, a group that will only grow larger thanks to her role as Cameron on Terminator. We at BuddyTV (along with Daniel from TheTVAddict – the actors had to get to a photo shoot) got the chance to interview Summer at a recent FOX press junket.
Below you will find both the written transcript and full mp3 audio of the interview.
Hey, this is Oscar Dahl from BuddyTV, and joining me in this interview is Daniel from TheTVAddict. We’re with Summer Glau from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Summer, how are you doing?
I’m doing great. How are you all doing?
Daniel: Very good. It was a great, great pilot last night. It was really cool to see on the big screen.
Daniel: Was that the first time you’ve seen it?
It is the first time I’ve seen it completed. It was really interesting for me. The thing that I liked seeing was, you know, when you shoot a show it’s all out of sequence, so when they put it together I liked how my character seemed to switch on and off from doing the school scenes in the beginning, then how she changes once her alias is blown, she just changes. I thought that was cool.
Daniel: What attracted you to the role in the first place? Were you concerned at all that you’re very enmeshed in the sci-fi world with Firefly and The 4400, did that concern you a little moving on to another sci-fi show?
I didn’t think I’d get this part, so I didn’t worry about it that much. I went to the audition thinking I’ll just go in and I’ll do it. I never thought that they would consider me for this role, and then when they did I thought oh my goodness, I feel like I won the lottery, of course I’m going to do it. I love playing this part. I’ve never really thought much about sci-fi or not sci-fi. I always consider the role. If it’s a role I want to play, I play it. I’ve turned down roles that weren’t sci-fi because they weren’t interesting characters and they weren’t something that I wanted to do, so this was definitely something that I wanted to do.
Oscar: What are the difficulties of playing a robot for an actor? It seems like it’d be kind of a weird thing to wrap your mind around.
I’m still working on it every day when I come in in the mornings. There are days when I read a scene, and you know as an actress you usually have a gut instinct about it? When you’re playing a robot your gut instincts don’t come into play so much, you have to think about it. You have to shape the character. She’s very mysterious, so we’re having to kind of, we’re having to build her and build an arc for her. When I read the pilot, I said to Josh [Friedman, executive producer] “I don’t really know how to do this.” I’ve played very vulnerable characters so far, very emotional characters, and this is something really different for me. So I really trust a lot in what the writers are doing.
Oscar: The reaction to both the series and your character [at Comic-Con] were just huge. What’s it like having such a big, loyal fanbase that kid of goes crazy?
It’s been amazing. We were very nervous when we brought our pilot to Comic-Con, because we knew there would be a lot of hardcore Terminator fans and we didn’t want to let them down. So we were nervous, and I couldn’t believe how positive everyone was. I mean, of course I believe in our show completely and I really want people to love it, but a lot of times people tend to be negative given the choice. It’s hard for people to be really supportive sometimes, and they were, and that meant a lot to me. I remember when I first started working for Joss [Whedon, creator of Firefly], he tried to explain to me what his fans were like. I just couldn’t picture it until I went to my first convention and I realized this is what it’s like to be one of Joss’s girls, you know? One of his actresses.
Daniel: Are you at all nervous for the reviews that are going to come out? You were cast in this over a year ago, you’ve worked so hard for like six months on the show, and finally it’s going to premiere on Sunday. Do you read the reviews? Do you pay attention to stuff like that, or do you just try to do the best you can?
I always try not to read it, because I always take it personally. I’m not able to separate, if I read ten great reviews and then I read one that says I’m ugly, then that’s all I remember. I try not to read anything, and I’m very nervous because I love this job, I love this series, I had no idea when I signed up for it how creative our writers are. They are so talented, we could keep writing new episodes for years, so these numbers really matter to me. At the party last night I wanted to enjoy it and I wanted to celebrate, but there’s a part of me that won’t be able to relax until Tuesday morning after we see our numbers. It does make a difference whether or not we’re going to be able to make another season.
Daniel: I know the writers’ strike has wrecked, well, I’m a TV addict so it’s wrecked my life, but it’s wrecked everything. You’re now not going to premiere against new stuff. Is it weird that it might benefit you a little, and the show?
It is weird. I feel bad saying that, because obviously we all want to go back to work. But we have been given a great opportunity, Fox has really, really promoted us, we’ve had a chance to talk to a lot of people about our show, and we feel like we’ve been set up really well. I already have people coming up to me on the street and saying they’re so excited about the show, and it hasn’t even aired yet.
Daniel: The giant posters of you I’m sure help. Is that surreal at all? You get into acting and I’m sure you never imagine that, with Firefly and now, in L.A. you’re on giant buildings. It’s crazy.
Yeah, I couldn’t believe that, when I came home from Texas for the holidays and that picture was everywhere, on every bus. I don’t know how I got so lucky. Joss Whedon and Josh Friedman have really just put me in a position that I never ever pictured possible. I’m very lucky.
Daniel: I really love the show, and there’s such a great chemistry between yourself and John. Are we going to see a relationship? Because you’re a robot and he’s human, I don’t know how that works really.
Well, nobody knows how it works yet. There have been some clues that it’s going to be a lot more complicated than I’m a robot and he’s a human.
Oscar: In the pilot they kind of hinted that you were a different, newer model.
That keeps popping up in the next episodes. There’s all sorts of complications about what she actually can feel. She can feel. I hope we really take it someplace new. I think we already have.
-Interview Conducted by Oscar Dahl and Daniel, TheTVAddict
(Photos courtesy of FOX and BuddyTV)