Glau’s Advanced Humanity Shines Through on 'SARAH CONNOR'

It comes as no surprise that, as a geek, one of my favorite actors is Summer Glau, the warrior/nut-job from the greatest science fiction property, Firefly. Check out what she has to say on her new project, The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
Summer Glau portrayed a character with severe mental problems with such grace and perfection that she could have been acting since the womb. As River in Joss Whedon’s Firefly, she became a fan-favorite, and has since followed that with roles in The Unit and The 4400. But next on her plate is the “mysterious classmate” from Fox’s Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

The real story behind her character though is that she is in fact the most advanced Terminator to be produced, sent back to watch over Sarah Connor and her son John. The main difference between her version of Terminator and Arnold Schwarzenegger's is that she has been programmed with the ability to mimic human behavior.

"[Creator Josh Friedman's] concept is that I'm the most advanced Terminator yet, but the way I'm advanced is in my ability to almost be human," Glau said at a fan preview of the show in Los Angeles last weekend. "And there's still this fine line. You almost wonder in certain scenes, like, ... is she feeling something? I can't really put my finger on it, but it's like she's actually feeling something. And I want that to come across. But I also want people to be startled sometimes when she is absolutely a robot."

For those who are fans of Joss Whedon’s work, you’ll be well aware her first appearance under his directorial hand was not in fact Firefly, but in an episode of Angel. The episode ‘Waiting in the Wings’ saw her portray a ballerina who had been dancing the same part for nearly a century (if I remember correctly). But ballet was not hard for her, considering that she has been trained classically as a ballerina since she was 12.

For her action sequences in Serenity, the cinematic sequel that the fans got made through sheer force of will and fandom, were especially helped by her dance training. Glau commented on the combination of dance and action sequence.

"Absolutely it's helped me," Glau said. "I would say that my ballet training helped more in Serenity, because I was doing martial arts. Dancing always helps, because I learn all my fight scenes like choreography, so I learn them by counts. And when you're working with a stunt guy who's twice as big as you, and you need to anticipate every swing he's going to take at you and every punch, it's important that you know exactly the timing that it's all going to play out."

Glau has been working with a new stunt-coordinator now however, Joel Kramer, who has worked on the previous Terminator movies. She comments on the differences between Serenity and her new TV series. "It's completely different, because when I was playing River, I was supposed to be a small girl, just a human girl, and so I had to learn finesse, and I had to learn how to use my body weight," she said. "But when you're a Terminator, you just break things and throw things and drive over people and use bombs and use guns."

Needless to say, the Sarah Connor Chronicles have just gotten a little bit better in my eyes. It’s very likely I could watch the series simply for Glau, especially if she's to be smashing cars!
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Sci Fi Wire