Summer Glau, who plays the cyborg Cameron on Fox's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, told reporters that the script for the show's season finale has left her reeling. Glau spoke in a conference call on Feb. 3.
"I just got a hold of our season-finale script, and I am shocked," she said. "I am not going to give it away, but I'm excited and I'm a little bit sad, but more excited and just really proud of what [series creator] Josh [Friedman] has done."
So far, season two has offered episodes like "Allison From Palmdale," which introduced the human model who inspired Cameron's creation in the future. In the episode "Complications," Cameron revealed that she has a form of feelings, at least to the extent that it means something to hang her foot out the car window.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles returns for the back nine episodes Feb. 13, in its new timeslot Friday at 8 p.m. ET/PT, leading in to Joss Whedon's Dollhouse at 9. The following Q&A features edited excerpts from the conference call.
What made you sad about the finale script? Sad for your character?
Glau: First of all, I'm just sad to be at our finale. I love the show, and I love my cast and my crew. It's just always hard. The word finale is always hard for me. It's hard to walk away from the show, hopefully for just a little while, because I'm very optimistic about us getting a third season. But a lot happens. A lot happens, and the last few episodes especially, I just think people are going to be on a roller coaster wondering what's going to happen next. That's all I meant. I think everybody's going to be really thrilled and really proud of where the storyline goes. But as an actress in the show I have a lot of emotions about it. It's the most beautiful character. I love playing her, and she's gone above and beyond what I ever thought I could do in two seasons on TV, and that's been a huge blessing for me. Cameron is so complicated, I couldn't possibly imagine this storyline. I'm glad that Josh is the writer and I'm the actress. I think everybody's going to be shocked at what happens at the end of this season. It's not the ending.
Your co-stars have said there's a lot more action in the upcoming episode. What does more action mean for you in terms of big robot battles?
Glau: It means lots of squibs and lots of extra stunt rehearsals, which I've missed, because we did take a little break from it at the end of our first half, because we were really intensifying some of the mysteries that we've been building on. Now that I've come back from the Christmas break, it seems like I'm always putting on a squib jacket and running around and shooting people, and I am having a blast. The back nine is going to be exciting.
Did having the "Allison From Palmdale" episode affect the way you play her now?
Glau: It really just helped intensify my understanding of Cameron and really kind of helped me as an actor. I had already really imagined who I thought she was and sort of filled it in, in my own mind, but I think it just made it more exciting for me and for the fans. Because Cameron has been devoid of human behavior and trying to understand human emotions, I think that the fans are sort of getting drawn into feeling like they relate to her more. I think there are moments where you almost think Cameron's the family pet. She's more docile, and we're trusting her, but then she has to do something to shock everyone into remembering she's a dangerous robot. That's something that I try to remind myself of all the time. I want people to be drawn in but then be shocked into remembering, "Oh, my gosh, she's really dangerous." Anything could happen at any moment with her.
What about the revelation that she has a form of feelings?
Glau: That scene was really important to me. I think that she has a plan for drawing John closer to her, so I've been trying to incorporate that all season. I don't think I've played her differently after that scene. It's all part of the plan for Cameron.
How are you playing Cameron's relationship with John [Thomas Dekker] and Sarah [Lena Headey]?
Glau: Well, I've always thought that everybody wants a purpose, and everybody wants to belong and have a reason for surviving. I think Cameron's deep love for John is because it's her whole reason for existing. He is her whole reason for existing. I think that is love. I think she would do anything for him, and in her reality, I think that may be what love is to her. So, yeah, I think I'm not really sure what Josh wants to do with the character, and I think he's sort of peeling away layers and revealing the past/future so that we know more about Cameron. But I know from my perspective of playing her, I always want to believe that she does feel something for both of them.
How do you like teaming up with Joss on Friday nights? [Whedon cast Glau as River Tam in Firefly/Serenity.]
Glau: I think it's a great move. I think it's fun, and I think that the shows are very well paired together. Of course, I love Joss, and I know some of the actors on Dollhouse. I'm rooting for us both. I think it's going to be a fresh start for us.