In our weeklong look at "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronciles," which begins its second season September 8, CBR News has spoken with cast members Thomas Dekker (John Connor) and Garret Dillahunt (Cromartie). This season sees a new cast member, one with over 14 million in records sales and her own solo album set to drop this year. That performer is Shirley Manson of the band Garbage. Her first foray into acting, Manson takes on the role of Catherine Weaver, CEO of Cyberdyne and all around corporate bad ass. The actress who embodies in the show some of that high-end super technology is Summer Glau, better known to Terminator fans as Cameron. The two actresses spoke with CBR News to give us a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the upcoming second season of "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles."
As this is Manson's first acting job, she is expecting to have fandom's critical eye watching her every performance. "I am sure I will be totally a hundred percent criticized," Manson told CBR News. "But I'm criticized anyways regardless. Whether it's making music or acting, there's always people who love what people do and there's always detractors, and I think you just have to get to the point where you stop caring what other people think. I know that Summer is the same; that we judge our own performances pretty stridently and we're harsh on ourselves. I think that's how you have to live life is listening to yourself and listening to your own judgments and try to self regulate it and just try and keep doing a good job."
Glau was quick to support her fellow actress, complimenting her on the performances she has given so far. "She is an amazing actress," Glau said. "I was watching her work, she's doing great."
Manson's character, Catherine Weaver, may not be toting guns and going to toe to toe with a Terminator like Cameron, but she will find her own ways to assert herself. "She is a hard ass," Manson said. "She is really successful, [has a] singular purpose, and she kicks ass in her own way; she gets what she wants."
A corporate suit is typically seen as the antithesis of today's rock star, with the artist typically having to fight the suits for their integrity. While Manson agreed that corporate types are the opposite of her rock star sensibilities, she looked to find the commonalities in portraying her character. "You know, she's the CEO of a corporation that develops technology," Manson explained. "As a musician, we're dealing with technology all the time nowadays so it's not such a stretch."
Most of Manson's work so far has been only with former FBI Agent James Ellison, played by Richard T. Jones. While the actor hasn't been giving her any on set pointers, he has done his best to make Manson feel comfortable on the set. "He's been really gentle with me," Manson said. "And really sweet and really being very friendly and made me feel really welcome. The whole cast has, actually, which really means a lot when your coming into something like this."
Fans of "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronciles" will finally get a glimpse into Cameron's "future history" this season and find out exactly what makes this Terminator tick, a story that surpassed even Glau's expectations for the character. "Every script is better then I thought it could be," Glau said. "It was a big deal for me though because I had been waiting for this. [Executive Producers] Josh [Friedman] and James [Middleton] didn't give anything away in the beginning, so I had to create my own decisions about where Cameron came from and who she was and it's the most difficult acting I've ever done. [It's] very, very demanding and I wanted to do my best because many people don't get a script like that, especially in TV. It's just a really special script and it's my favorite, definitely my favorite."
When fans last saw the Terminator known as Cameron, she was engulfed in flames after the car she had just entered exploded. It's a situation that while not fatal has left a few problems for John Connor's protector. "Well she's going a bit haywire," Glau explained. "I don't want to give too much away but it's very dangerous and very scary for John because he needs to be able to trust Cameron with his life and he needs to feel he knows where she's going to be all the time and she's struggling to try and pull it back together."
If that wasn't enough for this cyborg, John Connor's new love interest is also going to throw a wrench in the works. "He meets this girl [Riley]," Glau said. "And he kind of turns his back on [Cameron] so she's lost her purpose in life because he's being very rebellious this season, so Cameron is left to try and pick up the pieces."
As for the news of a cast member's death this season, the announcement left Shirley Manson and Summer Glau a bit polarized on what they think will happen. "I think everybody was like, 'It's going to be me!'" Manson said. For her part, Glau has a tough time believing they are going to loose anyone on the show. "I think they were just joking," she said. "I don't believe it, I think we are all going to be around."
Hopefully all CBR readers will be around tomorrow as we check in with writer and Executive Producer Josh Friedman as our weeklong spotlight on "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" continues.