As a star of "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" and a veteran of Joss Whedon's "Firefly" and "Serenity," Summer Glau is accustomed to being recognized in public by enthusiastic and devoted fanboys.
On March 9, art will imitate life (or real life will intersect with art) when Glau crosses network boundaries to guest star as herself on CBS' "Big Bang Theory."
In the episode, airing on March 9, the brilliantly geeky heroes of "Big Bang Theory" run into Summer Glau on a train and, as one might imagine, they're pretty excited about the chance for celebrity interaction.
Meeting with reporters before the "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" panel at San Francisco's WonderCon, HitFix asked Glau about her foray into sitcom work and how Fictional Summer Glau differs from Real Life Summer Glau.
[More after the bump...]
"They're very different," Glau laughed. "I think that I was playing myself, but I was trying to be funny, they tried to make me funny. I was nervous, because it's supposed to be about how I respond to people who know my work as Cameron, so I was concerned about how people might perceive that. But I was honored to work with such talented actors."
A FOX star going on CBS to effectively plug her role on said FOX show seems a little unusual, but both "Big Bang Theory" and "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" are Warner Brothers TV productions (and CBS probably wouldn't figure "T:SCC" is much of a threat to its Friday supremacy).
"Bill Prady and I are friends," added "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" creator Josh Friedman. "He'd done a couple little shout-outs over the last season, done one or two things. When I talked to him, he said, 'Do you think Summer would want to play Summer?' The script was really funny and the idea was really funny. I was at the read-through and I wanted to go when they were actually shooting, but I thought it would be a little weird. I didn't want to be like the protective parent, the stage dad or something."
Although Glau's spot-on dead-pan delivery has generated comedy on her previous TV work, this was a different kind of experience.
"When you do drama, you try different things -- Not my ['Terminator'] character, because I play a robot -- you come in... and something might happen on one take that you didn't expect and you just go with it and the scene flows with it," she noted. "When you do comedy, it's so precise. Every word can change whether it's funny or not. I didn't realize that. I had no idea. Every word that I would say, sometimes they would say, 'Say it going up. Say it going down. Say it fast. Say it slow.' That's how specific it was."
After reading the script, Friedman wasn't worried about how the show would depict Glau and reflect on how she actually is.
"It was very respectful, I think of Summer, of her words," he said. "Those characters make fun of each other all the time... She doesn't want to be seen as someone who if you were a fan and came up to to Summer on a train and asked her a question, that she would mock you. That's not Summer. She's would never do that."
Glau quickly added, "Yeah. I would never do that. So I was nervous, I was like 'It feels like I'm being mean.'"
So will the "Big Bang Theory" actually encourage people to come up to Glau whenever they see her in public?
"Parts of it. I think things go wrong," Glau said with a smile. "It starts out like it might be good and then things come apart. I hope it will be funny. I enjoyed it a lot."
Glau's "Big Bang Theory" episode airs on Monday, March 9.
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