The Firefly, Serenity and The Sarah Connor Chronicles star on getting ready for MCM London Comic Con…
Sometimes you get an answer during an interview that you’re really not expecting, no matter how much research you’ve done. Well, you try Googling “Summer Glau” and “roses” – it doesn’t reveal much other than a convention appearance at Rose City and some guy who’s morphed her face with Rose McGowan’s. But when we ask Glau what she’ll be up to during her downtime in England when she’s here for MCM London Comic Con in May, she replies, “I’ll be looking at the roses.”
“I’ve been growing roses ever since I was little, and Britain is the gold standard when it comes to roses.”
So if you want to bump into Summer Glau in late May, our tip is to hang around Kew Gardens.
Glau will be reuniting with Firefly and Serenity cast mate Sean Maher (who played he brother Simon Tam) at MCM London Comic Con (more information here), which will be a great bit of nostalgia. But when we asked our online community to suggest a few questions to throw at the Firefly and Sarah Connor Chronicles star, one came up over and over again: when do we get to see her on-screen next?
After being the must-have guest for every cult TV show going for over a decade (with regular and guest appearances on shows such as The 4400, Dollhouse, Chuck, The Cape, Alphas and Big Bang Theory among many others) she’s been absent from our screens for a couple of years. She has a good excuse.
“We recently relocated back to Texas to be with my mum and do the best job I’ve ever had,” she says. “Being a mum.”
Married to actor Val Morrison, Glau gave birth to her daughter Milena in January 2015, and she’s been the focus of her life since (though she’s been tending the roses too). But she has good news for her fans: “It’s audition season and I’m out there again, so I’m as anxious to know what my next project is as everyone else.”
Glau started her performing career as a dancer and when she first went to LA she had no ambition to become a cult star – “I’m sorry to disappoint but I am not well versed in this area!” But her break came when Joss Whedon cast her as a ballet dancer in an episode of Angel – “Waiting In The Wings” – but saw there was more to her than just the dance moves. Soon after he cast her as the mysterious River Tam in Firefly.
“I came to LA thinking I’d be in ‘serious’ drama,” she laughs. “Then Joss introduced to me to this whole new world of science fiction and fantasy. I’ve never been bored since. It is the most creative genre and even though I’ve done a lot of roles in this genre, I’ve never got bored.”
Having said that Firefly. still holds a special place in her heart, because of the special bond among the cast. “Alan Tudyk [who played Wash on the show] told me I was never going to get a job as good as this again. Even now, looking back, it really was a special experience that I could never replace. And I learned so much. They treated me like an equal, and I made a lot of embarrassing mistakes in the beginning, and they never made me feel like I didn’t deserve to be there with them. It meant a lot to me.”
Whedon also began to draw on Glau’s dance training for her role as River, who turned out in the film Serenity to have been specially adapted into a superweapon. There’s an iconic fight scene in Serenity during which River finally cuts loose. “That was designed to suit my skill set,” says Glau. “Joss wanted to film the scene in one long shot, so we had to choreograph it just like a dance routine. I enjoyed it too. It was very therapeutic going from step-to-step, from move-to-move, getting faster each time I went through it. I was almost in a zen-like state by the end.”
She did take time out from motherhood recently for two special appearances, both with old cast mates. She cameoed in Alan Tudyk’s guest-star-packed online comedy Con Man (“Even though it was only a small part I was so excited to be working with Alan again, and Joss was there too!”) and then turned up on the Nathan Fillion-starring Castle. “He’s like a big brother,” she says of Fillion. Apparently he knocked on her trailer door unannounced when she first turned up on the set, and when she opened the door, “I think I screamed so loudly everybody on the set heard me!”
You have to wonder if he took her roses.