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September 2005
SERENITY : Press Conference Interviews with Adam Baldwin, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, and Jewel Staite

SERENITY: Press Conference Interviews with Adam Baldwin, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, and Jewel Staite

By Fred Topel

Coming out on Sept.30th is a film based on a TV cancelled series that only lasted 11 episodes. The film is called "Serenity" and just like when Star Trek made the comeback on the big screen, the entire cast of the series is back. While speaking at a press conference to promote the film, cast members Adam Baldwin, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, and Jewel Staite spoke about coming back to replay their characters.

Are these all the roles you played on the series? What was your reaction when you found out you'd go back to them?

Adam Baldwin: Yes, the answer is yes, we're all playing the same characters and the recurring theme we all keep coming back to is redemption. We've had a long ride back from a cancellation of a short lived television series to the release of a major motion picture. Universal Studios, to me that's- - I don't know if there's any other story equivalent to that in Hollywood history. I think it's a unique experience that we're able to go through, plus the movie's great. I really love it. And you should watch the series.

What was your reaction? How did you find out?

Sean Maher: I think we all believed that Joss was fighting to find a home for it, whether that had been a movie or a circus act or I don't know.

Jewel Staite: Puppet theater.

SM: I had some hope that it wasn't the end. I didn't know if it would've- - I didn't expect it to be a feature film for Universal. That was surprising when I found out. I think I was with Summer at Joss's house one night. He said he was going to Cape Cod to write the script and the movie had come to life and that we were all having dinner with Barry Mendel the next week. I sort of felt like I had fallen out of the loop or gone on some other projects and came back and touched base again and there it was. It was happening. It's extraordinary and it still surprises me to sit here today and talk about the movie. Now that it's done and people are loving it and it's getting this wonderful response, it continually surprises me. It's like we're this little show that could.

Did you feel any closure for issues left dangling from the series?

JS: Well, we finally got together. That was nice.

How did it feel to tie up loose ends?

SM: It felt great.

AB: I think it's important that the movie certainly stands on its own, and what you were saying earlier in another room, Sean, is it starts off with focusing on the story of River and the Alliance and that backstory. That was an important beast through the series that people wanted to know, what are the origins of this, where does she come from? So they did explain that very well.

JS: But there are still some things that haven't been solved. Just in case we go to sequel.

AB: Like who's Jane's mom and stuff.

Does this give you renewed confidence that fans can push a show even when a network gets rid of them?

AB: The global marketplace is so huge now that with DVD sales, it's obvious that if you have DVD sales from a show that do well, then I think that it makes that decision making process a lot easier. Of course that's way above our pay grades to even comment on and we don't want that responsibility. But the fans have been extremely important to the resurrection of this show into a movie. Without the DVD sales, I don't think Universal's decision would have been as easy.

Summer, how much work did you do to get ready physically? Did Joss know you could do it?

Summer Glau: Actually, he knew I was a ballet dancer. I danced on two episodes, once on Firefly, once on Angel. He knew I was very athletic and very physical, but I remember, I think it was after one of our Shakespeare readings that we have at his house- - sometimes on the weekend we get together and do a Shakespeare play- - we're fabulous nerds. But he said, 'I have this idea for River to be this secret weapon.' He told me that I was going to go in and meet with the stunt coordinator and he's going to choreograph some fight scenes for me. I thought, 'Oh, it's a wonderful idea until you see me try to do it and then you're going to quickly write it out.' But then when the stunt coordinator saw me, he said, 'Okay, it's obvious you're a dancer and you're kind of leggy and limby and we're going to try to give it this type of martial arts, we're going to take from this technique and take from this technique and make something that will work well on your body. So the style that we ended up with was very fluid and almost like a dance, but like a brutal aggressive dance.

AB: Didn't David Carradine from Kung Fu start out as a dancer? I don't know.

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