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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

Have you had any reaction from the fans to the movie yet?

SM: Well, all summer we had some screenings that was posted on the website. People came and bought tickets and where specifically fans came and filled these theaters. And the response from them was one of- - more specifically, watching it with them is just this incredible experience. There's really nothing like it because they are so familiar with the characters and the tone and they laugh at the right moments and you can hear a pin drop in some moments and they're just so in tune with the ups and downs of the dynamics of the movie. So watching it with them and then meeting them afterwards and getting to speak with them one on one, they seemed to love it.

AB: There were a couple of incidents in the movie that people's reactions were angst ridden. But many of those, because we'd been very interactive with the fans in these screenings that we've been participating in, there've been some conventions we've gone to. The response is almost like- - there are rooms with thousands and thousands of people standing on their feet and cheering us for five minute length period of time. It's overwhelming at times, but then like Sean says, you do get to talk to them one on one and they say, 'Well, this bothered me but I love this part.' There's no boredom from them. That's the thing. It's all about, 'Well, I reallyŠ.' They want to dissect it and they're excited and they're sad and they're up and they're down and they have laughs. So to me, that's a moviegoing experience.

Can they separate the actors from the characters?

JS: Some of them can.

Do they dress like your characters?

SM: Sometimes.

Why did Firefly get this level of fan reaction?

AB: I think two things. Joss's writing and the fact that we as a group of actors and characters really love each other. And I think that energy translated out to the audience and they connected with the characters.

JS: I think you could tell how dedicated we were. I think you could tell.

AB: It's a labor of love, this whole project was. It was right, it was good, it should continue forward and the people that were along for the ride in the early struggles and the ratings wars and all that, caused people to become very dedicated to keeping it going. They want to hear Joss's stories.

How do you as actors wrap your mind around Joss's style of writing?

JS: It was a little difficult at first. I mean, what you were saying early, he has a certain rhythm to it.

SM: Yeah, it's very specific. I think I'm used to it.

JS: I find myself talking like that normally at this point.

SG: I have a funny story about that though. I actually did go in and read for X-Men 3. I went in to read for Kitty Pride and there was a scene and they wouldn't let us look at the scene before we went in. usually, when you go in for an audition, you get to see the script at least one day in advance and work on it and decide how you want to play it. Well, I went in and I was so nervous, I looked down and I read these lines and I got very emotional right away and I thought, 'I know exactly how I want to play it.' So I went in and I memorized it right away and I did it and it felt familiar somehow. So afterwards, I was talking to Joss about it and I was describing the scene, and he said, 'I wrote that, Summer.' And I knew it. Then it made sense to me. He wrote it and that's why it felt familiar. I didn't know the story at all and I didn't know what I was going to be saying but I recognized him in the scene. He has such a special way of writing and it makes me very emotional. I can see it right away.

Did he write the script?

SG: It was a scene that had been taken from one of the comics that he wrote. They didn't have a script at that time so they were using that to audition girls.

AB: My dad used to take me to what he called Shoot 'Em Ups. The Wild Bunch and The Good, Bad and the Ugly. So Jane, when I first went in to read/audition for that guy, I tried to keep in my head Eli Wallach, Warren Oates, Jason Robards, guys like that in those movies. And then I would just kind of drop it down in there. Joss was constantly saying, 'Okay, that's too much. That's too much. Too much of the southern.' Too much of the gruff.

Had you heard of Joss's tenacity before working with him? How did you keep your faith in him?

JS: Well, I definitely heard his name. That was part of the reason why I decided to audition for Firefly was because Joss was behind it. He had created this project.

SM: I always say that the moment I met Joss, that pilot season there was, you know, here are the available pilots from my agent. Here's this Joss Whedon new sci-fi thing. I was like, 'Hmm, sci-fi. I don't really know much about that.' It wasn't a script and sitting down with him is just for me was sort of like instant- - he was just so intriguing. He's such a wonderful man and I just like to say it was love at first sight with him, when I met him, that I wanted to do anything that he was part of.

AB: He can be a bit tyrannical though.

SM: Well, he hits us. But only when we deserve it.

AB: Only when you're doing it wrong.

Did you relate to him on the humorous level that Nathan does?

JS: A lot of his jokes go over my head honestly. I just nod.

AB: The connection with Nathan and Joss is really unique and it's really fun to watch, just sit there and watch them go at it. Those two, just to send props up to Nathan again, he was our leader in the cast. He had the most, throughout the TV show. I mean, you had a lot more work in the movie. We all had work but Nathan had the lion's share of work on his shoulders and he carried it through with humor and just leadership. It was great leadership so I think that was another inspirational thing for all of us to be able to go through with the guy who was the captain being a real captain and a leader, and kept our spirits up.

SM: But we do laugh a lot. A lot. A lot.

SG: Sometimes we get in trouble.

JS: We have a slew of inside jokes that a lot of people don't get and think we're very strange.

Not the fans?

JS: Not the fans, no.

Funniest or strangest fan encounter?

SG: You had the best one.

SM: Jewel has a great story.

AB: It's a bit smelly though.

JS: I had a fan approach me who was very, very, very sweet and very nervous. And he farted audibly while meeting me. I felt so bad and I knew that he was incredibly embarrassed so we both pretended that nothing happened at all. I took a picture with him and then he walked away and I laughed so hard. Tears were streaming down my face, I could not stop laughing.

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