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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


Now he's going to read this.

JS: I know, how horrible.

SG: He's famous.

JS: At least I didn't name names.

AB: The fans that have followed the show from the beginning and are carrying us through now have been some of the most sincere and wonderful people that I've had the honor to meet. They really care about this show as much as we do and that's very important to us. So I don't even consider any of the funny or odd meetings with strangers as being funny or odd. I just think it's great that people care enough to come up and say we really love your show. We really love it too.

JS: That never gets old.

AB: It never gets old.

SG: They picked us up when our show was cancelled and we all went home at Christmas time and didn't know if we were ever going to come back. We got online and they said, 'We're not giving up. We're going to figure something out.' And they did campaigns and they just would not forget about us and they got their friends involved and they helped sell our DVDs and they are part of our Firefly world. They have a role like we have roles.

AB: Just because the TV show didn't strike out as this big hit, it in no way means that it was an unsuccessful show in making it a good show. It was a good show, it just didn't hook a large enough audience to justify staying on the air. It got great reviews and the people that love it, love it. And they were there every week. I'm not a ratings whiz but it was somewhere around three or four million people.

I read 4.4

AB: Okay, so 4.4 million people. You do the math, if they show up on the first weekend, that's a good thing.

What will make the movie appealing to people other than browncoats?

AB: The storytelling.

SM: The story.

AB: The characters.

JS: Characters.

AB: Very strong characters. Each character has its own specific arc through the film. They're very well defined immediately. You can connect with who each one is. There's a wide demographic. You have a beautiful, young 20-something year old all the way up to a Shepard Book in his '60s, wise sage and everything in between. And the demographics of the people who are fans of the show already, who found it goes from young to old, male, female, left, right. It's all over the place. It appeals to a wide range already. It's just a question of now we have a vehicle to show to the rest of the world.

On the 30th, could this turn into another Star Wars?

AB: We're certainly all hoping that it will, but Universal has done a wonderful job at getting the word out there. I think so far the reviews have been positive and we hope they continue, but again, it is an underdog story. We're hopeful that it breaks out, sure. We want to do more.

Do you have action figures?

JS: That all depends. I don't know. I heard talks of two action figures coming out. They were going to do a Jane and they were going to do a Mal.

AB: Yeah, they have two Janes and two Mals and then they have a Rever action figure. Diamond Select toys. They're cool.

SG: I played with the Mal.

Do they look like you? AB: Yeah, they're relatively- - they look pretty close. And so let's hope those do well.

First action figure?

AB: Yeah, immortalized in plastic.

SM: We have trading cards, and there's the Serenity comic book.

AB: Here's a funny thing they always were giving me grief about when we were first doing the TV show. In TV Guide, they had this Sexiest Newcomers, and of all the cast members of Firefly, guess who they chose? Me, at 40. So I'm still living that down.

What's next?

SG: I just got back from Romania doing an independent sci-fi comedy. It's called Mammoth. It was really fun.

AB: What's Romania like?

SG: Different. I enjoyed it.

AB: I kept driving right on after Serenity. I did a four hour miniseries remake of The Poseiden Adventure which NBC has picked up. I believe they're airing it sometimes this fall.

In competition with the movie?

AB: I believe so. I play the younger, better looking version of Ernest Borgnine.

Do you have a chubby wife?

AB: No, no, my wife didn't make the trip on this one. I'm flying solo. Then I worked six months on a short-lived Fox network television show called The Inside which was a police procedural that again we didn't quite get the ratings to justify keeping us on the air. So now my manager's sitting in the back. What's next? Other movies.

JS: Right after Serenity I did a Lifetime movie called Widow on the Hill with Natasha Henstridge and James Brolin which was the exact polar opposite of my character from Serenity. It was fun. Then I did Stargate Atlantis which was shot in Vancouver where I live and there's talks about me coming back possibly to be a totally, entirely different character.

SM: After Serenity, I did a movie with Michelle Trachtenberg which was kind of funny and incestuous in a weird way.

AB: As incest can tend to be.

SM: Then I did a pilot that didn't go and I think I might be the only actor I know who's done two David Kelley pilots in a row that haven't gotten picked up. And I have a movie coming out in October called Living Til the End, a smaller independent film. I'm going to do Ghost Whisperer.

Does Serenity typecast you?

AB: Not me, I'm 43, I'm already typecast. Look, I'm a big 6'4" guy. It's hard for me to play other than that in a room, so my wife has this joke when I walk home from an audition. She said, 'Did they ask you how tall you are?' and if I say yes, I didn't get the job. She's like, 'Aw, you're doomed.' Because if they don't ask, it doesn't matter.

JS: I'm not worried about getting typecast. I mean, she's a great character. I don't mind being typecast as a Kaylee typecast. Great for me. I just think it's important to choose to do projects where the character is just totally and completely different from what you just did which is why I did Widow on the Hill. It's important to be challenged as an actor and challenge your audience to believe you to be something completely different.

AB: I think at the end- - hopefully we're at the beginning. We're on the crest of a wave. It could potentially be something big but come what may, we have closure on a very sad chapter of our lives when the show was cancelled. Now we have this movie that stands on its own and come what may, we can move forward but hopefully we're all part of something special and I think we are.

Have you ever been in a situation where you connected with so many other actors?

SM: Not like this.

AB: No.

Full Metal Jacket?

AB: No, no, no. We were young men, crazy. No, this is special.

SM: Joss always says that in casting Firefly, he really looked for the person before the acting ability or the actor. Not that we're all not great actors, but that he really just made sure that he connected with somebody and it was somebody that he really got a good vibe from somebody with great energy so then he just sort of put us all together and I think it was very quick. Like right out of the gate that we all instantly bonded.

AB: He also said that he wanted to cast adults. He cast who we are and you see who we are but also he cast people who were just going to come work, show up and work and have a good time. He cast us for the long run and everyone lived up to that end of the bargain. We tried to keep it about the work and it was just so fun.

SM: Yeah, people keep asking us that question and I think they want to know like oh, who- - there's not one person that's just sort of- -


SG: That's what made it work.

SM: They want to know something negative, something like oh, well- -


SM: And I think we did sort of have an instance. We had Rebecca Gayheart come in and play a character and it sort of just didn't work on her end and Joss's and from everybody. To sort of have Morena come in at that moment kind of just put all the pieces together.

JS: It took a long time to cast her role. When she walked on set and we shot that first take, it was very obvious that she was the absolute best person to play that role.


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