Already beloved by genre fans for her memorable roles in series like Firefly, The 4400 and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Summer Glau has been appearing on yet another super-cool show of late, Syfy’s Alphas.
Summer Glau as Skylar Adams in Alphas
Glau plays Skylar Adams, whose Alpha ability allows her to create technology years beyond our most advanced modern tech – and improvise some very formidable weapons from the most innocuous of objects.
With Alphas going into its big Season 2 finale this Monday, I spoke to Glau about portraying Skylar, what’s in store for the finale and more. And yep, I asked the frequent Joss Whedon collaborator what she thought about Whedon returning to TV with S.H.I.E.L.D. – and if there could potentially be a role there for her.
IGN TV: You appeared in one episode of Alphas in Season 1, but has it been fun to come back and flesh her out more and to see different facets of Skylar in Season 2?
Summer Glau: It has been. It’s been a great season for Skylar. I love doing TV, and I love being a part of a team. I really enjoy the process of getting to live in a character for an extended period of time and watch them grow, and I think that’s really happened for Skyler this year. Throughout this final episode, I think she evolves even more. I like where it’s going, and I know I’ve said this before, but I really, really enjoyed the challenges of playing a mother for the first time. That’s been very inspiring for me.
IGN: I wanted going to ask you about that. What’s it like playing a mom, and can you talk about that amazing little girl playing your daughter?
Glau: Oh my gosh, Skyler [Wexler] and I are pen pals online. She is a brilliant, brilliant young lady. When I originally took the role, that was one of the main reasons why, because I thought, “Oh, I wonder what it would be like to play a parent.” Once I got on set and I started working with Skyler – and it’s funny because I play Skylar — I realized once we started workshopping scenes that it created a whole other layer of depth and inspiration for me as an actress. It really, really helped drive my scenes. I’m not a mother yet. I have a little dog, and that’s closest thing I have to someone that truly belongs to me. So it really helped push me along through these last two seasons of Alphas, being able to focus on the fact that Skylar is an absolute loner. She only has herself to count on, and that’s how I play it and that’s how I see her storyline before you meet her in the show. But now that she has a daughter, she just can’t think that way. So it’s a lot of mixed feelings for her, and it just helps me as an actress.
IGN: What really impresses me about little Skyler’s acting is that she’s very natural. There was that funny moment in the last episode where Gary was saying, “This place is gross,” and just the way she said, “Yeah, it is…”
Glau: [Laughs] I know! Yeah, she’s such a natural. She’s really smart.
IGN: You’ve been in a lot of genre shows, specifically where you got to play an ass-kicker. Skylar has very impressive powers, but they’re more mental. Do you miss getting out there and fighting next to the people with the more physical powers sometimes?
Glau: I do. It’s funny that you mention that because Michael Karnow, who is one of the creators of Alphas, he’s a friend of mine, and we were discussing this, it came up in one of the episodes – I think it was actually the episode that just aired this week. They had written the episode — and we always tend to workshop it and rehearse and make some changes — and we were thinking, you know, Skylar doesn’t really get physical. Should we involve her more physically in this storyline? I talked to Michael about it, and he said, “You know what, we specifically want to veer away from that for you as an actress, because people are always going to expect that from you. This is going to be a new challenge for you to be part of the team and make an impact and be a power player without using a physical ability.” So it was actually done on purpose, and that’s good for me because I always want to rumble and throw down; it’s just natural for me as an actress. So this is a good exercise for me.