You do some of your own stunts on the show. Does that include fight scenes and riding motorcycles?
The fight work I do, and I get to ride a pretend motorbike (laughs). I get to ride one that locks into the back of a truck with no wheels.
What are some things that you're doing for this project that you haven't done for other projects?
It's always different. I'm playing a mother, which I've done rarely. I'm playing American, which I've done rarely. I'm playing a well-known character. And this Sci-Fi element is new to me.
The Terminator series is famous for producing a handful of catchphrases. Should we expect the same from the TV series?
I think you're going to find a number of catchphrases, all very funny, which are mainly from Summer Glau, who plays Cameron.
What else should people expect from the show?
For the fans of the franchise, they're going to get all the things that they love about it. They're going to get their catchphrases, there's plenty of Terminator action. And the new elements--the storylines are very complex and interesting and surprising. You've got the element of getting to know Sarah and John struggling to exist and have a normal life to whatever point they can, which is really tough. Its really cool, and I think people will enjoy it.
Do they play up the dynamic between Sarah and John in the series?
Yes, definitely. The humor comes from all that as well. The sort of human struggle between the mother and son, especially under their circumstances. And the fact that Sarah's not particularly great at being a mom. And John's quite an angry young man. But, you get these moments of real beauty between them.
What sort of preparation did you do in terms of becoming the character of Sarah Connor?
I wouldn't say I did preparation, because the work I do as an actor is very instinctual. I can't take any praise for being particularly intense in my preparation. You consider what the character's been through, where she's been, who she is now, and all the elements of her life and you think--I always think "How would this effect me?" And hopefully, all that comes across.
How do you think it would affect you if you had to deal with a time-traveling, murderous robot?
(laughs) I think I'd be a little bit scared.
The other big thing that people love about The Terminator films are all the explosions. Will our thirst for explosions be met by this program?
Absolutely. You will be fully satisfied.
What are some things that will be exploding on the show?
In the third Terminator movie, there's a scene where Arnold is holding onto the ladder of a fire truck as it barrels down a road and he is being thrown against every building and vehicle along the way. In terms of scenes like that, how will the television show compare?
Well, obviously Arnold's not in it, but the television show hasn't stopped the size of what everyone's going to see.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles will premiere Sunday January 13 at 8pm and Monday January 14th on FOX.
Interview by Ben Kharakh
Starpulse.com contributing writer