I feel a geekgasm coming on, because not only is fanboy fave Summer Glau guest-starring on this Monday’s ‘Chuck‘ (8/7c, NBC) as the latest CIA agent codenamed “Greta,” but her visit paves the way for a reunion between her and fellow ‘Firefly‘ alum Adam Baldwin.
But wait, there’s more: Come January, NBC’s ‘The Cape‘ will make its debut, starring Glau as Orwell, an intrepid blogger who helps presumed-dead lawman Vince Faraday (‘ER’s David Lyons) stealthily fight evil as a well-accessorized crusader.
Glau gave us the goods on her imminent and upcoming awesome adventures.
What kind of “Greta” are you on ‘Chuck’?
I’m the dangerous, icy kind. It was really fun because ‘Chuck’ is a really special show in that it has dramatic moments but it’s very funny. So I felt free to just go for it. Greta is dangerous, but those [Buy More] boys… they exasperate her!
In one clip I saw, it looks like she has her hands full with Morgan, Jeff and Lester.
Yes. They were incredible! I kept ruining takes because they kept making me laugh. Josh [Gomez, Morgan] is so incredibly talented; I loved all of my scenes with him.
It looks like you enjoys some action, too – there are pictures of you wielding a knife.
Well, you know how much I love a switchblade, so I played with that as much as possible! But I don’t actually harm anyone. [Laughs]
You got to work with Adam Baldwin again, right?
Yes, I have one scene with him, and it was really fun. I was a little nervous because I haven’t seen him in many , many years. He’s like a big brother to me so he gave me a hard time, but in the end we had fun.
‘Chuck’ cocreator Chris Fedak told me he’d try to slip in an Easter egg for ‘Firefly’ fans. Did it happen?
I don’t know what the final cut is, so… everyone will have to wait and see. We were all swapping stories about our admiration and appreciation for each others work, because there are a lot of people from our genre working on ‘Chuck.’ Getting to play with Adam in a new role was really sentimental for me.
Turning to ‘The Cape’: What would you want to say now about the series versus what you told me six months ago when it first got picked up?
Well, it’s been a real ride so far. Since the pilot, they’ve really taken our characters into storylines I never could have anticipated. Orwell has been in disguise, playing different roles and going into crazy situations non-stop. The episode we’re shooting right now is my favorite so far. [Series creator] Tom [Wheeler] is brilliant and I can’t think of a better leader for our show, but we also have some really cool writers bringing their unique voices. I can’t wait for our trailer to come out [on Nov. 14 during Sunday Night Football]. It’s not like anything on TV.
What is the dynamic between Orwell and the lead character, Vince Faraday?
It’s turning into sort of a dysfunctional marriage. [Laughs] They’re thrown together and they need each other, but there’s also a lot of power struggle. They’re not very vulnerable people on their own, so the most fun I’ve had with the role is playing that delicate balance between being a powerful girl who’s on her own but for the first time has someone who’s on her side.
What does she stand to gain from this alliance?
From my perspective as the actress, she’s never really had someone who makes her feel like she’s not alone [in her vendetta against supervillain Peter Fleming aka Chess]. In the beginning Vince is so focused on getting back to his family that he’s not really wondering, “Why is Orwell so passionate about this?” But in the episode we’re shooting right now, he starts to get curious about it.
And “Orwell” is her last name, I assume?
That’s her alias. I know what her real name is, but nobody else does!
James Frain, who plays Fleming, told us that you get to “kick ass.” Please elaborate.
I’m always kicking ass – but I don’t always win, and that was interesting to me. When I was Cameron [on 'Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles'], I always won the fight; now I’m having to learn how to lose gracefully. [Laughs] In our first episode, actually, I have a fight where I am outmatched, so Orwell has to use her creativity…. She is incredibly smart, but she’s also young and a bit reckless.
Frain likened ‘The Cape’ to Christian Bale’s ‘Batman’ versus, say, ‘Heroes.’
I’d have to agree. David plays his character with so much passion and depth and humanity that when I see his footage I am so proud to be working with him. And James is just crazy good in his role. Our characters are real and believable, but there is also a bit of darkness along with the humor.
So… when does ‘The Cape’ premiere?
I know it’s sometime in January. And it looks like we’re going to be on Mondays, which I think is really cool because I’m a huge fan of ‘Chuck.’ I like how their fans are really loyal and passionate. [NBC has since confirmed a two-hour premiere on Sunday, Jan. 9; 'The Cape' will then air Mondays-at-9 starting Jan. 17.]
It must be tough waiting for the show to hit the airwaves.
It is, it is, just because I’m so proud of it. We’re just going for it, doing our own thing, and I hope everybody loves it.
Anything else in the works for you? Is Joss Whedon going to sneak you into his ‘Avengers’ movie?
I sent him an email a little while ago and we tried to talk a bit, but it sounds like he’s in the midst of writing it and putting it together, so I don’t want to bother him too much! But I’m so curious about what he’s going to do, because nobody can do it like he will.