NiceGirls had a chance to sit in on an interview with Alphas Showrunner/Executive Producer Bruce Miller as well as Super Guest Star Summer Glau.
Alphas season finale airs tonight 8:00/7:00c on SyFy
The Role of Skylar:
Summer Glau: There’s – the first thing that attracted me about Skylar was the fact that she was a mother. I’ve talked to Bruce about this before too. It was really exciting for me. I hadn’t – I had not played a mother before.
And one of the most challenging things about Skylar is that she is a mother but it doesn’t come naturally to her. She – in my mind, in the back story that I’ve created, she’s been on her own for a long time. And she’s used to just fending for herself.
And then when it comes to her child she’s very conflicted because she has all of these new feelings that she’s probably never experienced before about loving something so much more than she loves herself. And caring for something and protecting someone else and making unselfish decisions.
And for me as an actor it just was a very, very fertile story line for me creatively.
Bruce Miller: I think the character – because I inherited the character from last year and the reason we wanted so much to bring her back was just because there’s that conflict between someone who’s very self sufficient but not selfish and has to kind of, you know, battle those two parts of her personality in being a mother is really, really interesting.
I mean especially in terms of all of this where parents you really have to – it’s so hard to be a parent and be a kind of a – be a person in the world who can take care of themselves but also have to take care of somebody else.
Working with the girls on Alphas:
Summer Glau: Well I’ll start with Erin who has been such a – she’s been such a blessing for me.
You know, I love working with girls and finding friendships through work because, you know, we’re all on set for quite a while every day and it makes the experience so much more than just work when you really get to make friends.
And actually I’m going to yoga with Azita after this and I’m seeing Erin this weekend. So obviously I love them quite a bit.
And Erin one night while we were sitting and we were working overnight, we were sitting in an elevator talking and we realized that we had had very similar upbringings so we just o- we kept swapping stories about our childhoods and realized, you know, how much we had in common.
So I respect her immensely as a person and I think she’s a phenomenal actress. And working with all of the girls on the show I think has made me better and it’s just been a wonderful experience. And then as far as my little Skyler, she’s my pen pal.
We email every week back and forth and she sends me things online. We’re very close. I remember, just as an example, you know, I – when I first started on the show I was working with Sky. And then when I came back this season I was mostly working with Sky.
And then there was a period of time where she wasn’t there and I was shooting without her. And I had fun with everybody else and it was great but I remember the day she came back. I just felt – I felt so happy. And being onset with her was just – it was a really special experience for me.
It’s the first time that I’ve really bonded with a young, young actor like that before. And I just – I remember how nice it was reuniting with her and how much it meant to me. And I hope to do it again. I adore her.
Working in Science Fiction:
Summer Glau: I’ve always found in sci-fi that the roles for women are really exciting and dynamic and outside the box. And, you know, in the finale of Alphas is a perfect example. I remember in – Bruce was there too. We were sitting and discussing a scene that involved every – all the girls.
And I was sitting there looking at the girls and it was so cool to get to do a scene that involved all of us. And I was looking at the girls and we were all four different and our characters are I feel complicated and fleshed out and dynamic and just it made me realize, you know, I’m really happy to be here.
I’m really happy to be in a story that creates this opportunity for all four of us actresses.
On this season of Alphas coming togethe:
Bruce Miller: But, you know, the first season of shows it was really difficult. The show was finding its legs and finding what works and what doesn’t work. And on any show, especially a show that only gets 13 episodes kind of in the first year, it takes a while for a show to grow into itself.
And I think this year we just got – they had such – they had o- they put such great story lines in place last year that we were really the benefit of that this year, moving ahead that they had done a lot of the hard, heavy lifting of setting up the world and setting up, you know, characters like Summer and like, you know, all of the people who existed on our team that we were able to bear the, you know, we were able to move forward with those characters and move them in really interesting places because they had already set them up.
So I’m glad you – I’m glad it’s getting better. We try. You know everybody tries from the cast up and down through the crew and through everybody on the creative side to make it absolutely, you know, fantastic every week.
And so I think that – we’re just hoping to keep it moving forward and getting more interesting and having the characters kind of lead us to interesting places.
Skylar’s role with the team:
Summer Glau: Well she definitely integrates into the team more than she has in the past. I think it’s, you know, where Skylar left off in this last episode I think it was a humbling and scary experience for her to realize that she’s not always in control and she was taken advantage of and she needed help.
And that she got that help from the other Alphas is a vulnerable position for her. But I think it’s a transition because now she sees that she does need help and that it can be beneficial to her to be a part of a team.
And I really, really enjoy – in the finale you’re going to get to see her very awkwardly at times, become part of a team which is something that I’ve been wanting her to do for a while.
Summer’s Upcoming Projects:
Summer Glau: Well I just finished a Christmas movie. That’s the only other thing that I have that is about to come out. And also Knights of Badassdom. So I have Knights of Badassdom and Help for the Holidays which is going to be on the Hallmark Channel during the 12 Days of Christmas.
It was very different for me. It was really – it was fun. I’ve always wanted to do one and when it came – I actually was sent the script when I was shooting the last episode of Alphas up in Toronto and I read it and I thought, you know, it’s Christmas in August and we shot it in Simi Valley and it was 110 degrees.
Bruce Miller: And you played an elf if I’m not giving anything away. Is that…
Summer Glau: I did. I did. Actually I play an elf. It was really fun. It was good for me.
Working on Eureka and Alphas:
Bruce Miller: Yeah. Eureka was a spectacular experience and luckily I, you know, was able to bring over some of the people from that show so some of that family came along with me here. You know, it’s – I just reflect back on it with great, you know, I’m very thankful.
Most shows when they end – just end, you know, you find out some time in between seasons that it’s not coming back and you don’t get a chance to end it the way we were lucky enough to get to end the story of Eureka.
And Jaime Paglia and I, Jaime was the original creator, and we co-show ran it for a number of years. But he was able to tie up those story lines that he had been working on for so long.
So mostly I look back on it with great, you know, real affection and I’m really grateful that it was able to move along the way it did. And the – it was a real – it was a blessing. And Syfy did such a terrific job with the show in letting it be its odd, quirky self.
And, you know, the only shattering regret I had is that we never had Summer on.
Summer Glau: Well I think I’m a pretty good actor because I really can barely – I can barely program my garage remote. I’m very gadget challenged. So it’s really fun for me when I put on my Skylar clothes and I go on set, I really pretend like I’m, you know, in control and like I know what I’m talking about.
And I definitely work – it’s funny, our – the man who puts together most of my props is named (Skylar) too. And I spend a lot of time under his supervision and guidance so that he can help me get really comfortable with my inventions so that I can really feel like I have a relationship with them.
Because they’re always amazing but I don’t – it doesn’t always come naturally to me. I’m always amazed. Like I’m on set and they hand it to me and say so this is what you built. And then I always take it apart so I know how to put it together and then we’re practicing that over and over again.
Bruce Miller: I think it ties back really interestingly in what Summer was saying about her dance background. I think she brings the same physicality to that part of her character which is really interesting.
Because, you know, even though I was on set and I know – I remember her saying, you know, asking me what voltage meant for some like – some lighting dialog which was really great. But then when I see the scene I really buy that she understands it.
So asking the questions she really – she gets the answer, absorbs it and really puts it into the character. But she’s right. She’s a, you know, a great actress but I think in being not gadgety helps her bring, you know, she asks the questions so she really does understand.
I think kind of being gadgety would take that away from her. I think that Summer’s natural curiosity allows her to be a better Skylar. And if she kind of felt like there was nothing there, that was interesting, or nothing there to explain to the audience it wouldn’t be as interesting.
But if you watch the way she does things physically that’s one of her strengths as the character, is just the way she kind of looks at the world in a physical way. And I think that probably comes from her dance background to a certain extent.