FireflyDiving Into Serenity’s River
Tuesday 16 November 2004, by Webmaster
Summer Glau, who reprises the role of River in the upcoming SF movie Serenity, told SCI FI Wire that the film version of Fox’s canceled Firefly will resolve many questions about her enigmatic character. "We were setting up all the characters [in the TV show]," Glau said in an interview during a break in filming last summer at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. "We were going back into the past and trying to set up each storyline for each character. And my character was just getting started, and now in the film you’re really going to see an explosion of what’s really going on with River. It’s going to be exciting."
In Firefly, the crew of a transport ship 500 years in the future found themselves inadvertently aiding the escape of River from a top-secret Alliance facility, with the help of her brother, Simon Tam (Sean Maher). There were hints that River had acquired some martial arts and weapons skills, which the film Serenity will develop, Glau said. "I do a lot of wire work, so I get to do a lot of flipping and running up walls, so it’s really exciting," she said. "I’m not a gymnast. I still don’t like being upside down. If I don’t know what my legs are doing up there, it makes me nervous."
Glau added, "When they first met with me to try to figure out what my physicality was, we went over things, and what we ended up with is kind of a blend of wu shu, kung fu and kick boxing. It’s kind of tailored to my abilities, because I was a ballet dancer before I started acting. And so, you know, looking at the way I moved and seeing what kind of a body type I had, that’s what they chose."
Glau said that it took only a little while to reacquaint herself with River once production started last spring. "I was very nervous," she said. "I was very nervous. I hadn’t played River for a year and a half. I was so close to her in the beginning and through the whole series. And then when I came in for my first read-through with the entire cast, I was shaking and sweating, and I was really scared. And then after the first few days it felt like I’d never left." Serenity, which also stars Nathan Fillion and is directed by series creator Joss Whedon, is slated for release in April 2005. The film is being released by Universal, which is owned by NBC Universal, which also owns SCIFI.COM.