Michael Karnow is an experienced film industry professional who has worked for many years as a script writer, producer and co-created with Zak Penn Syfy's science fiction drama Alphas, in which Summer Glau had a recurring role as Skylar Adams. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Summer is playing in Jeff 1000, the sci-fi comedy web series he created for Wired Magazine, which features Summer as herself and whose best friend happens to be a nine-foot-tall robot who left Detroit to pursue his dream - become an actor in Los Angeles. Michael Karnow has graciously agreed to answer our and fan-submitted questions about how Summer got involved in the project, working on set of Jeff 1000, what he had in mind for the Skylar character in Alphas, what would have happened on Alphas season 3 and much more.
Alphas and Jeff 1000 creator Michael Karnow.
Question: Summer is a sci-fi fans favorite and she played a Terminator before. Knowing this, was Summer always your first choice or did you audition several actresses?
I wrote this specifically for Summer. With any other actress playing herself it would have felt random. But with Summer’s background in science-fiction, it somehow made sense that she would be pals with a giant robot. Summer always delivers an incredible performance. But as we got into shooting it did occur to me that I had never seen her do comedy. As it turned it out she was great. She played it totally straight. Her nuances and timing were dead-on.
Question: Was it the stunning and most impressive performance in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles that influenced the deciding factor in hiring Summer Glau.
Like I said, her previous roles gave a certain logic to the premise.
Question from robbo: When did you approach Summer for the role of Jeff 1000’s best friend and what was her initial reaction in receiving the news that she got the role?
Following Alphas, Summer and I had talked about developing a show in which she found herself sucked into something outlandish, something that would have happened in one of her other roles-- like Galaxy Quest but tonally more like something Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine) would have written. Wired called saying they had a giant robot -- would I like to create a web series? I immediately got in touch with Summer and she was game. I pulled in director, Nick Copus and Ryan Cartwright who played Gary on Alphas. Both generously offered their talents.
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