A press junket was hosted by Universal on September 24th 2005 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills to promote the worldwide theatrical release of Serenity on September 30th 2005. There was three mini press conferences: the first one was a conversation with Joss Whedon himself. The second one was with Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres and Morena Baccarin. Next up was with Adam Baldwin, Summer Glau, Jewel Staite and Sean Maher (Ron Glass and Alan Tudyk didn’t make it).
Journalists had later the possibility to conduct one-one-one interviews. Don't miss the two videos interviews with Summer Glau and Sean Maher at the end of this Blogpost.
Here's the transcript of the bigger panel featuring cast members Adam Baldwin, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, and Jewel Staite, during which they spoke about coming back to replay their characters.
Summer, did your experience as a dancer help you with all of the fight scenes and the stunts you had to do?
Summer: It did help me, because I was used to the training every day, going to the gym and working out all day. Doing lots of different types of training. But really it’s completely different muscle memory. I had to completely retrain my body. It took three months, all day, every day.
Adam: And it worked!
Besides the quality, what was the biggest difference between doing Firefly the show and Serenity the movie?
Jewel: I think it was the time factor. We spent so much more time on the movie than on the series. We [could] do a three-page scene all day long if we wanted to, and that was nice.
[On the television show,] if we had … twelve hours, that was it, and in those twelve hours we had eight or nine pages to shoot. On the movie, I felt like we had this personal time, we could stop, we could talk about the characters, we could talk about the vibe of the scene, what we were going for…
Adam: We had two weeks of rehearsal before we started filming, and I think we focused a lot on the main dialogue scenes early on. But we also focused on that “mule chase” scene, because we had two weeks of exterior work on location that we had to get in [during] those two weeks to stay on budget and on time. The weather cooperated and we were able to get all that stuff in. … Once we got to the studio and the controlled atmosphere on the sound stages, we were home free. It felt like we were right back workshopping our little TV show on these gigantic Universal sound stages. It was just great.
Sean: I agree, the time was a big thing. We obviously had a lot more time to tell a story than we did we when we were doing the series. But to me it felt so similar to the show. Everything just felt a little more spectacular, a little grander. There was a wonderful feeling of redemption, because we’ve come back with these people, this great reunion, and there was a wonderful energy…
Jewel: …and a sort of closure too. Because when we got canceled, it all happened very quickly. I’m from Canada, I’m from Vancouver, so I packed up my stuff and went home, and I felt like there was no closure whatsoever. So when it was decided and we were green-lit to do the movie, and we saw each other again, and we were able to play these characters one more time, it felt nice… very gratifying.
Adam: An important aspect of that is that we felt, and I think the fan base felt, that [with the TV show] we were kinda under the gun from the get-go. Our ratings were low. Everyone knew our ratings were low. And we needed to figure out some way to push them up, and never did. We got canceled. But the cancellation all happened really quick. It was like, ‘Okay, you’re done, go home.’ But Joss immediately asked for the show and the rights to Firefly to make it somewhere else. They tried to sell it to other TV networks and they didn’t bite.
But over time he was able to get Universal and Mary Parent’s attention, and they agreed to make the film. But Joss never gave up. Joss never gave up quote/end-quote “fighting for the future.”
It was very hard for all of us and devastating emotionally. [turns to the other actors] I don’t know about you guys, but I never felt like Joss gave up. I never felt that this was where we would end up until Joss gave up and said, “I can’t do it anymore.” And he never did.
So, while we miss our show, you’re right that we have closure, whatever happens to the movie.