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"In my line of work, and doing conventions, I tend to run into people that I have loved and admired from afar even from childhood," she said.

"My biggest fan interaction was with the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I actually cried. I kept telling myself, 'Summer stop, you're embarassing everybody'.

"I used to sneak into my parents bed at night and ask them if I could watch Star Trek: The Next Generation. I remember it was on at 10pm, which was way past my bed time, and they would let me.

"I just adored Counsellor Troi [Lieutenant Commander Deanna Troi, played by Marina Sirtis]. She was my favourite, and I saw her in real life, and I have since had wonderful conversations with her and she's held my babies. It's just incredible that this little world exists, that you can interact with people who have meant so much to you."

Summer, who is best known for her place in the Joss Whedon universe via roles in AngelFireflyDollhouse and Serenity, as well as her portrayal of terminator Cameron Philips in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, will be one of the stars lining up to meet fans at Supanova Comic Con and Gaming convention at Sydney Olympic Park this weekend.

The chance to meet her people is something quite special to Summer.

"Often times when I'm signing in the lines people say, 'how are you doing are you feeling tired, is this kind of crazy for you', and I'll say, 'are you kidding, I feel so loved, keep it coming. Keep telling me that you like my show, I can't get enough, it's amazing'," she said.

"I like to say that the science fiction community is so powerful and so loving and supportive and they are open to following you and trying you out in new roles. This is our chance to come in person and say thank you and really celebrate it."

Summer is currently taking a break from acting, which in recent times included a stint on Arrow as Isobel Rochev/Ravager, to focus on raising her two daughters, aged three and seven months. They'll be joining her on this Australian visit.

"Right now I'm just taking a mummy leave," she said. "But I'm also open ... if the right role came along I would find a way to do that, so I'm still reading stuff and seeing what's next. I want to pick the right thing if I decide to come back and pick something that my fans will really enjoy and just be right for me."

Originally a dancer, Summer's first spot of acting came via an episode of Joss Whedon's Buffy The Vampire Slayer spinoff, Angel.

"It changed my life meeting Joss," said Summer. "I somehow got into the callback of that audition. They had a dance audition that I missed, which is funny because I was a dancer. I had never acted in anything before and I never realised when I went to the callback that I was reading for Joss.

"I was so passionate about it, so focused on this role and ended up getting it and Joss from there had the idea to have me audition for Firefly and I had never auditioned for a series regular before let alone test for one.

"To have him take a chance where no one else would - I would always get to the end of the audition process and they would go, 'there's something about you, but come back when you have some credits'. No one would actually cast me, but he did and it just changed my life."

Her role as River Tam in Firefly and its feature length follow-up Serenity are arguably Summer's most notable.

"I am so blessed to have found roles that suited who I was as a human at that time in my life," she said. "I came to LA pretty sheltered. I had never been to school - I was home schooled; I was dancing full time; I didn't have any acting experience; I just had something, this feeling, that I was supposed to be an actress."

Summer described herself as fairly shy when it came to starting out in front of the camera as well as being far from worldly.

"I got my passport for the first time to go to a convention," she said. "I had never been overseas, I'd hardly ever been on a plane before, and Joss tried to explain to me what a convention was ... and you can't explain it, you just have to go.

"I flew to London and it was just life-changing. I find the entire process to be just humbling. I feel so blessed that I have these people want to meet me in person and keep supporting my work year after year. It's incredible."

In what many would have thought was an art imitating life homage, Summer scored herself a guest role on smash hit TV sitcom The Big Bang Theory.

In the episode she plays herself riding on a train, as the Big Bang cast members stumble over themselves to grab their moment with the star.

"It's just so funny because in reality I was the one who was nervous being in that world with them," Summer said. "I had never done comedy and these guys are at the top of their game.

"I was really kind of shy in myself and I remember thinking, well I'm not funny, and they're like just say what we've written. It was a very funny situation.

"I have had some interesting fan encounters, some unexpected situations, but I usually tell people I'm very protective of my fan interactions. I've been a fan myself and I can not be held responsible for my behaviour."

Summer said she is often impressed at the depth of knowledge fans have of their favourite shows.

"Sometimes I get put through my paces remembering details of the shows that they're so good at remembering," she said. "I sometimes feel embarassed that they remember a detail that I had forgotten.

"I don't know how to put it, but some people have a comfort show ... they have a show that they'll turn on over and over again that almost feels like home. I have certain shows like that and I absolutely love hearing that, 'I was sick and in the hospital and the only thing I took was my Firefly DVDs'. I just love being a part of that for people. It's really cool."

So what of Summer's comfort piece? And better still, who would she line up to meet at a convention?

"My favourite comedy is What's Up, Doc? and I would really love to meet Barbra Streisand," she said.

"I always listened to her music growing up. I love that she's kind of a triple threat. She started out in music and she did a lot of musicals. What's Up, Doc?is kind of like my rainy day movie, sort of like Serenitywould be for other people. I'd love to meet Babs."

Summer is one of many stars from across the pop culture universe who will appear at this year's Supanova.

It kicks off on Friday, from 1pm, at The Dome, Sydney Olympic Park.


Ecrit par Misty 
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