Exclusive Interview: Is Stephanie Jacobsen a Robot Sent From the Future to Kill John Conner? Read and Find Out!

stephanie jacobsen terminator interview

Okay, now that we’ve got your attention with our snazzy albeit slightly misleading title, we’ve got some bad news for you. Stephanie Jacobsen wasn’t about to spoil all of the fun by revealing whether or not she’s you know, a killer robot sent from the future to kill John Connor. But the good news is that the charming and beautiful Australian native was more than happy to discuss her brief stint on MARS (LIFE ON MARS that is), what’s in store for Jesse when TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES returns tonight and what it was like to break onto the scene in the incredibly well received BATTLESTAR GALACTICA telefilm RAZOR in this TV Addict’s exclusive interview. Spoilerphobes Beware…

Before we delve into your work as Jesse on TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES I’d like to ask a question about your breakthrough role as Kendra Shaw in BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: RAZOR. Where you pleased with how the film turned out and taken aback by how positive both the fan and critical reaction was?
Stephanie Jacobsen:
Having been somewhat familiar with the series and the production quality, no I wasn’t that surprised. I knew that RAZOR was going to be good, whether or not I was good was a separate issue entirely (TV Addict Note: She was!) But I was pretty confident that Ronald D. Moore and his entire team were going to make something special out of it. It really was a beautiful story.

I’ve been an enormous admirer of the way in which Michelle Forbes [Admiral Kain] brings such intensity to all of her roles. What was it like working with her in RAZOR?
Michelle Forbes is a lovely and generous actor. Her character was powerful and intense so she inherently has those qualities in her. But as a person she’s very laid back, amicable and absolutely a pleasure to work with.

Even though Kendra Shaw’s fate seemed somewhat inevitable. Were you, as an actress, sad to see your character die?
As much as I would have loved to go back and do more work on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, I do feel that it was inevitable and that had Kendra survived it would have detracted from the potency of RAZOR. Obviously what happened in the end was the ultimate sacrifice and that was such a poignant thing that I don’t think it could have been put across any other way.

stephanie jacobsen terminator interview

Perusing your imdb profile prior to this interview, I couldn’t help but notice that you were in ABC’s original pilot of LIFE ON MARS (my favorite new drama of the season). Working on the pilot, did you foresee that ABC was going to take the show in an entirely different direction and recast the entire pilot (with the exception of star Jason O’Mara)?
Oh no, definitely not. To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t know a lot about what happened there. From what I have been told and gathered it really just came down to differences in creative opinion. We had a great time filming the initial pilot which obviously hasn’t aired and I haven’t seen the new pilot so I can’t even offer you my thought as to how different it was from the final product on ABC.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, LIFE ON MARS and now TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES. Is there something outside of the obvious (paying gig) that attracts you to the Sci Fi genre?
I know right. Just give me a gun and point me to the set! It’s fun working in the genre and for whatever reason or reasons it seems to breed these strong complex unique characters for females to play.

Do you ever worry about getting pigeonholed as that “tough female Sci Fi chick?” Or are you happy to gravitate to where the strong female character are.
Yes to the latter and no to the former. I just see characters as individual people and if I’m going to get pigeonholed somewhere I might as well get pigeonholed where I’m having a lot of fun. I grew up with an affinity for Sci Fi because my father was really into it and I just think that for whatever reason or reasons Sci Fi is where the really interesting female characters are.

Coincidentally enough, both Kendra and Jesse have survived horrible wars that have practically wiped humans off the map. Do you see the two characters as similar?
I’m inclined to say no. I feel that Jesse is far more connected than Kendra (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA) was. I feel that where as Kendra just kind of almost let go of her humanity, Jesse is really clinging to it. Something that I hope you will see in the next few weeks.

Few weeks? How long can fans expect you to remain on TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES?
I’m going to be around for a multi episode arc.

Is there any chance that Jesse isn’t human?
Oh look, it’s the SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES. I’d say anything is possible. What I can say is that you’ll learn a lot more about where Jesse is coming from in forthcoming episodes. What’s interesting, is that her future is somewhat different to Derek’s and you’ll see a little bit about how their paths cross soon. There’s an episode upcoming where you’ll get an indication of the psychological affects that the war has had.

I imagine those affects are not good!
They’re interesting. On Monday’s episode you’ll basically see Jesse really lapping it up. Taking advantage of the respite she’s found from the war. You’ll get to see a way in which she’s different from Derek. Although she obviously has her intentions and her goals and she is focused, she is sort of interested in indulging just a little bit in the luxuries of life before Judgement Day. 

As a huge BEVERLY HILLS 90210 fan, I have to ask the obligatory question. What is it like working with Brian Austin Green?
What can I say about Brian. He’s wonderful to work with, extremely talented, very spontaneous and funny. He makes you fee very safe on the set and really a lovely lovely guy.

Will Jesse be mixing it it up with any other members of the Connor Clan?
You’ll see what happens in the next couple of episodes.

Having interviewed pretty much every actor on the show, I know that Josh Friedman doesn’t like to give away many (or any) surprises. Do you ever get nervous that you’ll accidently spill a plot point that you really shouldn’t have?
It can get tricky in the sense that there is often a fine line when it comes to what you do and don’t need people to know. But it’s hard, because you really want to talk about the show because you’re excited and you can’t!

I completely understand. So let me end with this question. Does Jesse get to kick some butt anytime soon?
In a couple of weeks which you’ll see the primal side of Jesse.

Don’t miss Stephanie Jacobsen in a brand new episode of TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES tonight at 8PM on FOX.

Photo Credits: Mike Ansell/FOX