A Conversation with TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES Star Garret Dillahunt

garret dillahunt terminator the sarah connor chroniclesGarret Dillahunt and the TV Addict in Los Angeles, January 2009

As regular readers of theTVaddict.com can attest to, this TV Addict loves us our SARAH CONNOR cast members. Which is why we’re thrilled to share with you our recent conversation with our favorite killer robot, Garret Dillahunt.

Can we just talk about Cromartie’s death scene for a moment. How much fun was it to shoot knowing that… you’d be back.
Garret Dillahunt:
It was fun. I kind of wished we had time for effects to go even further, you know, pound me into mush. But the shotgun was pretty potent. You should have been in that room. She [Summer Glau] just shot it and the air in the room would ruffle your clothes from the gun. I thought it looked really cool and the green screen stuff they did with my face was perfect.

It was sad because at the time we weren’t sure if we’d ever see Cromartie again.
It was sad.

I mean as much as he was a killer robot sent from the future, I think fans really grew attached to Cromartie.
He was just doing his job, right? He didn’t have anything against the Connors per-say.

I imagine you were told ahead of time that you weren’t being killed off for good!
Yeah I was told a couple of episodes prior.

Pretty much you have the world’s most secure job, being an indestructible robot and all.
I know right!

Is it an entirely different show for you now that you’re playing John Henry? Are you enjoying yourself?
It’s fun to have real conversations. John Henry doesn’t have an agenda, other than curiosity at this point. He’s just trying to absorb as much information as he can. I get to be sort of infantile, childlike and genuine. But I know in upcoming episodes I’m going to be out of the room, loose in the world, and somewhat of a super-powered baby.

garret dillahunt terminator the sarah connor chronicles

That was my next question, how does that work?
Well, I’m still the Cromartie body. Still capable of all the same things that Cromartie was capable of doing, just with a bigger brain. I don’t have a task yet so it’s kind of scary, sort of being a smarter Cromartie. Which I think is going to make him dangerous because he doesn’t even know his own powers yet. But I don’t really know what’s going to happen. I do know that I make a friend, a very dangerous friend… maybe it’s a girlfriend, wouldn’t that be great! [Laughs] And I do get into a fight. A big fight happens and it’s a real learning experience where I’ll experience fear and emotion for the first time.

So if one were to assume that John Henry is the birth of Skynet, would it be fair to assume that how humans treat you in the next half of a season might…
Determine my, our [Skynet’s] whole approach to humanity. Maybe.

Humanity may in fact bring on the destruction of earth on ourselves?
It’s possible there is no hope and John Henry decides that humans are intrinsically flawed and must be wiped out.

What’s it like getting to work with Shirley Manson (Catherine Weaver)?
I love working with both Richard [Richard T. Jones] and Shirley. I looovvveee Shirley. She’s just so cool, we talk about books all the time and the way she says your name just sounds so cool.

Accents are awesome!
I wish I had one. Shirley’s such a hard worker even though she hasn’t acted much. She knows what hard work is, being a musician at that level, the discipline that it requires. I have no complaints about the cast.

Now I hate to bring this up, but I have to ask. Are you surprised you’re still on the air? As I’m sure you’re aware, the ratings for TERMINATOR haven’t exactly been stellar.
I think it’s more indicative of what’s happening in television in general. Everybody’s ratings have gone way down. Whey you have a show like PUSHING DAISIES packing up shop because nobody watched it…. or did they. I can tell you that I’ve never been stopped as much as I have with this show and I feel like I’ve been on some good shows. People shout from cars, on the street and I’m not just saying this because, “Oh this is so fun, look at me, I’m famous.” I mean it is an indicator of how popular the show is. A lot of my friends call and talk about an episode that aired three weeks ago.

It certainly is an interesting time to be a television executive.
It’s tough to be a programmer. My friends don’t even know what night the show is on because they just press “record series” It doesn’t matter what night its on.

Outside of TERMINATOR of course, what do you like to watch?
I like MMA stuff, I know that sounds really lame but I like mixed martial arts. In terms of scripted TV I still watch some ER because I have a buddy who runs the show and just directed his first episode, I like LOST, I watch a lot of TV.

Fans loved you on LIFE.
I like LIFE, and I think it’s getting better and better. I have a lot of fun with that Russian guy. For some reason having an accent gives you a license to do whatever you want.

You can catch brand new episodes of TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES every Friday at 8PM on FOX (“A” Channel in Canada)

  • Sarah

    Great interview, but when are you going to post the Jonathan Jackson one?
    (hint, hint)

  • Melissa

    Awesome interview! Thanks!

  • Sarah,

    I’m sorry for the delay on the Jonathan Jackson interview. Will post it this week!

  • DB

    that picture is adorable