The only actor who's fought killer bots in both the Battlestar Galactica and Terminator universes is Stephanie Jacobsen. She played the tough-as-nails Kendra Shaw in Battlestar Galactica: Razor, and now she's playing Jesse, the freedom fighter from the future, in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. We talked to Jacobsen about what it's like to play two such badass characters, and what's ahead for her character on T:SCC. And we found out whether she's the final Cylon. Spoilers ahead! On the differences between Kendra and Jesse: Jacobsen admitted that her characters from BSG and SCC have a lot in common, besides just being soldiers in a desperate fight for survival. "They've obviously both seen some horrible things and had some hard times," she said. But Kendra and Jesse deal with their traumas differently. Kendra, on Battlestar, cut herself off from people (except for Admiral Cain) and turned to drugs.
Jesse, meanwhile, is "really just clinging to a sense of humanity and a sense of cnnection with Derek, for example." But in the upcoming episodes, you'll see more of the psychological effect the war has had on Jesse. "You'll actually see a very primordial side of her." Jacobsen hopes the differences between Jesse and Kendra become obvious over the next few episodes.
Jesse vs. Derek: Now that Jesse's arrived, Derek Reese (Brian Austin Green) isn't the only visitor from the future running around on the show. And they approach their escape to the past in different ways. Derek is "very committed to the cause, but Jesse wants to play a little as well." In particular, Jesse "has an interest in experiencing the more privileged aspects of pre-apocalyptic life," including staying in fancy hotels and lounging by the pool, as you can see in the clip we posted yesterday. A lot of people commented on the fact that Brian Austin Green is the only covered-up person, surrounded by people in bathing suits, and Jacobsen said the visual was very striking when they filmed that scene. At first, she just thought that "Brian must be really hot in all that clothing," and then she realized it was actually a strong metaphor. What's going on with Jesse? Jesse told Derek she was a deserter from the fight against Skynet, but she was lying, says Jacobsen. She's come back "with a purpose," which Jacobsen herself doesn't know yet. She'll be in the series for "quite a while longer," but we won't really see her interact with Sarah and John Connor any time soon. (It sounds like Jacobsen hasn't really filmed any scenes with the Connors yet.) As for how Jesse got all of her mad money, we'll get a very strong clue in Monday's episode.
I asked what will happen when Jesse meets Sarah Connor: will the two hard, damaged women clash? Or bond? And Jacobsen says she thinks her character probably looks up to Sarah Connor reverently, and may even have a bit of that "Virgin Mary" symbolism attached to her. But she adds, "obviously, I could be wrong." And how about John Connor? In her first episode, Jesse criticizes the future John Connor for his over-dependence on tame Terminators, and his determination to put a Terminator in every bunker, even though they go haywire sometimes. But Jacobsen says her character doesn't actually dislike John Connor, she just disagrees with some of his choices.
Missing out on Life On Mars: Jacobsen played Sam Tyler's (ex)girlfriend Maya in the original pilot of the U.S. Life On Mars, but she got dropped in favor of Lisa Bonet. I asked her about it, and she was pretty philosophical. Everyone had "a great time" making the original pilot, and she thought that cast worked pretty well, but obviously there were "creative disparities" that resulted in the whole show being retooled. At least, when the whole cast got replaced, "it obviously wasn't a personal slight towards anyone who was involved in the original pilot." And, of course, "all's well that ends well," since she's enjoying doing the Terminator show now. Is she the final Cylon? I tried to be clever, and asked Jacobsen how she felt when she found out she was the final Cylon. I'm pretty sure she was telling the truth when she insisted she wasn't. In fact, we won't be seeing Kendra Shaw on BSG again, even in flashbacks.