Adam Baldwin

Over the last 25 years Adam Baldwin has appeared in more than 60 movies. In 1980 he was chosen from 4,000 aspiring actors to play the title role in
My Bodyguard. He's also appeared in Full Metal Jacket, Independence Day and The Patriot. On television Bladwin starred in Earth to the Moon, but sci-fi fans will know him for his recurring roles on the final two years of The X-Files, Angel and Firefly. We caught up with him as Serenity, the movie spin-off from Firefly, was due for release on DVD...

Sci-Fi-Online: After being so cruelly dumped by the TV network, was making this movie made all the more pleasurable because you were able to prove the network wrong?

Adam Baldwin: No, no, no. It's a story of redemption, it really is. Television is hard enough, it's hard enough to get a show even made, even to get one pilot made. So, we are unique in that we even got on the air, period. Most shows don't.

The fact that Firefly was on for 11 episodes and then got a box set, is... you know, it's a numbers game. Bottom line, we didn't get the ratings, but we sold enough DVDs and now we are a major motion picture. That's a good story. I don't think there's another story like that.

So, we can't go into it with vindication and revenge, that's negative. We have a very positive product here, a wonderful movie we love, and we want to just drive forward with that. You can't go backwards.

SFO: What do you think was so special about the series that warranted it being made into a feature film?

AB: I think there are three elements that I see. One is certainly Joss's dedication and love for these characters, he really wanted to tell the story. Number two would be his ability to reach out to Universal Studios after the show got cancelled and number three, which is very important, is the fan base. The fan base that found the TV show and bought all those DVDs made Universal's decision that much easier.

SFO: One of the most notable things about the movie is that it has real dialogue. Sometimes sci-fi films can be very clichéd, it wasn't the case here. What do you think the secret is of writing a believable storyline?

AB: You have these nine very strong characters that are able to function or dysfunction on this space ship, and that's really what's interesting, for me anyway, just to watch actors struggling to win that conflict. It's Joss's writing and we just kind of play and run with it. He writes with a unique rhythm. If you can key in to that rhythm, you can be successful.

SFO: The women are in very prominent and strong roles in Serenity. What did you think about it?

AB: It's a testament to Joss's creativity, he loves writing strong women characters, that flows from him. He casts some pretty women too.

SFO: How did you cope acting against a green screen when there was nothing there for you to act to?

AB: There was minimum green screen used. They had actually animated this whole chase scene, where we were going to be, as a form of a story board and they had also animated the trucks, the support vehicles behind it, so everyone knew where the positioning was going to be. And that's what we did first.

So it was this very well organised machine in place because we were on a tight budget, relatively speaking for this kind of a film, and it was good and right, and here we go again.

Rough cuts are tough to watch sometimes because of the skeletal mock-ups of the space ships look a little like: "Oh? Well, okay, it's a rough cut". But that all got smoothed over.

SFO: Was it hard for you to balance the humour but still be the toughest guy on the team?

AB: Jayne is this guy who says what everybody wishes they could say. He's that big elephant in the room that will just spew the truth and I think people relate to that. My inspiration was really drawn from the shoot-them-up westerns that I grew up watching, like The Wild Bunch, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West and great character actors like Eli Wallach and Jason Robards - guys like that who I modelled Jayne after.

But Joss gave me some really fun words to say and I just got to drop my voice like this.

SFO: What is your favourite scene or moment in the movie?

AB: My favourite moment is a quirky little moment with River and Simon when he says to River: "Am I talking to Miranda now?" and she just looks at him like... "No, idiot!"

But my favourite scene to shoot was that whole initial chase scene on the 'mule', that was just great. That's some of the most fun work I ever had: it was hot, hard, it was great.

SFO: Thank you for your time.

With thanks to Emma Carter at New Media Maze

Serenity is released to own and rent on DVD and UMD from Universal Pictures UK on the 27 February 2006

Order this DVD for £13.99 (RRP: £19.99) by clicking here
Order this UMD for £14.99 (RRP: £19.99) by clicking here

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