I really like Moon Bloodgood. Not just because she’s beautiful – which she is – but because she’s smart. And thoughtful. And funny. Sitting down with her during the junket for Terminator Salvation was a refreshing thing, a small moment on no bullshit in an otherwise bullshit-intensive zone.

To be honest Bloodgood, like Anton Yelchin, gets short changed in Terminator Salvation. Many of her biggest scenes ended up on the cutting room floor, but even edited to within an inch of its life she creates one of the movie’s most fascinating characters: Blair Williams, a human Resistance fighter pilot who falls in with Marcus Wright, a man who may represent everything she’s been battling against for the last decade.

Casting Bloodgood was a terrific choice; she’s a real woman, not some kind of soft teen we’ve become so used to seeing in our movies. She brings a woman’s sexuality and smarts to the role; at the end of Terminator Salvation I wanted to see a sequel just to get more of her character.

Sam Worthington said that you work for free and get paid to do the publicity. Do you agree with that?

As narcissistic as we are, we don’t want to talk about ourselves this
much. You want to do what you do, and talking about it feels like
you’re talking about yourself. I feel pretentious.

Is it doubly weird to talk about in terms of a big action movie?

What do you mean?

you guys walk you have to be able to bring humanity to these characters
but you’re doing it in service of chases and explosions.

It’s that paradox.

On the one hand you think, ‘This is my character, this is my
motivation, this is my headspace,’ but on the other hand you have to be
thinking ‘This is my mark. I have to hit that because there’s going to
be an explosion over there and it’ll look better if I’m framed this
way.’ That, to me, is the interesting paradox of these kinds of movies.

was a dancer. Every time you’re dancing within a group of people you
have to know your spacing, to get technical. While you’re dancing and
in the moment you have to know where the people are around you. Acting
is like being in the moment and then hitting a mark, even when it’s not
an action. I don’t care if you’re doing anything from Lord of the Rings
to Milk. It depends on the director, it depends on the environment. Is
he the kind of of director who says, ‘Go with it. Find it.’ And then
you’re right, others will say, ‘You have to hit that exact mark because
a squib will go off there.’ But you saw the movie – there are a lot of
scenes about not hitting the mark. What I found most challenging was
acting against a piece of tape. That’s frustrating. How do you stay
present when there’s a bunch of people standing around talking about
their weekend and reading gossip magazines. Are you a pretentious
asshole if you want everybody clear of their eyelines? Everybody has a
different way of doing it.

I was on set, and being in
Albuquerque does put you in a post-Apocalyptic state of mind. But
beyond that, how do you get into the mindset? How do you walk onto set
with the Teamster taking his coffee break here and the script
supervisor hanging out there and find the right frame of mind for this
kind of movie?

If you’re doing your job well you block all of
that out and go ‘What’s my objective in the scene?’ Every scene has an
objective. You have an objective with me right now, and I have an
objective with you. I’m here to service the movie and get my point
across and you’re here to get information for CHUD. Every scene has an
objective, and if you go in and don’t believe it’s real the audience
won’t believe it’s real. There are some moments that are more
challenging than others, but I try to go in and say ‘I’m Blair, you’re
Marcus, I want to get what I only get from you.’ I think as any artist
being truthful about what you’re doing is really challenging. Coming
here and talking about it six months later after you’re out of the
moment is challenging. It’s challenging to do it and not feel like a

I feel like the two characters in this film with the
biggest arcs are Blair and Kyle. You have a complete change of life –
you go from being a Resistance fighter, a fighter pilot, to someone who
is willing to betray everything she knows for this guy. How tough is
that to sell, especially in a movie where your story is the second or
third story? How hard is it to make us believe she’s willing to sell
out her entire race?

I love that. I love those characters. You’re fighting for the Army and
you end up at the moment where you have to decide if you’ll do
something because you’re going to follow orders or if you’re going to
follow your conscience. I love that. I love that about Blair, that she
goes, ‘I love you John Connor, I respect you, I have given my whole
fucking life for this. But in this moment I think you’re wrong. And I
will go to jail and I will throw away everything because if you’re
telling me that guy is bad, I don’t know what the fuck is good.’ And I
loooove that. Can I make it pop? I hope I made it pop. Did my scenes
make it? I haven’t seen the latest version.

You are there, especially as a female actor, to support the male
character. But I’m OK with that. I have a bad ass storyline. But you
really think it’s a good arc? You’re being honest?

I think Blair and Kyle are the two characters with the biggest arcs. I
think John Connor does his John Connor thing and Marcus has his story,
but the big arcs are Kyle going from being a kid to a man and you go
from someone who is -

For the Resistance.

You give up everything you believe in.

Did you think I did it for love or did you think I did it for moral reasons? What was your opinion?

It’s tough because I was on the set and they told us you did it for
love. In the final edit they play down the scene between you and
Marcus. But I think it still works.

This is maybe a weird question. I was just talking to McG right now,
and he said he had cut the scene where you were topless – which is part
of what was cut out of that sequence we’re talking about – because he
didn’t want this to be the kind of genre movie where they show boobs of
the attractive girl just to show them. You strike me as someone who
wouldn’t do a topless scene unless you felt like there was a reason to
do. He made it sound like he felt it was extraneous, what’s your take?

It was McG’s idea. He made sure I was comfortable with it, so I guess
that was collaborative, but it was his idea. There’s a lot of struggle
with it. When you’re an actress… I’m the woman who refuses to
apologize for being sexual. I’m really rebellious in that way. I like
strong women, and I like women who are sexual. That doesn’t mean I’m
not smart, that doesn’t mean I don’t have integrity. I wouldn’t have
done it – I’ve turned down parts where it was about just showing off. I
have my faults but I’m not desperate like that. If you saw it, it was a
profile, beautiful, done. I’m not one of those girls who goes ‘I won’t
show my boobs.’

But I don’t know if it was McG’s call. I thought it was everyone’s call
that it made it look like Blair was helping Marcus for more of a
romantic thing than a moral thing. And I have to be honest, I’m kind of
glad my boobs aren’t in it. It just distracted from my performance and
it became about my boobs and not me, and that’s when I get bummed out.
Which makes me sound pretentious. At the end of the day I’m not saving
the world.

Well, neither am I. That’s the struggle when you get up in the morning
and think ‘There goes the firefighter who is actually doing
something… what do I contribute?’

You have those same thoughts?

Of course.

Do you go, ‘Do I do this for the passion of being a journalist or am I just making my boss happy by getting the story?’

Every day. Especially there are some days you wake up and you’re
writing the news stories of the day and it’s This Guy has been cast as
This Role in This Remake, and you wonder ‘Could I be spending my time
more constructively?’

You don’t get a choice? Or do you get a choice but you don’t?

You get a choice but you don’t. You have to cover what the readers want
you to cover. I think it’s similar to how it is with actors – to get
the roles you want to get you have to do the things you don’t want to
do that will get you more attention.

100%! Everyone struggles with that. If I do this part does it make me a
popcorn actress. Or if I do an independent does it mean… shit I don’t
want to think about at all, to be totally honest. All I want to think
about is how can I be creative? How can I get into my role? How can I
connect to other actors? I don’t want to think about what will get me
the farthest in my career.

But you can’t help it.

It’s a business. Commerce meets art.

You want to make the mortgage or the rent or whatever.

That’s life, right? Art and commerce.

Speaking of commerce, this could be the start of a new Terminator
franchise. Without spoiling anything, you make it out of the picture
alive. Where do you see Blair going now? She has made big decisions.

You know, I’ve never thought about that. Where would Blair go? I swear
to God I never thought about that. I go back and I redeem myself; if
you go back and watch John Connor and my dynamic, he’s not particularly
happy with me. He understands that he needs me, so he allows me to
fight, but if the situation wasn’t so dire and if he wasn’t so pressed
for time… I think he’s pretty pissed off at me. Not that he’s a
believer who follows command no matter what – he’s an individual
thinker who goes against the grain – but I think he’s a little pissed
off because he gets to be like that but with Blair he’s like, ‘Hey,
you’re putting a lot of people in jeopardy and I know I’m not the one
to talk, but I don’t agree with what you did.’ He’s begrudgingly
accepting of what I did. So I guess my point is I don’t know. I think
Blair would still fight with the Resistance and I think she has a lot
of proving to do. I would love to see her back with Marcus.