Date of publishing: 1st
Josh Friedman is an American screenwriter best known
as the writer of the 2005 film adaptation of H.G.
Wells' War of the Worlds. Friedman also publishes
the blog "I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing".
He is now executive producer and writer on The Sarah
Connor Chronicles, the sequel to the Terminator movies
Brian Austin Green is an American actor, best known
for his role as David Silver on the television series
Beverly Hills, 90210, a character he portrayed from
1990 - 2000. Brian, of Scottish, Cherokee Indian,
Hungarian and Irish descent, grew up in North Hollywood,
California, and attended North Hollywood High School,
after attending the Hamilton High School Academy of
Music. Currently, Green guest stars in Terminator:
The Sarah Connor Chronicles playing Derek Reese, the
uncle of John Connor.
show’s ratings have been pretty good, maybe
not great, but pretty good. But I also understand
it’s a very expensive show to produce and I’m
just wondering what you think the odds are of renewal
given the rating situation and the cost of production?
Josh Friedman: Well, let me take
the second part. You know it’s not actually
an expensive show to produce. In fact, I think we’re
below the budget of many action shows that are on
TV right now. In fact, our budget is much more in
line with your basic drama that you would find on
any network. So I don’t think that cost at this
point plays much of a factor. As to the ratings, you
know I don’t know what to make of it, really.
I think that the show has done well for a new show
and for a new drama. There are not many that do very
well or haven’t been doing very well, certainly
in the last strike era. And we do very well in certain
demographics. We do very well in DVR. We do very well
on downloads. I think for our type of show that is
a big chunk. We were one of the top five shows being
TiVo’d right now, which is how I watch the show
because otherwise no one would know that I’m
At what point did you decide
that the point that you’re reaching in the second
episode on Monday was the right point for the finale
and what sort of finale is it in terms of the tone
you want to leave viewers with?
Josh Friedman: Well, you know it’s serendipitous.
I wasn’t there. I was on strike and so this
is the number of episodes that we had reached; we
had only written up to this number and produced up
to this number when I went out on strike. So it happens
that a lot of stuff locks in and comes together during
these last two episodes and frankly, that’s
just dumb luck. If we would have gone one episode
more or one episode less I think it would be probably
is not the point that you guys slated at when you
initially pitched the first 13 to FOX.
Josh Friedman: No. But I don’t know that four
episodes from now would have been a much better finale
than the one that we have.
there’s still some cliffhanger point that you’ll
have to get to next season, hypothetically.
Josh Friedman: Well, yes. I’m
kind of thinking about that all right now. Again,
the strike is such a weird situation, but the school
of thought is, well, you could start next year picking
up almost where you left off, but sometimes what the
next episode, episode ten isn’t necessarily
right for a season-two premier. So I think you have
to rethink how much continuity, not continuity, but
how much carryover you’re going to have from
where you plan or it gives you a chance to sit back
and say, alright, what can we do for season two? I
have a plan going forward. It’s just how we
integrate that into the beginning of season two.
there anything you can tell us about the upcoming
season finale? Of course without giving too much away.
Josh Friedman: First of all, TV is also my pacifier
Brian Austin Green: It’s a really hard question.
Josh Friedman: A hard question; I’ll just say
there’s a lot of chickens and a lot of roosting.
Brian Austin Green: You know, it’s
funny, I was online last night going through some
of the chats just to see what people were talking
about, and this is one of those shows, unfortunately—I
mean it’s unfortunate for me in the sense of
whenever I do an interview that if you give any little
bit of anything, people will talk enough about it
that they’ll start to figure out what’s
going on. So it’s a very fine line of what you
can and can’t talk about.
Josh Friedman: It’s cool.
I’m kind of with Brian. I’m a fascist
about spoilers. I’m the biggest pain in the
ass to the marketing and promotion department, and
I think they were very happy that I was on strike
for 14 weeks. I seemed to be—
Austin Green: … around you?
Josh Friedman: Yes, they … whatever they want
to do and since I’ve gotten back I get these
little e-mails and they say, “Can we show this?’
And I say, “No.” If I had my way the commercials
would be 30 seconds of black with the words “Sarah
Connor” on them.
Brian Austin Green: I actually did a talk show one night and
the only clip we could get of me on the show, because
I hadn’t premiered on it yet, was the teaser
from the episode before, so it was like “Next
week on the Sarah Connor Chronicles” and it
showed my running and fighting, everything that everybody
else had seen. We couldn’t get anymore footage
than that. I knew at the end of it all that was Josh’s
keeps it interesting for the fans, so—
Brian Austin Green: It does keep it very interesting for the
that in the past that people just assumed it was very
difficult to make the time travel jump, which is why
we haven’t had so many jump backs from the Terminators
and stuff, and why there’s always been limited
instances of it. But now in the series it seems like
there’s almost like a highway going back and
forth in time travel highway. How do you keep that
highway in check at the point where you’re not
stepping on yourself by creating potholes all over
the place? Why don’t they just send everybody
back and just do this, or just drop a nuclear bomb
just in the middle of something to just get it done
with, or send something back with a thousand chips
in it so they can build all these robots? How do you
try to stay away from all that?
Josh Friedman: I try not to abuse the time travel too
much. I think we think about it all the time. I’ve
been in the writer’s room and there will be
points, it happens at least once a day where all of
a sudden we just go quiet and everyone stares at each
other because we completely tilted like a pinball
machine because we can’t wrap our brain around
what we’re trying to do. I think that I have
a pretty specific idea as to what I believe the rules
of our universe are and I try not to violate them.
I think that chaos theory abounds and that’s
always my argument, a specific geek argument, why
doesn’t Skynet just send—well they can’t
send a nuclear bomb back. I think even Skynet probably
at this point understands that the causality is so
complicated that it’s unclear as to what any
one thing might do. So I think to do something en
masse is a very—they might end up destroying
themselves, when they need the humans as much as the
humans need them to kind of—well, they need
the humans more right now, until later, once they’re
created, then who knows.
you think that’s something that might eventually
come up in maybe in the plot if there is a second
season or so? Or is that something that’s just
fans will have to just kind of assume is there and
just argue it out?
Josh Friedman: Well I think it’s great to argue
it out. When it’s the movies, there’s
that sense of refrigerator logic where you sit down,
you watch the movie, it’s a big chase, it’s
adrenaline and it hits you when you’re driving
home or later, you’re like, “wait, wait,
he just sent his best friend back to birth himself”—you
can go crazy just off the first movie and with a series
obviously there’s much more time. One, there’s
more time to analyze it, and two, over time we have
to introduce more elements so it becomes more complicated
and it starts to fold in on itself. I just try to
keep it clear and I think stay true to the basic ideas
of the movies. It’s a lot to wrangle.
Austin Green: I don’t think you abuse
the time travel thing at all. You’ve had the
opportunities. We had the conversation too, of the
possibility of bringing Kyle Reese onto the show instead
of Derek. But then within that was the whole concept
of, okay well then at what point are people actually
dead and at what point do we have to realize that
a character is gone. I mean that’s—
Josh Friedman: Yes.
Brian Austin Green: It’s a weird, confusing line. I don’t
know how specific you can really get with any of it
because at the end of the day it’s something
that’s completely nonexistent at this point.
So who knows how one thing can overlap into another
and how one decision can affect another? It will probably
be an argument we’ll be having until the end
do you know of any plans to keep you going in the
second season at all, if there is one?
Brian Austin Green: That’s a question for Josh. I have
Josh Friedman: All I’ll say is that I think Brian
is doing an awesome job and I think he’s brought
more to the series than I even imagined that he would.
So I’m really happy.
Brian Austin Green: I can carry heavy things. I think that’s
Josh Friedman: He moves furniture.
Brian Austin Green: I’m hauling furniture—
Josh Friedman: He’s like a grip.
Brian Austin Green: I’m really helpful with cleaning days
and stuff like that in the house.
Josh Friedman: That’s why they kept him on 90210
so long actually. At some point he was just walking
around carrying Shannon Daugherty’s gondola
or whatever that thing is called.
Brian Austin Green: That should be episode one of season two,
I’m just in the house with an apron on lifting
furniture and just cleaning underneath things because
I’m strong enough to do it. That would be awesome.
you or will you consider writing in any scenes to
be shot at actual locations from the films in season
Josh Friedman: I hadn’t thought about it. I’m
just happy when I get to go outside and shoot anywhere.
Brian, where was the future
war battlefield location shot, and did you have a
good time with that?
Brian Austin Green: Oh, I had a fantastic time with that and
that was sort of shot all over. Most of the battle
stuff was in downtown Los Angeles, and it was actually
a concrete recycling factory. So it was helpful, they
didn’t have to bring the actual cement in, just
Did you get to keep your outfit?
Brian Austin Green: I wish. Because if I did, I would actually
have it on one of those mannequins in my movie room
or something, here. It was the coolest thing ever.
The blaster alone, the fact that I was the only one
with a green scope on it was pretty cool. But there
were a bunch of specific little things all through
the costumes that—just little details that you
really didn’t pick up, but everybody had Terminator
Kills on their sleeve, these little badges. And they
were just little Terminator heads but everybody had
one for every kill. Some guys had one and I think
I had seven, which was pretty cool.
it like to be in a scene with an actress that really
as a machine can’t react to you the way a normal
actor would be able to react to you?
Brian Austin Green: Well, it’s fantastic for this job.
Summer is so good at completely staying in those moments
and I think that oddity is what sort of creates the
tension and excitement in the scenes. You do scenes
all day long with people that react and when you have
somebody that just sits there and blankly stares at
you they almost end up becoming these staring competitions.
And Summer and I will sort of laugh by the end of
them if we haven’t made it all the way through,
just because it’s an interesting relationship
between the two of us. They’ve both known each
other for a long time and there’s a lot of tension
the character of Derek, how is it for you, Brian,
knowing that you are officially now a member of the
Reese family, that your character has kind of become
a member of the mythology of the show? Have you thought
about what it would be like that maybe your character
might get integrated into other things like novels
or comic books down the road?
Brian Austin Green: No. I hadn’t thought about that at
all. Again, it’s almost like wrapping my brain
around actual time travel. It doesn’t really—people
have asked me that before and just going into the
first episode that I had, Josh knows, I was really
worried about how people would respond to me playing
this character. I was a huge fan of the films and
I was a huge fan of Michael Biehn and Kyle Reese as
a character. So I knew I was kind of holding a heavy
weight in taking it on.
At this point it’s not really how involved in
the franchise or how big a part of the franchise I
am or not, it’s really for me just the daily
stress of making sure that I’m being true to
the character in the franchise. So that’s the
most important thing to me at the end. When I go on
your site or any of the others that the fans don’t
have a feeling that I have somehow let them down as
far as what they would expect from Terminator as a
franchise. So that’s all I really think about.
If I end up being part of a comic book, that’s
bad “….” If I don’t, what
I’m doing now is bad “….”
So at the end of the day this is all just really cool.
what were some of the acting challenges you found
for stepping into this role, and how does seeing your
character grow and develop in the episodes you’ve
done so far?
Austin Green: Oh my God. That’s a very
in-depth question. The challenges—I’ve
got to say the biggest challenge going into the show
was the fact that I was hired the night before I started
work. So I really knew very little of the character
except for the first script that I had in my hand,
which is the first episode that everybody saw of my
character. So the big challenge for me as an actor
was the next day on set whenever I’d see Josh,
just asking him as many things as I could. Just trying
to get as many answers to questions as I could, because
picking up a script and not knowing what happened
before, and it’s like, okay, what the hell is
a Turk and what—there’s so much involved
in every script. The scripts are so detailed. And
I really had no reference. That’s been the hardest
thing for me as an actor is trying to make sure that
I have enough back-story to really understand what
Derek is doing and what his thought process is. Development
wise he went from living in the future where he was
fighting every day to survive to now being in a world
with a blue sky and grass, and fighting for a different
reason. It’s at times just a huge rollercoaster
for him. He still really has no grasp of it. I mean,
he’s just coming out of nearly dying. So he’s
got a lot of growing to do I would say.
the last episode when Summer is doing ballet and there’s
this whole thing about they start to want to have
our culture and they want to have what we have, are
we heading towards the thing where the Terminators
are going to by like ... and they’re going to
have more emotional stuff going on? Because it seems
like there was a hint of that.
Josh Friedman: Well, first of all, I would argue, with
all due respect, to Ron Moore that ... have wanted
to be like Terminators for many years. But—
Probably all of them wanted to be like Blade Runner.
But I think she is a more advanced model and she has
more ability to at least mimic emotion and do some
things. I think any time you have any form of cyborg,
android, ..., whatever, there’s always a temptation
by the writers to start exploring that whole humanity
thing. How far it goes and where we go and what her
limitations are is something I’m still exploring.
It’s interesting because I think that for where—there
are two groups of people I think who watch these shows,
there are the real sci-fi people who watch these shows
and then there’s everybody else. It seems that
everybody else has probably never seen BattleStar
Galactica and probably can’t remember Blade
Runner and couldn’t tell you what was going
on. So they’re all fascinated by it, and then
you have the people who’ve seen every episode
of Star Trek and watch that episode where ...—and
they’re like, oh they’re going down this
road, because we’ve seen this road, and you
sort of have a responsibility on the one hand, I think,
to try to explore it in the ways that it most obviously
occurs. And then I think to the people who’ve
seen these things before, which includes me, you want
to keep those people interested so you want to explore
it in the ways that we haven’t seen it before.
It’s a delicate balance and we only had nine
episodes in and everyone has a different idea as to
where, what Summer should be doing, and what Cameron’s
attitude should be, and is she feeling emotion or
is she just pretending to feel emotion? If you continue
to pretend do you eventually feel? How is that possible?
It’s something that we toss around a lot and
we’re working through it. But when I was writing
the show I would not watch Battle Star. I said to
Ron Moore, honestly I had to avoid Battle Star for
like a year because I couldn’t handle—they
do those things so well, or at least I think they
do, that I really wanted to go off on my own and not
think about it.
you actually officially been renewed for season two
Josh Friedman: No.
haven’t? Are you expecting an offer on that
any time soon or—?
Friedman: I hope so. The first year show
is sort of the ritual for first year shows is to come
back into the network and tell them what season two
is. Things are just a little weird this year because
of having the strike so we have to readjust what our
season two plans are. We’re going to go in and
sit down with the network and we’ll do a post-game
on season one and talk about season two. They’ll
make the decision. FOX, they haven’t made a
decision on any shows yet. So I fully expect to get
in there with them pretty soon and hopefully have
an answer pretty soon because we need to start writing.
said that maybe episode ten might not be a best start
for season two, so are you planning on still integrating
the last three episodes from this season that you
never got to make, into the second season somehow?
Josh Friedman: Well, that’s what I’ve been
sitting around and I’ve been thinking about.
Some of those episodes were—I can’t tell
you what episode ten is, but episode ten was a fantastic
episode ten and an absolutely horrible season premier
for a season two. “….”, it is heartbreaking
for me. I just wish I’d gotten—I really,
really wanted to do episode ten, it was like one of
my favorite ideas and I can’t do it. I really
can’t do it because it would’ve been a
terrible season premier. So you know—
Brian Austin Green: It was a really cool episode though.
Josh Friedman: Yes. But it’s not doable. Yes it’s
going to take some re-jiggering but I think there
are ideas and beats from those episodes that we had
planned and hadn’t filmed that will definitely
be making their way in. It’s nice to—I’ve
got a little perspective on the show and when we were
working on episodes 10, 11, 12, 13, we had yet to
air episode one. So it’s nice to actually now
have seen the show and sort of educate yourself on
your own show on what works and what doesn’t
work. It’s like you have a second chance with
a look at it.
it be just a half season as well or are you looking
at maybe going like a full like 24- or 22-episode
season or will it still be like a half season?
Josh Friedman: Again, that’s up to FOX. I don’t
know. Last year I had 22 planned and we switched it
to 13 and we did nine. So I’m always—when
I sit down and plan a season out, until someone tells
me otherwise, I plan for 22, and if it’s not
going to be 22 I make adjustments. But I always plan
for 22. I’ve had ideas for probably the first
three or four years. I’ve got arcs for them.
Sometimes it just a matter of moving things up or
moving things back or seeing where it goes.
now originally you wanted to bring back Kyle Reese,
we know. I was just wondering how did you plan on
portraying that or how far did you have that mapped
out before Derek joined the picture?
Josh Friedman: I’m not going to say how I was
going to do it but I had an idea but it was one of
those things that probably worked really well on paper,
and I could easily explain it to you if we sit down
for ten minutes. But I think if it was probably something
that was a bit of bridge too far for an audience,
and again, Kyle is sort of a sacred cow and I think
one thing to see him in the future and it’s
another to see him in the present. I don’t know,
I still hold out hope that somehow I’ll figure
out to get him back, but every time I ever brought
it up everyone looked at me like I was completely
insane. I listen to everyone every once in a while
when it’s unanimous.
I’m kind of excluding
Cameron from this question, but my question is, is
nothing funny in the future?
Josh Friedman: In the future or in the present?
your present. Cameron gets all the comedy but nobody
else ever seems to be anything but angry. Well, I
mean, I can’t see it’s the end of the
Brian Austin Green: She gets the comedy though by chance. She’s
not like Jerry Seinfeld. She’s not standing
up there with one liners and—
call nine millimeter.” Come on, guys. It was
Brian Austin Green: Yes, it was. That was just an awesome line.
That just worked out well.
Josh Friedman: I think that—it’s weird.
In the pilot there’s absolutely no humor at
all and I say that having written it. And then I sat
down and wrote the second episode and I put a lot
of jokes in it and most of them were Cameron’s.
Everyone ... the table read and when read, it was
like, I was really funny. And everyone’s laughing;
it was like we had a sitcom taping. And it was like,
God, first of all no one thinks that I’m ever
funny and I know for a fact that I’m hysterical.
They wouldn’t—everyone was like, wow,
that’s really funny, it’s really funny
and I remember Lena came up to me and she’s
like, Josh, this is really funny, I’ve got to
do comedy in here. Now you never told me I was going
to do comedy. I was like, well, let’s go for
it. Every time people just put on the boots and the
leather jackets it just seems people get pretty serious.
I’m going to try to get more comedy next season.
It’s one of my vows, is that we explore more
of the dark humor of the situation. I think there
are shows—Buffy did a great job with that many
moons ago. I always thought it was a great balance.
So if it’s not funny, that’s really just
my fault for not getting there. Every time I sit down
to do it just comes out the other way.
Brian Austin Green: I laughed in the pilot when she hit Cromarty
with the truck. That’s was actually ….
I got a huge laugh from—
Josh Friedman: It’s always funny when somebody
gets hit with something but you end up with Three
Stooges humor or Cameron says something odd. But I
think there’s never more—
Brian Austin Green: You never know when humor is going to be
funny until you shoot it or really until we’re
on the day, on the set doing it. You read it and you
don’t really pick up the humor until you’re
doing it. There are just a lot of odd moments that
become really humorous, that are just humorous out
of being so odd, I think. Those are the ones I always
Josh Friedman: Yes, they’re strange, there’s
just not a lot of ha-ha. But I’m going to work
on it, I promise everybody.
Will we ever find out what
happened in the room that they took Derrick to before
he was released? And if that house is the house that
Sarah and John are living in now?
Josh Friedman: That is not the house that they’re
living in now, I will say that. I will actually give
a definitive answer. That is not the same house. And
it is certainly my goal that we find out what happens
down there. I originally planned on doing four episodes—if
we had a 22-episode order of the first year, I had
pitched doing four episodes that took place in the
future out of those 22. Then when we had an order
of 13, we were going to do two, and then I was still
planning on doing a second future episode out of one
of the four episodes that was not filmed because of
the strike, was going to be a future episode where
we probably would have explored that. But we didn’t
get there. Hopefully next year.
Brian, do you know?
Brian Austin Green: Do I know what happened in the—?
Brian Austin Green: I do.
you touched on this briefly saying you had kind of
fallen behind on Galactica … What other current
shows are you watching right now?
Josh Friedman: American Idol on FOX. I love that little
Daniel what’s-his-name. I watch, and I’m
not up-to-date, so no one spoil it for me, I’ve
not seen the last Liar but I’m a religious Liar
watcher. Every time they ask this question I completely
blank out on what I watch. What else—?
Brian Austin Green: I’m not watching any television, really,
at all except for this show, to be honest.
Josh Friedman: Good answer.
Brian Austin Green: No, it’s actually the truth. It’s
the only thing I am TiVo’ing and watching really
just out of the excitement of it, being on set and
shooting what we shoot and then sitting back and seeing
how it all comes together. For me I can read a script
ten times and there are still things that I miss that
I don’t really completely understand until I
watch it. But it’s really the only thing that
I’m watching weekly.
Josh Friedman: I also really like
the New Adventures of Old Christine. I do. It’s
funny. But I watch the Liar and I love Dexter when
Dexter’s on. The same shows that everybody else
Austin Green: I’m always just waiting
for shark week.
Josh Friedman: Oh, yes.
Brian Austin Green: I spend most of my time waiting for shark
Brian, what would you say are some of your all time
Brian Austin Green: Oh, ... I watched BattleStar Galactica when
I was a kid. I had the toys and it was the coolest
thing in the world when Universal Studios had the
ride, where the tram went through and the Cylons were
out and all that was going on. Now, God, I’ve
always been more of a movie watcher really than a
TV watcher. I think when I watched television it would
tend to be more on the comedy side. I’d watch
a lot of Three’s Company and shows like that.
Josh Friedman: Dude, you’re talking like you’re
100 years old.
Brian Austin Green: I am 100 years old. Are you kidding? I’ve
been in this … business longer than most of
our cast has been alive.
Josh Friedman: I know.
Brian Austin Green: It’s ridiculous, you know. I’ll
hang out with Thomas and he’s 20 years old,
I’m like, really? Yes, my SAG-card, I’ve
been a member since ’85. It’s just my
life dates me. There is no real way of making myself
look any younger within it all. I’m a huge Star
Wars fan, ultimately. I’m Star Wars to the end,
until I die.
Josh Friedman: Yes, so am I. I’ve even—
Brian Austin Green: I’m in my room right now with all
my movie memorabilia and I have so much Star Wars
... I’m such a nerd. I’ve got Darth Vader’s
helmet and Princess Leia’s gun, and I’ve
got Han Solo’s gun and then all the light sabers,
all in cases, the signed editions. It’s retarded.
Josh Friedman: I have the little Darth Vader Lego with
the cape hanging on my keychain right now.
Brian Austin Green: Do you really?
Josh Friedman: Yes.
Brian Austin Green: Dude, I’m such a—
Josh Friedman: Yes. I still spent like $100 on Star
Wars Lego stuff at WonderCon just for my three-and-a
Austin Green: Yes, I saw the bag. You know
what was really sad was like I almost got in a fight
with Megan over wanting to get stuff for my son. And
she was like, “He doesn’t need anymore.
All you ever do is buy him Lego Star Wars stuff.”
And I was like, “Yes, but I’m sure there’s
a Jawa there and it’d be awesome, he’d
love it.” I’m a total—I’m
a nerd and my son is a big Star Wars nerd now also.
I’ve destroyed him.
we ever find out who painted all those doors at the
Brian Austin Green: I’ve read a lot of that question myself,
Josh Friedman: I hope so. I know. So I hope that you
know. I don’t know if anybody can tell by the
way that we put the show together but I really do
try to plant things and pay them off and I really
hate television shows that abandon ideas; whether
it’s sort of carryover emotionally from episode
to episode. That’s one of the reason the show
is so serialized is I just feel compelled to constantly
track these things through. That story line—that’s
it, that story line is part of the story line that
was certainly supposed to be resolved and I was going
to continue with it and resolve it in the first season.
There’s been some high school stuff that we
shot that actually explored that stuff more that ended
up on the cutting room floor. High school stuff is
one of those story lines that whenever—
Brian Austin Green: It’s touchy, right?
Josh Friedman: What?
Brian Austin Green: It’s
touchy, isn’t it?
Josh Friedman: Yes. High school
is one of those weird things where it’s like
either there’s fans that they don’t want
any high school stuff and there’s fans that
like the high school stuff and I kind of have my own
opinions about high school and what it’s there
for. So whenever I go to high school stuff I kind
of want it to be important so I definitely had this
whole big story that I was working on. Some of it
got dropped for time during editing and I wasn’t
around to edit, so it happened. I don’t even
know that I disagree with it. So the answer to that
is a very longwinded way of saying I don’t know.
But I haven’t forgotten about it and there was
a plan. There’s always a plan. Executing the
plan is a whole different matter.
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