“I’m Tom. How are you?”
I always think it’s funny when a star introduces himself to a reporter. Like, he thinks I won’t know who he is. But then, I don’t think Thomas Dekker thinks of himself as a star even though his face has been seen inside and on the covers of every major entertainment magazine. Tom plays John Connor on the new Fox series, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. And even though he’s been appearing in movies and TV shows since he was little, it’s the first time he’s really experienced this sort of hoopla in his career — or is it? It’s hard to get a straight answer out of the charming, but hyper, young star.
“I’ve always been so famous,” Tom explains, tossing his head in a distinctly divaish manner. “I’m on every magazine cover and billboard, it’s no new thing.” Then he laughs and drops into ‘normal Tom’ mode before continuing. “No, this is new for me. I don’t do this hero thing. I always play the weirdo, It’s very new, scary, and a little intense, but it’s worth it.”
With cast-mate Richard T. Jones heckling in the background, Tom expresses his disbelief at having gotten the role of John Connor, the future savior of all mankind.
“I still can’t believe I got it, because I’m a freak. I walked in and they went, ‘perfect,’ and I’m like, huh? The Messiah, right here?” He laughs as he looks down at his casual T-shirt, baggy pants and random collection of necklaces. “I think the casting directors were smoking something before I came in the room.”
Many people thought Tom must have been ‘smoking something’ when he walked away from a role on the hit series Heroes in order to take on Terminator.
“A lot of people were like, you left Heroes, the best show ever, to do this? But I feel Terminator is just as good. I’ve been watching the episodes and it’s like every decision I’ve made, and the work we’ve done has paid off in spades.”
Still, Tom isn’t relying on the show’s name to bring in an audience. He has a secret weapon to assure the series high ratings in its first week out.
“I’ve been on an America tour trying to have sex with every possible audience member so that we’ll have more viewers. That’s my plan.”
So, how are you doing on that quest, Tom?
“I got crabs, but it was worth it because people are going to watch. Numbers / crabs, it’s a difficult balance.”
Or unbalanced, as the case may be. When I asked Tom to tell me a secret about himself he leaned in close and said, “I’m a freak. I’m a nut case, but they probably already know that.”
Then, as he did with just about every question I asked, he did a 360 and gave me a serious answer.
“I’m a thousand different people. I’m all a big joke, but I’m also direct. People think I’m serious, then they find out I’m joking and when they think I’m joking, they find out I’m serious.”
Yes, I’d say that about sums up Thomas Dekker.
So what’s something about Summer Glau that nobody knows?
Tom adjusts his position so he can see his pretty co-star demurely chatting with another reporter.
“The secret is that everyone thinks she’s very unattractive but she’s really drop dead gorgeous. Is that a secret?” Personality switch. “The secret about Summer is that she has a very very very awesome sense of humor. She plays these very serious enigmatic ‘reincarnation of Bjork’ kinds of characters, but she’s really funny, like we all laugh and she’s part of the laughter on the set.”
And apparently, they laugh a lot on the set of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
“It’s probably the most serious show on the TV and we laugh 24 / 7 on that set. People come to the set and are like, ‘you guys are so funny.’ If we weren’t I’d kill myself. Laugh, ‘oh the end of the world!’ Laugh, ‘apocalypse.'”
Laugh! Thomas Dekker is a riot, sweet and truly charming both as John Connor and as all one thousand people he has roaming around inside his head.
Watch Thomas do his thing every Monday night at 9:00 on Fox.
Thomas Dekker Gets Random:
You have $200 to spend at Best Buy what are you going to buy?
(Excited) “I have $200 to spend at Best Buy?!?!”
If you’re nice.
“If I’m nice. I would totally buy a new sound system, because I don’t have one at all right now. I wouldn’t get a new computer, maybe a cheap TV cause $200 . . probably a lot of CDs, movies, or maybe I’d just blow it all on the sound system. I like Best Buy.”
What’s the last video game you played?
“Zelda 3. I’m not a big video gamey guy, but I like going to the arcades where I can play Time Crisis and blow people away. That’s fun. At home it’s all about the old games, Playstation, N64, that’s where it’s at.”
Photo of me and Tom courtesy of Warner Brothers. Panel photos are mine!