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Creator / Summer Glau

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A native of San Antonio, Texas, Summer Lyn Glau (born July 24, 1981) is a classically trained ballerina who broke into acting in 2002 with a guest spot on Angel (playing a ballerina). Her career has primarily been composed of active women and damaged girls (usually combined) in science fiction and fantasy series.

Her first role (the aforementioned Angel guest spot) got a standing ovation from the cast and crew after recording her single scene of dialogue, and critical reviews for her performance as River Tam and Cameron Phillips have been overwhelmingly positive. However, she has yet to get much mainstream recognition as her roles have largely been reserved to TV shows and films that failed to perform on the business end.

Now with her own wiki.


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Tropes associated with her works:

  • Badass Adorable: Par for the course playing a Dance Battler. Also see Waif-Fu below.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Also in line with playing a Badass Adorable.
  • Brainy Brunette: Quite a few of Summer's characters have above-average intelligence, such as River, Bennett, Orwell, Skylar, and even Cameron.
  • Ceiling Cling: Done without any special effects.
  • Dance Battler: Literally. She is a classically trained ballerina.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: She has tendonitis in her heels and arthritis in her toes due to her background as a ballerina,note  so shoes are actually painful for her to wear. She has said that boots, specifically cowboy boots, are more comfortable for her.
    "I think the thing I like about River is that she gets to be barefoot so much of the time. I don’t like shoes very much."
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  • Gender-Blender Name: Summer, River, Cameron, Orwell, Paige, Bennett, Skylar.
  • Hospital Hottie: Portrayed one in a cameo role for Grey's Anatomy.
  • Older Than They Look: She was born in 1981, but you'd be forgiven for believing she was at best in her early twenties.
  • Phrase-Catcher: After an infamous incident of Summer screwing up her lines during the filming of Firefly, the other cast members — most notably Nathan Fillion — took to yelling her name as an expletive whenever anything went wrong. Nathan is rumored to have taken the tradition on to his succeeding shows including Drive and Castle.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: In her case, this is the sum of Badass Adorable + Waif-Fu.
  • Playing with Character Type: Her role as Skyler in Alphas. In her first episode, she's introduced in a way that implies that Skyler's a crazy super-powered teenager just like River or Cameron — and then once we get to know her, she's closer to Summer's real age, much more together, and has a kid.
  • Unkempt Beauty: So much so that she appears multiple times on the page.
  • Waif-Fu: Her "River Tam beats up everyone" scenes from Serenity are almost as well-known as the movie itself. Despite her tiny frame, Summer Glau is pretty well-trained in multiple martial arts disciplines. When called on to convincingly beat up people several times her size (like in the aforementioned scene) she requires No Stunt Double.

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