If Moon Bloodgood looks familiar, it’s likely you were a fan of Day Break or Journeyman, two short-lived dramas too progressive for television. But come Friday, the exotic actress will no longer have to rely on the fickle tastes of television audiences for a career. That’s when Terminator Salvation—the feverishly anticipated fourth installment in the iconic sci-fi franchise—is released, which features a leather-clad Bloodgood in a feisty and fist-y performance as resistance fighter Blair Williams. Last week, I spoke to the actress about carrying the Sarah Connor torch, her already infamous topless scene, and how not to get blown up.
Hey Moon, how are you? Why are we doing a phone interview? Why aren’t you here?
I’m in New York. Where are you? I don’t even know. I’m like a sheep right now, just following everyone around. I lived in New York for a year, and I think if I lived there now, I’d like it more. I find New York too overwhelming.
Do you consider Terminator Salvation your big break? Yes, yes and yes. How many actresses get a chance to do a movie that costs 200 million dollars, and get to work with Christian Bale? I love science fiction and movies that have to deal with artificial intelligence and the future. Those were movies that I grew up watching. Even horror films, and I do think Terminator has a horror aspect to it. If I woke up in the middle of the night and that thing was staring at me, I’d fucking scream my head off. This is a big thing for me, and I hope I’m worthy of it, to be totally honest
How did you get involved? I knew they were looking all over the world, and I sent an audition tape from Thailand to L.A. while I was doing Street Fighter. I got the part a couple weeks later, but it was very touch and go because of my schedule. I flew back from Thailand for rehearsals in Albuquerque and then tried not to get fired because I was so shocked I got the part.
Where were you when you found out? I was in the South of Thailand on vacation with my two girlfriends. It was a series of phone calls, and if I could clear my schedule, the part could be mine. So it was a week of me not being able to eat and wanting to throw up.
I have to ask you about this because everyone’s talking about it – the topless scene that you did that got cut from the film… Why is this so compelling to everyone?
Well, McG initially said he was going to cut it because he was trying to get a PG-13 rating, and then afterwards he backtracked and said he cut it because it was gratuitous. He said it was gratuitous?
Yeah, he said the only thing he had to cut to get the PG-13 rating was a clip of Sam Worthington stabbing somebody with a screwdriver in the shoulder. Oh, that got cut? Oh my god, I loved that.
He said he ended up removing your topless scene because it was gratuitous and it was too much like, “Oh, this is an action movie, and we have to show boobs.” Honestly, I think they wanted to cut it because they wanted Blair to seem like she helped Marcus not just for love, but for moral reasons. I don’t think they wanted it to be about sexuality. I wasn’t there for the showing, but I know that when we were shooting, we both agreed it was a very beautiful silhouette and it was quick. But I also understand how we don’t want to make the film about nudity, but about the story.
I heard that there was also a love scene that was cut. No, we didn’t have a love scene.
So what do you think about this PG-13 rating, because I know that Terminator and Terminator 2 were both hardcore action films. How do you think it will impact people’s reactions to it? I know what you’re trying to say. I want everybody to see it, and I want young kids to be able to see it. I have a little bit of mixed feelings, because I’m not someone who finds R-rated movies appropriate for young children. I know there are going to be people that are disappointed, but if the story is good, why do we need gore? Why do we need it to be more horrific? There are always going to be people who are unhappy, but I’m glad young kids can watch it and think that it’s not horrific enough to give them nightmares.
Is your character carrying the torch for Sarah Connor? No, people have asked me and talked to me about that, but I really don’t know. We look so different. I’m ethnic, and I’m a pilot. If anything is carrying the torch, I think it’s a hybrid of Kate Connor and me.
Were they looking for an ethnic person to play this role? Yeah, they were. At least I was told that they were looking for someone like me because they didn’t want to make the film about ethnicity or about gender. They wanted to make the film look like how the world looks right now, or even more so because it’s the future. I was so excited that there was a leading female part that was ethnic. That really excited me.
What is your ethnicity? Korean, Irish and Dutch.
Where does your name come from? Moon is a Korean name and Bloodgood is Dutch.
Your role is very physical. How much of that was you, and how much was a stunt double? I would say that 90% of that was me. There was one stunt that I didn’t have time to do and was actually very dangerous, but all that running and all that other stuff was me.
In one scene you’re running through a minefield. Is that dangerous? Well, they wanted to be very cautious, because each bomb that went off was corked and on the sides there were explosions all around us with fire. They gave us a straight through line, but it’s never completely safe. Accidents do happen. There was one time when Sam and I jumped into a pit and I couldn’t see where we had landed.
When you’re doing these stunts, do you have room for error? Well, you can redo it, but you don’t want to because that would cost a lot of time and money, and everyone would have to re-set everything. Because of this, there’s more pressure placed on you to just get it right.
This role might peg you as an action heroine. Are you okay with that? I don’t have a problem with it, but like in anything, you want to try out different parts of yourself, and you don’t want to factor anything out, so I’m flattered to be the action girl but I don’t want to limit myself. I want to express all the different aspects of myself as a human being.
What are some of your favorite places to go out to in New York? One is a Korean restaurant that I’m not going to be able to pronounce correctly, but its called Kum Gang San, in Koreatown.
I had lunch in Koreatown right after I saw Terminator Salvation. No way! So Kum Gang San is the best Korean restaurant, and I love walking up and down 32nd Street. What else do I love? Oh, there’s a place called Saint’s Alp Tea, right on 3rd Avenue. Please go try it and get Bubble Tea. It’s an Asian thing with caffeine that they shake together with little tapioca balls.
I just had a Taro Tea last night. I’m drinking a lot of bubble tea. Are you Asian?
I’m not but— Korean food is not my favorite but that restaurant is so good.
I actually got Vietnamese food after the movie. So you just totally lied to me. How dare you!