Dichen Lachman, Dollhouse

This week on Fox's Dollhouse (Fridays, 9 pm/ET), Echo, Sierra and three other actives "wake up" — for realz — in their sleeping pods, fully aware that they have had their lives commandeered for some sort of "experiment." What happens when dolls don't play nice and instead start busting up their house? Dichen Lachman, the Australian-Tibetan actress who plays Sierra, gave us a preview. Plus: Just how much of each other are the "Dolls" seeing in the community shower?

TVGuide.com: I called you a "scene-stealer" when we first met, because of your guns a-blazing arrival in the pilot. But you've since gone on to give this steely show some humanity.
Dichen Lachman: Yes, seeing myself with the guns and stuff was really strange, yet it was fun because it's so far removed from who we are. But yeah, Sierra goes through a lot of emotional stuff. She's had a bit of a rough ride. 

TVGuide.com: This week, once on the outside, she makes a beeline for the man who, shall we say, "introduced" her to the Dollhouse. How does that reunion go?
Lachman: Well, she's still putting all the pieces together in her mind, because what happened in "Man on the Street," where she's raped by Hearn, is influencing what she remembers. But when she sees this guy, it starts to all make sense to her. She realizes that he put her in the Dollhouse against her will. 

TVGuide.com: And for a very petty reason.
Lachman: Yeah, yeah. So it's quite sad for her. To realize that she didn't even volunteer for this is quite shocking. 

TVGuide.com: The premise of this week's episode, as I watched it, had me thinking, "Wait, isn't this ostensibly what the series finale would one day be about?" But then there's that whole twist at the end.
Lachman: Exactly. It's like Prison Break, where their ultimate goal is to get out of the prison. The Dollhouse is a gilded cage, so you might assume that [escaping] would be the perfect ending. But there are so many wonderful questions you can ask while in the Dollhouse. Plus it's such a beautiful set! [Laughs

TVGuide.com: During Sierra's adventure this week, she and Victor experience a bit of romantic tension. Is it cool to bring that element to this show?
Lachman: I love Victor and Sierra's relationship; it's really special the way they're sort of drawn to each other. He's attracted to her, he cares for her, he wants her to sit with him at lunch or whatever.... He's got this big childlike affection for her that he can't really explain. And then when they go outside, it's still there but it becomes much more adult. 

TVGuide.com: Including ones we haven't even seen yet, which has been your favorite "imprint" to play?
Lachman: I have to say Audra [aka pop star Rayna's "No. 1 fan"]. Every one of us has that goofy, dorky side that we try to hide and instead act cool and collected. But I enjoyed exploring that part of myself openly. Sometimes people look at you and figure, "You're this kind of girl and fit this sort of type," so it was fun to play dorky. 

TVGuide.com: "Taffy" had some fun dialogue, though.
Lachman: That was also a lot of fun - and one of the harder things, because I had to shoot all the Taffy stuff before Eliza [Dushku] did. We had to work hard to make sure we were on the same page. I worked with her and acting coach, because I had to imagine what she was going to do with [the same character]. That was challenging, but it helps you grow as an actor.

TVGuide.com: Is it safe to say that with all these community shower scenes at the Dollhouse, all of you have seen each other's bits?
Lachman: [Laughs] Yes. Yes. The episode where Victor has a "man reaction," we had to shoot the shower scenes like continuously. I had pasties on and a thong, but the pasties kept peeling off.... We have seen a lot of each other. A lot

Crave TV scoop? E-mail senior editors Matt, Mickey and Tim at mega_scoop@tvguide.com.