Trying to save the world is a dirty job, but Brian Austin Green is up to it. He talks about his Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles costars, his famously sexy fiancée and dealing with his 90210 past — just don't call him David Silver. (Sarah Connor premieres Monday, September 8 at 8 pm/ET, Fox).
TV Guide: It's been a while since the first season aired. Can you remind us about your character, Derek Reese, the man from the future who's now working with Sarah (Lena Headey) and John Connor (Thomas Dekker)?
Brian Austin Green: Derek is very simple, very programmed. He's much like [Terminator] Cameron [Summer Glau], trying to learn how to be human, because he was forced to lose that. He lost everybody — friends — constantly. And he was just at odds and at war with everyone.
TV Guide: How's the whole stop-evil-corporation-Skynet-and-save-the-world thing going?
Green: This season it's all mission: We're trying to stop Judgment Day. We're finding different people involved with the technology companies and figuring out what steps we have to take to change things. It's not like you kill the Terminator and then there's no Judgment Day. Terminators are being sent back constantly. You never know how many there are with very specific missions.
TV Guide: How are you like Derek?
Green: I tend to be really guarded from what I've dealt with from [playing David Silver] on [Beverly Hills,] 90210. It was one of those unfortunate situations where after 10 years of watching you, people feel like they're actually friends with you so they can tell you how much you sucked. They can't differentiate between the character and the person. Then it was: "David Silver made an album." "Hey, they cast David Silver on Terminator!"
TV Guide: So you're not doing a guest spot on the CW's 90210 spin-off?
Green: They haven't approached me personally. I met one of the girls on the show randomly at Coffee Bean. She introduced herself. I wish them the best. I hope it's a hit.
TV Guide: How did you prepare to play Derek?
Green: I auditioned on a Thursday and started work on Friday, so I had no idea what was happening in the story. But I put myself in Derek's place. I went to dinner and spent the entire time imagining what it would be like to live in a world where these cyborgs exist. You start watching people.... [Points to a waiter] Like that guy's walk seems a bit robotic. I stayed in that for the first two weeks, 24 hours a day. I isolated myself on set.
TV Guide: Did that affect your chemistry with Lena Headey?
Green: Lena always had that sense of, "I don't know just who you are." She'd say, "Yeah, I don't know if I trust you, looking into your eyes." I love Lena, though.
TV Guide: Will there be romance between Derek and Sarah?
Green: I don't think that's happening anytime soon.
TV Guide: What is their relationship, then?
Green: Derek is somebody she can trust to get the job done. Sarah runs the show. We disagree on things, and we have our arguments and our little issues — but she's the mother of the savior of all mankind, so...
TV Guide: Off screen, your fiancée, Megan Fox (Transformers), is FHM's Sexiest Woman in the World 2008. Have you set a wedding date?
Green: No. But we're solid. We met on Hope & Faith [Green guest starred as himself in 2004]. We've lived together for three years. We have tattoos of each other's names. We have more time away from each other right now than we'd like.
TV Guide: How is she with your son, Kassius [Green shares custody with former Beverly Hills, 90210 costar Vanessa Marcil]?
Green: So good. I would love more kids. Right now, our biggest problem is rescuing pets from pet stores.
TV Guide: Do you have a houseful of animals?
Green: Yeah, we have a potbellied pig, we have dogs, two cats, two birds, a squirrel. And Megan wants a leopard. That'll never happen! That's a whole different world.
TV Guide: You're kind of a father figure to John on The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Will we see Derek taking over that role more this season?
Green: Yeah, it's a natural progression that John now has more than just his mom to look to. Derek's the older brother of the father John never met. And really, right before Derek came back, he was with John's father, Kyle. It's interesting. But we still get confused sometimes trying to make sense of the time travel.
TV Guide: How do you keep in fighting shape?
Green: I've always trained. I was tired of being the skinny kid. Ian Ziering used to pick me up by my neck, I was so light. I've done a lot of tae kwon do, boxing.
TV Guide: Do you pummel a Terminator in the season premiere?
Green: I have some good gun-firing coming up soon. Sniper rifles and stuff like that. The first episode is badass! I can't give away any of it. Whatever fans are hoping will happen, magnify that by a thousand.
Check out full episodes and clips of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles in our Online Video Guide.
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