Shirley Manson by  Michael Desmond/Fox Shirley Manson by Michael Desmond/Fox

Fox's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles launched its second season by unveiling its own take on the big screen's mercurial T-1000 killing machine. In what ways does TV's T-1001 differ from the previous model? How does Garbage singer Shirley Manson feel about going from underground rock to heavy "metal"? And where does Glenn Close fit into it all? Here, the singer turned actress answers many burning questions. ( Sarah Connor airs Mondays at 8 pm/ET.) - Matt Mitovich

Um, why pose as a urinal?
"Why not?" Manson retorts. Asked by if perhaps it was some sort of "inside joke," she says, "I don't think it is. I think [series creator Josh Friedman] liked the idea of a woman being able to infiltrate somewhere where a man felt he was very safe. That was a true terror."

How did Manson react when she learned that her character, icy-cold CEO Catherine Weaver, is in fact a terminator?
"I got very excited and jumped at the opportunity," she says. "It's very, very surreal."

Will Catherine eventually go mano a mano with Cameron?
"I don't know; they really don't tell us much about what's going to happen," she says. "We learn on a need to know basis." (As of last week, Manson had yet to film scenes with any primary cast members outside of Richard T. Jones.) Besides, Cameron may be no match for a T-1001. "Being a top-of-the-range model, I don't know if she needs to get her hands dirty," says Manson. "That might be the only downside to my character."

What does one get "extra" with a T-1001?
"I'm not sure what she can do that Robert Patrick couldn't do [in T2]. That's a question for Josh Friedman. I suppose we will find out!"

If Manson isn't channeling Robert Patrick, who is her muse?
"I thought a lot about Glenn Close in Damages, because I felt she was very threatening and powerful. It's rare when you see a woman who you truly believe is capable of unworldly deeds. I also thought of Margaret Thatcher. She was a seemingly unassailable character when I was growing up, and I didn't think very kindly of her."

Is Catherine the epitome of the "boss from hell"?
"I am but there's a really nice surprise coming up with my character, which I obviously can't reveal right now," she teases. "But I am a woman from hell, let's put it that way."

"How" does Manson morph into a T-1001?
"I act the scene out, and then I have to go stand in a flesh[-colored] body suit and have my entire body and face scanned 360 degrees," she says. "They compile a digital manifestation of my physicality, and then do with that what they will."

Did Manson jump at the chance to croon "Samson & Delilah" for the season premiere's opening montage?
"To be honest, I was a little wary. I didn't want to remind the audience that I was a singer. At the end of the day, I bent to [Josh Friedman's] will and did it as a favor to him."

What does Garbage mate Butch Vig think of Manson's "killer" role?
"He wrote me a very quick email saying, 'F---ing awesome. I loved it, Queenie,'" she shares. "Everybody thinks it's really funny."

Will Manson continue with her music?
"Yes. I'm not a huge lead on the show, so I have plenty of downtime. I'm intending actually to go in and start recording some songs next month. We'll see if I manage to pull it off."