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SUM­MER Glau, star of Fire­fly and Ter­mi­na­tor: The Sarah Con­nor Chron­i­cles, laughs as she ad­mits her first sci­ence-fic­tion con­fer­ence in London in 2005 was a shock.

‘‘ I didn’t know what to ex­pect at all,’’ she says on the line from Los An­ge­les. ‘‘ You never know what peo­ple are go­ing to ask you to sign or what cos­tumes they will turn up in.’’

Glau is ap­pear­ing in Melbourne this week­end as a guest at the Su­panova Pop Cul­ture Expo.

While Glau has ap­peared in many sci-fi and fan­tasy shows, in­clud­ing An­gel, The 4400, Doll­house and The Cape, she says it has been more by ac­ci­dent than de­sign.

‘‘ When you’re first start­ing out as an ac­tress you au­di­tion for ev­ery­thing and you never know what’s go­ing to hit,’’ she says. ‘‘ And my first job was with Joss Whe­don.’’

Whe­don is the cre­ator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, An- gel, Doll­house and the di­rec­tor of the forth­com­ing block­buster su­per­hero film, The Avengers.

The dam­aged but beau­ti­ful River Tam in Fire­fly is per­haps Glau’s best-loved role, while her most well known is the cy­borg help­ing pro­tect John Con­nor in Ter­mi­na­tor: The Sarah Con­nor Chron­i­cles.

But Glau didn’t think she was up to it.

‘‘ I did not want to go to the au­di­tion and my mum got re­ally up­set and yelled at me and said, ‘ Get your rear end in the car! You’re an ac­tress, go and au­di­tion,’’’ she says. Su­panova Pop Cul­ture Expo, Melbourne Show­grounds, April 13 -15. De­tails: su­ Sci-fi star: Sum­mer Glau.

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