Moon Bloodgood turns in her machine gun for a stethoscope in TNT’s alien drama “Falling Skies.”

The "Terminator Salvation" star, who says she's "a sci-fi girl," was ready to try other genres, but couldn't quite escape the sci-fi world.

"I was leery about doing another project that was [purely] science fiction, because I've kind of been in that world for a while," she told me during a phone interview. "When I saw the story, I thought, 'Well it's really a simple story about a family. It would be nice for me to play a doctor ... I could kind of get the hybrid."

Bloodgood plays Anne Glass, a pediatrician who lost her only child and husband in an alien attack. In the post-attack world, she's her groups' only doctor, not to mention its heart and soul.

Bloodgood and I chatted more about Anne, science fiction and learning some “ER” tricks from her co-star, Noah Wyle.

Noah tells me he tutored you on how to hold a stethoscope properly and you taught him how to kick alien butt.
[Laughs.] I didn’t teach him how to kick alien butt. He’s being a sweet guy. But he certainly did teach me, no exaggeration, how I should hold my stethoscope, how I should give CPR, how I should use a needle in a way to make it seem more exciting on screen. It wouldn’t necessarily be the most responsible way to handle a needle if you’re really a doctor. But I don’t think I ever gave him tips.

I'm certainly more, I think versed in action stuff than anything. Noah is very athletic, actually. I remember we had a basketball hoop on set and he's really good. ... And he's an amazing pool player.

Really?
I mean like, amazing. The best pool player I've ever seen. And I don't just say that. He is incredible. It's just going into the pocket every time. And it's rapid speed.

Tell me about Anne.
She’s just a lot stronger of a person than I am. She’s very rational and she shows this unrelenting support of Noah’s character, Tom Mason, and the Mason family. She’s just enormously selfless and calm and she’s kind of the voice of the civilians and very maternal.

Do you think that she is sort of adopting Tom's family because she has lost her own? Or is she just, you know, really relating to this guy because of their similar experience?
It's that. And what I like is that they kind of never make her the surrogate mom. The romantic side of it is played down very much. It made absolutely sense that we want to respect the fact that we both lost our spouses. And his kids are still there and he's not going to jump right back into something else. Which I think is kind of like a Noah thing. Maybe he had something to do with it; I really liked that choice.

I'm trying to be the support for Tom and I'm the mother hen to everybody in the whole 2nd Mass., our group, because I'm the doctor and I think inherently as a woman and as a former pediatrician, I'm willing to be a very maternal person. And I don't act like I'm his girlfriend, but you certainly know I have his ear.

He checks with me. I don't say much, but there is a mutual respect, which is really quite beautiful.

Anne is the rock for everyone around her. But she’s lost her son and husband and she rarely talks about it.
There’s a little bit of denial going on there.

Is she going to lose it eventually?
Anne does lose it. I think Episode 3 or 4, I do kind of have a meltdown. [What happens] literally just unlocks all that stuff that I’ve been holding in.

Your fans are going to want to see you destroy some aliens. Will they be happy?
I chose this intentionally because I don’t want to just tote a gun and be that girl [all the time]. I can be sensitive! And I wanted to do a role that was just going to require me to not have to just be physical.

But do you kick butt?
[Laughs.] Well … It was fun. I like that kind of stuff.

What's scarier, the skitters, the mechs or the terminators?
I'm narrowing it down to the terminator or the skitter. If I was in a room, I would be more scared of a skitter because they're fleshy-looking. And even though a terminator is terrifying, it's going to kill you. It's still moving like slow. The skitter is snake-like how it moves and it's terrifying. I'd be really scared.

The fact that they harness the kids is really creepy. And that's a real Steven Spielberg thing, isn't it? [Spielberg is a producer.]
I love it. It's my favorite part of the whole series, the harnesses.

Was that what got you to say yes?
Yes. I love the harnesses. I'm kind of of snotty about my sci-fi. And when I see stuff I just think, "Oh that's lame," or, "That's really cool." I think people who watch science fiction, because it's so outrageous, your [project] has to be really good. It's just so easy to be corny and unbelievable. And when I heard about the harnesses, I immediately thought it was cool. And then there's a twist even within that that I can't tell you about. I can't wait for that to be revealed.

There have been many post-apocalyptic shows and movies. What separates this from the pack for you?
I don't know that our show is that unique. Why you are going to watch this show is because you like the people that are in the show. You like their story. I think you're not going to turn into "Falling Skies" because you're like, "Oh my God, I've never seen this kind of alien." It's not meant to blow your mind as much as it's meant to just connect you to the family. All of that is so important.

I think the CGI and all of that is really sophisticated and really well thought out. I'm really proud of that and I don't doubt that people are gong to like that part. But it's not like we're seeing something that hasn't been done. I think you're just going to watch it and either want to go on a journey with these characters or you're not.

Why do you think there are so many of these types of projects?
It's very clear to me. We're all afraid of our mortality and we all have grown up [hearing about] it's going to be the apocalypse or, you know, it was the tsunami in Asia and all these natural disasters. And then we've got global warming and we're all afraid of nuclear war. All those things play into a psyche of fear.

I think the other component is people are curious about, "Am I the only life form here? Is there a God? What is my purpose?" There are parts of the ocean we've never been to, there are parts of the planet we've never seen. We cannot be the only beings here.