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August 24 2007

James Marsters talks upcoming projects with EW. James talks about current projects and what he would like to do in the future.

James Marsters on House?

*twitch, twitch, drool* ;)

Grey's Anatomy would be pretty cool too.

ETA: And poor Nick. But hey, at least one of them got the role. :)

[ edited by deepgirl187 on 2007-08-24 14:14 ]
Oooh, that was kinda... when he talking about what Joss really thinks of Spike? hmmmmmm.
Yes. That was a little bit awkward to read.
Well, he's raised the number of years open for a Spike return from five to seven, I notice.

Since several of the Buffy alums have appeared on House, it doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility for JM to show up there sometime.

But poor Nick. Maybe HE can get a role on House.
James' recent take on Joss' take on Spike (say that three times fast) doesn't quite add up to me. Joss has always said Spike was intiially a throwaway and then when he saw what James brought to the role, it expanded. Fan reaction wouldn't have happened by the time he decided to keep Spike around as fans would not have had a chance to see him yet. Plus, one of the best arcs of any character ever on tv period... I'm just sayin' :)
Awkward? I could be wrong but it seems to me that Joss has admitted as much.

Not suprised at all.

I'm glad to hear that he saw Nick, and I'm sure something will happen for him soon. After all he got a series right out of the gate so there's probably lots of options for him.
Funny... just started in on season 3 of House from Netflix last night and started shouting to the Husband "Clare Kramer!!! That's Glory!!!!" And then, such a tiny role... wanted more.

Nice interview with James... thanks for the link!
Nope, didn't surprise me either I'm afraid
I don't think it was necessarily awkward to read what James believes Joss thinks of Spike. It's nice to imagine that everyone involved will always have the exact same feelings and everything will run like clockwork but life isn't like that and opinions differ. Like Xane says above, I'm certain that Joss has said the same himself. He didn't identify with Spike anywhere near as much as his original core characters and that Spike's success as a character was never intended to be as massive as it was.

It's actually the exact opposite situation for me, so I can see where Joss is coming from but from the other side of the fence. At school and college I was always part of the cool crowd. Very popular (probably too popular for the good of my grades) and never short of a girl on my arm. The character of Spike was actually the first one that I was really able to identify with because we have a lot of similarities in attitude, style and personality (although I try to ruthlessly murder less people than he did, honest). The sarcastic rocker with the pain-in-the-ass attitude has always been my role in any group I've been a part of and so when Spike arrived as a regular in season four it was fantastic to finally see somebody on the show I could really get. I'd loved the series from the first episode but now I had a character who had a perspective that I really got. No doubt the reason why Spike, to this day, is my favourite character on the box (with Lost's Sawyer coming up a close second nowadays).
James's take on Joss's take on Spike is nothing new and I don't see how it is awkward really. It seems pretty reasonable. My feeling has always been that Joss had a particular story to tell. The story was about Buffy. The other characters, as much as we all loved them were there ultimately to serve Buffy's story. BtVS was not Happy Days. Joss had something specific to say and created Buffy to say it, not Spike.

Spike was a dangerous character because he could have overwhelmed the rest of the characters, and for many viewers, did. IMO that is why he was kept to such small scenes in most episodes. That is also why a spin-off or movie with him as the main character would have made so much sense.
That is also why a spin-off or movie with him as the main character would have made so much sense.


That is all. ;)

Nothing I haven't seen James say before - and he's right. Spike and Angel did, as characters, disrupt the themes of BtVS and they certainly weren't Joss's primary focus of interest.

I think it's great that in spite of that, Joss gave us Spike's character arc, which I love, and Angel's whole show, which I also love, and I'm sure James thinks so too. He's always said that Spike was a better fit on AtS (though the character had to go through what he went through on BtVS first).
I think he's probably close about Joss' attitude to Spike (it's AFAIK not a secret that Joss felt closest to Xander who's pretty dissimilar to Spike) though personally I liked that he might tip the balance of the show by becoming popular as a baddie, it made us think about the morality of killing various demons as he became more aware of what he'd done (and then eventually got the magic "Get out of death at Buffy's hands free" card i.e. a soul).

However, he also says this:
What Joss has said is that he's done with television.

which Joss has actually said isn't exactly the case so I guess, as with any other second hand comment (especially one related by a third party) we have to take what he says with a pinch of salt.

And he'd be worth watching on 'House'. All the guest stars on there seem to raise their game and JM's is pretty high to start with, could be good.
"However, he also says this:
What Joss has said is that he's done with television.

which Joss has actually said isn't exactly the case so I guess, as with any other second hand comment (especially one related by a third party) we have to take what he says with a pinch of salt."

Besides everything someone says being their own interpretation, one thing we have to remember is that people who know Joss are not always basing their judgments on what he has said in the press, nor are they necessarily watching Whedonesque for his latest quote. Joss could have given JM that idea at some point when they right after Angel had been cancelled...and without following the nuanced quotes afterward that may be the impression he will be left with until Joss unveils his next TV project. (See how I slip that positive thinking thing in there?)

JM has said that he does not really socialize with people from BtVS or Ats because he is too busy concentrating on his career (and I would guess, family.) He has also said he does not go on the internet at all. IMO that means his info is almost certainly going to be personal interaction specific and not necessarily up to date.
I adore what I've seen and heard of James Marsters, but as far as his take on what the Spike character meant for Joss's vision of bad guys vs. good guys - that has never rung true to me. Marsters said pretty much the same thing on one of the Buffy DVDs special features. Come on, people, Joss started out the show upending horror stereotypes and assumptions. Do you really think Joss has the kind of mind that would be satisfied with "vampires bad only; slayers good only?" (We certainly know the latter isn't true - not just with Faith and Dana, but Buffy herself was not a paragon of perfection at all times.) As the show went on, it became clear that there were no absolutes and that disruption of comfortable and comforting assumptions was the way things were going to be. In a way it's one of the mission statements of the show, I think. I don't see Spike and Angel as upsetting the themes of the show at all. I see them proving the themes of the show. Buffy and her core Scoobies may have been the focus, but the other characters were key components of a complex, shades of gray universe. Angel as a character was introduced very early on and showed that even those who have done terrible things can be part of the larger struggle to do right, or try to do right. Angel was never shiny-squeaky good, not even in the early days of S1. As for Spike, the character may have originally been intended as a short-timer, but it was only after Joss realized what Marsters could do that Spike was kept on and *then* developed as a more complex, shades of gray vampire.

As for whether Joss was "really" into Spike or not, I don't recall Joss ever saying that. But Marsters feels that, and he may very well be right. However, if that were the case, it wouldn't make sense that Joss would pour so much energy post-Angel with his other writers into trying to create a Spike-centered TV movie. If Joss isn't really into non-heroic characters, then why was he "really" into Faith, an, ahem, antihero and all-around not shiny-good character? It just doesn't add up, at least to me. But Marsters has his opinion and of course in the end he may be right.

I really hope James keeps getting great roles worthy of his talents. I'm not wild about Grey's, despite my admiration for Marti Noxon. But hey, more power to him if he gets on that show. He can make any character sing in my book.
Nice interview .

I'm glad that JM is joining WaT but it's nice to read about Nick B getting auditions too.

BTVS and AtS had such amazing casts and its always nice to read about their new projects.
I don't find what JM said to be awkward.

Joss has expressed regard for Spike, but it's also clear from stuff that he's said he's all about the feminist message and imo Joss thinks of Spike as less important than some of the other characters.

I love all of the characters but I definitely love Buffy and Spike much more than any of the others. However, I do accept Joss's love for Spike is nowhere near as deep as mine.

That doesn't mean Joss has no love for Spike. I'm sure he appreciates Spike greatly and is pleased about creating a character that so many fans adore and relate to.
It seemed to me that the Spike movie talk came more from Spike fans campaigning and getting Joss's attention then it being Joss's idea initially.If I remember,The WB was only talking about an Angel T.V. movie with DB and they were holding out for that.Personally,I never thought they were really interested and were giving lip service to shut fans up.I think knew David was never coming back for a T.V. movie.He made that clear right away.Support Spike started campaigning for a Spike movie and got the word out to media people.I think it was Mike Aussiello who first broached the subject of a Spike movie to the network instead of holding out for a Angel movie.Didn't the head of the WB rely that,"he didn't think people were interested in a Spike movie and he thought they wanted Angel" or something like that?

Support Spike sent Joss flowers and he shortly after at a convention mentioned receiving them and that if The WB was interested in a Spike movie,he was open to that?

So I was always under the impression that it was actually fandom that put the idea of a Spike movie in his head initially and he didn't come up with the idea of doing that himself.He then expanded the idea to include other character based T.V. or DVD movies on top of the Spike one.

Also,I seem to remember James saying at a convention or something that when he first spoke to Joss about the Spike movie,Joss told him that he didn't think there was much left to say about the character?

Farther down the line in a interview,Joss then said about the Spike movie that he sort of saw Spike as being used as a stepping stone for other characters.I think he was alluding to Illyria since what little was revealed seemed to indicate that the Spike movie was going to focus heavily on Illyria herself with Spike being used as a spring board.

It always also seemed to me that everybody else knew more about The Spike movie than James himself did.I got the impression that James had no idea that Amy was going to be involved or that Tim was going to write and direct it until fans told him at conventions.The other actors and people connected to the Buffyverse seemed to know more then James himself.

This is all my impression anyway.

I'm sure Joss likes all the characters but I'm not surprised that he probably has favorites.

Didn't more recently Joss say he saw more of himself in Giles now then Xander?
James--never boring. In retrospect, I agree with Marsters. Joss was always more interested in other aspects of the series while the vampires (Angel and Spike) were the ones who tended to capture the imagination of many of us. Spike is the reason I fell in love with the series, and I know I'm not the only one. I appreciate that Spike was given such a great character arc. I also appreciate that Joss Whedon has written some of the best drama of any writer I've know.
What James said about Joss' view of Spike is pretty much what he's said all along - nothing new there. Now, people may not agree with him, but he's been consistent in expressing how it played out from his perspective.
I dunno about Spike being a "used up" character. A team-up between Spike and Faith, riding bikes, crossing the countryside, helping the helpless for the sake of redemption, grandma, and apple pie would have been darn interesting. All it takes is a few brainstorming sessions and you're off to revealing new aspects of each character, plus creating new characters they would meet along the way.

Let's face it. Both Spike and Faith changed quite a bit, but I don't think either of them have finished changing. They don't know where they fit in, and that's what makes the story interesting. They're misfits. They're both volatile, and they need to find their places in the world.

Who wouldn't relish the wonderful irony of a vampire slayer teaming up with a vampire in order to do good?
TaraMcClay tagged: spike beats xander... poor xander

It should have been poor James, and he should have had the chance to beat the person who gave the go ahead on the use of that photo. Who in their right mind would let that photo be used in a national magazine. Don't they have access to wireimage. Ok, yes, I know, what can I say, yes I go for the photo. Because a bad photo can distract as much as a good photo can enhance.
The difference is you hold the truth with your photos, RavenU.
I prefer that kind of photo to the typical airbrushed horrors. However, I'm all about what was written and very little about the photo that went with it.
It always seemed that even when Joss was remotely considering doing any kind of Spike spin-off, it was more of a Faith spin-off, with Spike in it. Or the Illyria movie, with Spike in it.
The new Buffy season eight, no Spike at all.
It's pretty obvious to me that Joss just doesn't get the Spike love.
It's his perogative of course, but it's a damn shame for those of us who would like to see more of Spike's story.
Thank goodness for Brian Lynch, who does get it, and can really write.
Maybe someday Brian will end up running a Spike spin-off.
A girl can dream!
Edited to add that I appreciate Joss allowing Brian to continue the story, even though Joss himself isn't interested. It's a nice compromise.

[ edited by Xane on 2007-08-25 01:52 ]
What a good interview.

I'll take substance over style any day.
I like that photo. He has such a sweet smile, and the damp, mussed hair just makes him look like a real person, rather than the usual plastic-looking Hollywood types, or any of the more static, professionally posed photos of him that we usually see. He's just so adorable there.

I hope the interview is also printed in the actual paper edition of the EW magazine. That's a really great interview.
If Joss indeed expected Spike to be a forgettable character, he should have never hired James Marsters to play the part! He really underestimated James' ability to take center stage. I would not be obsessed with the show without Spike, he made the show for me. Thank you for Spike, Joss, even if you didn't mean it. I wish all the luck in the world to James.
Joss might be surprised to learn that so many feminists like myself find Spike just as interesting and deserving of our attention as any of the women. Being a feminist does not mean you can only relate to the plight and struggles of other women.
I liked the honesty and acceptance of what Marsters said -- he's right in that Joss (as far as I can tell) has always told his best stories through certain specific characters. For me, his best work has been through, interestingly, female characters. Buffy, Illyria and River (who started out as an ensemble under a male character, Mal, and ended up almost the heartbeat of the show) are the characters he seems to voice his passion through. It's then amazing when you realize how much amazing character development and passion did go to characters who weren't 100% in his heart.
I sympathize with RavenU. She's taken (and shared) so many flattering, candid shots of James (Caroline recently posted some phenomenal photos of James in concert too, on the Flickr). I agree that this photo is badly lit, unflattering, and distracting. He looks way hungover.

Hint to EW: If you want great pics of anyone from the 'verse, contact RavenU.
It would be one thing about a cute photo in a fan or show based magazine but in a national publication. Well I'm glad a few people liked the photo. I don't think it does him justice and I think he doesn't look well in that photo when you compare it to shots taken by Ortega for wireimage at the Grand Slam event back in April. Heck I have seen other photos from the Collectorsmania event where he looks much better.

If I was flipping through EW in a book store and saw the photo they have, I would either gone right past it or wonder if he had been filming a re-make of 'Dawn of the Dead'. Marsters has a wonderful face to shoot, because he is graced with the ability to animate it and express so much with it. So it's amazing they came up with that shot to use and once I saw the shot it did color my reading of the article. I kinda felt the woman didn't care about who she was interviewing or what she was asking. It was just a piece of copy she had to write, her research seem to be lacking a bit as well. Am I the only one who felt odd about her asking about a band that has been defunct for 3 years but not one mention of him doing the voice Lex Luthor in the upcoming Superman DVD.

Or maybe it's just me ... and the way that photo struck me. Like I said before ... perception. Dropping my 2 cents, well I guess 4 cents in the till now.

[ edited by RavenU on 2007-08-25 03:30 ]
I'm a feminist who loves, loves, loves Spike. But I sometimes wonder when I read JM's comments about women, especially women his age or older. And I wonder how well James and Joss get along.
Re: Joss working in TV again. There's a petition asking TV stations to give him a show here.
While I am sure Mr. Marsters believes what he says to be true, I find it hard to imagine that someone who didn't relate to Spike would create the "I know I'm a monster, but you make me feel like a man" speech, the "Rest in Peace" song or for that matter, the last scene in "Once More, With Feeling." It is well reported that Joss Whedon felt strongly enough about the last scene of "Beneath You" -- *not* originally written/directed by him -- to rewrite and direct it. Yes, the scene has an effect on Buffy, but I find it hard to think of it as something other than a Spike scene (and Spike gets a lot more than five lines in it). Spike dies to save the world in a Joss Whedon episode and if Mr. Whedon didn't relate to the character, why bring him onto "Angel"? As for Spike not appearing in the Season 8 "Buffy" comics, as Spike (and Angel) are due to appear in the Season 6 "Angel" comics, there seems a strong possibility that everybody involved doesn't want to create something in one series that will negate and/or straitjacket the other -- notice that Angel isn't appearing in "Buffy" Season 8 either so far. Spike was never one of the Core Four (heck, *nobody* was, outside of Buffy, Willow, Xander and Giles), but it seemed to me that he was given a large and specific role in the proceedings by Whedon, both in Mr. Whedon's showrunner role and in episodes specifically written/directed by Mr. Whedon. Again, I believe Mr. Marsters has valid reasons for his point of view, but from a strictly audience standpoint, the final product seems to me at odds with his conclusions.
Spike was brought on Angel as part of the agreement to get the series renewed, not because Joss had some great desire to write for Spike. At that point, Joss did not seem excited to write for Angel, either. So while he may not speak for your part of the audience, Shapenew, James does speak for a good deal of us as you can see from the other comments.

I do not see the purpose of the Joss/TV petition. I'm sure if Joss wanted to develop a concept for a television show, one of the networks would be interested but has not given any indication that's what he wants to do right now.

As for the photo, I'm blaming Froggy.
The new Buffy season eight, no Spike at all.

I must have been imagining the nurse's outfit, threesome in chains, trains entering tunnels panel then. :-)
Actually that was Buffy's imagination, not Spike or Angel actually as characters in the story. Just a brief moment of her thinking about them.
I rather liked the photo , but then I prefer candid shots which show people's character over the more formal posed head shots.

Most of all I like JM doing a good interview with EW and I love how busy Mr Marsters is these days .

He deserves every success .
I think sometimes that too much is made of James' comments about Joss not relating to Spike as a character. I haven't ever had the impression that it was an accusation or that there are any hard feelings involved, just his opinion.
Everyone knows that actors and writers/directors often have very different perspectives, which seems to me to be all that's going on here.
And I agree with everything sharpenew said, some of Spike's most memorable moments were written or re-written, shot or re-shot, by Joss himself.
As for personal feelings during the shooting of Buffy, is there anyone who hasn't seen the beautiful on-set photo of Joss and James in that (very manly) bear-hug in the recording studio during the OMWF shoot? If a picture is worth a thousand words, well that should be enough said.
And let's not forget that the paragraph opens with JM saying to Joss

''Heck yeah, I'd love to work with you anytime, call me I'll come across the Earth for you.''

So I think it's important to keep JM's thoughts about his character seperate from his thoughts about working with Joss
debw wrote : "I rather liked the photo, but then I prefer candid shots which show people's character over the more formal posed head shots."

That is not what I would call a candid shot, candid shots are capturing a moment of time. Typically the person is not aware you are taking the shot, thus candid.

Dictionary definitions : Candid
1. Not posed or rehearsed: a candid snapshot.
2. Informal or natural; especially caught off guard or unprepared; "a candid photograph"

This was a staged shot, not a head shot more a photo op. James knew the photo was being taken and he was posing for it, the photographer should have used flash or at least suggest a different pose to use the lighting availible. James is very aware of having his photo taken and is completely open to photo direction, typically unless you are a tabloid photographer you want your subject to look good. To me this shot did not show James in his best light. Like I said in a previous post Otega's shot from Grand Slam is so much better than the photo they used.

But again my perception, just trying to clarify it ... and everyone's different.
Great interview!

I can't agree with James' take on how Joss viewed Spike. It may jive with some passing comments by Joss, I don't know. But when I look at the story he ultimately wrote for Spike, I come to the conclusion that James has it all wrong.

Can't agree with the view of Spike as a "cool kid" with whom Joss could not identify. Maybe at first, though even in Season 2, Angel was the Big Man on Campus, Spike was the Second Best Condemned to Trying Harder.

Insecurity was Spike's middle name. We also learned fairly early on that Spike's cool was a cover for the rejected nerd (William "you're beneath me" The Bloody Awful Poet) within.

Agree that it's nice to see our Buffy alumns on TV. I do hope Nick ends up with something good. If any character "was Joss," it was surely Xander.
Just to clarify my earlier post -- I am in no way suggesting that James Marsters and Joss Whedon have anything other than the highest opinions of each other. They have expressed nothing but admiration and enthusiasm about each other in everything I've heard and read on the subject (which is a whole lot). All I am speculating is the empirical accuracy of Mr. Marsters' take on how much interest Mr. Whedon had in the character of Spike overall. It *is* true that on "Angel," Mr. Whedon did not do a whole lot personally with Spike -- Spike shows up in the last minute of "Conviction" and is arguably the regular with the least to do in "A Hole in the World," which is primarily about Fred. Wes gets to grieve agonizingly, Gunn gets to go through a horrible epiphany about his role in Fred's plight, Angel gets the misery of realizing he can save Fred but can't, even Lorne gets to threaten Eve. Spike shares the general misery, but is mainly there as backup. So the "Angel" experience may very well have felt like Joss Whedon was less interested in Spike than other characters, and since by then he was prepping "Serenity," he wasn't around all that much overall. So I'm wondering if/how much Mr. Marsters' current perspective was shaped by his "Angel" experiences specifically.
Even though I think Joss considers Spike a second tier character, Joss is far and away my favorite writer for Spike. Imo, he was the ME writer who best highlighted Spike the bad boy, the funny guy, the sexy man, the romantic, the insecure poet, the pragmatist. I first fell in love with Spike in Lie to ME, where we see that being evil is second to protecting someone he loves. I realized then that Spike could be a very complex character and had hidden depths.

With the excpetion of Jane E, the other writers tended to focus on one facet of Spike's personality.

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