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September 05 2007

The Man in the Light Gray Flannel Suit. Vincent Kartheiser speaks about "Mad Men" as well as his experience on "Angel" (page 2).

This is an excellent article. I was surpised about what he thought about his character of Connor on "Angel", and how he compares that show to being on "Mad Men". But his comments were very honest, and I hope "Mad Men" leads to bigger and better things.
I feel disappointed that Vincent seems to feel that every fan disliked him and his character. Connor certainly wasn't my favorite character, but Vincent did a great job with him and made the character ten times more likeable than he would have been in the hands of a lesser actor. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels the same way, perhaps there's some way to let Vincent know we appreciated his work on the show...
"There was a real sense on Angel that people were just doing a job. The grips, the DP, even the directors would kind of just show up, do their job and go home."

It makes me so sad to hear him say that. I can't begin to imagine that that was actually the case. But I guess perception really is reality. And I loved the character of Connor. I agree with foreverwes, too bad there's no way for him to know how much some of us really enjoyed his work then, as well as now.

[ edited by skeezycheeses on 2007-09-04 23:36 ]

[ edited by skeezycheeses on 2007-09-04 23:38 ]
And Vincent made the Must List on Entertainment Weekly this week.

Count me in on being a fan of Connor! His good bye scene with Angel in season 5 is one of my favorites in the series.
I'm thinking it's probably not good form to complain about your first major role (which it looks like it is according to a skim read of his IMDB page) in an interview.

Candid interviews are good, but interviews where the interviewee is so blunt and negative about a professional experience that probably helped them in the long run are not so good IMO. 'Cos let's face it, "series regular for long running show" looks good on any resume.
Well, if they were all just showing up to do their jobs, they were quite successful at it. So, from a viewer's perspective, it certainly didn't matter much. However, if he felt underappreciated and surrounded by uninspiring people who were merely phoning in their performances, then that's too bad. It seems that he left by mutual agreement.

I must say, though, that I have always thought that Angel s4 was a weak season. There were a few episodes that were excellent, but I never warmed to Connor at all, and it was CC's worst season. I have to agree with VK that the writing of the Connor character was repetitive, and they did write him into a corner. I do agree with those who say that the arc of the season held together better than the other seasons, but I didn't like the arc very much. And because Connor was so key to the arc, the whole just didn't work for me. But his return episodes in s5 were quite good.

I am enjoying Mad Men, but I am so surprised by VK's comment that some of the women actors see something appealing about that time. They should have grown up during it. They wouldn't have liked it so much.
Actually, was very relieved to read this. While it had its moments, I was not really impressed with S4 of Angel. I think Connor was largely wasted, an opinion that was validated when he came back later on and was a lot more fun to watch. Maybe I just don't like sullen characters...

However, he seems to be dissing his experience on the show more than the show itself. He's quick to praise others on the show and offers caveats that others may have felt differently.

I like reading candid interviews, because they can often make me feel better about the actors of characters I didn't like. There was an interview with Tom Welling where he mentioned he and Kristen Kreuk mocking their characters' endless whining and I was so glad to hear that it hadn't been their idea...
I don't think Connor was wasted, so much as he was supposed to be a tragic figure--abducted, raised in hell, emotionally distant and immature, manipulable, yet with enough strength to fight Angel. AtS S4 is my least favorite season of any of Joss' television, and Connor was a large part of that dislike.

It's almost as if they'd intentionally gone for a 'Wesley Crusher' effect by making someone young, powerful... and dangerous.

Compare Connor to Fred. If Vincent has a worse experience with the viewers and fandom than Amy Acker did, perhaps it's in large part due to the fact that far more fans actively disliked Connor than did Fred. (Actually... does *anyone* not like Fred?) I would imagine it's hard not to take a negative reaction to the character personally.

It's somewhat sad, really. Several other villains seem to be well regarded by the fandom (Busch, Kane, Park, etc.) and while I hated Connor, I certainly don't hold that against Vincent--I think he did the job he was paid to do, and did it reasonably well.
An admission - there are seasons of Buffy where I really don't like Buffy very much. Too sullen, a little too helpless and confused when she wasn't actively fighting something. But then a Beer Bad Buffy would come along and remind me I still liked the actress...
The was honest, fascinating, enlightening and refreshing. Great link.
Having been a fan of Vincent's long before Angel, I never really blamed him for the way Connor turned out. The season itself was so convoluted, I think everyone was trying to do the best with what they had. I always find it strange that some fans go as far as to blame the actor when a character does something they don't like. The writing on a show is usually more tied to that concept than the acting; writer's make the decisions for a character's arc long before hand.

It was nice to hear him be honest about his experience on the show. And I don't see him as slamming everyone; I think it's like he said and he came into the show at a bad time.

On another note, Vincent as Isaac? That would have been interesting.
I am enjoying Mad Men, but I am so surprised by VK's comment that some of the women actors see something appealing about that time. They should have grown up during it. They wouldn't have liked it so much.


Thank you, palehorse! The more VK talks on the subject, the more it sounds like his own opinion. He thinks the grass was greener? Hello? I found his comments on the subject of gender roles then and now disturbing. I, for one, do not want to go back.
An actor complaining about his time on a Whedonverse show? Is this a first? Probably not, but... It's certainly the first article of its nature that I've read in awhile. I've often read between the lines re: Amber Benson's turning down a re-visit of Tara. Despite that she always worships Joss openly in the press. However, here, Vincent makes no bones about his experience at camp Mutant Enemy. I hope he at least enjoyed his re-visit opportunity when he was able to play a different side of Connor.
I think itís easy to look back on the grass is greener thing, but I think the gender roles were more defined [back then] and t made certain things simpler in life.

Bobbl, that comment in VK's interview shocked me too, but I actually think what he's saying is true -- plus he was saying that it's tempting to see the grass is greener, but it's not so simple or true. I bet some of the women on the set do comment on how they wouldn't mind living back then. The plushness and security of the suburban housewives is astonishing; they wore beautiful clothes, ate and drank with abandon and while they couldn't have a fulfilling professional career, women also weren't forced into the workforce because of economic reasons either. Today, life in America is a great deal different, and while I for one think it's so much better (being a woman and feminist), no era's customs and ways are totally unthinkable. Though personally, the only thing I regret about the lost era aren't the gender politics as much as the clothes and accessories. God, they really knew how to dress back then, didn't they?

The character Christina Hendricks plays is always so beautifully turned out and coiffed, I just have never seen her prettier. The '50s style fashions also suit her hourglass figure much better than today's fashion.

The show is set in 1960. Friedan published The Feminine Mystique in 1963. The Summer of Love, which just celebrated its 40th anniversary in San Francisco, was in 1967. Things are moving toward a collision course of change, and it's going to be interesting to see if they move the show forward chronologically with the years.

Also, while I like the show, it's actually not really my cup of tea. Watching it, the actions and motivations of the characters seem boringly opaque, and after a few episodes of no forward movement, I get bored. I need at least a little of my action to be exterior -- or, going the Hamlet route, expose the innards of the character to the air. Make it psychological fiction at its best. But instead, we get the self-destructive actions of miserable people, ad nauseum, with little or no insight to their psychological interiors. I like the show for its social commentary, the amazing production values and some of the characters (Don Draper, Peggy, the newbie secretary), but it's not a fave of mine.
Had Joss Whedon been able to visit the set more often, I bet VK would speak of a totally different experience.
I don't think he is wrong about his character, he had little or no character growth in Angel Seasons 3 & 4... I don't think he was counting his appearance in Season 5 which was a much more interesting & layered Connor because he had the happy childhood and all the unhappy memories lurking on the edges.

I'm afraid I have given up on Mad Men, I just couldn't like or identify with any of the characters. I was alive and kicking during the 1960s, and it was like that in the suburbs, but it doesn't making it interesting.
" I just had a conversation with a friend today. He called me and wanted me to know that last night I was a little aggressive with him and he felt he needed to talk about his feelings. And itís like Jesus Christ dude! You weight 210 pounds and spend all day long in the gym. Are you really this much of a pussy?"

"I was never a fan of Buffy, Iíll say it straight out. I was never a fan of Angel. I always found it hard to say Jossí words."

Huh. Yeah, well, I can certainly see how he might not have clicked.

I found this revealing but not particularly appealing.
Yeah, I feel much better now about not having ever liked him much. I knew his character was written to be unlikable. But he's also, himself, unlikeable.
I appreciated his honesty. He didn't like his character and that could well be a big reason we didn't either. Yes, I think he was supposed to be a sad creature - pitiable, potentially noble and all, but VK didn't play him that way and so many of us never got invested in Connor.
I imagine all his suggested changes would have made the character more interesting but not "Connor" or what Connor was supposed to be.
But he was also fighting against a rather icky plot. At a Con a couple of weeks ago, Charisma Carpenter was asked about the Connor/Cordy relationship and she said she'd hated it.
Really interesting interview & I can certainly see where Vincent is coming from about his experience on Angel. With the exception of maybe the first two eps, season 4 was IMO so sub-par that I almost stopped watching. It was obvious to me that everyone was pretty much calling it in, relative to the first three seasons.

And Vincent is harder on himself than anyone else, saying that he felt he was brought in to give the show a new twist and that he felt he failed, then giving James Marsters credit for succeeding in doing just that, in season 5.
I thought he did a great job with the material he was given, which was mostly pretty pathetic. And he did mention that Joss was so involved with Firefly that he was hardly ever around, & that he thought it might have been a different experience otherwise.
I think he's a really fine actor and I LOVE Mad Men, it is IMO by far the best new show to come along in a very long time.
Season 4 of Angel is the only season of all three Joss shows that I don't own.

Like many of you, I never liked Connor until his return in season 5. Never knew Vincent was such a wad, though. Huh.
He kinda sounds like a prick.

There is nothing wrong though with his honesty about the job. Just some of his comments expose his personality...prick.
Please don't use comments like that here.
Thank you Simon. Vincent is really young, at least in the eyes of we Ancient Ones, and maybe a little cocky, but I appreciated his intelligence and honesty, and I definitely appreciate his talent.

I agree that it's hard to believe that any of the women in the show would actually relate to the time period in terms of how women were totally second class citizens .... repressed, objectified and in gerneral not taken seriously as human beings, to the point that I have to wonder if whoever made that comment wasn't being sarcastic.
But I don't see any reason to believe that he made it up or injected his own point of view into it. A lot of women who are too young to remember the "second wave" feminist revolution of the seventies seem to have no idea how far we've come.
Want a taste of the fabulous fifties from a different point of view? Watch the incredibly moving & heartbreaking film from a few years back, Far From Heaven.
His Mad Men character is also turning out to be unlikeable. In fact, VERY unlikeable... almost sociopathic. He makes the cute young ladies cry and then blame themselves for crying. Ah.... 1960. No wonder he's having fun as an actor.

As the '60s progress in the series, a lot is going to change in this character's world. I wonder how far into the decade the show will progress. What a great show Mad Men is.

The best script writing is still on the little screen. Joss could SO easily run a show these days. If not on HBO or Showtime, then on AMC, FX, USA... it could even be a genre show.

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