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August 15 2003

Charisma Carpenter discusses her departure from Angel. Answers a few burning fan questions, raises even more.

They went back to work on July 24 . . . On that day I thought, `Oh, today is officially my first day of unemployment.'

This interview is going to set some corners of the Internet on fire.

btw, is posting who's *not* going to be appearing on the show considered a spoiler? Apologies if I included too much info in my FPP.
She has a very good attitude. I have new respect for her.
It's one side of a story. But it's a sad story.


I think this is totally AtS's loss.
I wouldn't see her departure as a spoiler but if she came back then obviously it would be. Tis a great shame she left (under dubious circumstances) but the show must go on.
What I don't understand is that they stood behind her throughout her pregnancy, went out of their way to work with her and wrote around her to accomodate that, she's now ready and able to work, and they just cut her off? That's like investing thousands of dollars into a fledgling company and then waiting until they're almost ready to make you a profit before you sell at a loss. Okay, it's not exactly like that maybe but sorta like it.

There's stuff both sides are not telling the public. We'll never know the whole story. It is beginning to look less and less like a mutual agreement. More like a misunderstanding.

Still, you'd think if they were serious about this new improved more perky Angel series, they'd bring us back the old Cordy. Just have her wake up from her coma in salty goodness style rather than the crapola they've done to her in the ..past couple years.. ...OH!! I get it. They wrote themselves into a corner and the writers don't wanna admit it. They don't know how to bring Cordy back from being the Queen Mother of the Mocha People Eater.

I mean, they've already played the amnesia card for Cordy. What else is there?
The Succubus Club interview with Fury & Minear sheds some light on the situation. It's pretty clear that they sincerely thought there wasn't much left to do with the character and that even the S4 plotline (Evil Cordy) was a pretty desperate attempt to find a new place for the character to go. Minear even admits how much he disliked the S3 Ascension arc. You add up a lack of interest in the character from the writing staff with a self (& WB) imposed mandate to shake up the show, and it's a pretty logical decision.

I'd add that it seems more & more likely that Greenwalt was the character's (and maybe actress's) true champion and once he was gone, the show decided to move on.

As for what really was going on behind the scenes, we are never going to know. Like any situation with a job ending (or any situation in general), there is always going to be two sides to every story.
Erm, I would think that just writing her out with minimal explanation would qualify as the writers admitting that they'd gotten themselves into a bit of a corner.

[ edited by friarfunk on 2003-08-15 16:29 ]
What? Did you all read a different interview? I didn't glean anything new from anything she said. How is this going to set some corners on fire?
She basically just said how special Buffy and Angel were to her, and that she'd love to come back to wrap up Cordy. What is so sad about that?
What IS sad to me is the treatment her character received for the past year. Hopefully if they do bring her back, it'll be with all the "salty goodness" a previous poster mentioned.
Willowy - I think the aspect where she states that her & Whedon haven't talked about her leaving the show. The statement that she is "shocked" not to be working which hints that this was not a mutual decison. Whedon & Co. have really pushed the baby angle as the reason CC wanted to leave the show and she contridicts this (somewhat) here.

Generally though, I agree with you that this isn't that big a news but some people are going to roast ME over it.
Um, I think it's a pretty big revelation that it wasn't Charisma's choice to leave the show. LOTS of people have assumed, "She wanted to cut back her schedule. She wanted more time to be a mother," when in fact it's now 100% clear that Charisma would have liked to remain on the show.

And the fact that she hasn't even talked to Joss? What's up with that? "Hi, you've been a regular on my shows for 7 years now, and I've suddenly decided to end your contract without telling you personally." (This has caused a huge uproar among Charisma's fans.)

And despite all this, Charisma says she's still willing to come back and wrap up Cordy's story - which is another huge revelation. Also, the fact that she hasn't even been approached about guesting yet - mind-blowing.

Everyone's right - there are 2 sides to this story and we'll never know the whole truth, but just knowing her status in regards to guest appearances is major news.
By not big news, I meant that she doesn't come out and trash ME. She isn't saying that she was fired because of the problems from her pregnancy or that she will never work with them again. That would be big news. Both sides are working to make this look somewhat amicable.

As for the whole guest appearance thing, Ms. Carpenter says she is willing to come back and do guest appearances. It's very easy to say that in your phone interview but actually being willing to follow through on it is a whole other matter.

And, I'm not saying that she is lying or anything but that you believe what people say in their publicity interviews at your own risk.

Personally, I'm willing to lay odds that we will not see her on Ats next season.

[ edited by unitas on 2003-08-15 18:25 ]
What odds will you give?
Odds? I'd say 4 to 1.

Btw, I added to the post above to clarify something
I don't know about the whole business angle, but I'll be pissed if they just have Cordelia die in a coma, or forget about her altogether. Hopefully with the time away ME can figure out some sort of middle-ground between Ascended/ Evil/Shallow/Attitude Cordy and/or a new direction/arc for the character. I reserve judgment 'til I see the coming season. ME is not stupid (though they have done some stupid things). I hope to see CC again in S6 (if not sooner).
Well the standard ME slot for a character who says what other people are afraid to say (ie old Cordy, Anya) is being filled by one of the new regulars (don't want to spoil who but you all know who I mean), so salty goodness Cordy (great way to describe her ZachsMind) would I suppose be seen as irrelevant. No one liked Saint Cordy or believed Evil Cordy. So she wakes up with yet another personality? Poor ME writers, stuck in a corner of their own making.
Am I alone in thinking the whole S3 Saint Cordy thing isa little overblown? S3 Cordy strikes me as the natural progression of the character as she transforms from viscous, vain prom queen to keeper of the visions, Angel's connection to humanity. Yes, she loses some of her delightful snarkiness along the way but she keeps the frankness that has made her such a distinctive character and adds a great deal of compassion & bravery.

I agree that the character hasn't been the strongest the past two seasons (especially S4 where she is the weakest element) but I don't see S3 Cordy as soeme sort of personality transplant like others seem too.

[ edited by unitas on 2003-08-15 22:05 ]
I actually really liked the "Evil" Cordy storyline. It might be one of those things where you really like the first season you watch (like with Buffy). I hadn't watched Angel before S4. Cordy did some stuff that disgusted most people (Connor most notably), but made me sit up and take notice at the risks the Angel writing staff was willing to go to for the sake of a story.

Plus without evil Cordy they couldn't have done the episode with the Magic 8-ball saying "All signs point to yes" at the end. That was classic.

[ edited by ringworm on 2003-08-15 22:16 ]
I think S4 is excellent (probably my favorite) but I think Evil Cordy is the weakest element of it, notably for CC's camp performance. Cordy's seduction of Connor should be absolutely chilling but it comes off as mostly icky. CC is terrific comedian but malevolent evil may be outside her range. Evil Cordy is essential to the season but I think it lacked a little in execution and really harmed the Connor character at times.

By the way, I love how the first season of BTVS that people watch often turns out to be their favorite. I think it points to the remarkable consistency of the show.
It's funny. I was just reading through all the posts and I realised that I forgot to make my point concerning my Succubus Club post above.

Namely, if the writers are tired of the Cordy character (as they've indicated), then it's best that she is written out of the show. The character would be hollow shell of herself and a drag on the rest of the show & it's remaining characters.

As a writer, you can just grow tired of a character's voice (even if you love that character) and to ask the writer to keep pounding out that character is not going to make anyone (writer or audience) happy in the end because the writer's exhaustion will show.
If David Greenwalt was Charisma's champion and if Joss Whedon knew Greenwalt would be putting his new show Jake 2.0 up against Angel on weds. nights she could have been let go to make a point to the ME alumni writers.
vpecoraro - That seems to be pushing it a bit. Greenwalt and Whedon have a very friendly realtionship by all accounts and I don't exactly see what releasing CC would do to Greenwalt. Besides, it's not like Greenwalt choose his own timeslot, that is up to UPN.

BTW, I was just standing in line at the grocery store and TV guide called her TV-movie "imbecilic." Getting called imbecilic by TV Guide of all things has gotta hurt. The Guide did mention that she wears the tightest t-shirts in TV history (their line, not mine) during the movie so breast fetishist everywhere will be Tivoing it.
Anyone ever see that Jennifer Aniston movie "Picture Perfect" ? The premise of Charisma's movie sounds exactly like it. By the look of the website, she's looking pretty good again. I always thought the short blonde hair didn't fit her.
Okay, I normally trust ME writers, but with CC not being called about some sort of recurring role, even later in the season, it looks like they're all tired in all ways. It wouldn't be too tough for me to see a "crippled by guilt, I was the cause of the world's enslavement" Cordy, or "what the hell is the point of existence? I've been the fates' puppet for four years of my life" Cordy. Either she'd finally bounce back, or wander off. They could even have her wander off first, and do the Mulder abduction type of story. I'm guessing if she's lost her connection to the Powers, Wolfram & Hart would have a much harder time keeping track of her.

In response to some posts here...Saint Cordy, while grating at times, made sense. Evil Cordy, was campy. Do we have no room for camp in our lives? Do we all hate the Evil Dead films? I hated Season 4 Cordy until it all came together, and then it all made sense. Perhaps the campiness was the writers or Carpenter's attempt to clue-in the viewer that this was not the Cordy we knew and loved.

I hope CC will return as they've left us with less closure on her character than even Connor received. I have a little more respect for ME than to believe that she will stay in limbo indefinitely. And if she does, my respect for ME will wane quite a bit.
Thanks Unitas, for lessening my confusion on the "big news" issue.

Maybe the writers will take the "Amy the Rat" approach and make occasional references to her until they feel the time is right to bring her out of the coma.

Watched "The Wish" last night... Cordelia at her saltiest!
No problem, Willowy.

Last night, I re-read Whedon's TV Guide interview(it's in the archives) from back in May about CC leaving the show and he is very clear that it was a staff decision motivated by the re-formatting of the show & the belief that there was not much left to do with the character. That CC wanting to spend or not spend more time with her new family had little or nothing to do with it. I mentioned above the Whedon & Co. have really pushed the baby angle and I was wrong on that front so I just wanted to correct myself.

[ edited by unitas on 2003-08-16 19:30 ]

[ edited by unitas on 2003-08-16 19:47 ]
jack knight - Camp certainly has it's place in the Buffyverse, and who doesn't love an Evil Dead movie (it was my fondest wish that Bruce Campbell would play Xander's father) but I think CC as Evil Cordy (after the reveal in Calvary) is a little too much camp not enough scary.
but still unitas, she wasn't the real villain, just a puppet of that villain.

As for Bruce, how about Ash coming to visit the Buffyverse, and kick a little zombie butt? No that would be interesting.
Why fire Charisma Carpenter because the writers can't write for her? Sounds to me like they need more writers. It's not all that hard for them to write themselves out of their corner. They're just being lazy and stupid. Where there's a will there's a way, and when it comes to Cordy the writers just aren't willful, which means a lot of fans of Cordy are getting short-changed.

There's another possibility of sorts. An angle I thought they were gonna do back early in season four. Around the time of the Las Vegas episode I got this idea. The Cordy that showed up in the hotel with amnesia? It was Cordy's body perhaps, but not Cordy's spirit - that was still trapped in that sparkly place looking down yelling at Angel to get her out of there. What that MEANS is, they could bring back the character of Cordelia any time they want, but have her arrive in a different body. I mean, did the season four Cordy ever get a premonition? And if so, could she have faked it?

Let's say that somehow, Wolfram & Hart has figured out that Cordy was getting premonitions due to this intangible whatever it was that Doyle kissed into Cordy before he left. W&H wants this intangible whatever, and without telling Angel, they do mystic tests on Cordy's body trying to figure out where and what it is and how to extract it, but they can't find it. And the reason why Cordy's in a coma is cuz what had been keeping Cordy's body going left soon after Jasmine was born. Maybe it WAS Jasmine, using Cordy's body as a vessel to give birth to herself. Now that she's gone, there's no spiritual entity thingy inside Cordy. She's a vegetable. Cordy's spirit's still in existence, but trapped in that sparkly place.

So eventually a way is found that saves the soul of salty goodness Cordy from her gilded cage. IF they can get Charisma Carpenter back, they can then just put that soul back in the body of Cordy. If they can't get Charisma Carpenter back, then the writers can just say Wolfram & Hart destroyed Cordelia's physical body in an attempt to get that premonition thingy out of her, but the premonition thingy that Doyle gave her was with Cordy's spirit in the gilded cage.

So when salty goodness Cordy's soul is freed, it finds a different host body. Maybe it jumps bodies for awhile. Maybe it becomes Dennis' roommate. Maybe they get a new actress who looks nothing like Cordy but can do a damn good impersonation of the character. Say she's a recently dead corpse who Cordy inhabits. At any rate, they can continue incorporating Cordy's character with or without Charisma Carpenter. However, if the writers are simply tired of writing dialogue for Cordy, then it's doubtful we'll get any kind of real closure with this character. And that sucks.
Great idea Zachs!

Imagine if the new actor was a man! Spike and "Cord" would be butting heads all the time. Funny goodness.

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