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May 24 2009

Amy Acker to enter the Cabin in the Woods? IMDB has Amy listed as a "rumoured" cast member.

Another Whedonverse trifecta? According to the rumour, Acker will play the role of "Lin". Not sure how reliable this is yet.

Much as I love Amy Acker, IMDB isn't really a credible source.
Curious! I wonder if this is true? Hope so. The character is called Wendy Lin and is a "nervous woman in a lab coat".
Amy Acker was due to attend the Starfury T1 convention last month but had to cancel due to being cast in a film. She sent a message to the organiser in which she said, that she couldn't say what film it was but that people would be 'excited' about it.

Unfortunately the message has been taken down now so I can't quote it exactly, but I did wonder at the time if it could be Cabin.
That's a very good point Cider, I forgot about that.
Please let this be true!

Amy Acker in a lab coat is like the second best thing ever. (Amy Acker in leather pants being the best thing ever of course.)
Cider beat me to it because I was looking for the original too. My friends and I thought also at the time it might have been this.

I'm looking to see if we quoted the original email anywhere on another forum discussing the con, but from what I remember Cider has it pretty much word for word there anyway!

[ edited by RachVG on 2009-05-24 10:49 ]
Amy Acker- now appearing at Joss's Sunday dinners.

It's kind of getting that way, isn't it? (Not like that's a BAD thing!)
Could be interesting if true. From what I remember it's not a major role in the script, but she gets some good lines. She's kind of a Dr. Saunders/Topher hybrid, if that makes any sense (professional and smart, but braggy and a tad egotistical).

Plus it would be funny to have another Asian-named character portrayed by a non-Asian, after the hilarity of Mark Sheppard as "Tanaka" on Dollhouse.
So not only would she get the Whedonverse trifecta, but also the "nervous woman in a labcoat" trifecta?
@Lyonaz: And Amy in a lab coat and leather pants ... what would that be? ;-)
And Amy in a lab coat and leather pants ... what would that be? ;-)

That would be me saying "I'll be in my bunk".

Mark Sheppard was saying Tanaka was supposed to be played by an Asian guy, but they weren't available so he stepped in at the last minute.
Mark Sheppard's been telling that story since before the event occurred, it feels like.
Yeah to the Sunday dinner thing. I think she's a very good actor, but it can get tiresome if she become the Whedon-everywoman. Even the Coen brothers don't use Frances McDormand (an absolutely fabuluous actor) in every one of their projects.
@Tristan the sheer Awesomeness of that would make the world implode. Or I would just buy a million copies on Blu-ray.
In fairness to Joss it's not like he's used Amy in Firefly, Serenity or Doc Horrible.
I sorta second your opinion bonzob, except funny in the sense that it's kinda getting old. While I absolutely love Acker, it is getting slightly annoying that Whedon seems to be setting up opportunities for Asian-American actors to get a shot at well written roles (so I'm assuming) but for whatever reason it doesn't always come through.

While the Tanaka thing did come to mind that character hasn't actually been that prominent (and Echo's new handler I think could have been Flip or something but I don't think he appeared for more than four seconds), I'm still slightly smarting from Firefly/Serenity using a number of Chinese/Asian trappings but no actors. (But then again, in that case I guess it would be pretty jarring even to non-Mandarin listeners to hear Chinese spoken by familiar speakers vs. the lead actors)

I mean come on, there was even that Tancharoen number in "Commentary the Musical" about how nobody's Asian in the movies or on TV!

Then again, some of my righteous fury is sorta diffused by Sierra and Ivy both still surviving Dollhouse and how current-LOSTy survived surprisingly long as a bit character at Wolfram and Hart... Plus I'm sure there are probably other major minorities that have it worse on TV and/or Whedon-works... (unhappy undead-Americans?)
Gossi, I can't see how she could have been in Firefly since she was simultaneously in Angel - Fred Burkle in space (rather than Pylea)? And I seem to recall that the "Spike" movie pitch became the "Spike and Ilyria" movie. Again, not that she isn't a really good actor.
As long as the actors can pull it off, I don't see anything wrong with using them as many times as Joss wants, really. And Acker's brilliant at creating entirely different characters using just her voice and body language (Fred/Illyria being the perfect example). Not once when watching Dollhouse have I thought "That's Fred".

Besides, no-one's felt the need to worry about Nathan Fillion, who starred in one series then took on two very prominent roles in another two.
More Amy (or Nathan for that matter) is always good.
I generally want new actors in new projects by Joss, so we can fall in love with entirely new people onscreen again and so we don't have the "load" of their previous Jossian character to lose while watching. This does not go for Amy Acker. I think there should be some kind of rule that she be in literally everything. Not just Joss projects. Her and Felicia. And possibly Summer ;).
Well, whatever the case, we can always use more of Amy.

Wait...did that come out right? Silly, rattled brain of mine.
I also noticed that Tom Lenk tweeted that he had been doing a film in Vancouver recently and wondered if maybe he had a small role in Cabin, as well.

Though I guess there are other films being shot in Vancouver. Psh! ;)
If we want to point out Joss's love of certain actors, let us look upon Jonathan Woodward; not only did he get in on Buffy and Firefly, he later appeared in the last season of Angel...

Speaking of that, the "Law Man" from the Firefly pilot, also appeared in Buffy before later coming back in Angel...

Any further examples? (Apart from the obvious, Fillion)
Archduke Sebassis, this should answer your question:
ThorpeWithoutShrimp, your knowledge astounds me. Funny how when you watch a show, you go "Hey, they're So-and-So, from Buffy", then you forget until faced with a webpage such as that...

Completely forgot about Tom Lenk's short stint at being a vampire.
I think it's awesome if it's true. I think reusing any actor depends on the actors' range. Sometimes they can't overcome an iconic character. Frankly, I doubt I'll ever be able to see either SMG or Eliza in a wide range of characters but actress' like Amy Acker, or Tricia Helfer, comes to mind, can pull off a lot wider range of characters and make you believe it.
I didn't even recognize Tricia Helfer when she guested on Supernatural. I noticed her name in the credits, and was thinking, "oh cool!" and specifically looking out for her. About halfway through I was like, "She was first billed, where the hell is she?" So I looked it up, and she was the character who had been in the episode since the first shot. She looked so different!
Another "Buffy"-"Angel"-"Firefly" trifecta actor: Jeff Ricketts -- he's one of the Watchers who chases Faith from "Buffy" onto "Angel," back on "Angel" as the "We loved her first" sewer monster on "Angel" and one of the Blue-Gloved Men on "Firefly." Re: casting actual Chinese-American actors creating contrast with the Euro-American actors speaking Chinese -- not necessarily. I'm Jewish of Russian descent -- I speak neither Hebrew nor Russian, alas.
I don't mind seeing Johnny Depp in almost every Tim Burton movie lately ^^
A few things that pop to mind.
1. IMDB is editable by users, so this is far from credable. The fans for Game of Thrones for HBO have run into this issue of people editing IMDB to put forward their favorite actors for roles despite repeated proof against it.
2. I love Amy, but between her new, um, less than good show, and (hopefully) Dollhouse, isn't she a bit busy?
3. There are more Asian Americans than from China, and not all speak Mandarin (many Chinese don't speak Mandarin for that matter). I also wish there were Asian characters in Firefly, but I have to assume that there would have been if it had gone on longer.
4. To go along with the above, keep in mind that there is a person of Asian descent in Dollhouse. Sorry if being Tibetan-Australian doesn't make people happy enough, but I sure as hell won't complain about Dichen. :)
2. I love Amy, but between her new, um, less than good show, and (hopefully) Dollhouse, isn't she a bit busy?

Cabin filming is about to wrap, last I heard.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-05-24 19:18 ]
When did Joss last post? Because he said they were two weeks from finishing then, indeed.

I guess it'd be when Dollhouse was renewed, so... the 15th? Meaning they'll be done in a week.
GVH, don't forget about Alan Tudyk! He should be in everything too.
If true, I think this is great news. Amy Acker needs to be on the big screen, like, ALWAYS.
Jobo, I couldn't recall if he said it here or in an interview, but that was when the two weeks mention happened, yeah.
Also, while IMDb is certainly not the most reliable source, they've been doing a good job of predicting Cabin cast members, haven't they? Didn't they announce a few of the five teens before any major news outlets did?
I certainly hope this is true. Because I loves me some Acker.
Who would she play? I've read the script - no, I don't have it - and I can't think of a character for her.

EDIT: "Lin." Well, teaches me for not looking!

[ edited by The Dark Shape on 2009-05-24 20:29 ]
Joss sure does like to recycle some of his favorite actors. To the point where I kind of get tired of seeing them get all the jobs all the time!
Well, they can make up a character for her. Isn't that what Joss said happened with DH?
Going back to the language thing, I was sorta intentionally vague about "familiar speakers" not necessarily being ABCs (American-born Chinese) since I'm well aware that tons of other people who learned the language fluently, but generally it does help if they've picked up the phonemes and tones when they were younger. Like I knew it as a kid and I can tell when things sound wrong but I can't for the life of me actually produce them correctly myself.

Plus I'm okay with nationality-blind casting like Korean-Am John Cho as Japanese[-American?] Sulu in the Star Trek remake but it would be nice for at least some token visual acknowledgment too. Like in Serenity while I thought Fanty and Mingo were pretty delightful they also could have been Chinese and/or Asian. (Okay, while I admit that there probably aren't too many Asian actor twins, it's not that hard to just cast vaguely similar since we all look the same. ^_^ And yeah, I'm practically certain even if that did happen there would be some other Asian-Ams complaining about how that represented Yellow Peril.)

Somewhat on this point of ethnic diversity though, whatever did happen to Shohreh Aghdashloo in Serenity? I sorta suspected she was meant to be the scientist on Miranda but this might be since I thought that character (of the well intentioned scientist doing horrible things) was basically the same as Dr. Rao in Astonishing and I made this connection sometime after she was cast in X3 as that role...

And hey actually, that could have been a simple role for Whedon to make Acker step into too! He's showing considerable restraint. ^_^
Gossi, Amy Acker was not in it, but she was on set for Dr. Horrible! Does that count? |-)~
Well, they can make up a character for her. Isn't that what Joss said happened with DH?

Actually, I think it was kinda the other way around. Dr. Saunders was there from the beginning and Amy got casted at the last second. Joss had to change some aspects of the character (age, for instance) because of that last minute call.
What I read was that he called her up and said "I've got a place for you" or some such. Means that he changed things to get her in, no?
I'll see if I can find the interview for this so we can stop going back and forth, but I'm pretty sure--at least in Amy's version of events--she kept slyly telling Joss how cool she thought DH sounded, how it seemed like a great idea, blah blah blah, until he eventually got the hint and cast her in it, a move which required changing some aspects of the Saunders character.

And along those lines, I do wonder if Saunders was always intended to be an active. I mean, they were originally planning to cast someone older in the role, and that doesn't fit with what we've seen of dolls so far (although Joss has said that his original plan included a range of doll-types, so perhaps this just falls into that original plan).

EDIT: Here we go. Looks like there was indeed an unexpected call from Joss, but leading up to it she had been talking to him a lot about the show. The second question/answer, however, confirms that the role existed before Amy was cast, and was simply changed to accommodate her.

[ edited by Jobo on 2009-05-24 23:52 ]
I'm pretty sure the Whiskey thing was there right from the very beginning, pre-Amy.

[ edited by gossi on 2009-05-25 05:19 ]
GVH, don't forget about Alan Tudyk! He should be in everything too.

True thing, geratongs3000. And, also, Nathan. And Alexis. (Joss really has a way of picking 'em, hasn't he? Silly article a while back that stated that casting was his weak point ;))
You can never go wrong with more Amy.

I still feel we never got enough of Illyria and Time Minea should have made her the star of The Inside, that role was tailor made for her (big missed opportunity). Rachel Nichols really was the week link in that show and the Idea of Amy in that role just make my brain explode. Dam!
I for one absolutely loved Rachel Nichols in The Inside. I thought she hit all the right notes.
Or, perhaps Cabin filming is done.
Oh, my. That's good news!

Every time I get excited about how quickly it's coming along, though, I remember that this isn't like Dr. H, where as soon as they finish it we'll see it. Heh. Still, only... 257 days! (thanks, internet!)
Well at some point Joss talked about a Tango who would be an elegant older doll so I imagine that could have been Dr. Saunders if she were always meant to be an active secretly?
That was the best acting Rachel Nichols will probably ever do. Loved her in The Inside. The subtlety of that character was fucking brilliant.
I feel the criticism Rachel Nichols received for her role in The Inside is very similar to the criticism Eliza Dushku is facing with Dollhouse. The character she was playing was meant to be emotionally shut-off and awkward (with the plan to have her open up over the course of the series). The trouble is, there's a fine line separating the characteristics necessary to play such a role from those displayed by a bad actor. As a result, some who found it hard to relate to the character attributed it, I think unfairly, to her acting rather than the nature of the character.

[ edited by Barry Woodward on 2009-05-25 08:38 ]
Sorry I'm not buying it Rachel Nichols barely gave a performance on the Inside, much less a subtle one.

To me the bench mark for that kind of role was Jody Foster in Silence of the Lambs and next to Jody Foster, Rachel Nichols performance doesn't even rate a mention.

How can anybody look at Rachel Nichols on The Inside and not see an actress well a truly out of her depth? Particularly when she was standing next to Peter Coyote.

Last time I saw Rachel Nichols she was painted green and wearing bikini on Star Trek and next up she will be wearing leather and shooting guns in G.I. Joe (roles much more suited to her subtle acting ability).
Whoa, I had no idea that there was that much Rachel Nichols criticism out there.

I was amazed by the complete The Inside cast, and she was no exception. The fact that she did Star Trek later... well, I am certain that we can find such career-loopholes for any actor or actress we like.
Rachel Nichols has gotten a lot better recently, but she was out of her league on the Inside. Painfully wooden.
You say "painfully wooden", I say "mannerisms indicative of an emotionally closed-off individual".

[ edited by Barry Woodward on 2009-05-25 08:55 ]
I thought she played the part as written beautifully. The character was supposed to be severely damaged, severely wooden and broken. That was kind of the point. Sorry you all completely missed it. That is truly unfortunate.
Ah, she must have also been playing severely wooden characters in Alias, The Amityville Horror, The Woods, and Dumb and Dumberer. Poor girl's just typecast :)
She was fine in Alias. Never had reason to see the others.
I did like her in P2, and her brief appearances in Charlie Wilson's War and Star Trek were perfectly fine.

[ edited by bonzob on 2009-05-25 09:36 ]
To make an emotionally shut-off and awkward character interesting and engaging to an audience is a tough job for even an extremely talented actress (like Summer Glau) and particularly when she is the lead character in the show. And I'm afraid Rachel Nichols just wasn't up to the challenge (unlike Amy Acker, who would have nailed it).

It's also important to realise that Rachel Nichols was never actually hired to play the role she ended up playing. The original pilot for the inside had a different supporting cast and a different storyline to what we ended up seeing. The original concept for the show was about an agent (Rachel Nichols) that went undercover at a high school (or something like that). That was the role she was hired to play and it was no doubt a far less challenging role and more appropriate for her acting abilities (Iím being nice).

[ edited by Zoic_Fan on 2009-05-25 12:15 ]
I actually quite liked Rachel Nichols performance in The Inside. She was cold in the role, but I think that was the point.
Rachel Nichols has gotten a lot better recently, but she was out of her league on the Inside. Painfully wooden.

Did you see all 13 eps? 'Cause I can't imagine saying that after watching the whole series. I thought she was wooden at first, then realized that was the character and the changes to the way she played it as the end approached were subtle, but very well executed.
I don't think Joss (or any other creator) should cast based in the race (, or to make some quota. Dichen, was great and she wasn't there because of the need to represent her ascendece. I won't like if Joss write a character to be Latin only to fill a racial need. I want good characters, no matter their origin.
The only thing thing tha bother me is innacurance of "details" as lets see, in Fool for Love,a sign reading cerveza, the Spanish word for "beer", while Spike should be in Brazil, where Portuguese is the languge. Unless, of course, Dru becames a big Ho and crushed every Chaos demon she foud in latin America :(
Back to Cabin, briefly, more Twitter traffic from the wrap party says they saw the gag reel.
Oh my. Maybe it will be a gory movie :O

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