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October 29 2005

Boreanaz Makes No 'Bones' About Being Happy. A nice interview with David. Contains a brief mention of Buffy and Angel.

Gah. Enough of the Bones jokes. ;)
LOL. I don't think they'll ever stop.
Nice to hear that DB is enjoying his new role. It's doubtful that i'll be watching this as forensic dramas come way down on my list of must watch television, closely followed by anything set in or near a hospital, but hopefully this will be a success for him.

One thing though, is he ever going to get to play a character with a remotely normal name? Angel? Seeley? Huh?
I detest forensic dramas, but I love this show
hey hey, ER is one of the best shows ever produced!
Nice interview but should've been marked with a spoiler tag.
What about the comment about line changing? I think that's quite controversial.

I don't think it's strictly true, as I can remember times hearing where an actor ad-libbed in a particular line or made something a little funnier. So perhaps Boreanaz would have liked a little more freedom, but after all, the person who is writing the script knows what they are doing, and the actor isn't paid to write dialogue. Yes, they may represent the character and often can understand them, but the writers do this just as much whenever they have to write for them.

Personally whatever way Joss does works, whether he doesn't let the actors change anything at or, or keeps their changes to the minimum, it made 13 of the best seasons of TV ever, and a fantastic movie.
I have heard soaps allowed you to ad-lib like crazy because I imagine it's hard to remember all those lines as written, but I didn't know it was that much allowed in film/night time.

I will say I did see a clip about HAPPY DAYS and how they brought Robin Williams on as Mork and he just went nuts, and they left it in.

From what I hear from last HALLOWEEN (when James/David were recapping THE GIRL IN QUESTION) David is hilarious at coming up with stuff at the top of his head and had James and the audience in stitches. If they allow him that kind of freedom, it is probably for the good of the character, to be sure.
You know what Boreanaz probabley would be great in, a show like Millennium, it's ashame that went off the air, I could see him playing a different type of Frank Black, most forensic dramas came from that show, but nothing as dark and creepy as Millennium. Lance as Frank Black pretty much set the benchmark for these type of shows. When DB played Angel, he had to play it with that face of a man who's killed, it would of been perfect for seeing what the killer see's in Millennium.

[ edited by SeanValen on 2005-10-29 15:57 ]
The ad-libbing thing is interesting. The writing on Bones really didn't do it for me -- except for some of David's lines, and I was sure those were his doing, and so gave me no hope for the show in general. I feel vindicated.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate it, just didn't love it enough to watch it.
But the problem with Angel was that he wasn't really a funny character. Angel was generally dark and brooding, and occasionally there were moments of wry humour or the show poking fun at his heroism, but from what I've seen of Boreneaz in outtakes and interviews and stuff, he's much more comical and does a lot of slapstick and impressions and stuff. I don't think that would have suited the character if they told him to just do whatever he wanted.
David is not the only one to complain about not being given the chance to ad-lib in the verse, James at the Toronto convention lamented about the same thing. He said he inadvertantly did it in one scene and afterwards was confronted by Jane E. She ask him if he knew how long it took her to write that scene and to please just say it the way it was written. In the verse, there is alot of emphasis on the dialouge it has a certain pattern to it's delivery. Even though the actors know their characters they do not know the flow of the dialouge happening between the characters in a scene and if they ad-lib it might throw the flow of the scene. I can see where they feel limited to have to work with the words they have, they are by nature creative people but the way shows in the verse are structured the dialouge is what makes it work. In other shows like Bones and Smallville there is more emphasis placed on action than dialouge interplay, except like they said in the article among the squints who have to sound like they know what they are doing so their dialouge is written tighter.
I'm with RavenU. David, you want to write your own lines, write a teleplay. As I've said here several times, the brilliance of these (Whedon) shows all begins with the writing.
I think Joss was right about sticking to the script although I can see how a guy lilke Boreanaz would be frustrated by it. He is young and has a lot of spirit and humor in his own character. That just isn't right for some fictional characters. I remember hating those moments in Angel when it was obvious that a little too much of David had crept into the characterization of Angel. Angel is dark and brooding and he is better that way. The humor for that character always came through his confusion with the modern world and his place in it. When David played Angel over the top wacky, the story suffered. In Bones, David is playing a modern guy and he can get away with these things without hurting the mood or theme of the show.
I don't think the comment was meant as criticism to Joss. But from what I understand, Joss' episodes were not only about saying the lines as they were written in the script, he also wanted them to be delivered in a certain way. On the Season 5 DVD commentary Joss mentions how he had James Marsters repeat the hole in the world line over and over until he thought it came out the right way. I can imagine that it is more satisfying for an actor to be able to choose the way they speak. Especially when they enjoy improvising like David does.
I don't disagree with the people here that say that with Angel is a darker character and he should be played as written. My point is with the character in "Bones", you can play around with that and I imagine David is a great candidate since he has such a sparkling personality and sense of humor.

I don't think either David or James are dissing Joss or Jane by saying that they couldn't ad-lib, it's just a different way of doing things. I think some actor or another has said James busted through a wall accidently (or something) and still stayed in character and did the scene, since he's been on stage so much and you are taught to improvise when things don't go exactly as planned.
I'm not going to say that the comment was a dig at Joss, just the way the reporter worded it made him sound like some kind of Nazi. Yes, Joss is a very specific person, but I have heard of numerous times when the actors ad-libbed on the series.

One of the most notable examples is Nick Brendon's "Redrum!" bit with Sid in "The Puppet Show."

[ edited by UnpluggedCrazy on 2005-10-29 21:11 ]
From Amy Acker's IMDb bio:
[on her "Angel" character Fred facing the evil vampire Angelus as played by star David Boreanaz, who ad libbed a lot of his lines:] "I think it's great; he has so much fun playing that character. It's a lot of improvisation and taking risks. You never know what he's going to say; it changes from take to take. He's definitely trying to make a shock; he's going out of his way to make me uncomfortable. It's hard. She [Fred] has heard everything he can do. He's bringing out some of the vulnerability in Fred." [January 23, 2003]


I don't think his comments about acting from the Angel and Buffy scripts where negative comments, he's just comparing his last big job to his current one. He's a more experienced actor now then he was when he started acting as Angel, so he feels more comfortable adding his input and his mental picture of who his character is into his work. Plus, he doen't have to use all the forensic jargon like the other main characters on Bones and his character's lines are more natural and organic to begin with.

Does anyone else remember the time on Friends when Joey angered the writers of "Days of our Lives" and they killed off his character? I was reminded of that and thought I would share.
Alot of the "I Mock You With My Monkey Pants" scene was ab libbing by Seth Green too.
Yeah, as I said earlier I have heard of Buffy/Angel actors doing it before, particularly with comedic lines, but I can understand why they are easier to adjust or change than with a more serious line, and if the actor interpreted it differently then the writer and changed some line, it could change the whole purpose of the scene.

I don't think it's a bad thing in principal, and I don't think Boreanaz is too critical, but I think there seemed to be a little flexibility for the actors, but essentially it's their job to say what's in the script and listen to the director's instructions. That may be creatively frustrating sometimes, but that's what an actor has to do.
I think David Boreanaz has made a passing, throwaway comment that probably doesn't specifically require too much thought in the greater scheme of things. However, it does, perhaps, open the way to an interesting debate on the nature of acting. As someone who knows absolutely nothing about it, I might as well add my thoughts...

Actors interpret what is on the written page and a number of acting techniques can be utilised for this. I am quite sure some actors are content to learn their lines and stick rigidly to the script and the instructions of the director. Others would appear to need a much greater degree of flexibility, be it the likes of Robin Williams and Jim Carrey - or method actors like Daniel Day Lewis and Robert De Niro, who will go to extreme lengths to "become" the character. I would also say that for some actors it is undoubtedly a "power" tool, used when they acquire leading role status, although that's a whole different matter.

I very much doubt that any one method is necessarily better than the other. The skills of the actor are what are most paramount. Ad-libs are clearly a common tool used by actors to personalise a role and I don't imagine there is too much of a problem as long as there is some degree of restraint employed. Some consideration for the other actors in the scene is also of relevance. Obviously, when an actor tries to change whole tracts of dialogue there is a serious problem. I can certainly understand Joss Whedon's stance, as indicated by Boreanaz, especially after the problems he had encountered with various film scripts being butchered after the fact. I can also see that for Boreanaz the freedom to ad-lib is something he considers to be important to his approach to acting. I don't imagine there were any major tantrums involved.

It's kind of odd in some ways. Actors donít, as a rule, expect to change the words written by Shakespeare (as far as I am aware). The skill is in the interpretation of those words. I can't say I have any great interest in the plays of Shakespeare, but I don't personally see any reason why the words he wrote should be treated differently to any other writer. However, since I am neither a writer nor an actor, I don't really know what I'm talking about!

Just the ramblings of an insomniac with time on his hands.
Also, Tom Lenk in Chosen when they're playing D&D with the whole "Back off Sister" bit, or what ever he says. It's ad-libbed anyway.
Dashboardprophet - I enjoyed your ramblings. I am also not an actor and know very little about the business, but your ramblings made perfect sense to me. Thanks for posting.

Ad-libs in the Whedonverse - this is an interesting topic because I have heard it mentioned here before by DB and I didn't think much about it. Now many people here are posting examples of Buffy adlibs, and I remember hearing on commentaries about them, and it makes me wonder about when they were permissible in these shows?

Arabchick I also loved that Joey on Friends adlibbed and they killed his character off.
Well, I can understand actors liking to ad lib and change dialogue. I'm sure it makes it more fun and interesting for them. However I'm afraid I too am in the writer's corner. I can promise you that Joss or Jane or the others are all far better writers than James or David. And frankly, it was Joss' show. He created the characters, they were his stories and the actors were hired to do a job. Act out those scripts. They weren't being paid to go off and improvise. If the director and/or director is fine with it, then go for it (Brando's long improvisations from Apocalypse Now come to mind) but if not, then do your job and stick to the script.

Especially in Joss' shows. His writing style (that Jane and the others adopted so well) is indeed very particular, with carefully crafted rhythms and intonations and timing. If delivered right, it soars. If not delivered right, it can fall really flat. (Take what they did with his dialogue in Alien 4 for a brilliant example of that)Throwing that off can be like changing a few things in a house of cards. Jane was right. It was hard work for her to make it a certain way and a lot more thought went into that than in some words that an actor tosses out at the moment.

Hey I'm happy for David he gets to play around more but I've seen nothing on Bones that comes within a mile of a Buffy script, especially not in the dialogue.

I very much doubt that any one method is necessarily better than the other.

It depends on the writer, the director, the actor and what type of movie/story/script it is. If the people in charge like to see ad libbing, and the actor is good it can work. But in the case of Joss and his writers, I'd say stick to the script.

I do understand, but we all know many actors in Hollywood get a little too big for their britches sometimes. Screenwriters are at the bottom of the pole and if a Tom Cruise wants to change his lines, he can (Unless he works with a director at least as big as himelf, a Spielberg or a Scorcese) and I bet it's often not a good idea. Donald Sutherland, a great actor, certainly contributed to the failure of the Buffy movie by rewriting his own dialogue all over the place and no one could stop him because they were all glad they had him there.

Sad thing is, nothing is more important than the script. (To quote Hitchcock, when asked what the 3 most important parts of a movie were: The script, the script and the scrtipt) A good script at the start is the foundation of your shot at making a good movie/TV show. Because lousy acting can still destroy a good script, but no amount of good acting can ever make a good movie out of a bad script.

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