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The James Marsters Interview

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"I Almost Punched The Preacher, Man."

JM: Exactly. And it's not...realistically, it's not so much...to address character in television, oftentimes you have to stand still and talk about yourself, which is not that interesting. And that's the great thing about procedurals...but the thing is, for television, it's a lot more efficient. You can actually explore character, because just going through action is very expensive and it takes a lot longer to write, frankly. But so procedural a lot of times just doesn't address that, and just trusts that the actors who are playing these characters will imbue them with a human quality that will give a reality, but it really is just about, "Are we gonna get this guy?" Like David Mamet says, it's much more interesting to feel emotions than to watch them. You know, if you watch House Of Games, some actors can deal with that, and some actors, it's hard for them. And I think he's a little too maniacal about wiping off all emotion, but he's got a good point. So I think I don't want to play too hard on finding an arc for my character, but in the back of my head, there's always that. There's always, "Who is this guy?"

CB: Right. So you think by being honest and exploring what's on the page, the arc will come.

JM: Yeah! I'm exploring what they give me, and hopefully if I'm in tune with...it's kind of like, you know, I write a song, give it to the bassist and drummer and they take it, and they...it's like magical! It's like, how they treat my dream, how did they know that's what I love? And they're just exploring what the song is. They're not trying to change it, or trying to make it a different song, they're just trying to address it on its own terms, and it's just a great process.

CB: Well, speaking of that, can you talk a little bit about your acting process? Do you have any people or methods that are particularly influential for you?

JM: I think Brando. More for what he said, 'cause you can't try to be Brando. You know, one of the things he said that I think is so good, is he said you can't be bigger than you are. And that can be a joke, because, you know, he was a little overweight, but that's not what he meant. You can't be more interesting than you are, you can't be more fiery than you are. You can't be anything more than you are, and it's really silly and funny to see someone fake it. And only when you are just who you are, do you start to get power. And so that one stayed with me, that's always been really good. He also said just 'cause they say "action" doesn't mean you have to do anything. [laughs] What it means, to me anyway, is you're totally in control. Once they say action, they have to shut up. They're just counting on you to do something filmable at that point, so you are absolutely in the driver's seat for that moment. You know, it's very freeing. And ultimately, if you want to keep your job, you're gonna do something.

CB: So if I'm not mistaken, you did a lot of your own stunts on Buffy and Angel.

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Mondo Extra

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Mondo Extra
The James Marsters Interview

Episode Report Card
Grade It Now!
YOU GRADE IT
"I Almost Punched The Preacher, Man."

JM: Exactly. And it's not...realistically, it's not so much...to address character in television, oftentimes you have to stand still and talk about yourself, which is not that interesting. And that's the great thing about procedurals...but the thing is, for television, it's a lot more efficient. You can actually explore character, because just going through action is very expensive and it takes a lot longer to write, frankly. But so procedural a lot of times just doesn't address that, and just trusts that the actors who are playing these characters will imbue them with a human quality that will give a reality, but it really is just about, "Are we gonna get this guy?" Like David Mamet says, it's much more interesting to feel emotions than to watch them. You know, if you watch House Of Games, some actors can deal with that, and some actors, it's hard for them. And I think he's a little too maniacal about wiping off all emotion, but he's got a good point. So I think I don't want to play too hard on finding an arc for my character, but in the back of my head, there's always that. There's always, "Who is this guy?"

CB: Right. So you think by being honest and exploring what's on the page, the arc will come.

JM: Yeah! I'm exploring what they give me, and hopefully if I'm in tune with...it's kind of like, you know, I write a song, give it to the bassist and drummer and they take it, and they...it's like magical! It's like, how they treat my dream, how did they know that's what I love? And they're just exploring what the song is. They're not trying to change it, or trying to make it a different song, they're just trying to address it on its own terms, and it's just a great process.

CB: Well, speaking of that, can you talk a little bit about your acting process? Do you have any people or methods that are particularly influential for you?

JM: I think Brando. More for what he said, 'cause you can't try to be Brando. You know, one of the things he said that I think is so good, is he said you can't be bigger than you are. And that can be a joke, because, you know, he was a little overweight, but that's not what he meant. You can't be more interesting than you are, you can't be more fiery than you are. You can't be anything more than you are, and it's really silly and funny to see someone fake it. And only when you are just who you are, do you start to get power. And so that one stayed with me, that's always been really good. He also said just 'cause they say "action" doesn't mean you have to do anything. [laughs] What it means, to me anyway, is you're totally in control. Once they say action, they have to shut up. They're just counting on you to do something filmable at that point, so you are absolutely in the driver's seat for that moment. You know, it's very freeing. And ultimately, if you want to keep your job, you're gonna do something.

CB: So if I'm not mistaken, you did a lot of your own stunts on Buffy and Angel.

Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14Next

Mondo Extra

Comments

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