AngelAndy Hallett (lorne) - Tve.co.il Interview
By Mika Gill
Tuesday 9 March 2004, by Webmaster
An exclusive interview with Andy Hallett, Angel"’s Lorne"
By Mika Gill / 07/03/2004
Spoilers warning: all of season 4 General Spoilers for season 5
The Hollywood Highland Complex on Hollywood Boulevard is packed with people, and I’m sitting there on a bench, trying to figure out who among all of them is Andy Hallett. After all, although I googled him for pictures, so far I’ve only known him as Lorne the Host on "Angel", and Lorne is green, with red eyes, and horns. For a moment there, I almost mistake him for a forty-ish, balding Japanese guy, but then the real Andy comes along, and he looks great, and much much taller.
We go over to a nice restaurant, take a sit, get our cran-apple-tinies from the waitress, and start the interview. Nobody in the entire place, not even the waitress, suspects that Andy here is a primetime TV star, and that seems to suit him just fine.
So how did you end up doing "Angel"? I ask him, and he gives me a look. "I mean the show", I correct myself. "How did you end up on the show?". Andy smiles and says:a When I first got to LA seven years ago - God, I’ve been here forever - I came with a friend of mine, Dawn, who’s related to Joss Whedon, so I basically got to know him socialy at first. So he watched me and my friends singing at this bar in Holywood, I used to beg him to come to that bar. Make him. It was scary, I mean scary.
Too sleazy for him?
Well, he likes stuff like that, but there were darts, you could play darts (at the bar) and these were some serious dart players, and the dart board - that was the stupidest arrangement ever, I used to bitch about it to the owner all the time - the board was at the middle of the bar. People are at the dance floor, and then you see a dart flying and you just have to duck, I’m serious. These guys playing darts were old time dart players and there was this guy, Jim, who’s the darts’ champion over there, and he didn’t take it from nobody and if you were in his way, he would just throw the dart anyway.
What a nice guy! Can I meet him?
Oh, he’s dead. He got clubbed over the head and he’s dead, so no. Unfortunately you can’t talk to him, no. So Joss developed this idea and I saw him in the airport, and he was like "What do you think of coming and auditioning for this part?" and he told me straight up, he said "I was inspired by you", so that was nice, but he also said "That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get It", because I didn’t have any experience.
So if somebody else got the part you were the inspiration for, wouldn’t that just suck?
I would have been PISSED. I would be watching the show every week going like - "Fucking asshole!", So I auditioned, and then I had to audition again and again, and then I got the part. I was only supposed to appear a couple of times, like two or three times.
But people went crazy for you.
Yeah, which was great. Really really great.
Are you at all bothered by the fact you have this role in which you’re covered in prosthetics and make up-a
and people can’t recognize you? I finish my question.
No, that part is good. I like that, that anonymity thing.
You get the best of both worlds.
But the make-up is a bitch?
A BITCH! A bitch, whore, slut. I HATE the make-up!a
Do you at least enjoy the time you spend with the make-up artist?
Dane is really good. He’s a true professional; he’s won Emmy awards for his make-up and stuff. Dane is cool, it’s just that this make-up procedure takes a long time and I can’t sit still for two seconds. And also, it’s usually in a stupid hour of the day.
Like 4 a.m?
Yes. I’ve never been a morning person. Never ever ever.
As you probably already discovered yourselves, Andy’s mind tends to wonder a little. Behind every fairly simple question lays an informative, interesting-beyond-expectations answer. He loves to talk and it definitely shows, but at this point I decide we’ve had enough with the small talk, and cut straight to the good stuff.
What do you think about James joining the cast in the fifth season?Do you like what he brought to the show?
Yes. James has a huge following with the ladies, huh? A lot of the fans followed him to the show. He also added a lot of action scenes to the show and his character has a lot of history, which creates a deeper story line. And it also gave us a chance to work with new people, new faces, so that’s always fun too.
When did you find out that Cordelia is never coming back on the show, and how did you feel about that?
I guess I found out in April or May but I don’t really remember vividly. I just remember being at home, in Cape Code, at my parent’s house - to hear the news about the show - and then finding out that we got picked for a fifth season but Cordelia was not going to be in the mix. And I remember being surprised, but I also knew she was pregnant and having a child, and that she probably wanted to spend time with her child.
She did appear to be surprised about the news herself. I mean, do you really believe it was her decision?
I honestly don’t know. I know she wanted to spend more time being able to raise the child, because the way her schedule was prior to that - she couldn’t have. It just takes so long to shoot this stuff. So LONG. To shoot one show is eight days, and it’s eight long, long days, and it’s exhausting. So I can see how one would want not to be doing both at the same time. But I think that Joss and those guys also thought that her character had come to a... I don’t know, that she had reached a plateau or whatever, but I didn’t see that and I don’t think that a lot of the fans saw that, so I was really surprised. But I LOVE her. She’s one of those girls that... she’s in charge, she’s a powerful person. She’ll let you know right away if something’s bothering her on the set.
So she’s kinda really like Cordy?
Yeah, in a way. But not the bitchy part. Just very direct and has a powerful presence about her.
Now with Cordy gone, you hardly have any female characters on the show (except for Fred). How do you feel about that? I don’t notice it that much because a lot of my scenes have women in them. And we have Mercedes Mcnab, who’s funny and great. I love her.
What do you think about the changes in the fifth season - the new format, new locations?
I LOVE the new locations! It makes it a lot more fun. It’s a bigger set and just... well, new. But it’s also hot as balls in there (you can print that). In between takes, I have to go and stand next to the air condition units, because I get so hot and can melt. It’s ridiculous. But aside from that, the new sets are the bomb! I just don’t know if that was the right story arc. To me, it’s like we say we’re going in to change it (Wolfram & Hart), but the place is so evil that... I don’t know.
Andy has obviously put a lot of thought into the matter, yet finding the exact words seems difficult for him. I’m not sure whether or not to press the issue, thinking that I have trouble putting my finger on the problem myself. Plus, the show may be cancelled, but I wouldn’t want to mess with the writers, nor would he. I try to change the subject into a more cheery, colorful one, and strike gold.
What’s your favorite episode?
Well, you can’t get more colorful then Vegas. "The House Always Wins"?
Yes. That’s my favorite. Favorite-favorite-favorite! Not because it was all about ME, but because we got to go on location to Las Vegas. When we go on location, it’s usually around here, like an old house, or a gas station, so that was fun. And I’ve always wanted to have like a Vegas show, so it’s like a real Vegas show, except that all the people sitting in the audience were getting paid to be there.
Remember the scene where Joss played your brother and did that ridiculous Dance of Joy? How could you keep a straight face during the shoot - in other words, how many takes did it take?
A lot! But I didn’t know it was him. He was keeping it a secret.
Do you think knowing it would have made it funnier?
No, I knew after a little while, but HE wanted it to be a big surprise, so he even had his make-up done in another make-up trailer. And I remember, cause the make-up artists were having to cater for his needs, so the whole time I was in make-up I kept hearing "We’ve got to do Namphar over at the brown trailer" and I’m thinking "Who the FUCK is this Namphar? And why is HE getting special treatment, more than I am?", And then we went to a rehearsal, which was out in the woods, and I was late and they were waiting for me. And usually before rehearsals I go up to the other actors and introduce myself, but I was late this time, so I couldn’t. And then I saw Namphar and he did his dance and I thought "Oh my god! Who IS this guy?" I thought he was trash. And... how did I find out? Umm...
He yelled "CUT!"?
He smiles, Yeah, right. That’s very funny... I was standing with David Boreanez, and he was like "Oh my god! Do you know who that is?", and he told me, and Joss was really pissed that David told me.
What do you like the most about Lorne?
Probably the fact that... you know how when Angel turned to Angelus and he got really mean to everybody? Well, he never had that much mean stuff to say to Lorne, and that was when I was finally realizing this is kind of cool. Lorne doesn’t have that much to pick on him. He’s like "yeah, I am what I am, and I don’t go out and fight battles, but you can’t say more than that". I like the fact that he usually gets along with everybody. Like in one of the episodes recently, Spike was like really pissing everybody off, and Lorne was like "Alright, see you later, Spike". You know, not drawing judgment upon anybody, because he’s from this planet Pylea, on which - you know - he got picked on by everybody. So he hated Pylea because he heard music and nobody else did, and they thought he was insane. So he came to LA where everybody is supposed to be accepted, and I think he’d be the last one to put a judgment on anybody, because he’s been judged so much.
What don’t you like about his personality, if anything? I wish that Lorne could be more... actually, no. I’m satisfied.
If you could play any character in the Buffyverse, what would it be?
Wow. That’s a good one. These are all original questions. It’s really wild, that usually doesn’t happen.
Well, thank you. But usually the people who ask the questions don’t care about the show at all. They don’t even watch it.
As Andy seems to have a little difficulty answering the question, I try to prod him.
Maybe someone like Angel, a hero?
Spike? Cordy? If you could play like, Drag Cordy...
It’s practically what I am! ...Can we pass the question for now?
He’s still uncomfortable with this question, so I gracefully let it slide and move on to a safer topic.
What do you like to watch on TV?
Larry Sanders. I love the show! Artie, the producer? Well he’s my favorite, he answers without hesitation, and immediately starts doing an imitation of Marty.
Do you watch anything that’s on these days?
Judge Judy. I love her. So I watch Judge Judy, Larry Sanders and The Price Is Right. Those are the three shows that I watch. I Tivo them.
Are you bothered by the fact that Lorne doesn’t have a love life?
No, not at all. Because that’s me too, that’s the way I am in my regular life, so I don’t imagine playing someone who has to deal with a relationship.
You’ve never been in a relationship?!a
No, I have. That’s why I don’t want to play someone who is. I’ll be single forever. Forever and ever. I love, LOVE LOVE being single.
Never want to get married, have kids?
NEVER! I can’t think of a worst thing in the world. There’re so many people on this planet as it is, we don’t need any more. And I can’t make it to an appointment on time, so raise a child? What’s that? I can’t think of a worst punishment in the world.
OK... so, is Lorne really gay, or is he like the gayest straight guy in the world?
It’s meant to be ambiguous. Like Ricky Martin. He’s just got a lot of love for everybody. It was suppose to be this character that has the ability to just live and love.
Do you have any influence what so ever over the story line?
Can you at least improvise your own lines?
Not even... I don’t know, sighs?
Sighs yes. I add them to every scene, which means Amy Acker can’t go through a scene with me, because she says I add sound effects to everything.
Well, you said that Lorne wasn’t gay nor straight, but I think he and Jack from "Will & Grace" would make a great couple, what do you think?
Oh god! I don’t think they’ll get along that well. Lorne would have to say to him "Stop being ridiculous!" all the time. They’re both control freaks, so no.
Is there a TV show that’s on right now, that you would have like to have a cross-over with?
He thinks about it for a while. I don’t know where Lorne would work. They always use to joke and say they wanted me to do an episode on "ER" and play a doctor and be drunk, but I can’t think of anything else.
What do you think about the show’s fan base, that is so huge, you’ve even got fans in Israel?
I know. That’s unbelievable to me. When you told me that I couldn’t believe it. It’s hard to believe that so far from home people are aware of it. I love it. It’s remarkable. I don’t even know what to say. He pauses for a moment, then goes on. They’re the best fans - I hate that word, best viewers - in the world, because they’re die hard, really dedicated, really loyal, very supportive, but they also tell you when they don’t like something too, if they don’t like a story line.
Why do you think the show was cancelled? Do you think it had anything to do with the budget you spend on the special effects?
Not really. They actually cut our budget this year, and people say you can really see that on the show, though I can’t feel the changes. I really have no idea. I just think it sucks and it’s weird. Weird timing too.
Speaking of timing, "Angel" is finally airing on an Israeli channel in March. Is there anything you would like to say to the Israeli viewers?
Really? Well, what does Shalom mean?
He is obviously trying to avoid an international fiasco. It is a known fact that common words in foreign languages are usually curse words, and Andy doesn’t want to fall into that trap.
Shalom is hello, and also peace, I assure him.
Oh, very ’dirty’... he jokes. Well, I want to say thank you, and enjoy the show as much as possible, cause we just got yanked. This is the first interview I’ve done by the way, since we got pulled. I got like twenty five calls during this weekend, but this is the first one I’ve done.
And we couldn’t be more flattered. a
Andy Hallett and friends
In conclusion, I would like to settle one of the biggest mysteries of the Angelverse. Here’s a question we’ve all been asking ourselves, wondered about while watching the show, discussed it at length in many forums. Sometimes we even lost sleep over it.
What the hell happened to Cordy’s hair?
Andy says that it just took very long to style her hair every morning, "Almost as bad as my makeup".
So, what, the producers just decided it was too expensive for her to have long locks? They’ve never heard of Felicity? Andy smiles and assures me it was all Charisma Carpenter’s decision. She was just fed up with the time consuming styling process, so she went ahead and cut her hair one day. On set, they just didn’t care for the result much, so they sent her to redo and redo her do.
Thus comes to an end the mystery that is Cordy’s Evil Blond Cut. Come on, admit it. That’s all you really wanted to know.