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Andy Hallett - "Angel" Tv Series - Bbc.co.uk Interview

Friday 1 August 2003, by Webmaster

Blackpool ball You’re just back from a convention - did you have a good time?

Oh, the weekend was scandalous, we had a ball.

We were in Blackpool and it was a great event. The event was wild, the energy was so thick in the air that you could cut it with a knife. It was just absolutely pandemonium.

About three thousand people showed up for this event which is awesome.

The best part about it in my opinion is that it gives them a chance to interact with you. The other day, someone in the audience asked me, ’Do you feel as though your character has changed since the beginning?’ and I said, "Absolutely, because we all change as individuals and so does the character." I feel much more comfortable playing the role now because, simply because I’m more comfortable with the cast, I’m more comfortable with the crew, the writing team knows me better, I know them better and they know what works for me and my character.

The viewers are staunch supporters, but that also means that they’re going to give you their honest opinion, whether it’s good or bad. Luckily I have a character that people tend to like. Usually they give me a lot of positive feedback and say that they like my character and it’s cool, but if they don’t like it they’re going to tell you too.

Fan favourite Do you think the fans influence the show?

I really truly feel that the the viewers are responsible, via the internet, for voicing their opinion about my character.

Joss Whedon is one of those guys who is so involved with every dynamic, with every element, every single thing that takes place. He’s adopted the micromanagement policy and in all the shows he knows exactly what’s going on, right down to wardrobe department in suggesting what to wear and what not to wear, whereas a lot of executive producers get away from that.

That the fans are so cool because they’ll tell you whether they like you or not. They go on line and say what they think about that particular evening’s show and Joss Whedon goes online and checks to see what people think.

I really am so thankful that people do that because I feel they’re responsible for getting Lorne back, fifty-two times or whatever, so I think it’s great.

Doing Vegas Did you enjoy filming the Vegas episode?

Vegas was my favourite thing ever. That was the best show for me.

Would I really do a show like that? Absolutely. That was a really great experience to have that little dream come true.

We were at the Riviera Hotel and we had their real stage floor, where they hold a show called Splash which is a wonderful show. We had the real dancers from the Splash show. It was awesome to get a chance to work with them because these were twelve Las Vegas show girls with the outfits.

That’s how I fell in love with Patty Labelle. My two biggest musical influences are Patti Labelle and Frank Sinatra.

Diva-tastic How Andy had his moment in the limelight.

This is a funny story. I have never told anybody this story, besides a couple of friends at home, and my mum.

Well, these girls and the stage manager [on the Vegas episode] didn’t know me from a hole in the wall, or know what my real role was on the show. They knew that I was Lorne and from Angel and tonight was my night for their stage and they were dancing with me and so forth, but I think they thought I had more authority than I did.

I had just watched the Grammies [where] Patti Labelle came rising out of the stage on this big lift, hitting a huge high note. She’s got her big outfit on and she comes down the stairs while the girls are all on [them] and does her number.

I look back stage and I see stairs and I’m thinking "Hmm, I want those stairs." There were some on each side, so they brought all these stairs up, and I said, "Girls, let’s try something." I told them I wanted to end up hitting the high note on the stairs and I wanted [them] to go first and create the way.

I’m being such a brat, but I was like, "This is my one moment to shine so I’ve got to shine right now and I’m not going to hold back for a thing."

Those girls went right up, did it like I asked, thinking that I’m a choreographer or something, [and] I was mimicking the Grammies.

Creative writing How the writers dealt with the unexpected.

The writing has become more creative, and what’s very interesting is to see how people will write around real life situations. For example, Charisma Carpenter was pregnant and it was cool to see how they wrote a storyline [about] how that involved Vincent’s character Connor, which I’m quite sure wasn’t in the original plan.

She was getting a belly, [which] of course we hid as long as we could but then one day all of a sudden she’s pregnant and how do you write that off? You’ve got to say, "Oh wow, there was this mystical pregnancy."

There were such things that they did as raise countertops, have her carry bags, they cut a hole in the bed so that her bum would go down in the hole to hide her stomach. I give her all the credit in the world, she worked until she was nine months and one week pregnant. I thought she was going to give birth on stage seven at Paramount. She’s a trooper and she hung in there with the best attitude in the world, gorgeous as always. Never would you know she was pregnant unless you looked at her belly.

It’s just amazing what you can do. I had my head cut off.

Getting comfortable How do you feel your role on Angel has evolved?

I joined as a part-time cast member in season two, and I felt like part of the family the entire time because they accepted me with open arms. But now we’re at a point where everybody’s so comfortable with each other. That’s a good feeling, and I think that all of those things play into the show.

I hope that it comes across to the viewers, because I put in a tape the other day from two and I thought, "Wow, I look really uncomfortable with myself." Hopefully it didn’t come across to others, but I know myself better than anyone. Now we are all so comfortable, and I think the chemistry between us all comes across in the scenes. Everybody gets along.

I play a character who’s very light for a dark show. Lorne, with his bright suits and all that, is just so different from Angel. He’s always in black, and he’s dark and you can count the number of times he laughs in an episode on one hand, whereas Lorne’s always cracking jokes. It’s fun to play a role like that and I think it’s cool to see the mix of the two.