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From Tv Zone May 2004
AngelAngel Final Season Article - Tv Zone Magazine Scans
By Steve Eramo - Transcribed & Scanned by Setje
Thursday 22 April 2004, by Webmaster
Like oil and water, good and evil do not mix. However, a certain Vampire with a soul named Angel is determined to prove otherwise,. At the end of Angel’s fourth season, our hero took over as CEO of the Los Angeles branch of Wolfram & Hart, an evil law firm that once sought to control him. This (fifth) year, Angel and his friends have used the company’s resources to better balance the scales of good and evil.
They’ve allowed some of Wolfram & Hart’s clients to carry on with business as usual, while convincing others to mend their demonic ways - or else. Angel will be the first one to admit that it has been a struggle and sacrifices have had to be made.
It’s no wonder he had some initial trepidation entering into such a partnership, as did the show’s leading man, David Boreanaz.
“When I initially heard about the change I was slightly sceptical as to how it was going to work out,” recalls the actor.
“However, after we shot the final episode last season I had a better grip on the situation. I knew that the show was heading in the right direction as far as getting Angel Investigations out of the hotel and mixing things up with our characters. Each of them was sure to be affected in one way or another as a result of us climbing ‘into bed’ with Wolfram & Hart. That, in turn, would be an asset when it came to storytelling.
“So I felt more comfortable once I had an idea as to where we were going. (Series creator and executive producer) Joss Whedon and his writers wanted to make the episodes more stand-alone as well as lighten up some of the plotlines. They were also interested in creating smaller (story) arcs rather than longer ones. Then, of course, there was the addition of James Marsters’s character of Spike to the ensemble. Here, again, I was somewhat apprehensive, but his presence has turned out to be a big plus for the show.
“I’m both pleased and enthused with the changes and I feel Joss and his team have done a great job of reinventing and re-energizing Angel going into our fifth year. I’ve been extremely impressed with the episodes that have aired so far and those coming up later this season are going to be just amazing.”
In Angel’s fifth season opener Conviction, Angel’s first day at Wolfram & Hart turns out to be a memorable one but for all the wrong reasons. He must prevent a ruthless criminal from going to jail or else risk al life in California being wiped out by a deadly virus. Things go from bad to worse when at the end of the day Angel returns to his office to find an envelope containing an amulet. It begins to spin around until suddenly releasing the non-corporeal spirit of Spike. Angel is far from thrilled to see his old ‘friend’, especially when it looks as if Spike has betrayed him in the episode that follows, Just Rewards.
“Joss not only wrote Conviction but he also directed it,” notes Boreanaz. “Every time he directs an episode you’re pretty much in tune with all aspects of what’s going on inside and around you as an actor. So that was a good place to be in, and once they brought James back at the end (of the episode) that really got the ball rolling. I was ready for what lie ahead. In Just Rewards it was a situation where, OK, here are two characters that we know don’t like one another. They’re going to be at each other’s throats and it’s sure to be a fun ride.”
Along with Spike, the season opener reunites Angel with y et another face from the past, Harmony (Mercedes McNab). It also introduces the new woman in his life, Eve (Sarah Thompson), an ice-cold beauty who serves as a liaison between Angel and the senior partners at Wolfram & Hart.
“Harmony is the type of character who’s come onboard to set the standard of goofiness,” says Boreanaz, “She does it, though, in a way that’s endearing and yet still out there. Harmony is a bit of an annoyance to Angel and tends to mess things up, but Wolfram & Hart just wouldn’t be the same without her.
“With Eve, it’s very much a different story,” laughs the actor. “She’s what you’d call an unknown. She claims to be working for the senior partners but who is she rally working for? What4s her true agenda? Who does Eve represent and what’s the actual motive behind what she’s doing? We’ll find the answers to some of these questions as the season continues to unfold.”
One member of Angel Investigations that did not make the move over to Wolfram & Hart is Cordelia Chase. Sadly, she lapsed into a coma after being used as a pawn to give birth to the evil Jasmine (Gina Torres) during the show’s fourth year. Charisma Carpenter returned to the Angel fold to reprise her role of Cordelia one last time in the fifth season story You’re Welcome.
“Cordelia was a bright and energetic character who came full circle, “ says Boreanaz. “In You’re Welcome what you think is there really isn’t, and that’s all I’ll say because I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t seen the episode yet. It was a beautiful thing to have Charisma on the set once more and feel her energy. I missed that and to get back into that groove was just a blast.”
In addition to further honing his acting skills, Boreanaz has also used his time on Angel to learn about directing. This season he made his directorial début with the episode Soul Purpose. “I’ve been fortunate to work with several talented directors,” says the actor. “In doing so, I’ve gotten a sense of their style and seen how quickly they have to work. I also now have a much better understanding of what is and what isn’t necessary and what to cut out when it comes to balancing one’s time versus creativity.
“Taking all this into consideration, I looked at each of the scenes in Soul Purpose prior to the start of shooting and broke them down, first as an actor and how I’d play them, and then as a director and how I wanted them to be shot. The latter changed, however, once we got on the set and started rehearsing. Prep is an important part of directing but you have to know when to step back and have trust in your actors, I wanted everyone to feel comfortable enough to say, ‘This is what I can bring to the table, what do you think?’ rather then me telling them what to bring to the table and then making fine adjustments. So that’s pretty much how I approached my first directing gig and I felt good about how everything went.”
If the opportunity arose would Boreanaz like to direct again? “Definitely,” he enthuses. “It’s funny, with most episodic TV you’re directing a formula. Angel is a programme that was created by Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt (former executive producer), so you’re limited in what you can do. And by that I mean as a director you have to keep to the boundaries that have been set down but do it in such a way that still allows you to put your own mark on the episode. For me, that was the biggest challenge throughout the entire process. Naturally, the final cut is the producers and very often certain shots have to be cut out due to time constraints. I think my episode came in 10 minutes over so there were shots that didn’t make the final cut. That’s a bit of a disappointment, but also a learning experience where you accept that as fact and move on in order to grow from it.”
It was back in 1997 that Angel was introduced to audiences in the very first episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Boreanaz never imagined that seven years later he’d still be playing that same character, and on his own TV series no less. “It’s incredible to have walked in Angel’s shoes all this time and been given the chance to develop him with the support of gifted writers and producers and a person like Joss Whedon, who is a genius. The work speaks for itself, and when this show ends I can look back with pride and say I came to work on time, hit my mark and always tried to do the best job possible.
“For me it’s about the work and telling the story, and the reward is being able to give that story to the fans.”
Despite his already busy schedule, Boreanaz just couldn’t turn down a part in the upcoming feature film Crow : The Wicked Prayer.
“When I read the script I was greatly impressed by the writing and the rhythm of the piece,” says the actor. “Of course, the opportunity to work with someone like Dennis Hopper as an added incentive. To top it off, the character I play is a multi-faceted one. He climbs the proverbial mountain and becomes a different person.
“He goes from being an ex-con to the anti-Christ, and I love that. I enjoy inner conflict and fast pace in a character. As an actor you cherish roles that are not only interesting but also allow you to feed off their energy. When you get to a point in the story where your character makes a transition it’s truly awesome, and if you can then take and fly with that it’s great. Now there’s the real beauty of acting.”
When he’s not righting wrongs on Angel, Boreanaz enjoys spending time at home with his wife, Jamie Bergman, and their son, Jaden Rayne.
“My family is a very important part of my life,” says the actor.
“Balancing your professional and personal responsibilities ahs a lot to do with being strong inside as well as being at one with your partner and taking life as it comes. You live and die by your choices and whether they’re good or bad you’re going to learn from them.
“If you’re lucky enough to be blessed with a child you come to se how simple life is. It’s quite a humbling experience. My son makes me realize what is and isn’t important. Not a day goes by that he doesn’t do that, so it’s a gift and one you really have to honour and cherish because they grow up so fast and then take off,” he chuckles.
“My hope is that I can teach him what my father taught me, which was to really respect yourself. It’s important to respect your name and where you come from and have pride in that as well as have a good work ethic. Just be yourself and if possible, be creative, too.”
Best of .. .. Friends?
They may not have gotten along in the past, but Angel and Spike are going to have to set aside their differences for their sakes and that of the world.
“Midway through this season a bond forms between both characters that is quite unique and one you’ve never really seen before on TV,” says Boreanaz. “Spike and Angel find that they’re going to need each other because of what’s ahead.
As I mentioned before it’s terrific to have James Marsters on the show with us.
He’s a good person and a strong actor and to have someone like that on the set day-in-and-day-out is, for me, a blessing. James has such an intensity as well as passion about the work. We look at each scene as being a challenge and if we keep on raising the (acting) bar it can only mean the audiences are going to enjoy themselves all the more.”