From Sky Customer Magazine UK February 2004
AngelAngel Season 5 Behind The Scene Article
Tuesday 3 February 2004, by Webmaster
With the demise of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, fans of the supernatural have big expectations of the new series of Angel - but in our exclusive peek behind the scenes, David Boreanaz and the cast tell us they’re ready for the challenge.
Now Sarah Michelle Gellar has hung up her stake for good, all hopes of slaying the bloodthirsty vampires and the even more bloodthirsty ratings competition are resting on Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s spin-off sister show Angel. The series, about a reformed vampires who battles baddies on the streets of Los Angeles, is beginning its new fifth season on Sky One this month and - with an awesome new set, a storyline based around an evil law firm and new stars including Buffy’s prized vampires asset Spike (James Marsters) - the spotlight on the cast is intense enough to have most fanged demons fleeing into the night.
Not David Boreanaz though. The broody star of the show bursts out of the set door after 14 hours of non-stop filming of the latest episode and looks up at the starry LA sky. "I love nights like this," he laughs, strolling the few short paces to his palatial trailer, jumps into an armchair and reveals the reason for his good mood.
"So far it’s just exciting, it’s new, it’s different, it’s re-energised. It can only get better because it’s a new show, a different show." It’s lucky that David,32, is feeling perky, as he’s been packing in extra work, too - a cameo in Dido’s recent White Flag music video and a role alongside Dennis Hopper in the new film Crow: The Wicked Prayer, to name a couple of the bonus assignments that have come his way.
"That was even harder than this show," he says of filming Crow. "I was working with a screen legend. Dennis Hopper’s one of my icons, I love the guy. He’s a Taurus and I’m a Taurus, when you mix minds with another Taurean it can get pretty rowdy, it’s cool!"
Boreanaz knows his rightful place though - on the Angel set, where the banter between the cast is crucial to the chemistry when the cameras roll.
James Marsters, who can sometimes be spotted in full vampire prosthetics, strumming his beloved guitar between scenes - puts his feet up in Angel’s new office set to explain how he gets into the mood.
"David really peps me up and we start clicking off each other," he says, running a finger over a smear of fake blood on his neck. "Yesterday we had this huge fight scene and the blood was flying off our faces. Cool! I had the bloody nose, of course, because David doesn’t want to have anything sticking up his nose!"
Another star who loves the action but could live without the cosmetics is Andy Hallett, better known to fans as green demon Lorne. He arrives early every morning to endure three hours of makeup before filming starts. "I’ve had it done 213 times - not that I’m counting," he says from beneath his scary mask. "I’m so hot under the make-up I like to lie down in front of the set’s big air conditioning tubes between scenes - I almost stick my head inside. To make things worse, David is always trying to pull of my nose and my horns. Our make-up supervisor, Dayne, gets very annoyed."
But Andy reveals he’s already had his revenge on his co-star. "David has a phobia - he’s scared as hell of chickens. I got a bunch of chicken feathers and sprinkled them outside his trailer. I wasn’t there to see his reaction, but I heard it was a look of fear and panic!"
Andy says that what you see on the set is what you get - the cast really are friends outside of work. "We call each other by our character names all the time," he says. "I call Amy [Amy Acker, who plays Fred] all the time and I’m like, ’Hi Fred, it’s Lorne!’ And Alexis [Alexis Denisof who plays Wesley] just left a message saying ’Lorne, it’s Wes!"
You’d think joking around with demons every day would have hardened Amy Acker to horror, but she reveals that the end product still scares her. "Sometimes I’ll sit down to watch a finished episode and a girl will be running with people chasing after her and I’ll be thinking, ’Wait, I work on this show, why am I scared now?’ It’s amazing how different it looks on screen. I’m not a very big horror person. I always try to watch it but I’m always the one buried in someone’s armpit or running out of the theatre. I’m the worst person to watch scary movies with."
Other members of the team confirm that working on a horror show has more perks than drawbacks. Costume designer Shawna Trpcic reveals: "I get to shop for clothes! It’s so much fun. And I run Halloween, literally. My brother will call me up and say, ’Me and my girlfriend are going to a party and we need costumes.’" Cast members make use of Shawna’s expertise, too. "Alexis was getting married [to Buffy star Alyson Hannigan] and I was supposed to design a dress for the flower girls. But my waters broke the same day on set - so they had to rush me to hospital!"
J August Richards, who plays the streetwise slayer-turned-lawyer Charles Gunn, says the general feel-good aura on the set is key to the show’s entertaining edge. "It definitely feels like a new show all the time," he says. "It’s great for us as actors as we never feel bored with what we do."
But this doesn’t mean he’ll be doing cartwheels when David Boreanaz takes a seat in the director’s chair for episode 10 of this new run. "It’ll be weird - we know him as an actor, as a character, so to have to take orders from him is going to be pretty funny."
David wont reveal much about his big episode, or where he hopees the show will go from here. But a grin spreads across his face when he contemplates the possibilities. "I just want to freak out, man, I like to get under their skin and make ’em think."
For the time being, vampire fans, it looks like the future of TV slaying is in safe hands.