From Thisisbristol.co.ukAntony S. Head - Thisisbristol Interview
Thursday 13 March 2003, by Webmaster
GETTING AHEAD IN THE ACTING GAME
Playing a flash fortysomething in Manchild may have given Anthony Head yet another television ratings hit - but the actor has little time for the character or his quest to relive his adolescence.
"Thank God my character, James, isn’t at all like my life," he says. "James is all over the place. He is a restless soul, and he just doesn’t quite get it. He’s constantly just missing the point." Head, of course, is much more switched on. Instantly recognisable as the man who captured the hearts of women on both sides of the Atlantic when he appeared in the 1980s Gold Blend adverts, his popularity as an actor has since extended into the realms of the younger generation, thanks to his part in hit BBC series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Now the 49-year-old actor stars alongside Nigel Havers, Don Warrington and Ray Burdis in the BBC Two comedy drama Manchild. The four all play theoretically grown up men indulging in a second teenagerhood.
Not content with his earlier dismissal of James, Head continues: "He is very close with Nigel Havers’ character, Terry. They’ve known each other from school. James has always regarded Terry as a hero figure, and wanted to be like him. But actually, Terry is a complete loser."
But the actor reckons Manchild is funny and says: "It’s been compared with Sex and the City, but I don’t think of it like that - it’s about four men.
"The similarity is that there are sexual activities and it’s about people wrestling with themselves. But because men and women have completely different agendas, it’s about something else. These guys are trying to come to terms with themselves."
Despite the uncertainty faced by the characters, the future of Manchild looks bright and the cast have discussed filming another series.
"It’s all very positive at the moment," says Head. "We certainly talked about it. There’s just the question of when do we shoot it, and when can we get the four of us together?"
Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans are asking similar questions, too.
Sarah Michelle Gellar, who plays the title role of the hit supernatural drama, recently announced she is saying farewell to the series after a seven-season run.
"The show, as we know it, is over," she said.
But will Eliza Dushku, who plays Faith, be replacing Gellar as Sunnydale’s chief Slayer?
"It would be a very good idea if she did," says Head, considering the possibility. "But it wouldn’t be taking over. They’ve talked about it, but I don’t know to be honest. It’s down to a lot of things, including whether Eliza would want to do it or not.
"It would be in a completely different direction, because it wouldn’t be ?Faith the Vampire Slayer’ - she’s a completely different kettle of fish compared to Buffy."
The London-born actor, who plays Watcher Rupert Giles in Buffy, recently had discussions with series creator Joss Whedon about his own spin-off from the series finally materialising.
"I talked to Joss," says Head. "He said that instead of getting himself committed to another hour-long detective show like Angel, he’d rather do a two-hour movie.
"It would look in depth into the character more. He’s interested in Giles’ character. It could be a one-off, and if anybody liked it, they’d go from there.
"At the moment, that’s what I’m looking at. It makes more sense all round and I know the BBC are still up for it. Joss has got so many ideas - it’s not good for one man."
So Buffy fans shouldn’t give up hope. On the contrary, there could be a feature film just around the corner, which may set the ball rolling for a series.
Aside from starring TV roles, Head also landed a part in a movie with singer Charlotte Church.
"It’s called I’ll Be There," says Head. "It’s by a friend of mine called Craig Ferguson, he wrote Saving Grace. In this - which he also directed and wrote - he plays a rock and roll star who is disenchanted with life. And I play his rather unpleasant manager."
As for Church, Head describes her as "absolutely enchanting."
"It was great fun," he says. "Craig asked if I wanted to check it out before the audience did, so I saw a test screening and loved it. It’s a really lovely, very simple movie. I certainly hope it’s the beginning of a screen career for her [Church] because she was really good."
As for his own future, he says: "I love working in films and I love working in television. I love stage and I love musicals. To be honest, I’ve been extremely fortunate in my career."
Aside from work, and despite claiming he has no plans at the moment to marry long-term partner Sarah Fisher, Head’s personal life is also flourishing.
He makes every effort to hop over The Atlantic from America to England, when he can, to be with Sarah and daughters Emily (14) and Daisy (12).
But bearing in mind the current world crisis, he does have one or two concerns.
When asked if flying worries him, Head replies: "Of course, but if your time’s up, your time’s up. I’m actually more worried about people pushing us into something that’s just so obviously a vendetta. It’s the most extraordinary thing I’ve ever seen. One world leader bullying the entire world into war. It’s bizarre.
"I heard on the television the other day that they are seriously considering under what circumstances America would use a nuclear device in Iraq. For goodness sake - the idea that thousands of innocent people could be killed - it’s terrifying."