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Anthony Head

Highlights from an ’Audience with Anthony Stewart Head’ from Norwich

By DebW

Thursday 19 August 2004, by Webmaster

The event was " An Audience with " At The Norwich Puppet theatre, a little converted Church (Norwich has an embarrassment of churches, many of which have now been converted to other uses).

It was a smallish event, probably no more than 150 people which was enough to fill the tiny theatre and Anthony was on excellent form.The stage was dressed with stand up Spike Angel and Buffy figures and the traditional table and high stool , not that Tony actually sat down much . He loved the fact that every time he stepped to the front of the stage all the flashbulbs went off, so he kept stepping forward and posing, it became a running joke of the event Anyway, some bits and pieces that I thought people might find interesting . I didn’t take notes so this is from memory . If I find out that any of it is " off" in any way ( i.e. if a proper transcript becomes available) I’ll nip back and edit

ASH referred to David B as " Aurora Boreanez" throughout the session , and every time he mentioned the death of Jenny Calender he sobbed and then punched or kicked the Angel cut out . However he spoke with great respect of David as a actor though he did express concern at the convention fee he charges, saying that he has heard about the problems with the Brighton event and the price of The London event and feels that there is a tendency for some agents to equate price with status you have to charge X or you are in some way not as respected. He feels that this is bullshit and that the knock on effect is that the cost to fans goes up .

The Spike cut out didn’t come in for any abuse ,though on one occasion Tony made as if to punch it but stood beside it and did a wicked James/ Spike impression instead, then said " no I mustn’t " before grinning, sucking in his cheeks and doing it again

He commented that SMG is like an elder Sister to his Daughters but he doesn’t understand why she is trying to distance herself from the role of Buffy, a role that has been nothing but good for her , he presumes that she is being advised so to do .

The Buffy animated project isn’t a series it’s a fifteen minute " Pree Zen tation" "a cheap way of showcasing the idea

On the Pre Zen Tation for Buffy the library set was amazing but they had to work with the crew from hell

He is glad that Giles resisted computer technology because working with a card index as a prop gives many more possibilities, which he then proceeded to demonstrate

His attempts at a Norfolk accent were hysterical and he himself was reduced to helpless giggles as a Norfolk native read a description of the Willow /Tara scene from Seeing Red in broad Norfolk and then tried to coach him to do likewise , ASH kept lapsing into Somerset , much to his dismay

His advice to anyone who wants to act is never to give up and never to let anyone tell you you can’t do it . He himself has always acted to the extent that when he was at school his teacher told his Mother that it would be nice to actually meet Tony since every day he turned up as a different character

On the Ripper accent he commented that he was the son of a Public School educated man but that he himself was a grammar school boy and he quickly learned that speaking at school in the way that he spoke at home was a sure way of getting the sh*t kicked out of him, so he adopted a more " street" way of speaking as a survival mechanism

James is a huge Macbeth freak, Joss loves Hamlet and Tony adores Richard The Third so at Josses house after a large amount of Tequila the three agreed to " give" their renditions of their favourite roles. Joss’s Hamlet showed Tony things about that character that he never knew or suspected were there , Joss is an amazingly talented actor as well as a writer . The first cast Shakespeare reading was A Mid Summer nights Dream and it was always Joss who assigned roles.

Tony felt that James nailed Spikes accent from the start and though it wasn’t Sid Vicious it had shades of a character from the North of England who had travelled widely for many years and picked up all sorts of nuances, he isn’t at all surprised that people were fooled into thinking that James himself is English. So when James asked for advice he just told him to keep doing what he was doing because it was perfect , however James mispronounced "Bollocks" as "Bollix" because that’s how it’s written in the American dictionary of slang .So he had to be put right , Tony sighed and said " and then I left and what did he do? * deep sigh* Yep he said " Bollix" and it’s just wrong!" He said that nailing an accent is more about where to place the stresses and the inflections and intonation than anything else

He saw and Enjoyed " When Harry Met Sally"

His favourite season is season two because there was just so much going on, however he felt that season seven was an amazing way of wrapping up the series .

His favourite episodes are Hush , Passions, Restless and OMWF , he spoke of the amazingly talented group of singers and actors and literally bounced with excitement when Joss finally got round to writing the musical

He keeps in touch with all the cast and loves getting together with them on the convention circuit . As a cast they really were very tight knit and though there were moments of tension they all stuck together and really were as the cliché goes , one happy family , which included all the crew . < LI> He insisted that Giles’ glasses should have prescription lenses because clear glass didn’t look right , this has damaged his eyesight . However Stunt Giles had clear glass lenses because they were easy to replace, The stunt specs are being auctioned on Tony’s website in aid of The Bath Children’s Theatre

He spoke of Alexis being cast as Wesley and how perfect he was for the part of a Watcher who thought he was Pierce Brosnan but was really George Lazenby <

He had to re shoot parts of his role in Monarch Of The Glen because the Producer didn’t see the character in the same way that Tony and the director did and he had to tone it down,make it less broad and bring some more human warmth to it

Rocky Horror is the best rock and roll musical ever and Frank N Furter has the best entrance ( if you’ll excuse the expression) of any character , he was offered the chance to tour again taking the role on certain key dates but, despite Joss being amazingly helpful in releasing his actor for other projects it just couldn’t be worked out and his unavailability for one key date meant that it wasn’t a viable proposition . He Loves the role but thinks that he may now be slightly too old top reprise it , also he would have to ask his family if he could do it and he thinks his Daughters may say no.

His favourite track on Music For Elevators is " Babies" because however hard he tried to balance home and family whilst working on Buffy, and however supportive his family were there was so much he missed .

The Giles mid life crisis story came about from a conversation with Joss where he was saying that he didn’t understand how he fitted into season four, it turned out that that was the whole idea

He and Nick used to send script ideas to Joss and they were never used . Both he and Nick wanted to go evil so he was excited when told that he was going to turn into a Fyaral demon and a bit crestfallen when the next remark was "it’s really funny" Joss gave very specific directions as to the arm waving when Fyral Giles chased Maggie Walsh. He is proud of coming up with the idea of using disguised high heeled shoes as hooves for the demon, who was originally going to wear carpet slippers

There was tons more , about film and stage and remembering lyrics but this is long enough already . so , one last bit.

He said that one day you will look at something you have achieved or created and you will see that it is good.You will not need outside affirmation or confirmation of your opinion you will just know , and at that point it will cease to matter whether your parents approved of you or the world sees you as a success , it will be good and it will be yours. It took him till he was 45 to learn that but it was the most important thing he ever learned. So, a great day out , and one last snippet.

At the signing Tony was chatting to fans posing for photos etc and it was taking ages . Christy and I went for a walk around Norwich, then another walk then another but the queue wasn’t getting any shorter , finally after two hours we spoke to a staff member and asked if there was any way they could ask Tony to sign our photos at the end and have the organisers post them on to us since Christy has a lame horse that she couldn’t leave alone for too long and we were going to have to leave . To our amazement the organiser came over , said that there was absolutely no problem and, to our surprise and embarrassment, escorted us to the front of the queue (where we apologised profusely to the fans in line) and took us to Tony. who not only signed for us but offered Christy some valuable advice on the treatment of her horse and demonstrated the correct TT touch procedure on the back of her hand . (I think she may never recover ). What a nice man , but I feel very guilty about queue jumping it’s very Un English and we had no intention of doing so.

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