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From Morethanspike.com

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

James Marsters Q&A: Tampa Con Report

Tuesday 29 July 2003, by Webmaster

I’ve read so many great con reports lurking here, I’m glad to finally be able to at least partially return the favor.

I’m hella tired after five hours of driving, but I’ll post a few preliminary tidbits tonite.

— James admitted at yesterday’s Q&A that Buffy "used Spike terribly."

— He outed himself about his family situation at today’s Q&A. Someone asked if the rumor online that he’s going to be Sirius Black in the next HP film is true, he said no, but that he’d love to play the part. The lady then asked if he’s familiar with the books, and James came right out and said he had a seven-year-old son, so he definitely knows HP. There was a follow-up question about what his son thinks of him on BtVS, and James said he wouldn’t show his son the series, as he doesn’t think his son needs to see Daddy in that light (killing people and shagging babes, I s’pose is what he meant). He said he and his son have a very normal relationship, one which revolves around Dragonball Z and some other anime thing I didn’t quite catch the name of. James went on to say that his son gets upset when they’re together and someone asks him to sign an autograph, so he doesn’t do it when the lad is around. He explained that Hollywood is such a plastic culture that he doesn’t like to expose his son to it, and that’s why he doesn’t talk about him much. Good for James for finally realizing that his female fan base could care less that he’s forty (which he also admitted again at the Q&A), divorced, and has a child. I mean honestly, it’s not like those are deep, dark sins, now are they?

— Another fan asked which Tennessee Williams character he’d most like to play, and he said Brick from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, because he’s never been able to figure out Brick’s motivations, so he’d like to have the chance to do that. Stanley from Streetcar named Desire would also be great, but since Marlon Brando left his fingerprints all over the part, it’s hard for any actor to shout "Stella!" without invoking MB. Said that was actually a flaw in the picture, since Stanley Kowalski is supposed to come across as nothing more than an animal, but Brando was so charismatic that you sympathized with him.

— I (squee!) got to ask him a question, and I wanted to know where he’d like to be in ten years. He said he’d like to have the chance to produce his own projects, esp. the oft-mentioned Macbeth, which he’s never seen done correctly. That Macbeth should be about the main character’s conscious choice to do evil, but most of the time the evil in the story is foisted off on the witches or Lady Macbeth. Said he’d also be interested in doing a cop show with a black cop and a white cop who hate each other and are forced to work together, and use it as a lens for looking at American race relations, which are seldom treated seriously on T.V. Because I am a big geek girl, in the autograph line I asked him what he thought of the Polanski Macbeth, and he said it and the Olivier version are probably the best, but that he thinks they still made Macbeth too passive.

— He claimed ignorance about what is happening with Spike on AtS, but he did say that he thinks Spike will come back angry and still immature, and that he and Angel will not be getting along. He seemed excited by the prospect of this.

— He said his favorite BtVS season is Season Seven. He explained that inevitably the last season of BtVS would be his favorite, since he’s always most interested in the latest progression of his character, or something to that effect. He seems very happy to have been able to finish out Spike’s arc on BtVS like he did, calling it a true hero’s journey.

— He is indeed doing Venetian Heat in September. Joss is giving him time off to do it, since it’s such a great role and a chance to work with Derek Jacobi and Sean Bean. James explained that normally he doesn’t like to take time off from his television schedule to do movies, since that’s a good way to make the writers think you’re not reliable and get sidelined. But he just couldn’t turn this down. He mentioned that the only other time he’s ever asked for time off from BtVS was at the very end of Season Six, when he was up for the role of Picard’s clone in Star Trek: Nemesis. That’s why Spike got his soul back in Africa instead of Sunnydale. Again, in that situation Joss agreed that the part was so good it was work taking time away for, but then ironically, JM lost out on the job.

— He’s going to be filming many of his scenes for AtS in advance, so Spike shouldn’t be losing much screentime. He starts filming Season Five on July 28th. JM said he took the part in the film not just because of the stars and the director (who’s a theater person doing film for the first time), but also because he was drawn to the film’s subject matter. As many of you probably know, he’s playing a gay man living in 1930s Italy, who is trapped in a loveless marriage but ends up falling in love with another man by story’s end. Since this is during a time when gays were often hanged by the fascists, he risks everything to be who he is. James said that’s something that’s become very important to him, too. This is my own speculation, but perhaps this explains why he’s suddenly being so forthcoming about his personal life?

ETA:—It sounds like Spike’s look is going to be mostly unchanged on AtS next year. James mentioned having to bleach his hair again in a few days, and that even with Sweet ’n Low in the dye, it was still quite painful. A female fan suggested he rinse his hair in whole milk, since milk is a base and that will balance out the acids in the dye. James seemed very interested in her advice. He also repeated the story about the prop guys telling him to steal his coat when BtVS ended. He told us he wouldn’t because Fox was going to auction the coat off for so much money on the internet, and he didn’t think stealing $250,000 dollars from his bosses would go over well. What’s really interesting, though, was his next statement: apparently, WB freaked out after they found out 20th Century Fox sold the coat, because they wanted it for this season of AtS. The WB wardobe department is currently building him another coat just like the old one, but one of the wardrobe people told him they could only find one picture of it anywhere. The audience made incredulous noises, and James shook his head exasperatedly and gave an "I know, they’re idiots, but what are you gonna do?" shrug. He said he basically told the person "Um, maybe you should try looking for about two more minutes, and see what happens."

So. . .platinum-blond-black-leather-coated Spike next season on AtS. Things are definitely lookin’ up.

That’s all I can remember right this second. I did tape the Q&A yesterday, but I haven’t had a chance to check if my tapes turned out or not. If they did, I’ll try and post at least a partial transcript in my livejournal in the next few days. If not, I’ll cough up more info as memory serves.

2 Forum messages

  • > James Marsters Q&A: Tampa Con Report

    12 June 2004 02:38, by Anonymous
    OK, does this mean JM is GAY? I hope not!!!!
  • > James Marsters Q&A: Tampa Con Report

    6 September 2004 09:10, by Pandora

    Ok, I’ve been called a ’dope’ just of late but now I guess I gonna pass it on to you... you’re a dope. I really don’t think that by now - getting straight (hehe) about his personal stuff like divorce, age, son - he would’ve admitted that fact if it that was the case - don’t you think so?!

    Interesting to read the Q&A of a con from last year with being able now to resume what has been come to pass since then... not enough JM for my taste. "TV-people"! are you blind or dumb or both? Get him on your shows!

    Rock on James!