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Marti Noxon

Marti Noxon - "Private Practice" Tv Series - Suntimes.com Interview

Thursday 27 September 2007, by Webmaster


"Private Practice" producer Marti Noxon used to run the set of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," my all-time favorite show. Can she do for "Private Practice" what she did for "Buffy?"

Q. Do you still get approached by 500 "Buffy" fans a day?

A. No. You know, Shonda [Rimes, the "Private Practice" creator] is a really big "Buffy" fan, and when I first started working there, she said, "I’m so glad you have ’Buffy’ paraphernalia [in the office]." I said, "Shonda - I am your ’Buffy’ paraphernalia."

Q. Every time I talk to cast members at "Grey’s Anatomy," they seem angry they don’t know what their characters’ future arcs will be. Will the same be true on "Private Practice"?

A: The reason that happens is so many choices are left to the last minute. I’ve worked on shows where you tell stuff too early [to actors], and it changes at the last minute, and actors feel really betrayed by that. So what they try to do at "Grey’s" is, I think, an actually better policy: Wait until you really know the answer.

Q. Was "Buffy" seat-of-the-pants like that?

A. Yes and no. ... Shonda always [keeps] the end of the season to herself. And Joss [Whedon, creator of "Buffy"] was like that too. We always knew where we were going. But courses change a lot.

Q. Are "Grey’s" actors just whinier about not knowing their futures?

A. [Laughing.] I can’t speak to that.

Q. I thought the season end of "Grey’s" was depressing. There was zero joy left.

A. The funny thing is we’re getting hit on both sides. On the one hand, "Grey’s" is getting hit for being too dark. On the other hand, "Private Practice" is getting hit for being too light [when it debuted softly as a "Grey’s" episode in the spring]. Obviously, the goal is to hit that sweet middle spot. "Buffy" had a huge backlash in season six, when Buffy went to that really dark place and that Spike [tryst]. We took so much heat. People hated it. [But] in hindsight, people liked what has happening.

Q. Is the growth of strong women on TV reflected by strong women behind the scenes?

A. TV is a great place for women to write. In movies, it’s so rare you can write for a female protagonist, outside of indie movies. ... Women have so much authority [in TV]. I work for a lot of female executives.