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Buffy The Vampire Slayer

The James C. Leary (Clem) Interview Transcript - Dragon*Con

Saturday 20 September 2003, by Webmaster

The James C. Leary Interview - Transcript (Special thanks to our very own Jonathan Riggins for taking the time to painstakingly transcribe this interview.)

(All present during interview: James C Leary, Eric, Matt, Jonathan, Jennifer, Elaine) ERIC: Uh, one of the first things I wanted to ask you about was, how you felt about the whole convention environment. Like the people here. I know you’ve got...

JAMES C LEARY: I love coming to the conventions. I mean, it’s great. When you actually get to meet the fans and, and see the people who watch the show it’s awesome. So I really enjoy coming to conventions and meeting people and...you know...hearing how great I am. (laughs)

MAC: Do you like the fact that everyone is trying to rally behind Clem to get him on Angel?

JAMES C LEARY: No, I hate that. I really, yeah, that’s uh, I don’t...ya know. Who-who wants to be on that JV show? Really. NO! I love it! I mean, I would love to show up on Angel. I think Lorne and Clem would be fast friends. And it’s really...it’s really flattering as an actor. I mean, I...I only did eight episodes of Buffy. I never thought that this character would, would spark so much interest from the fans, so...it’s really flattering that, ya know, everybody’s kinda rallying around trying to get me on Angel. I really, REALLY, really appreciate it.

ERIC: About that - do you see the possibilities of how just a small part—character can really blossom into the Jossverse? Like Spike was supposed to be around in eight episodes...

JAMES C LEARY: Mm hmm. Mm hmm. So was Angel.

ERIC: Yeah.

JAMES C LEARY: Angel was supposed to be a small part. I mean, I think it’s a great testiment to Joss and his ability to kinda go with the flow and not be so strict in his ideas that he can’t make changes and sort of improvise with it. So I think that’s, that’s really cool and I don’t know of a lot of tv shows that, that do that. That really listen to the fans. Um, ya know, how many tv show creators go to the internet and go to posting boards and stuff? So I think that’s been one of Joss’s really strong points is in keeping the fans happy with the show. So...definitely. I think it’s very cool.

MAC: To get a little bit off topic. When did the idea for stunt c*cks—

JAMES C LEARY: (Laughs) The idea for stunt c*cks....My two writing partners and I were working on this feature script and we just got stuck one day. And we had writer’s block and...one of the guys had this great title. He was like, (changes voice) "Ya know, It’d be fun—I’ve got this great title I came up with the other day. It’s called ’Stunt C*cks.’" (changes voice back) And from that we just riffed. I mean, we went—we wrote the script in like two days....Ya know, and then we just tried to start making it. But from first idea to finished product was two years. So...for an eight and a half minute movie. So it was crazy.

ERIC: What kind of corporate attention are you getting with Stunt C*cks?

JAMES C LEARY: Ya know, it’s been great film-festival-wise. I mean, we’ve been to the... to like ten festivals so far. We screened at the Tribeca Film Festival. We’re screening at Brackinridge in two weeks. Ya know, hoping to get into a couple of more.And the film made it’s way to Comedy Central, and uh... (laughs) Needless to say their acquisition department loved it, but knew that sponsors would stay ten feet away from it. But we did send them a pitch for a half hour sitcom version of...of the story, of the characters. Ya know, it obviously wouldn’t be titled ’Stunt C*cks’ and it would be different and expanded, but um...ya know, basically keeping this...the characters billing and role. Showing them in their work life and then in their private life.

MAC: Have you tried getting it on at late at night on Comedy Central?

JAMES C LEARY: Yes, well, they’re...Comedy Central’s actually looking to do like a late night short film program, but they were like, "Noooooooo, Nooo, Nooo, NO! We wanna keep our jobs."

ERIC: The party scene at these cons...

JAMES C LEARY: Yes, I tend to stay away from them. (laughs) I did a little partying in Cleveland as I’m sure word has gotten around and my partying days are done. No, it’s fun. It’s just, ya know, ya like to go out and ya like to meet the fans and ya like to hang out with everybody, but there is...ya know...

ERIC: Limits?

JAMES C LEARY: Limits, yes! Definitely limit—limits. (laughs) Although this con has been insane. Who needs to go to the nudey bar? Ya just come here. I saw two girls last night wearing nothing but caution tape. And let me tell ya, ya gotta shave when ya wear caution tape...and I don’t mean ya legs.

JAMES C LEARY: As you can see, we’re in the deep, dark recesses of the Marriott Marquis Hotel in downtown Atlanta...doing a little gorilla filmmaking.

MAC: Here’s a question about Clem. Are bugles his favorite food?

JAMES C LEARY: (laughs) All right, well, ya know, it’s tough. It’s tough. He’s really very fical guy. Bugles can be a little gritty. Ya know, like some of the other snacks. He loves chicken wings, though...I—I would say if probably anything, chicken wings are Clem’s favorite food, sans kittens.

ERIC: What do you think about the con security?

JAMES C LEARY: What do you mean?

ERIC: They...seem a little pushy.

JAMES C LEARY: Yeah, well, ya know what? I think that happens. Unfortunate—ya know, it’s just one of those side—one of the little drawbacks. And...ya know, people who have never had any kind of authority before...takin it to heart. But ya know what? Everybody’s just trying to do their job and trying to keep everybody safe. And when ya have fifty thousand people...which is what I heard the number was at this thing this weekend...it’s just insanity. Ya gotta, ya know, ya gotta have security, and...try to keep people safe.

ERIC: Well, I think it’s normally around twenty or thirty thousand...

JAMES C LEARY: Yes, and so I mean that’s like almost double the capacity, so...I mean these guys are just stressed out and they’re just trying to work hard like everybody else.

JAMES C LEARY: No, I um, I guess uh...just wanna say thank you to all the fans. Thank you, guys, it’s been a great ride. I really appreciate everything. If it hadn’t been for you guys, I wouldn’t have been back on the show. And hopefully if it’s up to you I’ll be on Angel, so...thanks a lot. I appreciate it....And Hellmouth Rules.

(Short applause.)

ERIC: The episode with Clem in the beetle...


ERIC: That was a....Was that a direct pull-back for the fans?

JAMES C LEARY: I don’t know. I don’t—and ya know what, Drew Greenberg was the writer who wrote most of the stuff I did and he—he was a great guy and he loved writing the character, so it was very nice of Drew to kind of pull me back for one last episode and kinda give me a really nice little goodbye. So it was really cool.

ERIC: Everyone around was like, ’It’s Clem!’

JAMES C LEARY: Go to hell....HellmouthCentral.com....Yeah...

(Short applause and moment of thanks to Mr Leary.)

(Transcription of this interview has been provided by Jonathan Riggins. Edited by Matt Lee.)