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Tom Lenk - Inside the Buffy-mentary

Monday 3 March 2003, by Webmaster

The February 25 episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer will feature Tom Lenk’s character, Andrew, as the star. The episode "Storyteller" is a mockumentary style video based on the premise that Andrew wants to document the Buffy group. Lenk called on morning to discuss more details about the episode, and the current season of Buffy.

Andrew was the middle part of Season Six’s evil Trio. After Warren was killed, he and Jonathan fled to Mexico. Earlier this season, The First Evil lured them back and tricked Andrew into killing Jonathan. Now haunted by The First’s apparition in the form of Jonathan, Andrew is living in Buffy’s house with all the slayer’s in training. The First came back to try to get him to kill the young girls, but he refused. Then he irritated The First even more by wearing a wire and trying to get him to reveal his secret weaknesses. As if it would have really been that easy.

What exactly is the plot conceit that leads this documentary to happen? A little time has gone by since the last episode, so for one reason or another he’s decided that he wants to start videotaping everybody to document what’s going on.

Did you do the video segments? No, although there’s the illusion that I am.

As an actor, how did you play videographer? I was just playing Andrew. I’d say he’s an audio visual club type guy, so he had some skills prior to this.

How does this style affect the format of the show? It’s not the typical Buffy format because a mighty percentage of it is revolving around my character. There’s a lot of video and it’s a really funny episode. It’s pretty much all laughs.

Was it a big responsibility to carry the whole episode? Well, I think so. I was pretty nervous about it but it was good, the writing was so good. I realize the amount of work that goes into when you are there every day at least 14 hours a day. Now I know. Everything was so last minute. We didn’t get a full script until the night before we started shooting, so trying to memorize and you really want to prepare but it’s more of thinking on your feet.

When a monster comes, why is he still taping? You’ve seen on the show before, sometimes Buffy’s fighting and people are talking to her and they need to talk to her while the vampire’s fighting with her. I think it’ll be answered in the episode. If there is a monster in a shot, the story will explain why I’m taping it. Maybe I’m hiding or what not.

Does it spoof reality shows? I don’t think so. I don’t think that was the actual purpose behind it. It’s sort of giving a little poke at that. It’s interesting that we are up against a couple reality shows on Tuesday night. But no, I think most of those have already been played out. I even said it’s Blair Witch meets Waiting for Guffman, but there’s no Blair Witch jokes. That’s a little played out. I think it’s more like a mockumentary. It falls under that mockumentary style, which I love. Some of my favorite movies are mockumentaries.

What prevents this from being a lame sweeps ploy? I don’t know. It’s not like we’ve got Sarah Jessica Parker starring on Buffy, the Vampire Slayer for sweeps week. It’s me. I’m already on the show. I’m not a big name draw. It’s really funny, if that’s a sweeps ploy. They wrote it specifically for me.

Why do you think they did this for you? I don’t know why they decided to. They told me it was their love letter to Andrew, or to me. I can’t remember. I guess because they like me.

Are you happy Andrew’s chosen good? Yeah, I am. I think it’s an interesting thing to play. I like it. It’s nice because he’s sort of gotten his ultimate wish, to hang out with Buffy, be part of the gang and possibly hang out at Buffy’s house.

Does it make up for his evil deeds? I say yes, but in all truthfulness, probably no. I personally, Tom Lenk, I forgive him at this point. I’m over it. There’s so much death on the show, sometimes you forget the impact that it has.

Is there a romance developing between Andrew and Dawn? I don’t think so. Not that I’m aware of. I think they’re friends probably.

How scared is Andrew of The First? I think he stood up to The First in this last week. He was definitely scared out of his mind. I think he’s a little worried that they’re all going to die and no one’s going to know what happened. That’s part of the reason why he wants to videotape everything. Everyone’s genuinely scared of The First but it’s mixed with confusion, sort of questioning it still because it’s hard. There’s no face to it other than the people it takes the shape of. They’re also sort of like so on the verge of a war, so on the verge of an apocalypse, they don’t really know what’s going on. You can’t just be sitting around being scared all the time. Perhaps it’s a metaphor for terrorism and the war we’re on the brink of in the United States. I may be going a little too deep, but you can only sit around being scared for so long before you have to continue on with your daily life.

At a point, it’s just more evil on top of the already ultimate evil, right? I think they’re all so used to it. All in a day’s work.

If there’s an eighth season, would you be in it? I don’t know. Depends on what they do to my character. I still did do something bad. They could kill me at any time to get me back for that. I don’t know. Who knows if there will be an eighth season.

Would you like to have a glorious Buffy death? I already had one Buffy death in Season Five, so I’m fine. It was a nice funny death. As much as everyone says it’s really cool, it could be a little overrated. I prefer to stay alive.