AngelVoice of an Angel
Wednesday 20 August 2003, by isa
EXTRACTS of David Quotes from TV Zone #166 ’Avenging Angel’ article - By Steven Eramo (www.visimag.com to purchase) - The full article is a real pleasure to read, one of the best written pieces I’ve seen for ages.
Are fangs what they used to be? David Boreanaz looks at the changing circumstances of Angel in both ’Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ’Angel’ and at where the character might go next. Steven Eramo made sure it was daylight when he talked to him...
On his debut:
"I was hungry, and by that I mean creatively," recalls Boreanaz. "As an actor, I wanted to step up to the next level and take on some new challenges. I’d been doing plays at the time and this role of Angel came along. I was intrigued by the character and quite liked him. My manager back then arranged a meeting for me with Buffy casting director Macia Schulman. I read for her and was asked to come back in to audition for the show’s producers and subsequently the network executives. Not long after, I received a phone call telling me I had the job."
The actor chuckles when asked about his first day of work on the Buffy set. "What sticks out most in my mind is all the waiting around. We didn’t get to my scenes until three or four in the morning, which I guess made sense given I was playing a vampire," he jokes. "It wouldn’t have been so bad except that I’d been on the set since eight the previous morning. The wait was worth it though, because when we shot my first scene as Angel it really worked.
"Those early days on Buffy were especially satisfying. I just loved the connection I had with the rest of the cast. It was uncomplicated and professional as well as a hell of a lot of fun. That’s not to say it didn’t get even better as time went on, but it just felt extra-special in the beginning. Joss Whedon [executive producer] had created not only a new TV series but one that was also ground-breaking, so I was just enjoying myself."
"I liked the simplicity of the Buffy/Angel relationship in the first year," says Boreanaz. "They shared a camaraderie and it was obvious that they were both at ease around each other and really enjoyed their work. As an actor it was a joy for me to feed that creative process. A number of positive things came out of Buffy’s first season and they served to build a solid foundation on which the series could grow."
On moving across to his own series:
"Naturally, I was thrilled about Angel," says the actor. "However, I was so focused on working on Buffy that I didn’t think much about it at the time. I have a general sense of where I’d like to be career-wise, but I think what makes an actor happy is what he or she is doing at the moment. That, in turn, I believe helps dictate your future moves and career choices. I hope that doesn’t sound artsy-fartsy. It’s not meant to be. It’s just my way of looking at the business. So I kept my nose to the grindstone and this spin-off series sort of came to fruition."
Boreanaz experienced deja vu when filming Angel’s Season One opener City of... "Like that first Buffy story, there was a great deal of waiting around," he notes. "It took, I think, 10 days for us to film City of... compared to the eight that it takes today. There was plenty of communication between the cast and crew as well as a strong director in Joss Whedon. He knows exactly what he wants and where to put the camera, which is refreshing. Again, as with Welcome to the Hellmouth, this episode of Angel was both an exiting and fearful step into a new venture."
Considering all he’s been through, it’s no surprise that Angel is not the same person he was back on Buffy. "It’s difficult to believe that my character started out as a recurring role," muses Boreanaz. "Angel has grown and developed so much just from his relationships with other people and being involved in so many different situations. When we first met him, he was a somewhat bland and darkly-driven person, and since then he’s lightened up a bit and has become a more complex character. As an actor, one of the challenges with Angel is to keep him understated. Sure, it’s fun when I get to play his obnoxious over-the-top alter ego Angelus. However, it’s important to me tht he comes across as quiet but very strong. My approach to playing Angel changes with every episode. It’s pretty much determined by the way in which the writers are trying to tell the story and how my character deals with the situation at hand."
In the fourth season of Angel, Cordelia is possessed by the dark side. She and Connor sire a child who quickly grows to adulthood. Jasmine turns out to be an incredibly powerful entity who is determined to take over the world and destroy Angel.
"When I first read the Jasmine story arc I was worried it might get a little too weird," explains Boreanaz. "However, it turned out pretty good. Initially, Angel’s and Jasmine’s relationship was euphoric and full of sentiment. Towards the end though, it turned quite volatile when he discovered who she truly was. It was a pleasure working with Gina Torres. I thought she made some very thought-provoking choices when playing her character. Gina is a very strong, confident woman and she brought those characteristics to her performance.
"Overall, I was pleased with our fourth year. I was thrilled that Angel stopped whining about his rocky relationship with Connor and kept more of an open mind to the challenges that lay ahead with regard to his son. I also liked that my character cooled his jets as far as he and Cordelia were concerned. I realised Angel pressed a little too hard at times. One thing that may have hurt the show was the amount of exposition and complicated storylines, especially where first-time viewers were concerned. That’s something we’ll watch out for in future."
Looking ahead, what are the actor’s hopes for his character in Angel’s fifth season? "I just want him to continue to grow. Along those lines, I’d also like to see Angel work more with the community at large and not just the community from within, meaning his teammates. So we’ll see. One thing viewers can count on, though, is that our writers will keep on surprising them and, together with the cast and crew, make the best show possible."