April 03, 2004

Article at Kate on Authory

The WB decides to end 'Angel' series: An interview with James Marsters

From www.buffy.nu:

The WB decides to end 'Angel' series: An interview with James Marsters:

By Kate O'Hare

Although he felt that "Angel" could go on "to season six and beyond," James Marsters will likely depart the show at the end of this season as one happy actor.

In mid-February, executives at WB chose not to renew "Angel" for another year, so the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" spinoff comes to a close in May after five seasons and just more than 100 episodes.

After "Buffy" ended last year, Marsters brought himself and his character, the Britpunk vampire Spike, over to "Angel," which also airs weekdays in reruns on TNT.

"I felt like, over on 'Buffy,' I was at a feast where my plate was smaller than everyone else's," Marsters said in an interview conducted before the cancellation announcement. "If you counted the pages, Spike averaged about three pages an episode, and that had to do with just getting him in the damn room more than anything else. I'm not complaining. I'm surprised they were able to fit that character in at all.

"But I also felt like, 'Damn, everyone else has got all these beautiful, wonderful jokes and great plays on words.' What I got was fabulous -- I just wanted to act more. I wanted to be here more.

"Now they've heaped my plate so damn full that I'm stretched to the breaking point. It's everything that I dreamed of. Now, the other side's starting to look sweet. Boy, I was well rested back then."

After slowly changing from Buffy's (Sarah Michelle Gellar) foe to her reluctant ally to her eventual love interest, Spike sacrificed himself to save the world in the series finale. But "Angel" wanted him too, so Spike's sojourn into the Great Beyond was cut short.

He reappeared -- first in ghostly form, then later corporeal -- in the Los Angeles office of the evil law firm Wolfram & Hart, now being run by Spike's mentor, nemesis and chief rival for Buffy's affections, the do-gooder vampire Angel (David Boreanaz).

So, the only two vampires with souls became very reluctant allies in the fight against evil -- that is, when they weren't fighting with each other.

Marsters wasn't nuts about being a ghost for several episodes at the beginning of the season.

"Technically, it was really a pain, frankly, setting up those shots where you go through a wall. It burns a lot of the day, and it takes away from acting, which is what I'm there for."

Angel, in his evil, pre-soul days, taught young vampire Spike how to live a bloodsucker's life, which was a far cry from his mortal existence as William, a tortured Victorian poet.

"Spike is a bit of a doppelganger for Angel," Marsters says, "and so, functionally, it was good to start on the thematic level, an almost human level, as opposed to just rocking it out with a huge fight right off the bat."

Forced to talk instead of fighting, the two characters got a chance to work out some of their differences.

Although only the writers know how the show will end (and WB is talking about doing television movies), Marsters has a specific goal for his character.

"What I hope can happen for Spike is that he will impact Angel and send him on a forever-more interesting arc towards redemption. It's Angel's show. It will not work any other way."