Twenty years ago today, ‘Angel’, the spin-off of the supernatural hit drama ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘, premiered on The WB. Most of the series’ main cast attended New York Comic Con with the exception of the David Boreanaz who played the titular character Angel, showed up for the show’s anniversary panel. Fans were able to see Spike (James Marsters), Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter), Fred Burkle/Illyria (Amy Acker), Charles Gunn (J. August Richards), and Wesley Wyndam-Pryce (Alexis Denisof) who were all present for the panel moderated by Clare Kramer who portayed the hell-god Glory in season 5 of ‘Buffy’.
The cast reminisced about their memories from the show, their characters’ development, and fawned over adoring fans of the Buffyverse. During the event, Marsters spoke about the growth of Spike, who was originally supposed to be killed off by Angel in Season Two of ‘Buffy’.
“He was just Drusilla’s boy toy for five episodes and he was going to be Angel’s first victim,” he began. “Like the whole point of the season, this was over on the other show, was that Buffy would get her heart broken by Angel. They finally hook up and then Angel goes evil. Then Buffy would really, really cry all the time. And then his first act of evil was to take me down. So they only built me up to be cool so that when Angel killed me he would look awesome.”
“To his credit, I think Joss [Whedon] does not believe that evil is cool,” Marsters continued. “He thinks that evil is laughable. And I agree and that’s why his vampires were hideously ugly when we bite someone because he doesn’t want that to be a sensual kind of shot. He got talked into one romantic vampire character, that was Angel. David Greenwalt, bless his heart, talked him into that character and then Angel just took right off. I don’t think that Spike was designed to be a romantic character. I remember when after a couple episodes, the fan reaction was that I was a romantic character. Joss backed against the wall and said, ‘I don’t care how popular you are, kid. You are dead. You are dead, you hear me?’ I was was just like, ‘It’s your ball dude. Like whatever, just don’t kill me now. Just give me the five episodes. I’m poor.'”
A clip of Spike aka William the Bloody’s best moments is below.
“He said that I was a soulless vampire that didn’t care about anybody. I said, ‘Yeah Joss, you got it. You got it.’ And he turned his back with like, ‘eff that.’ Because I’ve learned that as an actor if you find the love, you find the gold in the mountain. You find the jet fuel. You find the thing that will connect you to the audience. What does your character love? And it could be loved, denied, love the crushed, or any kind of love. That’s what’s going to connect. And I was like, well I’m going to find the love and so I found it in Drusilla. I actually started undercutting Joss’ theme from the beginning because I needed a job. I was a new father and getting diapers overwhelmed anything, any respect I had for Joss was… Gerber baby food and healthcare.”
Marsters joked that he “played Spike with a soul from the very beginning and that was wrong. That was wrong.” Thankfully, for us Buffyverse fans, Whedon gave Marsters a chance to prove that the role of Spike had more potential.
Source: Bleeding Cool