Florida Geek Scene Presents: James Marsters at Wizard World
During Wizard World Ft. Lauderdale, we had the honor of interviewing James Marsters, best known for his roles as “Spike” on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, “Captain John Hart” on Torchwood and the narrator of the Dresden Files audiobook series. Below is the video followed by a transcription.
Ariel Frengel: You have done multimedia, audio books, TV shows, your music; could you tell me what it’s been like doing audio books? How the experience is?
James Marsters: It is a lot better than waiting tables. I am really, really lucky. I decided to be an artist a long time ago, a lot of stray jobs, and I was poor for a long time, but I didn’t care because I am one of those people that come to work and as long as we are doing something with storytelling I’m really happy. I’m like the nerd going “This is exciting! .”
Audiobooks, are great because I get to use all the little tricks that you learn on stage. Like, on stage your head is that big, right? So no one can see your face, but you’re trying to get the audience to understand what’s going on in the inside of your mind. So there are a lot of techniques to get that expression out there, so people can tell what you’re thinking. The camera, is very close, and so it can tell what you’re thinking because it’s kind of like a lover. You’re right up in each other’s face. When I came to Las Angeles I realized I had to stop doing everything that I learned from stage. I was so proud of up on stage and I had to stop doing all of it. But doing audio books, no one can see your face; it’s just your voice. So you to pull out all that theater training and use that in audio books. So I loved that.
Doing movies is really fun, but the bigger the budget the film, the more you have to weight in between shots. And my favorite word is “Action!” “Action!” is when everyone else has to shut up, and I get to start working. So, when I work on larger budgets, that time weighting for that magic word of “Action!” is longer. Whereas television they go faster, so “Action!” comes all the time.
Ariel: You worked on the Metal Hurlant [television] show, that is a more lower budget show. How was that?
James: That was Fabulous! Guillaume [Lubrano], is the producer and creator of that. I am going to Paris to help him sell the show in a couple of weeks. That is an example of someone who knows how to spend money really well. They don’t have a lot of money, but it’s a very high production value with everything.
What was it? The first episode of that I did I play, it was about an eighteen year old girl who wakes up in a basement and it’s a bomb shelter. Her next door neighbor is down there with her and he says “World War Three has started. The missiles have already been fired. I didn’t have time to tell you this, you’re safe now. I didn’t have time to tell you this so I just knocked you over the head and dragged you down to this basement. And you can’t leave.” And she’s got to figure out if he’s lying or now. That is just so dramatic and so wonderful! I has a horrible ending, there’s a big surprise!
Metal Hurlant is much like the original Twilight Zones. Which were all character driven, well-acted, not that expensive to film and always had a horrible ending for everyone involved, in a way that you don’t expect.
Live performance of James Marsters singing a sample of the song Alone. The song is off the album Ghost of a Robot, put out by his band, Murphy’s Law, in 2011. Available on Itunes.