On Why It Isn't Good To Be In Your Comfort Zone
Best known for his role as the vampire Spike in Buffy The Vampire Slayer (and its spin-off, Angel), James Marsters has since gone on to appear in numerous genre shows such as Torchwood, Smallville, Caprica, and Warehouse 13. As he will be a guest in Perth for Supanova next month, X-Press scored to have its very own interview with a vampire.
“Buffy was kind of everything,” admitted Marsters, ”it was delicious. I couldn't wait for the call 'action' so I could exist in those amazing worlds. It's also terrifying when you work with Joss Whedon, you have no idea what's coming up. There were time where there were things I didn't want to do and didn't want to experience. In hindsight I'm very proud of it all. It's not good to be in your comfort zone, as an artist or as a human being.”
The relatively small TV budget meant that the cast and crew worked gruelling hours to keep on schedule. “The most challenging thing was the hours we spent working. We would start filming at 4 o'clock in the morning on Monday and get out when the sun came up on Saturday. Joss was trying to get the best he could and was devilishly clever on how to get the most from his budget.”
A sci-fi fan, Marsters quickly recognised the appeal of the show. Saying to the cast that if they did this well they could be the new Star Trek (and if so, he claims Spock) “I've been a sci-fi fan since I was 11. Original Star Trek, original Twilight Zone... I loved those. It can speak more directly to social issues than say a cop show can. The Twilight Zone was speaking about the psychological pressures of the Cold War. Trek was talking about the strength of diversity. Buffy was a show talking about how women could defend themselves in the '90s! Torchwood was talking about the fact that gay people could be heroes. The list goes on and on. Genre speaks to the subversive in me. Still pisses off all the right people.”
Since then, Marsters has gone on to be a staple in the sci-fi and fantasy community, appearing in multiple genre shows, writing comics, voicing computer games, and touring with his band Ghost Of The Robot. It's certainly been varied.
“I've got more interesting roles taking life as it comes," he states. "As Lennon said, 'life is what happens when you are making other plans'.”
The Supanova Pop Culture Expo lands at the Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre on Saturday-Sunday, June 25-26.
Originally published in X-Press Magazine