Although he started his acting career in the theater in the ’80s and popped up in a few TV roles during the first half of the ’90s, James Marsters started down the path to proper stardom when Joss Whedon selected him to play Spike in the TV adaptation of Whedon’s 1992 film Buffy The Vampire Slayer, a gig which ultimately carried him to series-regular status during the final season of Angel. Since then, Marsters has forged a body of work that’s kept him on the radar of sci-fi and fantasy fans—appearing on Torchwood, Smallville, and Caprica—in between guest shots on procedurals like Without A Trace, Lie To Me, and Hawaii Five-0. Prior to the release of his new film, Dudes & Dragons, Marsters spoke to The A.V. Club about his sci-fi and fantasy endeavors, what it takes to make a small-budget film look like a million bucks, and how he thinks he’s been able to escape a genre-only career—not that there’s anything wrong with that.

James Marsters on Dudes & Dragons, the end of Angel, and having fun with John BarrowmanCollapse )