James Marsters asks fans to be seasonal stars - plus exclusive Q&A
MOVE over Buffy and watch your back Drusilla. James Marsters is looking for some new co-stars to share the stage with him this Christmas... and it could be you.
James has a performance in mind at his show in London this December that requires the acting talents of several people from the audience.
This is his only European event this year and he says he is determined to make it extra special. See my earlier article for more information and go to www.jamesmarsterslive.com for booking details.
In the run-up to the festive date, we had chance for an exclusive Q&A with James, where he shared his thoughts on the films and shows in which he's appeared - including Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Caprica, Torchwood and Smallville - as well as revealing his sci-fi favourites.
What does he think of the plans for a new Buffy movie? Would he return to Torchwood? And what are his views on the short-lived Battlestar Galactica spin-off Caprica and on the Dragonball Evolution film, in which he played the villain Piccolo? Find out all that and more below.
The Geek Files: According to IMDB, your first acting role was the TV series Northern Exposure in 1992-93. Is this correct - and how and why did you get into the business?
James Marsters: My first acting role was Eeyore in Winnie The Pooh in fourth grade. I was instantly bit by the prospect of joining a group of freaks who came together harmoniously to try to make something worthwhile. Northern Exposure was my first camera job, which I did because everyone wants to be on TV.
You soon developed a taste for sci-fi and fantasy shows. Were you a fan of the genre before these parts began to be offered?
I was a fan of the genre since I first saw Beneath the Planet of the Apes when I was 11. I was in love with the original Star Trek and even put up with Space 1999 - all apologies to Oscar-winner Martin Landau.
Which has been your favourite role to play and your favourite show to be in, so far?
Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Beautifully written and executed and when you add a villain, wacky neighbour, outcast, lover and guinea-pig hero, it became an interesting journey for me.
Any plans to return to Torchwood, in which you previously played Captain John Hart?
Only If my phone rings, lol. I loved working on Torchwood and would gladly go play with them again.
What was it like to work on Smallville, where you played the supervillain Brainiac? What do you think worked about the show, and what didn't? What kept it going where other series have faded and failed?
Smallville was a dream. Tom Welling is one of my favourite people. The reason the show lasted was a great central idea that makes Superman truly vulnerable and inexperienced. Also, the fact that Tom looks hotter now then when it began.
Speaking generally, beyond your own work, what's your favourite show on TV at the moment?
Breaking Bad. Bryan Cranston, the lead, is 32 flavours of wonderful. He could play anything and I would pay to watch.
And, also beyond your own work, which sci-fi movies (or films in general) have you enjoyed the most in recent years? Which are your all-time favourites?
Inception; the second Batman (The Dark Knight); Black Swan.
All time favourite: Apocolypse Now, about why we lost Vietnam, a bitter pill to swallow.
You were in 20th Century Fox's film adaptation of Dragonball Evolution, although it didn't seem to go down too well with many fans and critics. It has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of just 15 per cent. What was it like to work on the film and how do you feel now about it? What did it do that upset people so much?
Dragonball disappointed because it wasn't Dragonball Z. Most fans are familiar with Goku as an adult, destroying mountains and planets but that is Dragonball Z. The prequel to that series was Dragonball, where Goku is 11 years old and primarily fights midgets - maybe we were too respectful of our source material.
You have since gone on to appear in Battlestar Galactica spin-off Caprica, which didn't last very long. That must have been hugely disappointing. What were your experiences working on that?
Excellent actors, directors and producers and crew and an outrageously challenging theme - being that we are watching people destroy their future. I wonder if the series were short lived because that's just too close to home?
Since then, you have been in the remake of Hawaii Five-0 and also appeared in Supernatural. What's next for you?
An indie film that I'm filming this November (can't really give any details) and an episode of Metal Hurlant for French TV based on a comic book that gave raise to Heavy Metal - one of my favourite animated films. I'm also doing a new series of book on tapes. The band's (Ghost of the Robot) new album Murphy's Law will be available on both i-Tunes and Amazon at the end of November.
A new Buffy movie that reboots the franchise is in the pipeline from Warner Bros. What are your thoughts on that? Is it time to bring a new incarnation of Buffy to a new generation or do you think it should be left alone?
The only way to make a good incarnation of Buffy is with Joss Whedon at the helm.
Any other projects you want to mention or anything else you want to add?
A couple more conventions before the end of the year, which I really enjoy meeting the fans - especially my convention in London in December. I haven't been able to get to the UK for a while and the UK fans are great and inspirational - I seem to do a lot of songwriting when I visit London.