‘Buffy’: James Marsters on Spike, Spock and romantic vampires
Video @ http://bit.ly/XDobDW
James Marsters — the actor behind the peroxide-haired punk rock vampire Spike in Joss Whedon’s long-running series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” — found inspiration for his character from an unusual source: Mr. Spock.
Marsters said he looked to his favorite character from “Star Trek” — Leonard Nimoy’s starship Enterprise science officer Spock — when he was first cast on “Buffy” for what was initially supposed to be a brief role. Marsters ended up acting in 97 episodes of the series, not to mention another 24 episodes in the spinoff “Angel.”
“Spock was that side character that nobody thought would be that much, and he ended up kind of turning the theme on its head,” Marsters told Entertainment Tonight, in the video above. “‘Cause ‘Star Trek’ really was about human beings perfecting a worldview and then sharing it with the galaxy, and then Spock was just trying to figure out how to be human in the first place. And in ‘Buffy,’ I thought that I wanted to be the new Spock. I was like, Spock, Spike. Spike, Spock. … I was a little side character that no one really thought would be much, but I kind of turned the theme at a different angle so that you could kind of look at it.”
Marsters said he was looking forward to “Star Trek Into Darkness,” the J.J. Abrams sequel to the 2009 reboot of the “Star Trek” franchise, slated to hit theaters May 17.
“Anything that J.J. Abrams is involved with so far, I’ve thought was just really tight, so I’m on board, man,” he said. “I’ll be in line the first night.”
The actor also spoke diplomatically about the shinier breed of vampires that have dominated pop culture in recent years with the likes of the “Twilight” book and film series and “The Vampire Diaries,” saying vampires are the “most malleable of all the basic archetypes of horror.”
“I think every generation has their own take on vampires, you know,” he said. “For some reason, vampires can almost be anything. You can use them to whatever ends that you want. So whatever the zeitgeist is in this decade, or whatever, vampires can kind of morph to fit that.”
And when Whedon was making “Buffy,” Marsters said, the goal was ugly vamps.
“Joss used to say that he wasn’t really into the ['Interview With the Vampire' author] Anne Rice thing,” Marsters said. “He didn’t really want vampires to be romantic. That’s why in ‘Buffy,’ when we bite people, we become hideously ugly. Because in ‘Buffy,’ vampires are a metaphor for all of the problems that you face in adolescence. So the vampires of today are very different. They are more in the Anne Rice vein. And that’s cool, too.”
Click through the gallery above for a look at what Marsters and the rest of the Scooby Gang are up to post-”Buffy.”
– Noelene Clark