Caprica: James Marsters Q&A
How excited was I to participate in a teleconference with James Marsters, O, he of Buffy and Angel fame and spiked, ice blond hair, the English accented undead? Incredibly! How frustrated was I when, in spite of all my attempts, I could not get through to ask him a single question? Very.Maybe there is like a perfect combination of 17 digits entered every 30 seconds that will get you through directly to him. I don’t know. Perhaps there is this evil game of duck, duck, goose that left me on the loosing end. Possible. Or perhaps I’m just completely daft. Whatever. Suffice it to say that it wasn’t happening for me. But that’s a different story and we’re going to focus on the positives here, of which there are many.
Friday, March 5th, James Marsters will be joining the cast of Caprica, a new show airing on the Syfy network related to but separate from the wildly popular Battlestar Galactica. Now I’ve been a fan of Marsters since Angel, so being able to participate in this teleconference was incredible. And I found Marsters to be humble, very intelligent, and yes, because I know you’re going to ask it, incredibly cool. Here are some of the things he talked about.
James on his character, Barnabus Greely:
James describes Barnabus as a religious warrior, a man who will do anything to change this corrupting world. And in trying to save the world, he is ‘not afraid to make mistakes;’ this James says with a heavy dose of admiration. When asked how he feels about playing such a zealous character, James says that he understands Barnabus’ motivation as he sees his world coming apart. In this fallen world, Barnabus is trying to save humanity and as such, he doesn’t fear going too far to do so. He will hurt and use people in order to make this right.
On Barnabus’ motivation:
Barnabus is driven by the loss of his father to the corruption of the surrounding world. Barnabus’ journey starts out very personal, as a quest to save his father and then expands to become very large in a quest to save the world in whole.
On Caprica and society:
Caprica reflects where we are in current society. James compares the world today to Rome and the rise of decadence. Before declining to get too morose, James admits that he finds the idea depressing.
Favorite episode of Caprica:
The episode the character is introduced in gives more for the actor to work with. James adds that the first episode is very intense for an actor because you don’t know what you’re doing well.
When asked on different genre choices before he got into science fiction, James admitted a fondness for late 70s movies and Blade Runner. For book choices, James is a fan of Animal Farm and Fahrenheit 451.
On Bringing back Spike:
Yes, James would be interested in reprising the role of Spike. But with his aging over the past seven years and Spike’s inability to do the same, that seems further from likely as time goes on. If there was a way to hold that option he definitely would.
Yes, it is possible that James would appear on the fourth season of Torchwood, if asked.
While he has seen Battlestar Galactica, James did not use the show as a reference to prepare for his role on Caprica. Having seen some of Battlestar and knowing the catastrophic events that are going to happen in Caprica’s future, in preparing for the role, James had to forget that in order to be in a world that does not know what they are going to become.
On being typecast and choosing roles:
There are worse things than being seen as the strong, tough, cool guy. No, there’s no fear of that. And in choosing roles, this shouldn’t be a factor, Marsters says, as that would force you into choosing writing that isn’t as good. Instead, when you ‘recognize good writing, go for that.’
Favorite film writers:
Ridley Scott and Martin Scorsese. Also, Pixar has incredible writing, says James, who has seen everything they do.
Definitely would love to return to Smallville. James had nothing but great things to say about the cast of Smallville, as well as Tom Welling, the resident Superman.
Feeling that he gets better as time goes by, James stated that he recorded some new tracks for an upcoming album he is doing with Ghost of the Robot. This new album will feature his son, age 13, on the guitar.
He cut the signature Spike locks off the day after Angel went off for charity.
The Buffy musical episode was born after the cast got together to do a Shakespeare reading that turned musical.
James loves the current vampire trend because they got his niece to read.
Barnabus would recruit Spike.
Caprica airs on Fridays at 9/8c on Syfy.