29 November 2008 @ 03:42 am
"The Write Environment" Joss Whedon Interview  
You guys... I've never loved Joss this much. And that's saying a lot, since I had oodles of love for him even before this.

This is an excerpt from an interview that icafreak transcribed from "The Write Environment" DVD. icafreak recently unlocked her post, so you can also see the transcript here.

Follow the cut...

Jeff: So when did you realize that Spike was more than just a villain?

Joss: Pretty much when James Marsters auditioned for it. Um, Spike was ya know, Spike was somebody that I loved conceptually and then ya know, James just brought and then kept on bringin'. So, it just, it was a pretty gradual process but it was always happening.

Jeff: A unique transition in that character from just a villain to almost the typical anti-hero. And yet never completely there.

Joss: Well, as a villain he was, ya know the Master that we started with was a straight up villain like, his belief system was just evil. And what was fun about Spike was, I said ok great and, and Mark, Mark Metcalf did a wonderful job, but now we need a villain who, that we can relate to in the way that we're relating to our other people, so that thematically they can become useful. So to introduce this guy who is clearly 'oh I'm such a bad ass' and then have him very tenderly in love with another vampire, so from the very beginning the idea was well he's not just, ya know a cardboard. He's, he's, he's gonna have levels to play. Um, how many I didn't at the time realize, but ah, in a way he, he really didn't change that much. Ah, he's a character that I always liked a little bit more than Angel because --

Jeff: He's got more of an edge.

Joss: He was more evolved, though. He had more of an edge, but at the same time ya know he was, ya know he chose to have a soul.

Jeff: Sure.

Joss: Ya know he ah, he learned from his mistakes and he um, Angel was kinda the classic Lestat puffy shirt, ya know...

Jeff: Right.

Joss: Um, and ah, and Spike was sort of the new mod rebellion against that, so I ah, I like that character. I always, I always thought he was a good guy even when he was a bad guy.

Jeff: Bad boy though, chicks love bad boys.

Joss: They do, they do. If they loved bad dancers the way they loved bad boys I would have been like, whoo.

Jeff: You would have been writing that.

Joss: Oh yeah.

Jeff: So it was an easy decision to bring him from Buffy over to Angel.

Joss: Um, the WB said they would not renew Angel unless we brought him over, so yeah it was a very easy decision.

Jeff: Really? Oh.

Joss: Um, and it was also an easy decision creatively, yes. We were, it was, and the best decision because we had a great ensemble on Angel um, but Spike and Angel's history meant that he and David played off each other in a way that nobody could, male or female and, ya know, David did some of his best work because he was in the room with James and Spike and Angel just... you think it's a banjo act and a banjo act but it's really not, they're so different.

Jeff: Instant conflict and yet great comedic moments.

Joss: Yeah. The two of them were so funny together.
 
 
Current Mood: gratefulgrateful
 
 
( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
chlarkfan333: JMelectricmonk333 on November 29th, 2008 01:59 am (UTC)
Interesting interview. Thanks for sharing it. It surprises me almost as much as hearing the DVD commentary for Destiny in which the writers admitted that Spike was the better man.

I had no idea about the WB's ultimatum. What a pity they axed Angel after only a year of Spike.

enisy: Spike (After the Fall)enisy on November 30th, 2008 12:24 am (UTC)
Glad you liked the interview!

It surprises me almost as much as hearing the DVD commentary for Destiny in which the writers admitted that Spike was the better man.

I agree. Judging from Joss's comments here, he also seems to agree with Fury and DeKnight about Spike's evolution, and consequently about why Spike won that fight.

Edited at 2008-11-30 12:24 am (UTC)
ms_scarletibis: Damn it Spikems_scarletibis on November 29th, 2008 02:00 am (UTC)

Joss: Um, the WB said they would not renew Angel unless we brought him over, so yeah it was a very easy decision.

Well, that's news. I'm super glad they did then. David and James = gold man :D
enisy: Spangel (Forehead Kiss)enisy on November 30th, 2008 12:21 am (UTC)
Yep. And I'm glad Joss sees it, too. :)
dorians_kittendorians_kitten on November 29th, 2008 02:55 am (UTC)
This was the best interview I have ever read! I had heard that WB demanded that James Marsters be added, but it was definitely interesting to have Joss confirm that. (One does wonder why those execs haven't gotten Marsters another show yet.) The best part though was that Joss said:"Angel was kinda the classic Lestat puffy shirt, ya know..." and that Spike "He was more evolved, though. He had more of an edge, but at the same time ya know he was, ya know he chose to have a soul."

And all this time I thought Joss didn't get it. I apologive quite humbly to his awesomeness.
enisy: Spuffy (Squee)enisy on November 30th, 2008 01:24 am (UTC)
I always kinda suspected/hoped that Joss "got" Spike, but I never thought he'd go and confirm those suspicions/hopes of mine -- especially not in such clear terms! He's simply the coolest. :)
Emmieangearia on November 29th, 2008 06:51 am (UTC)
Wow, fantastic interview. It's fascinating to learn that Joss prefers Spike and that Spike saved AtS Season 5 - which is my favorite season of ANGEL.

One thing, Joss is speaking a bit awkwardly in this interview. Not so much a ramble, it almost felt more like a stutter of ideas.

James Marsters really elevated Spike's character and it's clear he inspired the writers. That's sadly one thing missing from Season 8 - the actor's interpretation of the character's in bringing them to life.
enisy: Buffy (LOL)enisy on November 29th, 2008 12:52 pm (UTC)
One thing, Joss is speaking a bit awkwardly in this interview. Not so much a ramble, it almost felt more like a stutter of ideas.

I think it just seems that way because icafreak transcribed the "um"s and the "and"s and the "ya know"s, which most transcribers edit out. It's not awkward in itself, just in need of some polishing. ;)
Emmieangearia on November 29th, 2008 06:52 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's funny that - how hearing it and it still sounding eloquent can be so vastly different to reading it. I've transcribed a few things for fans and I try to keep it as close to what's really been said as possible, including the pauses where it sounds like the person is switching trains of thought.

Major points to anyone who does transcribing - especially when the audio is poor quality. It's a tough job.
Elenamoscow_watcher on November 29th, 2008 09:44 am (UTC)
Great interview, thank you for posting! Do you plan to re-post it on CDS and other places? Does ikafreak mind if you or me reposts it (with due credit, of course)?

I also want to translate it into Russian and post on Russian BtVS comminity and Russian James Marsters forum. Do you think I need to get a permission from ikafreak?

Anyway, your collection of quotes gets a lot of great additions! :)
enisy: Spuffy (Look)enisy on November 29th, 2008 11:29 am (UTC)
Do you plan to re-post it on CDS and other places? Does ikafreak mind if you or me reposts it (with due credit, of course)?

I didn't think to ask, actually, I was just so excited. I might do that later.
Elenamoscow_watcher on November 29th, 2008 12:12 pm (UTC)
May I repost it on CDS, then? *puppy eyes*
enisy: Spuffy (Soda Pop)enisy on November 29th, 2008 12:15 pm (UTC)
Fine by me, but it's not my transcript. :P I did repost it in the DH Spike/Buffy forum, though.
Shapinglightshapinglight on November 29th, 2008 11:07 am (UTC)
That's - well, I'm a bit gobsmacked actually. When did this interview take place?
enisy: Zutara (Hug)enisy on November 29th, 2008 11:25 am (UTC)
Just this year. It's not available online, but Whedonesque linked to the site selling the DVD: clicky.

This changes my perspective on things like Chosen and Destiny and The Long Way Home entirely. Thank you, Joss.
Shapinglightshapinglight on November 29th, 2008 11:40 am (UTC)
Yes, it's made a big difference. If you know, how did the subject of Spike arise in the first place in this interview?

Incidentally, I loved what he said about the chemistry between Angel and Spike in AtS season 5. So true. I just wish we'd had more of it.
enisy: Spuffy (Someday)enisy on November 29th, 2008 11:43 am (UTC)
I have no idea. I'm not even a subscriber to icafreak 's LiveJournal; I just found this transcribed segment in this post.
Shapinglightshapinglight on November 29th, 2008 11:53 am (UTC)
I'm actually intrigued enough to want this DVD. However, it's not available in the UK, it seems.
enisy: Spike (After the Fall)enisy on November 29th, 2008 12:00 pm (UTC)
I'm thinking of buying it for Christmas, too, after reading this. It's available on Amazon.
Shapinglightshapinglight on November 29th, 2008 12:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the link.
enisyenisy on November 29th, 2008 12:14 pm (UTC)
I think sueworld2003 is a subscriber to icafreak 's LiveJournal, maybe you can ask her...? Or ask her to ask icafreak .
sueworld2003sueworld2003 on November 29th, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC)
I've asked her, but I don't expect a reply for awhile though.
enisy: Angel/Darla (So Did I)enisy on January 5th, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
Deb, if you're still interested in the DVD, you can ask the interviewer, Jeffrey Berman, to pay via PayPal (jeffrey@thewriteenvironment.com). He's very nice. :)
sueworld2003: Telly Timesueworld2003 on November 29th, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC)
I don't know what to say about it really. It's like Joss was on drugs or something! *g*

What brought this new attitude on god only knows. I wonder If he's ever bothered to pass this on to Scott Allie, the editor of season 8? :0
Mrs Darcy: Spike - canon by st_salierielisi on November 29th, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, I love it. :) Thank you so much for sharing! *puts in memories*
enisy: Spuffy (Spike <3's Buffy)enisy on November 30th, 2008 12:12 am (UTC)
It's great, isn't it? :)

Edited at 2008-11-30 12:13 am (UTC)
francy_m79: spikefrancy_m79 on November 29th, 2008 10:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing!! Interesting interview! :)
enisy: Zutara (Hug)enisy on November 30th, 2008 12:13 am (UTC)
Glad you liked it! And thank you so much for friending me! :)

Edited at 2008-11-30 12:14 am (UTC)
Molly May: Spike drama queen - ruugermolly_may on November 30th, 2008 12:02 am (UTC)
Awww, it's nice to have that bit of confirmation from Joss that he loved Spike best, but I have to admit, I always assumed he did. Spike got so many great plots and an unparalleled character evolution, plus he embodied some of Joss's favorite character traits: funny/lovelorn/hidden depths. Angel always seemed like a stick-in-the-mud in comparison.
enisy: Spike (Can We Rest)enisy on November 30th, 2008 12:20 am (UTC)
Deep down, I always thought Spike was the character that Joss should like, being the underdog, but I never quite allowed myself to hope... This interview makes me see the televised series and the comics in a whole new light.
lara beckinsalelarabeckinsale on November 30th, 2008 12:03 am (UTC)
Oh, wow! This is so interesting! Nice to hear that from Joss, actually a really good surprise! I didn't think he thought that way! Thanks for posting!
enisy: Spuffy (Handclasp)enisy on November 30th, 2008 12:18 am (UTC)
You're welcome! :)
Caroline: Chosensleeping-Crackers4jennjamalov29 on November 30th, 2008 10:23 am (UTC)
How lovely and comforting to read this ! Thank you for reposting here.
Sometimes I was wondering if Joss really got Spike but it seems he did after all.:)
enisy: All (Why We Read)enisy on November 30th, 2008 01:11 pm (UTC)
Yep! He's so cool. :)
( 34 comments — Leave a comment )