"The Write Environment" Joss Whedon Interview
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.
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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.
Joss: Ya know he ah, he learned from his mistakes and he um, Angel was kinda the classic Lestat puffy shirt, ya know...
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.