Spike: The 'Spock' of 'Buffy'?
By ALLEN DI BENEDETTO
February 27, 2013
Fans of Avengers director Joss Whedon's campy ‘90s teen vampire show Buffy the Vampire Slayer would be hard pressed not to think of actor James Marsters' pivotal, genre-defying role as suave bad-boy vampire Spike when reminiscing about the series. But what did Marsters think of the character?
"In Buffy, I thought that I wanted to be the new Spock," he tells ET. "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 you could kind of look at it. …Spock was that side character that nobody thought would be much and he ended up kind of turning the theme on its head, ‘cause Star Trek really was about human beings perfecting a world view and then sharing it with the galaxy, and then Spock was just trying to figure out how to be human in the first place."
The now fifty-something star was just one of many sci-fi icons present at Creation Entertainment’s Grand Slam Convention: The Star Trek and Sci-Fi Summit in Burbank, CA, among other such notables as Sir Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Brent Spiner, and many more.
Marsters went on to do a bit of reminiscing himself, eventually giving us his take on the differences between the more traditional, aggressive Buffy vampires of then and the softer, more melodramatic Twilight vampires of now. "In the world of Buffy, vampires were supposed to be ugly and very quickly dead. Joss used to say that he wasn't into the Anne Rice thing. He didn't 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 the problems you face in adolescence. So, the vampires of today are very different. They're more in the Anne Rice vein. And that's cool too."
"I think every generation has their own take on vampires, and I think it's fabulous," he continued. "I think vampires, for some reason, they are the most malleable of all of the basic archetypes of horror. Like, wolfman has to be wolfman, has to be a good man or woman that's forced to do evil by the moon. If the wolfman is a jerk, it just doesn't work. Or, if the invisible man is not a jerk, it won't work. The reason the invisible man works is he's a real jerk and so the audience is terrified when he's invisible cause, what's he going to do now? If it's a really nice guy and he's invisible, who cares? But for some reason, vampires can almost be anything. You can use them to whatever ends that you want. Whatever the zeitgeist is in this decade, or whatever, vampires can morph to fit that."
When talking about Buffy creator Whedon, Marsters fondly referred to the man as a "true artist," though he recalled one encounter in particular that made him realize that even the most talented of artists suffer their creations. "I asked him one time, 'It must be wonderful to wind up the universe and just see how it plays out,’ and he was sweating. He was like, 'Yeah, the problem is I have to keep winding.' He was really killing himself to put the show out, and basically do a 48-hour movie every week, and so I got to see him under intense pressure."
"He's a genius," Marsters concluded, "so it's like, some days you'll get a huge amount of love, and some days you want to hide from him."
Creation Entertainment, the company behind the event, hosts a number of interactive film and television genre conventions throughout the year. For more information on upcoming events, CLICK HERE.
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