Wednesday, November 07, 2007

James Marsters on acting and the inherent limits (and advantages) of TV

He's pretty insightful:

JM: What's weird is that all the Buffy writers - I talk to them every once in a while - they're all in hugely popular shows. They're working on CSI, on Grey's Anatomy, 24, you name it, they're all on the big shows, and they all have the same complaints. They say, "God, I'm bored. I want to have a big demon jump out and rip his throat out. I want something big to happen, something special. We're just sitting here talking about nuclear weapons and it's boring." There is something free and liberating about sci-fi and fantasy.

To tell you the truth, when Buffy went down, I had wanted to get into a quality procedural cop show because what had frustrated me about Buffy, and television in general, is that when characters reveal themselves they just talk about themselves, usually near a kitchen sink.

BN: There's a lot of expository dialogue.

JM: Exactly. That's the way that you do in television because to do it through action, which is the better way, is too expensive. It takes too long to write, it means your characters are on the move more and you just can't shoot that in a week. What I like about these procedurals is they don't talk about their feelings; the writers just rip that part out and trust that the actors will put that into the performance. I think it's a brilliant recognition of television to realize what they can do and what they can't, and if the actors know their lines and are willing to reveal themselves, they still get the character stuff across anyway.

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