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James Marsters: “Joss Whedon never got into Spike”

By ShinyMedia on August 29th, 2007 11 comments

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He is soon to star in Torchwood, but James Marsters is most famous for his peroxide-haired turn as lovable vampire Spike in both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Sure, Buffy, Willow and Xander were the core good guys but we all love a villain. Fans adored Spike and when Angel folded there was talk of a possible spin-off show just for him, however Marsters believes creator Joss Whedon never had much affection or interest in the blood-sucker.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Marsters elaborated: “I don’t think the character of Spike really sparked Joss’ imagination. I think that he was designed to be a throwaway character that got popular with the fans. Personally, he never really got into him.”


“Every character on the show was a version of Joss, but Joss didn’t see Spike that way. Spike was the other guy. He was the guy who might mess up the show, actually, because vampires are supposed to be ugly and hated… whenever Joss would write an episode, Spike would have, like, five lines. That’s fine. I mean, the man gave me a job and he’s a great guy and everything.”

Has this ‘great guy’ missed a trick by ignoring the obvious fan support for Spike and would you like to see him make a return to TV? Leave a comment and let us know whether you think Spike ever got the attention he fully deserved.

[via Entertainment Weekly]

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  • arelya

    I thought Spike got more than enough attention. He got Buffy in the end, didn’t he? And a heroic death. He was a real star of the show and his personal journey was at least as complex and challenging as any of the other main characters. I am very surprised at JM’s comments.

  • Charmin

    When it was still fresh in our minds, yes, Spike should have been brought back to the small screen. However, now that James is 45, it makes it more difficult for him to play an eternally 20-something vampire. Another actor playing Spike would be wrong and not accepted by the fans.

    With James obtaining roles in Torchwood and Without A Trace, the fans should be somewhat satisfied (I am).

  • angel

    I’m sorry but this doesn’t sound like Jm…

  • angel

    I’m sorry but this doesn’t sound like Jm…

  • Marilyn

    I’m not at all surprised by James’ remarks–after all, he was there. Joss himself has admitted he had no idea what to do with Spike when the character became a Season 4 regular (due more to his popularity with the AUDIENCE than with Joss). It fell to other “Buffy” writers and James to flesh him out, make him truly memorable. Thus, all the greatest Spike episodes were non-Joss creations. When “Buffy” ended, Joss wanted to do a Faith-centered spinoff series–with Spike thrown in because FANS wanted him. When “Angel” ended, Joss hoped to make SEVERAL Buffyverse telefilms–centering primarily on favored female characters: Faith, Willow, and Fred/Illyria. Spike was mentioned in the mix simply because fans still clamored for more of him– NOT because Joss was particularly devoted to the character. Even Angel was an unintended audience hit that couldn’t be ignored. For the Joss- man, it’s always been about the empowerment of his female characters. The guy heroes never resonated with him the same way. James was right.

  • mike

    Angel hit it right on nail! joss is all about the female gender swapping. The guys were only plot devices.

  • Teresa

    I think James knows more that we ever will, I’ll take his word for it. I always hated the way that Buffy could never be saved by Spike, even in a small way. If there was a fight in which Buffy was struggling, Spike would never get to be the one who saved her from the bad guy. I seem to remember Angel doing that a few times. I always got the impression that Joss loved Buffy/Angel but Spike was a money spinner only. I do miss it though.

  • me

    I hate Spuffy….so, what else can I say?

  • Jessica

    I didn’t know this… I think that he got all attention he deserved in the show, correct me if I’m wrong… Anyway, as I’m a fan of him, I would really love if he appeared on TV again, better if the show reguards the character of Spike.

  • Claudie

    I completely agree with James. I know I watched & waited for Spike and became very frustrated with his short scenes and few lines in each show. By the 7th season, Joss himself said he didn’t really know what to do with Spike! (Duh.) Personally, I found Spike’s story the most complelling; such a fascinating journey for his character to make & it was due to James’ amazing portrayl. When I think of BTVS now, I think of Spike because his character is the one that resonated so with me.

  • Anne

    Spike was most definitely the most interesting character of the show and I feel his complex, multi-faceted personality really deserved more attention. James might have been allotted only a few lines in each show but nevertheless, as the outstanding actor he is, he managed to make Spike come alive more than any of the other characters. I would love to see Spike return …and who says a few ‘lines of experience’ wouldn’t look good on a 120yr vampire?


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