James Marsters has been at an event called MyCon Live, where he discussed how the producers of Buffy were looking to kill Spike off early, but he fought for the love story with Drusilla. Spike ended up being one of the best characters in the long-running fantasy series, and he even got an unexpected romance with Buffy herself.
“I was told, that they were looking for someone to play Spike for a long time. They couldn’t find anybody. And so they must have said; ‘Let’s just scrape the bottom of the barrel.’ We got to find anybody. And I think it was because Juliet Landau liked me. She was the one that was going to be the bigger role and they just need someone to pair with her because they were going to kill me off quickly anyway, so. But, I brought love.”
“I was told that Spike was a soulless vampire who didn’t care about anyone or anything. And the vampires on Buffy… they were like; ‘We don’t like that Anne Rice crap [author behind some of the best vampire movies including Interview with the Vampire].’ You know, like, we don’t want to feel for the vampires. Vampires are metaphors for the challenges that you have to overcome in your teenage years.'”
“‘So the vampires designed to be defeated, and you’re gonna get your head chopped off, and get ready for it.’ And I was like, Eff that.’ Like, if I play like that, they are going to kill me off. I’ve got to find love. Because the love is where you connect with the audience. The love is good. You can be in love [with] betrayal, frustration. But it’s got to be up in there somewhere. It’s how you connect with people. For me, it was the love of Drusilla that I leaned into. It wasn’t on the page.”
Buffy recently celebrated its 25th anniversary (gasp). Buffy laid the groundwork for many, many popular fantasy and horror series including Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, Teen Wolf, True Blood, and Hemlock Grove – to name but a few.
Check out our guide to the best sci-fi series, for more genre fun.