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Happy Anniversary Buffy! :)
Just wanted to let you all know that yesterday it's been 10 years since Buffy the vampire slayer premiered on the WB network in the US!!!
So I thought I'd make this post to make you all aware of the occasion and also repost an interview I found online. It's from the first press conference with the season one cast! Enjoy!
Also where does time fly?
I can't believe it's been 10 years...or well more like 7-8 years for me as I only caught on in season 3-4ish...but still...
From Vampiresandslayers.com - By Webmaster - 2007-03-10
"Buffy The Vampire Slayer" Tv Series - Cast & Staff - The very first Interview, in 1997 !
BUFFY MEETS THE PRESS
On January 5, 1997, the cast and crew of Buffy the Vampire Slayer met with the Television Critics Association to field a few questions about the still unaired, pre-phenomenon TV series. What follows is the edited session between journalists and stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, Anthony Stewart Head, Nicholas Brendon, Charisma Carpenter and Alyson Hannigan, as well as executive producers Joss Whedon and Davie Greenwalt.
WBíS SUSANNE DANIELS: Weíre going to start today with our new drama from 20th Television. Itís really scary. Itís really sexy. And itís really funny. We think itís all there in our new drama series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Every once in a while you meet a writer whose passion and vision just blow you away, and thatís what happened when we met with Joss Whedon for the first time. This is the same Joss Whedon who is an Academy Award-nominated writer for Toy Story and who also wrote Speed and recently completed Alien Resurrection. In addition to those impressive credits, Joss was a writer-producer on Roseanne and The Wonder Years shortly before his first featured was produced by Fox, entitled Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A familiar title you say - yes, but you will find very little else familiar from the film in this exciting new television series. In internal meetings we like to describe this show as Beverly Hills 90210 meets The X-Files. In fact, itís a show that we think will appeal to the Goosebumps audience at the same time it captures the X-Files viewers. Buffy, you should know, is much more than a vampire slayer. She is the Chosen One - chosen to fight all the forces of evil she comes upon, and in this series evil ranges from powerful modern-day witches to a seven-foot preying mantis disguised as a teacher.
As soon as we saw Jossí pilot script, we knew we had something unique, but it wasnít until the casting process, when we met Sarah Gellar - the Emmy Award-winning actress from All My Children - that we knew we had a potential breakthrough show. And if that wasnít enough, we then cast the very talented British actor, Anthony Head, the intriguing romantic lead from the popular Tasterís Choice soap-operaesque commercials, as Buffyís mentor and guide to the unknown evils that lurk among us. We know that we have a very special show in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Hereís a short preview. [a clip from the series is shown and questions are fielded from the audience]
Q: Mr. Head, are you looking forward to be recognized on the street for something more than hawking coffee?
HEAD: Yeah, it is nice being recognized for whatever, but this is very different so that will be cool.
Q: So, Sarah, when you get to kick around these monsters and so forth, apparently youíve studied Tae Kwon Do and things before that. Tell us a little about what made you study in the first place and what it is like when you film the scenes.
GELLAR: I studied Tae Kwon Do for about four years and I had my brown belt when I stopped training. So when this job came up, it was a wonderful opportunity to be able to use that. We shoot the fight scenes very, very carefully. We usually tag the other actor, which is sot of just a light kick. We use stunt doubles when necessary if it is really dangerous.
Q: How old were you when you started? Why were you studying Tae Kwon Do?
GELLAR: I picked up Tae Kwon Do when I was about nine or ten. It just seemed like something interesting to do at the time [laughter]. I thought it would be fun, kick around a few people, get a couple of aggressions out [laughter].
DAVID GREENWALT: She is very tough in story meetings. You donít want to cross her [laughter].
Q: If youíre tough now, can you take on Sabrina the Witch?
GELLAR: [snaps fingers] Like that, Iíll beat her any day. Outside in the parking lot actually [laughter].
Q: Is this a continuing story or is it episodic?
JOSS WHEDON: It Is episodic. There are continuing arcs for all of the characters, but each episode is self-contained.
Q: How do you find enough people for her to slay?
WHEDON: Well, it is not just vampires that she has to fight. It is all kinds of different monsters, robots, giant insects, demons, whatever we can come up with. So there is plenty there.
Q: This one community has them all?
WHEDON: yes, this one community happens to be situated on a ďHell MouthĒ, which is a mystical port hole, so bad things gravitate toward it. Itís not a good place to go to school [laughter].
Q: Will you be touching a lot on teen subjects in the series, besides the killing of the vampires and the witches?
WHEDON: We are not going to get terribly issue-oriented. We will deal with teen subjects, because that is where all the interesting stories come from. The horror isnít just monsters attack and we fight them. The horror has to come and the stories have to come from the characters. From their relationships and their fears. Otherwise it wonít really be interesting. So when we deal with teen stuff, it is really the more emotional stuff, not so much the ďissueĒ oriented.
Q: The competition between both Sarah and Charisma will continue?
WHEDON: Yes. Oh, yes, and itís gonna get ugly [laughter].
Q: Sarah, are you a big fan of the movies of the horror genre or do you prefer comedies?
GELLAR: I like them all. I love horror, I love comedy, I love action, I love drama. I think thatís whatís so wonderful about our show. We have all of those different aspects.
Q: Sarah, youíve had an interesting career in that you started out as a younger person on a show thatís geared primarily to adults. Now youíre a little bit older with a program geared towards a younger audience. Is that an interesting transition?
A: Itís always interesting when you go from being a child actor to an adult actor. All My Children was really that transition for me. This is really wonderful opportunity for me to play someone a little closer to myself and the situations that Iíve been in. Minus the vampires [laughter].
Q: Anthony, on VR.5 you watched over Lori Singerís character. And then it looks like youíre doing it again, watching over Buffy.
ANTHONY HEAD: Well, the difference is that in VR.5 he worked for an organization, and he basically knew what he was doing [laughter]. In this, Iím on my own, and I have not the faintest idea what Iím doing. I just know it is my duty and my lifeís mission to find this girl. And to teach her how to deal with vampires. She is The One. The One who possesses all of the talents. Iím the Watcher, so the fact that she has no desire to get on board is infinitely annoying to me. And the fact that she is this young, American high school girl, and Iím very English in it. So there s a lot of fun to be had. Itís very different from VR.5. Very different.
Q: Joss, is there any chance of Paul Reubans coming back to do the show? As I recall from the movie, he still wasnít dead as the ďanti-ChristĒ.
WHEDON: He was still dying during the credits, thatís right [laughter]. I hope so. I havenít talked to him in a while, but I would love for him to show up again. Heís great.
Q: Joss, is this a project youíve been trying to get on television for a while? Or is the time just right for it? How did it come about now? And also, how did you cast Tony?
WHEDON: How did we cast Tony? Iíll answer that one first. We heard him read [laughter]. Then that was over. Soon as he did, then we knew we had our guy. Itís true.
HEAD: Oh, shucks [laughter].
WHEDON: Actually, Gail Berman at Sandollar came to me with the idea for the show. Asked me if I was interested last year, and I thought about it for a while and I decided that I was. Because I thought it was very different from the movie, but there is an idea in the ďhigh school horror showĒ that would sustain for an entire television show that would keep going for years. The movie, the idea, the premise is really just for one piece. Where the show is different is we broadened it out a little with different monsters, different problems, the new characters and stuff. It was appealing to me as an idea for a show, but I hadnít thought of it until they brought it to me.
Q: Is it part of this cycle of shows with kids who are into the mystical and the occult and all hat? I mean,d o you think it would have gotten on the air two seasons ago, before Sabrina and all the rest of them?
WHEDON: I have absolutely no doubt that it would have. None of those shows were actually really on. Or I wasnít really aware of them when we started doing this. Sabrina wasnít on yet. And this is a very different show than that. Sabrina is a very young comedy. This is, I think a little older. And it is a horror show. I would say it owes more to the X-Files than it does to Sabrina, certainly.
Q: Mr. Whedon, I have a follow up to that question. Thereís been a generational change about where vampire stories and monster stories are, and how popular they are with certain age groups. Iím wondering if you could talka bout the meaning of these kind of shows to the youth of America today. Do you think they have replaced ďcowboys and IndianaĒ or whatever - gangsters or the different genres we have?
WHEDON: Well, it is different for different ages. I donít think theyíve replaced cowboys and Indians because I think Colombian drug dealers and cops have replaced cowboys and Indians [laughter], but I think they have an important place and I think they are popping up again because people need horror stories. They need the ďbig, bad wolfĒ and they need something to latch onto, something to project their fears on to. And there hasnít been that on television for a long time. The X-Files was a show that sort of brought that up again and other shows are trying that, but horror has disappeared from the movies somewhat and I think there is a need for it and that is why it is showing up on television.
Q: Starting with Alyson, could all the actors tell us what really scares you?
ALYSON HANNIGAN: This!
NICHOLAS BRENDON: Hearing Alyson talk scares me [laughter]. What scares me most of all? Well, you know, we havenít really seen an episode. Itís tough. I guess trying to...having a big bug try to rape me is scary [laughter]. Thatís just me, though. Each show is different, and just as scary.
GELLAR: Cheerleading. Cheerleading scares me and they made me a cheerleader, and IĒm really bad. It scares me that people are going to see that.
Q: What scares you, Joss?
WHEDON: Actually, a lot of things scare me. Everything scares me. Hereís a silly answer: the thing that actually scares me the most, and the thing that I like the best on the show, are the monsters and demons, horns and things jumping out of closets. All of that. But the thing that ends up scaring me the most is people, and....these people [laughter]. And I think the best stuff happens when we remember the sort of human relationships that people have that are really twisted and scary, and sort of extend those into horror stories, and not just sort of having a monster show up. Thatís where the stuff really disturbs me, when itís somebodyís parent, or somebodyís friend, whoís turning into something horrible. And it brings up issues that are real, and therefore actually very scary. Then thereís also dead, and maiming and all that good stuff.
GELLAR: And high school....
WHEDON. And high school. Generally.
HEAD: When I was six, my Uncle and Aunt did a puppet show for me for my sixth birthday, of, I think it was ďJack and the BeanstalkĒ, and I spent the entire time behind the sofa, because it scared me solid. Thatís about the size of it, really, the unknown I guess.
CHARISMA CARPENTER: The thought that Cordelia is going to be having sex with Xander scares me [laughter]. And that I possibly would bond in any way with Buffy [laughter].
GELLAR: I take offense to that!
CARPENTER: Cordelia - Cordelia and Buffy [laughter]. I donít deal with Buffy [laughter]. What scares you?
GREENWALT: What scares me is doing a show that doesnít completely depend on the old cliches, and I like to get out there and try something different. But this isnít just about ďDrop the gun, Bob,Ē you know [laughter]. But what I love about what Joss has done with the show is that you take something that is very real in high school, like sexual tension, and then you fulfill that by having a guy trapped with a giant bug in a basement whoís going to eat him. So, I like that he takes very real issues and then magnifies them, and itís fun doing that. What would scare me is not to go there.
Q: Joss, given your credits - and some of them were weird - what kind of child were you [laughter]? At night did you do things like wet your bed or were you afraid of the dark [laughter]?
WHEDON: I had a vivid imagination. I was a strange, unlovable child [laughter]. I think the thing that I was most afraid of was my big brother. If you see big brothers being eviscerated on the show youíll know where what came from [laughter]. Heís scary! You meet him, youíll think heís scary.
Q: Seriously, in school and such were you the odd person, the odd child?
WHEDON: Yes [laughter]. Look, I wish it was different. I wish I was Mr. Popular, but then the show would be very different.
GELLAR: I think high school scares everyone. I think that no matter how popular you are, or how unpopular you are, high school is a scary place and we touch on that a lot. And I think that we can all remember.....I think what people will relate to, because, obviously, you canít always relate to the horror aspect of our show, but you can relate to the fact that high school is hard, and high school is scary, and whatís wonderful is that all of us are going through it differently. I think that we cover all aspects of that and thatís scary.
Q: Charisma, in Malibu Shores you played a stuck up, rich little girl. And now it looks like youíre repeating that again. How is Cordelia different from Ashley?
CARPENTER: Actually, Joss and I had a conversation about that one day on the lot. He said, ďYou know, Ashley was kind of Joan Collins bitchy. Well, we donít want to go there. We want Cordelia to be a little more witty.Ē Itís more intimidating when sheís smart, when you bring that aspect into it, rather than just being evil. And my perspective is that Cordelia is a little misunderstood, her mother had Epstein Barr, had a lot of neglect. You know, so sheís learned by survival skills to use her sexuality and to use aspects of her personality that maybe she wouldnít have to use had she had an attentive mother, or whatever. Thatís how I tend to look at Cordelia, so I can relate to her.
WHEDON: Wow, you like her way more than I do [laughter].
CARPENTER: Maybe I should write [laughter].
WHEDON: No, no.
Q: Alyson and Nicholas, can you describe your roles?
HANNIGAN: Sheís shy, computer literate and is really fond of Xander.
BRENDON: She hasnít fondled me. Iím Joss in high school, which is very intelligent, and I have to look up a lot of the words that are in the script [laughter].
Q: Why do you think high school has become such a popular setting for TV shows?
WHEDON: I think itís because thereís never a time when life is more like a TV show, whether thatís a horror show or a drama, or anything else. Everything is so turgid when youíre in high school, everything is so powerful, so dramatic. I donít think thereís a time in life where you really feel that way, except in high school, so when people see high school students going through that, itís very believable, itís very relatable.
GELLAR: I think itís one thing that everyone in this world can relate to, itís one of the few things that everybody has experienced.
CARPENTER: And also thereís an eclectic group. You have all types of characters in high school. True? And this is a perfect setting because of that. You can bring all those characters to life.
GELLAR: Which is interesting: vampires, preying mantises...your typical high school.
Q: Sarah, did you have a typical high school, being that you were working?
GELLAR: In the beginning of high school I did. I went to the Performing Arts, which is the ďFameĒ school. But I did find it incredibly difficult with my schedule, and with All My Children, because we shot five episodes a week. Because soap operas are so demanding, and the amount of work is so demanding. Eventually I had to go to a school for children with different schedules. It was called Professional Childrenís School, and it was for musicians, and ballerinas, and any child that had an irregular schedule. Kids from all over the country as well as from all over the world.
Q: Do you feel like you missed something?
GELLAR: No, I got it. We still had our strange eclectic groups, and I donít feel that I missed much, especially because high school is a scary, scary lace, and I did get to avoid a little bit of the problems that I think everyone faces. Because most of the children that I went to school with were so into a specific activity.
Q: Joss, are you asking viewers to basically suspend belief as far as everything happening at this high school? For instance, if a lot of things are happening there, it seems as though there would be far more alarm, going by the tape that I saw. Bad things would happen and everyone would just come back to schoolt he next day and everything was fine. Could you talk about that?
WHEDON: Well, there is some suspension of disbelief thatís necessary there. We have set up the premise that thereís a ďhell mouthĒ, so we understand our characters who know whatís going on, who know that Buffy is the vampire slayer, sort of understand that these things will happen here. The rest of the school just sort of take it for granted. The school is a strange place to be, but theyíve never gone anywhere else. Itís sort of like people living in the world with Superman. They just sort of take it for granted, and if they see a werewolf, next week, theyíll be okay with that.
Q: Joss, the show mixes comedy and horror. Itís sort of a combustible mix, because itís hard to make people laugh while scaring them at the same time. How do you go about trying to find the right balance?
WHEDON: Itís tough. Every episode is genius. Itís a balance we try to find because we also have action in the show. Ad action and horror are actually more antithetical than comedy and horror, really, because horror is so much about not being in control of your environment. In a way, comedy can be the same thing. Whereas action - Buffy is a hero, sheís somebody who really takes control of her environment. So to go from the comedy to the horror, to that - itís difficult to maintain that balance. When it works, they really do mesh. And whatís fun about the show is that we never know from scene to scene which way itís going to go. A scene that starts out very dramatically could end up quite funny, or something truly horrible could happen in it. So itís not, ďHereís the funny part, hereís the scary part.Ē We really never know whatís going to be highlighted.
BRENDON: And if I can add one thing, one thing that I like about the show is that in every episode, somebody dies [laughter]. So you donít know.
CARPENTER: Everybodyís on edge.
BRENDON: I mean, you could have a bond with, say, me, and then Iím dead [laughter]. I mean, not that that would happen, but, you think that person might die.
WHEDON: [laughing] You heard it here first.
BRENDON: So, if theyíre in danger, they might die. They might not come back. Which is always nice.
WHEDON: Yes, itís not pat.
CARPENTER: Thanks for planting that seed. Thank you so much. Real job security on our show.
WHEDON: We do introduce characters that donít make it. Not that we feel we have to kill someone every week, but we like to let people wonder. You know, we like the to show people that the peril here is real, the horror is real, and thereís something at stake here.
GELLAR: But I think itís not what you expect. Itís not your typical TV show. Itís not the person you think thatís going to get in trouble, and itís not the person you think is going to die who is going to die. And some of the people will surprise you that get hurt and injured and into these scary situations.
Q: Do you get any of your ideas from the headlines? For instance, in real life there was the mother who murdered the cheerleader because her daughter didnít make the cheerleading squad, and you had the cheerleader episode of the show.
WHEDON: I remember talking about that. I donít remember saying, ďOh, letís take that and make it a horror story.Ē But while we were developing the story, I had seen that. And I thought, again, hereís a story that works because weíre taking it from something, as bizarre as it is, thatís kind of real. This competition does get this insane.
GREENWALT: Again, he took the psychological truth that if a mother could, that type of mother, if she could take her daughterís body, she would. Thatís what I like about this show. It goes that one extra step because itís psychologically driven.
GELLAR: I think we take the typical situations that people can relate to and bring them to a higher level. Like a girl that feels so unpopular and feels so out of it that no one knows sheís there, and she becomes invisible. I think people can relate to that. I think thatís what David was saying.
Q: Joss, will you ever do a backstory on the town to explain why itís over a hell mouth?
WHEDON: Itís been built over one. It was a bad place to build. We will be learning more about the town. Weíll be learning more about The Master, sort of the head vampire, who actually lives in a church underneath the ground that was swallowed in the earthquake. So heís actually right under the school, but nobody knows it. And these things will sort of being coming out over the season. The Master, as heís called, heís there all the time, sort of behind the scenes, waiting for his chance to get Buffy.
Q: Sarah, can you tell us a little about what itís like to start a soap opera that young? How old were you when you started the soap opera? What was it like? And whatís like to win an Emmy when youíre 15?
GELLAR: Itís amazing. Itís one of those things that I think everybody always dreams about. You know, you do your work and itís wonderful that people respected it, and thatís what the Emmy was to me - that people respected and enjoyed my work. It was very, very difficult. I think at the time I was probably the only contract player on a soap opera under 18. And after I started - they started bringing people on - but because of the hectic schedule, very few soap operas like to have younger people. So I was in an environment surrounded by adults with an immense amount of work. And not only was I learning 40 pages a day to shoot an episode, but I was still trying to graduate high school at the same time. It was really difficult. I loved it. It was an amazing training ground. The amount of work that you do in a soap opera, you canít compare it to anything else,t he small time for preparation and the actual work.
Q: Nicholas, we know whatís scary for girls in high school. What was scary about high school for you?
BRENDON: Girls [laughter]. See, itís an ongoing thing. I went to LA Unified. I think thatís scary enough [laughter]. It was a horrible experience. But I learned a lot of lessons. It was just - I didnít date until I was about....
WHEDON: Last week.
BRENDON: Yeah, that was my first real date. Itís the same as the girls - howís my hair, howís my make-up. It just depends on what youíre into [laughter].
Q: Joss, one of the problems down the road that you could ace is that you have people now cast in key roles who are already fairly well past the high school age. And as this show went on, to keep the thing credible....
WHEDON: I actually think we have the youngest median age for actors of any high school show. Not a grey hair among them. Theyíre very well preserved, I feel. I think every show goes through that. I mean, theyíre all very professional people and they donít read ďoldĒ on TV. I donít think they ever will.
Q: When youíre setting out to cast a show, how do you do it?
WHEDON: Well, you know, you definitely have people come in who are too old too read ďhigh schoolĒ, who are still reading ďhigh schoolĒ, and you can tell. Itís awkward. But these people are so immature [laughter]. You find the right balance. You find people who are mature, who can do the hard work, but who still have that youthful energy thatís genuine. Itís not easy, but we got Ďem.
No kidding! Yesterday I watched the first episode of Buffy from S1 that I had just bought!
Happy 10 years, Buffy
Thanks for the reminder Karin, I had actually read an article about this a few days ago. Yes it really is hard to believe its been 10 years! IIRC it was late 98 before Buffy reached us here.
Thanks for the interview, wonderful read. Love how CC understood her character so well from day 1!
Wow 10 Years!
Happy Anniversary Buffy
Happy Anniversary Buffy and the Scooby Gang
Watching "Welcome to the Hellmouth" right now
me too buffy is the best
Originally Posted by bacteriophage
Happy Anniversary, SLAYER! You sodding bint. I hope you die, Summers, you bitch. No, sorry, Buffy, didn't meant it. Really. Right. Oh, go run to your nancy boy with delusions of hair gel, I don't care. The great big poof might as well take out an ad in Manly Man Weekly. "Oh, look at my forehead, it is so manly." So sod you, and sod off! I am through with you, Slayer. No, Buffy, I didn't mean that. Honest, Buffy. Shall we snog a bit, then?