I really respect highly accomplished artists who fuse technical skills with passionate execution and attention to detail. I respect them even more when they are intelligent, analytical people who have insights into themselves, their craft and how their craft affects others. For example, Sarah Michelle Gellar is a highly accomplished actor, and I respect that, but I can’t respect her as a person because she’s not very thoughtful or reflective; plus she’s really squandering her talent.
James Marsters, on the other hand, ranks right up there with David Bowie for me. He’s really talented AND really intelligent, not to mention jovial and humorous, as you can see in the latest Television Without Pity interview. After reading the transcript, I conclude that he seems to be a charismatic, extroverted person with the gift of making almost anyone feel relaxed and accepted.
Anyway, in case I need any more reason to have a crush on him, here he is saying intelligent things about the massive popularity of Spike in BTVS. Brains are such a turn-on. A cut from the TWoP interview:
CB: Speaking of Spike, one more question about him. Obviously, I don’t have to tell you how popular a character he is, but if you can separate acting ability and looks from the equation, what is it about his essence that makes him so alluring?
JM: Hmm…that’s a really hard question for me to answer, because I wasn’t objective about it. I think at the end of the day, it’s either of two things or both of them, and one is probably more for women than men. But the first is that the show wasn’t supposed to be about sexy vampires. It was supposed to be about ugly vampires who die. The mythology was that the vampires stood for what sucks about high school, and so Joss got talked into Angel, which was not in his ground plan, and the character just took off, and he’s like, that’s it, it’s one sexy vampire, I will allow you no more. And then I come along, and I think that he was trying to keep a cap on…he recognized that I was thematically dangerous to his show. He didn’t want it to become a soap opera of sexy vampires. And so he, uh, marginalized the character, and it’s ironic, because the show is about outsiders, it’s about people who are not the popular people, and he didn’t really realize it, but he created within…so the show is about these outsider outcasts, and in this group of outcasts, there’s this other outcast. So he made me the super-outcast, and the show speaks to everyone who feels sometimes like an outcast, which is pretty much everybody. So thematically, I don’t know that he meant to set it up that way, but it kind of went down that way.