Lee's Action Figure News & Toy Review, magazine, US.
Exclusive Interview: Anthony Head, October 2000, Issue #96.
Lee's: How long have you been acting? Were you formally trained?
Anthony: I've been acting longer than some people who watch the show have been alive [laughs]. I've been acting for over twenty-five years. I went to a drama school called LAMDA, the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Arts, for about 2-1/2 years. Then I came here. Now I do acting classes here, under Milton Katzelas, which are fantastic.
Lee's: Sounds like you recommend continuing study, even for experienced actors such as yourself, and that you're having good success with those classes in particular?
Anthony: Yes I do--I seriously recommend it. English actors that come to the US tend to think that if you've been trained there, then you've been trained. But, I heartily recommend learning with a great teacher here, and he's a great teacher.
Lee's: What are some of the other roles you've had? We know you broke a lot of hearts in that series of Gold Blend coffee commercials a number of years back.
Anthony: That was a cool break--it got me here. When I got here I did a show called VR.5, which was very cool but a little obscure. The producers kind of had a thing for The Avengers and The Prisoner, and wanted it to be as obscure and convoluted as The Prisoner. I think they actually got close to it, but [laughs], I think was just too much for the American public, especially since we kept getting dropped for hockey games. So, without a sort of reminder of what went on the week before, no one had an idea of what was going on.
I've also done a Showtime movie with Jim Belushi, called Royce, a lot of theater in England, a lot of TV shows; a number of musicals. I was Frank N. Further in the London revival of The Rocky Horror Picture Show--that was a few years back. They keep asking me if I want to do it again. I reprised the role once. Actually, I've had a very varied career. I have to say that, by far, it's been fantastic. I look forward to much more variation--much more variety.
Anthony: [Laughs.] I have been approached by a record company, to do some work with somebody who has contributed to the show. I don't know--we have to look at that.I live in fear of being one of those actors who suddenly, in the middle of their career, turns up as a rock and roll singer, and fulfills a dream, and then it'll be like "Oh my God, he shouldn't have done that!"
At the same time, I love singing. So, when people ask me if I'll sing, I go "Yeah, oh yeah." So, if there's a way of doing it with cool, then yeah, I might do it. Maybe I'll just contribute to somebody's album--maybe two or three song--without it being an Anthony Head album [laughs]. But you know how it is, people end up doing this sort of thing and getting careers in Germany and what not.
Lee's: We can hear the commercials on TV already, "Anthony Head, he's sold millions of albums in Europe..."
Anthony: Yeah, exactly... But I love singing. I don't know if I'll be doing it on the show again. That whole bit was part of Giles' mid-life crisis. If guess if Giles finds a place for himself, maybe then there'd be a need, I don't know. It certainly seemed to go down well. Joss [Whedon] always threatens a "musical episode," to which I always say, "Yay, go on!"--but some of the other members of the cast aren't so keen on that idea [laughs].
Lee's: How do you think the Giles character will progress in Season 5?
Anthony: I don't know. Joss does what comes naturally. He's the one that knows what's in store for us. He seemed to know a long time ago. We've talked about things, and I pitched him an idea, and he kind of went "Ah...well, yeah...actually you're not going to be doing that, you'll be doing this." I do think people will like the way it's going.
Lee's: When we talked to Seth Green, he seemed to really, really trust Joss and his vision when it comes to the way things have to go with the show...
Anthony: Oh my god, yes. Joss really is the man. He has a wonderful empathy with the actors and with the characters he writes. There was actually one actor who was a little nervous about where his character was going, and sure enough it turned out great. He [Joss] writes stuff that fulfills your character, and gives you stuff to work with. It's a most astonishing show to be on, in that respect, it really is.
Lee's: Speaking of "astonishing," what are your thoughts on being an action figure?
Anthony: I'm agog. I'm so chuffed. Clay has been talking about it for a while, and it's fantastic. It really is. It's a very cool figure--absolutely excellent. Actually, they're working on a removable head, one with glasses.
Anthony: Oh yeah, he's got got to have glasses. We talked about the idea of removable glasses, but we couldn't make them small enough. So, what better than to have a removable head? [Laughing]
Lee's: Like, if you were having a bad hair day--you could just switch heads.
Anthony: Exactly! Oh, and I get a chainsaw.
Lee's: You seemed pretty excited when you saw the figure for the first time--how do you think you'll react to seeing it in the stores for the first time?
Anthony: Oh, I know man. And that will be the icing on the cake, when I actually see it out on a shelf. Now, I have seen one before--I have an action figure of Giles before.
Lee's: What a customized figure? Was it made by a fan?
Anthony: It was made by Seth [Green]. It was fantastic. He made us all action figures, with pictures of us and stuff--he's a good little sculptor, he really is. He built the boxes and everything, and scanned in stuff from the web-site, and they were absolutely fantastic, and very funny. My action weapons were a teapot and a passport [laughing]. It really was excellent.
Lee's: Awesome. Thank you very much. Thanks for taking the time to talk with us for a while. Good luck with the show.
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