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SF convention, Seattle, November 21-23, 1997. Guests: Anthony Head, Alyson Hannigan, Armin Shimerman. Video of the panels is available on two tapes for $35 from Rainy Daze Productions (PO Box 31892, Seattle, WA 98103). Proceeds benefit the Pediatric AIDS Foundation in Seattle.

Pictures

  • Bentley's Bedlam: Untitled Gallery
  • Mary Loye's webpage.
  • Mir's Conrad photos
  • Conrad photos.

    Transcript (by Becky Dorrie, from convention videotape): Panel with Anthony Head, Alyson Hanigan, and Armin Shimerman.

    Anthony Head: I hope my family is gonna come out for awhile, uhm, because it's quite a short hiatus this time, I think if we, you know, we're probably going to go into a 3rd season and it starts in July and we finish in May, don't we, something like that.

    Alyson Hannigan: We finish in April, late March.

    Armin Shimerman: I hope to do a play but there's nothing fixed yet.

    ASH: Cool, very cool.

    Question (unheard)

    ASH: Talk to the WB about that one, soon, I guess.

    Question about Haley Mills (Had any of them ever done anything with her?)

    ASH: Uhm, no - my brother made a movie with her years ago called In the Family Way. I don't know if it ever made here, made it here, uhm, and so I met her. I was quite young at the time and I was deeply starstruck, ah and, I've met her a couple of times, she's really sweet and lovely, a very nice person.

    Photo of Frank question: Is there any way to get a picture of you as Frank-n-furter?

    ASH: Well then, there are photos on the net aren't there, of me as Frank-n-Furter.

    (Some comment about a video)

    ASH: Oh God - I do have a couple of photos, basically, I'll try and get some copied. And maybe we'll do something for the fan club, talk to Sonja Marie, there you go.

    Question (The earring, when, where, and how?)

    ASH: There was this big needle, and they stuck it in my ear and rolled it around. Uhm, Personally? or my idea of Giles having an earring, what? Where did I get the earring? About 18 years ago, I think, uhm, I can't even remember where, uhm, in Chelsea, I think, in London. Just basically, I'd always wanted one and I'd stopped me self for a long time because I thought "No, I'm an actor, and if you play a classical part, you can't have a hole in your ear" and it suddenly occurred to me you could always stick, you know, wax in it. But unfortunately I forgot to do this as Giles and was noticed by several people on the net we decided Giles has an earring hole. And now that we've seen Giles had a dark past, it's quite laudible he did have an earring, so there we go, everything ends hapily ever after.

    Aly: Want me to tell them about your other piercing? (much embarrassed giggling)

    Armin: You are gonna tell us, aren't you?

    Aly: He'll show you, Armin.

    ASH: Well, that's got everybody thinkin, hasn't it? Certainly got me thinking.

    Question (Is there a difference between the BBC and American TV?)

    ASH: Yes, there's an enormous difference, one is the amount of money that they pay, which is like zilch in England.

    Armin: The WB or the BBC?

    ASH: Unfortunately, amazingly enough, the BBC pays even less than the WB. Uhm, when I first came here I was amazed at the amount of, uhm, scripts that are out there. In LA it's amazing how much product there is, a lot of it hits the wall and never goes any further, but in pilot season, there's an incredible number of ideas. In England, it's, it takes a long time for a series to get off the ground. Series are few and far between. We have a lot of American product now on tv. It's a long story but, I could go on about it. Margaret Thatcher basically killed our television industry. She set out to do it and she did, it was quite remarkable. The main difference is the amount of money that is available and the level of imagination, there's a lot of stuff here, which is very cool. The BBC still makes some good stuff every now and again, but we don't have what we had 10 years ago, It's sad.

    Question ( Are you going to get any more friends like Ethan and why is your nickname Ripper?)

    ASH: I dunno, Joss has, has sort of - he smiles every time I say "Why am I called Ripper?" Uhm, I don't honestly know - I'm sure he will, just for fun, cause he likes messing with people's minds. And as for other friends? I had my share of them on Dark Age, they sort of, most of them died. Uhm, but uhm storylines for the next, I mean up to 22 are pretty much set and there's an awful lot of stuff going on so, and it's all very interesting. It's cool, and it's gonna mess with your mind, it is seriously good. So I don't know

    Aly: We have our own ideas what Ripper means

    Armin: We'll talk about the piercing now?

    Question (I really liked VR.5 can you tell us anything about that?)

    ASH: Lord love ya. Uhm, yeah, VR.5 I must admit, I had a good time on VR5, uhm, it was one of those shows that was a little ahead of it's time. I think, ah, it was a very, for those of you who don't know what it was about it was about virtual reality and it was, the idea was that this girl could go into other people's minds basically uhm by taking them into her virtual reality setup and she was being abused and used by a strange organisation called the Committee which I represented. So I started off as this rather dark Svengali figure and as we got to know me, uhm I was sort of, actually I had a conscience and all the rest of it and it looked like it was planned that me and she were going to get together and we never did because she went into VR7 and never came out. Uhm, and basically it was one of those, it was, it was cool because, uhm, even though it was an episodic and uhm, each week we'd have a story that would begin and go through its machinations and end, there were lost of kind of underlying plotlines that would sort of weave their way through it and every week Fox unh, would say that they wanted more complexity, and ah, they'd sort of,they'd just, I dunno crank up the complexness, or the complexity of the story lines. Which meant that if you missed an episode you were completely and hopelessly lost, and didn't know where on earth you were, who was related to who, and who was killing who, why and so basically there was something like, you know, we went down to a couple of football games and whatever, and by the time people came back to it, they'd lost ah interest. So the series only went to where, we did half a season, I think it's actually getting better uhm, better viewing figures now than it ever did because it's, now it's on the SciFi channel people actually can pick it up where they, you know, if they missed an episode they can see it again, so there you go.

    Question (Which do you like best, stage, tv, movies?)

    ASH: I dunno, I've basically I've been very lucky throughout my career, whenever I've felt like something was missing, like I feel like singing all of a sudden a musical would come along, strange. Or I needed, I was doing TV and I needed to do some straight theatre, or uhm, vice versa. The bottom line is that the thrill of acting is that you get to, to, to muck around in so many mediums and have such a good time. Uhm, the thing about doing a live show is that you get this incredible immediate response from an audience and every night is different and you get to change stuff and muck around with stuff and it's a groove at the same time you don't get the intricacy that you get on camera. On camera you play around with stuff, uhm, see how little you can do ah, and it's fascinating watching, watching stuff and seeing, you know, so I would just, basically say that all the mediums have, have a buzz. I even, I got off on doing the commercial, it was great, we did, it was like doing a little film for two days. Uhm, and the fact that one would do 40 takes on on, like a half a line was an interesting discipline, it's fun to muck around, variety is the spice of life, as they say.

    Question (VR.5 additional episodes?)

    ASH: Uhm, No basically, we shot 13, they aired about 10 of them on Fox uh, and I think they shot 13 for the European market and we waited to see if we were going to be picked up and it looked like we were at one point but eventually we weren't. They then talked about doing what they did with Alien Nation and doing a couple of TV movies uhm, but I think at the time there was, there was a problem with people's availability and it kind of, it was even still bubbling, the idea of it was bubbling away up til about 6 months ago and I think it may have died out. But, uhm, You never know. I know John Sacret Young is still interested in doing it, he was the producer and the creator uhm, and I I don't know about Lori but I know Michael would be up for it, it was good fun, we had a good time. So who knows?

    Question (Since you've done so many roles, so many different parts do you ever find yourself doing the wrong character at the wrong time?)

    Aly: I can answer that for him.

    ASH: Uhm, no, not really, I mean, I must admit basically uhm, when you know when you're in it, you're in it, I mean, to the detriment of, of the people that you live with I've taken characters home quite often. Apparently Frank-n-Furter was good fun to live with Uhm, but I played Absalom in a Peter Shafer play called Yonadab at the National Theatre and he was a uhm, he was a shining virgin, and he was very difficult to live with apparently. Very tedious. Yeah, I did that with Patrick Stewart, played my dad. Uhm, he played, yeah he played king, king who was it? (David) Thank you, thank you very much, no I think I'm more basically likely to forget the lyrics in the middle of a song than to skip to another character I must admit. Once they're there, they're kinda there, I get to know them.

    Question (If you could cast yourself in any role?)

    ASH: Is that to everybody?

    Armin: I'd cast myself in his role. I dunno, I've been very lucky to play all different kinds of roles so I like the roles I'm playing now, I like the roles I played before I'm sure there'll be fascinating roles to come, I hope uhm, so I really can't answer that, I don't have a specific sort of thing that I'd like to be.

    ASH: Uhm, I think, I'd have to say it's it's, there isn't, again it's the fun about being an actor, you don't know what's coming next, it's and I think if one had the ability to say I'm gonna do that now, and I'm gonna do that now ah it would kind of take the fun out of it, and also the learning experience. You're kind of given the chances that you're given to learn more, and I think that's part of the test, and it makes life fun, thank goodness, so I'm afraid, I'm with, I'm with Armin, I can't really, there's nothing that I've gone (arrgh) I nearly, I did ask to be put up for James Bond, uhm, cause ah, there was an unfortunate, there was a picture of me in something, that a paper in England picked up and said this is the new James Bond and Timothy Dalton has been asked to leave etc, etc. Uhm, and I immediately got very excited, I was doing a photo session at the time for a single of Sweet Transvestite and it came over the radio that Anthony Head, the Gold Blend man, cause that was the coffee in England is going to be the new James Bond. I nearly fell through the floor uhm so yeah, that would have been quite fun, but that didn't happen - dang.

    Aly: I just, I love being Willow, of course, I want to do other stuff too but I just don't know what, cause I haven't read the scripts yet.

    Question (Do they have to put a lot of stage makeup on you?)

    Aly: They have to put a lot of makeup on me so I look human. I'm, I'm extremely white and I guess just doesn't read well on camera, they put a lot of base on me so I'm actually sort of orange.

    Armin: Not as orange as some

    Aly: But they've taken away all my eye shadow and the stuff that I started to get after Halloween episode, so now it's basically a lot of base, a little bit of blush, and some mascara that's all, and like chapstick.

    ASH: A lot of chapstick. Uhm, yeah, I have a fair amount of slap on, what was quite fun was in, in, Dark Age, in my episode where I was supposed to fall to pieces I didn't have any makeup on at all, so now you know what I look like on camera without makeup. Uhm, with a bit of stubble too, that was fun. Uhm, but the thing that I mean, the thing that they always do is that little sort of that, that light makeup under the eye that's supposed to make, and when it's done really badly like on news programs, they look like they're wearing goggles, it's great with these white things, and intensely orange the rest of their face good fun.

    Aly: Do you get that every day?

    ASH: What?

    Aly: That under stuff?

    ASH: We all do, don't we? (Aly laughs) Oh boy.

    Aly: I only get that stuff after like

    ASH: Bad nights

    Aly: (Laughs) A forced call

    Armin: That's because you're 23

    ASH: yeah

    Question (What did you do to prepare for characters?)

    Aly: Uhm, for Willow, uhm, I actually, when I was auditioning for the part uhm, they, in an audition you get a couple of scenes or something and you go and you just read that with the casting director, so I was in my car going over lines and I just had no idea how to play it because it was really like it was sad, she was just this sad little person and you know she was like constantly just you know, negative about herself and I was like this isn't good I mean not that the writing isn't good just that I don't know how to you know, not make this pathetic and then the last line was I'm having a conversation with Buffy and she asks uhm, she asks if Xander and I are boyfriend and girlfriend and I say oh no, we went out when we were 5 but uhm an, we broke up or something and she goes why'd you break up, this is like the actual scene and I was like he stole my Barbie and we talk about other stuff, and she asks did you ever get your Barbie back and the line in the audition was "Oh most of it" and uhm, and like that particular line clued me in to Willow cause I thought it was so much funnier if I was happy that "Oh I got most of it back" you know, and so, and then I decided I'd play the whole character like that. So even though she's saying like you know .Oh boys don't talk to me but it's just kinda like matter of fact that as long as she's ok with it. I just found that that worked a lot better and Joss said that like most of the people that auditioned for the part were like "Oh most of it" and were like really sad but I came in "Oh MOST of it" I was like really excited, so that clued me in to how I wanted to play Willow, that one line and that's basically what I did.

    ASH: Uhm, yeah, when I, when I read the, the, the script, ah, again it was, I went, and auditioned and I had, it was, there was a scene in, in the Bronze ah with Buffy when I'm first talking to her and basically trying to find out how much she know and basically saying that she basically doesn't know enough. Uhm and I said to them basically this reads somewhere between Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman where do you want me to go? which end of the scale and they said just be yourself uh, so went right in the middle, I mean it really was, I thought, I could see it was the Hugh Grant sort of stutter, stammery kind of Four Weddings and a Funeral thing and it was the Alan Rickman uhm, ah, from, from, I'm trying to think, from Robin Hood. Uhm, but uhm it seemed to sort of to go down well, I mean Joss said that I, I, I walked away with it. The thing that's fascinating is there's a little piece of Joss in each one of our characters uhm, and ah, it's, it's, it's written from the heart. Ah and in fact my character is largely based on two, two people, he went to school in England, in Chichester. Chichester? Winchester? oh one of the esters. Uhm, and uhm, it was ah, I think it was a, (laugh) there was a house mistress and a, and one of the teachers to Giles', Giles is based on them. But it was uhm, yeah I mean, finding a part is I think is you just, a character is, you just, it does evolve I mean I know it sounds a bit Nancy to say it but they do kind of gradually kind of osmose and when you first do a part, you sort of, you find yourself doing things, especially when you come back. I found coming back at the beginning of the season and I was thinking what things to sort of clue me in to what I'd been doing cause you sort of lose touch with the guy. But in fact if you don't do anything, they're usually there, you know in your deep recesses and it sort of all comes out if you know what I mean.

    Armin: I was very fortunate in the sense that I came to Buffy with two things on my mind. One was my dear friend Kenny Lerner played my predecessor Principal. He played Principal Flutie and I'd been watching the show before I was cast and I thought well they're looking for another principal. I was fortunate in the sense that I didn't have to audition, I had auditioned actually but not for this role, and not for your role either. Ah, for Alyson's role. And so I knew what qualities Kenny had brought to the principal which was sort of, he was desperately trying to be you know in charge but at the same time trying to be fair to everyone. So I decided I wasn't going to be fair to anybody. And furthermore I had been playing a character that had a great joy of life involved with him and I decided that I would not try and do any of that for Principal Snyder, he's really a joyless person. Uhm, and so I brought that to the role, and the first couple of days it worked really well, till I got to know the members of the cast and realised how much fun I was missing out on but, uhm, that was what sort of formed in my head as to how I was going to approach the role. But I was lucky because I didn't have to audition and I had Kenny to learn from, and I had another role to differ from so that was interesting.

    Aly: I keep expecting some kind of reference back to Quark for some reason in Buffy - You know, that principal Snyder's something like Quark.

    Armin: Why? No the great thing about being a successful character actor, if I ever get there, is that you can, you can be totally different in different roles, you don't want to acknowledge other roles, you can I guess eventually but the great trick is to try and be somebody totally different. You talked before about makeup, I have great joy walking on the Buffy set seeing all the vampires and saying "Drink a lot of water". Ah, because I don't get any of that white under the eyes. I remember the first time I went in for makeup and they finished in like 2 minutes and I went "that's it?" and they said "that's it", cause I was used to like 2 hours. But, no, hopefully there won't be any references, why should there be.

    Question (I heard that for your role of Giles that you wore mothballs in your shirt?)

    ASH: UmHm (laughs) Something that, I don't know I found a few years ago, somebody gave me a bottle of some cologne that, and I don't, I'm not a great cologne wearer and I was doing a part, a role in something and I suddenly thought "Ooh, it might be very interesting to, to splash some, some smell on which would sort of make me think, so that basically when I'm sitting in front of, it was a stage play, when I was sitting in front of the mirror, and I'd done me makeup and this, you do get this kind of change, when you sort of finally look at yourself in the mirror and you're becoming the character and you just go like "Oooh I see" and adding an extra sense to that, adding smell to that, it's great, you just put this smell on and suddenly every time you put the smell on it's like the character. It's not quite as clear cut as that but it's, it's, it's an evolvement, and I was trying to think what smell would suit Giles. And I was thinking really it's like musty kind of booky smell would be really cool, but they don't bottle that so uhm the next best thing as far as I was concerned was mothballs

    Aly: Six of them Tony?

    ASH: Well that was

    Aly: Did we all have to smell like Giles?

    ASH: I just said to wardrobe "Could you put a couple of mothballs in my jacket pocket?"

    Aly: Six of them Tony?

    ASH: They went a little overboard with the camphor I must admit but you know, and then this season I asked them to do it but they said "but it's really dangerous"

    Aly: Yeah, I can, I can support that theory. He would, we would be sitting in the library scenes and he loves to drape his jacket over any chair that I'm supposed to sit in I don't know why, it just always works out that way. And the first couple episodes of the season, the first season, I was like getting migraines. I was like "What is wrong?" and like finally like "What's that awful smell?" and he's like "Oh it's mothballs I put them in" I'm like, well get it away from me, and once he brought the number down to like two my headaches went away.

    ASH: Amazing

    Aly: Thanks

    ASH: So now I've got these cedar balls in there not nearly as good, no, no, I'm back to camphor.

    Audience: Did you put them in your pocket to keep the humans away?

    ASH: Yeah, actually it obviously has an effect on the vampires too cause I'm doin alright so far?

    Question (Is Snyder going to be around for next season or is he going to be eaten?)

    Aly: No I want him around

    ASH: (Funny voice) He's around for me, I like Snyder

    Armin: I don't know, I don't know, I'm hoping he sticks around but I'm always as I said always aware of Kenny and Kenny was eaten. And I'm hoping to be eaten too actually. Ah, so I don't know, Joss is in charge and he will do what he sees fit, I do have a day job though.

    Question (Since you play a librarian do you read alot?....)

    ASH: Ah, I don't read a great deal, I must admit. The library is a fascinating place, not general libraries, but the library on set cause they have some really good books. All sorts of very weird books, Ivana Trump turned up the other day, her autobiography whatever. It's like books that go back to the 50's there was a great one that I was looking at the other day it was called, it was all about uhm, it was 5 stories of sort of murder mystery things, I'm trying to think, one of the stories was Hooch, Whores and something, it was bizarre, it was just 50's kind of murder mystery stuff, moving swiftly on

    Aly: I think the best part of the library books are the Dewey Decimal system cause obviously nobody's ever gonna see what the little things stand for

    ASH: The little labels

    Aly: Oh my gosh, they're just...not correct

    ASH: Several alcoholic beverages, there's vodka, gin, whiskey, uhm

    Aly: And they just go on from there

    ASH: Yeah, somebody had a good time with the props department. I must admit I'm more of a, a, a, I do watch a lot of television. And flights for me, cause I do go back to England quite alot, uhm, and ah, I travel Virgin Atlantic cause they have little private tv monitor and you can watch television till you go green, it's great. Do you read?

    Aly: I read, I like to read

    ASH: Cool

    Question (Something about the cage)

    ASH: Do what?

    Aly: It's because he brought all the books from England. I think we were saying, what did I say in the first episode

    ASH: Yeah, I brought all the stuff from the British Museum or whatever it was and I've got

    Armin: They let you have that?

    ASH: Well yeah, I must admit one time I was gonna make, I was gonna to make Giles' dark past that he'd stolen all those artifacts from the British Museum

    Aly: Five dollars

    ASH: Uhm, but ah, yes, it's, it's a cage. I think it was also sort of what can we put in this library to sort of make something to photograph. Well let's have a cage. A rare book room, there you go, exactly.

    Question (If there were no such thing as acting or performing what would you be doing now, careerwise?)

    Armin: Well I took an aptitude test and believe it or not, I would be a librarian. And actually that makes sense to me that I would be a librarian.

    ASH: Uhhhh Duh

    Aly: Uhm, phychologist maybe, that's what I studied in college, to have something to fall back on.

    ASH: Does writing count as performing, cause I'd probably be a writer. I'd probably be a writer.

    Aly: Yeah but if you write stories then somebody's going to want to act it out so there goes the whole non acting thing.

    ASH: I did, I used to get off on writing alot, and I still do, I write, I've, I've written stuff so uhm, yeah, that'll do it

    Question (Have we read any of the stuff you've written?)

    ASH: Do what? Has anybody read anything of mine, of mine? Uhm, yeah, there's a musical out there at the moment that, that I've written that's uhm, that some people have written that some people have read, read and uhm, it might, I was concentrating on England but now I'm thinking of putting it out here, a couple of people here have read it and heard the music and like it so who knows.

    Question (What is it? the name)

    ASH: What's the name? Dark Secrets - D'Ark Secrets. There you go.

    Question (How long it takes to memorise lines or do you adlib?)

    Aly: I think that's what Giles does, all that suttering, it's searching. I'm actually really lucky, it doesn't take me that long to memorise my lines at all, but occasionally there's a line that you just cant, stumble through but I'm actually really lucky. I look at it once before I go to sleep and if it's a lot of dialogue I make sure I know it then but if not, I just sort of retain it.

    ASH: Uhm, I basically, there is no adlibbing cause Joss would not have it. But

    Armin: He's there every moment

    ASH: Uhm, but I mean basically if there's something that, sometimes they write for me as you know, as an Englishman and they get a few things sort of slightly they I, they had me saying "I guess" a lot which is, I don't say that, I suppose. But I guess (laughs) Okay

    Aly: I'm telling

    ASH: Oh dear

    Aly: Okay next

    ASH: I have all those, those sort of long verbages to, to say sometimes, sometimes I end up putting little bits in me books uhm

    Aly: Yeah we do that, we cheat sometimes

    ASH: Sometimes, sometimes, when I'm sort of going on about somebody in great detail it's, you'll see me with my head buried in a book and you'll know what I'm doing.

    Aly: And if you ever see Xander reading, you know it, he's cheating

    ASH: But generally I look, I look at the stuff the night before, and ah, I mean, if I find something really, when I can't crib from a book, uhm and I've got a huge, one of those huge speeches, uhm I do an old trick that I think my mum taught me which is basically you write it out, and then you put it under your pillow and it (eeen, eeen, eeen points to temple) through the night and it works too.

    Armin: I have a very hard time memorising lines, very difficult and it's always a turmoil and I must say but my acting with Sarah, she just looks at the page doesn't she and remembers it. We were doing an over shoulder once where she was, the camera was over her shoulder looking at me and I went up, forgot my lines and there she is mouthing my line to me. Not something you want to see from somebody who's 20 years old. But, but, no I have a very tough time and it's always a challenge to try and get, cause you really can't, see that's the great thing about the theatre, you really can't be acting if you're wondering what's my next line. Uhm, and so it's always, it's always memorisation is always working on the lines, over and over and over again.

    Question (Time machine?)

    ASH: Woah

    Armin: That's easy for me, let me answer that one, you think about it. There was an actor in Shakespeare's company called Robert Armin that's the person I would meet. Why? Because I've been studying Shakespeare for a long time, it is my passion and my hobby and ah if you read Shakespeare, uhm, there was a man named Will Kemp who played all the clown parts and when he left the company you can see, you know the difference between Fesdy and Launce and when Robert Armin came into the company, it went from clown to fool and in my mind there's a great difference between those two types of comedic actors because the fool is always double entendre, very witty, very clever and I'd really like to shake hands and meet this man that made such an influence in Shakespeare's writing.

    Aly: I want to meet him

    ASH: I don't know

    Aly: I've been asked that before and I don't think I came up with an answer

    ASH: There's so many of them.

    Aly: There are I mean like any of them

    ASH: I'd kind of like to meet Richard III to find out really what kind of a guy he was

    Armin: That's predisposing you get out alive

    ASH: Well, 'cause he was actually supposed to be not that bad a guy

    Armin: White Horse society

    ASH: And Shakespeare done him wrong and uhm, I dunno, so many of those things that, you know that gawww, so many people you could meet, it'd be fun. I've always thought that having a time machine would be a trip, I mean that would be fab. Go anywhere, do anything

    Armin: That's why you became an actor

    ASH: Kinda, yeah

    Question (Characters that play Brits but not?)

    ASH: Uh-Huh

    Aly: Tony

    ASH: It's cool, they do a really good job, I mean, James has been really, really sweet and, and, and said that you know, if there's anything that he's doing wrong to correct him but

    Armin: Spike

    Aly: Spike and Drucilla

    ASH: Both are American uhm, and I think they do a really great job

    Aly: You should have seen the conversastion though, 'cause I actually witnessed it them trying to, they were both very hesitant to talk to one another about like, Tony was like trying to say "Well if you ever need help you know I could work on it" and then James also had the same demeanor and he was very shy about asking "If I ever am wrong would you please tell me" and so they were both very awkward, it was very cute

    ASH: Circling around each other

    Aly: Like both of them had probably been pondering the thoughts for like two weeks "Oh I should really mention that, but no"

    ASH: Bit it is, it's a dangerous area, and it's something that, that could have gone really wrong but I think they did a really good job, really good job.

    Question (Weirdest thing Buffy fan has asked you?)

    Armin:

    Aly:

    ASH: God, I'm trying to think, I've had some odd suggestions but

    Armin: But mostly from Nick right?

    Aly: leather chokers

    ASH: Oh you're still waiting for me? Ah, the thing I get asked alot is so, it's basically how much you know, are you really like Giles, are you really intelligent and it's like no. I wish, but that's the thing I get most from, from, from people in letters is like "So you read a lot, and you're really intelligent, and I like this" well, sorry, it's acting.

    Question (Kendra's accent?)

    ASH: Yeah, she was actually, I think she was originally seen for one of the characters was it, Cordelia or something? they originally, she was sort of like in the last 5 or 3 or whatever it was and Charisma got it. They wanted obviously, they wanted some kind of different accent, some cosmopolitan thing going on and it went anywhere from Africa to Indonesia to

    Aly: They're magically delicious Some of her lines came out and we're like "Is that Irish?"

    ASH: Yeah, but now I found out that the guy that coached her was for her accent he's a very well know dialect coach called Robert Easton, in LA. And if anybody talks about accents they say Oh you should go to Robert Easton, but he says that that the Jamaican accent is based on Irish because the Irish originally ended up there, I don't know how it's true but basically it is, Did you know that?

    Aly: Yeah, I heard you saying that earlier

    ASH: But also the he says, this is where it's difficult for an actor or an actress he says, that what he says goes, he says Don't allow anyone else to influence what I've told you. Which makes it kind of hard for an actor to work with the director cause the director is saying can you play it like this, could you try and do this, could you maybe sort of, and I think she did a great job. I haven't seen it yet, but Joss says it's a great episode, it's really, really cool.

    Aly: Acting with an accent's really difficult

    ASH: It's I mean, I've done, I've obviously done a fair amount, I like doing accents, I have a fairly musical ear but uhm the problem being that, when I first did the Taster's Choice commercial and I went to a dialect coach that I'd worked with at the National Theatre uhm, and ah, I suddenly, I found, I kept hearing her voice, and I kept commenting on, on what I was doing and ah, I realised that the only way to do it was to actually just kind of become the American that I, you know to actually become the character and just live it. And we had accent police on the set who basically said "You can't say it like that" uhm, who just say, you know if I was doing something wrong uhm, then they'd pick me up on it. But uhm, I think it's quite hard working with a dialect coach, I'd rather find it myself and just sort of let it be organic as they say.

    Question (What foods?)

    ASH: I love Thai, I LOVE Thai food. Uhm, but I eat, I try and eat salad and things, I do actually like salad, the one I try and stay away from and they actually thankfully have not been on the set, this is the most difficult thing about filming is Craft services which is basically a table which is there throughout the day which is stocked with cookies and cakes and doughnuts and and lots of stuff. Thankfully for the first season and most of this season we had people doing Craft services who should never be let near food. Ah cause it was really bad, now we've got a guy who's really good and it's much harder to avoid. But doughnuts, doughnuts apparently take five months to get out of your system or something, it's worse than, than, I don't know, it's bizarre, it's all the oil that they're cooked in, frightened me, so I try and stay away from doughnuts now

    Aly: I like doughnuts

    ASH: So do I (Laughs)

    Aly: Yeah, luckily our new Craft services guy is just so good, he always has vegetables which I just love and this really good dill dip, it's so good and he's got sandwiches on his truck that you can make

    ASH: With plastic gloves

    Aly: Yes, you have to put on your gloves and ah so you can just go in and make sandwiches, ya it's good food, and we have caterers that make fruit smoothies that are just so good

    Armin: You have great caterers

    Aly: Yeah and they're so nice too 'cause sometimes you just get tired of like just whatever, they usually have a chicken, a meat, and a fish and you know he'll make pasta for you, like your special kind of pasta, anything.

    ASH: Cool

    Aly: It's great

    Armin: There's good food on that set, all go down uhm, next week. I have a cholesterol problem so I stay away from cholesterol foods

    Aly: I like carbohyrates, they're my brain food. I love pasta and we have a rice maker and oh I just love that stuff.

    ASH: I eat fish but I don't eat any other meat

    Aly: I don't eat fish

    Sources

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