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Playgirl, August 1998. Article by Cynthia Boris.

(In Bed With) Anthony Stewart Head--Buffy's Backup is Playgirl's Choice
[Sidebar] Pillow Talk
Bedtime Thoughts: "They're romantic--even when I'm alone. Romance means doing something that touches her soul, something that shows you've thought about her to a great degree."
Bedroom Music: "Prince has always been sexy--Beethoven is, too.
Sleepwear: "Depends on the mood. Certainly not the lingerie I still get from devoted Fran N' Furter fans."
Most Unusual Bedroom Activity: "Hoovering with me slingbacks on. I had to practice walking up in high heels for Rocky Horror and when me girlfriend caught me vacuuming in her shoes, she was quite astonished. I soon put her mind to rest."
[end sidebar]

If you know Tony Head only from his role on the WB cult hit, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, then you don't know Tony at all. As Giles, Buffy's watcher (the man destined to train and counsel the slayer), he is bookish, bumbling and shy in all romantic matters that transpire between the sexes. You'll generally see him with a book in one hand and a teacup in the other, all decked out in layers of wool and tweed with a pair of wire-rimmed glasses perched on his nose.

Off screen, it's a different story. Tony's style leans toward a loose-fitting silk shirt and jacket in muted tones, gold loop earring in one ear and a rakish smile (a far cry from some of his early characters, Frank N' Furter from The Rocky Horror Show). In conversation, he switches accents as fast as people switch lanes on L.A. freeways and he comes up with one-liners almost as quickly.

Tony may look familiar--think instant coffee in the form of those now-famous soap opera style Taster's Choice ads. The series of commercials gave him his first taste of what it's like to be a sex symbol.

"Initially, I found the character to be insufferably smug--I didn't see him having any life at all," Tony tells us with a laugh. "I thought people would stone him in the streets if he didn't get some credibility. My favorite moment was having a conversation with my leading lady in the lift and the doors close in my face. That was the most human moment of all."

According to Tony, the commercial producers hired him because he had a wry smile and a twinkle in his eyes. Those two traits also helped him capture a role in the SciFi series, VR.5, in which he played the natty spy, Oliver Sampson, a dark and dangerous mystery man. "A smiling villain is sexy," Tony asserts. "You're not sure where he's coming from. Oliver had this cool, faceless exterior and there was a riskiness to him. I think that's what made him attractive. When someone seemingly has a lot to hide, it makes him interesting," he claims before adding, "but if in real life you met someone with a lot to hide, you'd probably run a mile."

While an air of mystery may attract women, Tony is clear on what captures his fancy. "It's the eyes," he says dreamily. "And Sarah has the most incredible eyes. They're extraordinary...you just get lost in them."

Sarah is Tony's lady love and the mother of his two children, Emily Rose and Daisy Mae (ages ten and eight). Tony and his girls share a country home in Bath, England, with horses, dogs and other assorted animals. But with his role on a weekly TV series, Tony spends most of the year here in the U.S. "The hardest thing about being away," he says, casting his gaze into the distance, "is talking to Sarah on the phone and knowing she's basically being a single mother. Sometimes we have to remind each other, you know why I'm here and I know why I'm here, and it's a good thing."

Sarah isn't ready to be Mrs. Head, Tony reveals, but he's quite happy with things the way they are. "We've been together for fifteen years and we have an exceptional relationship which has stood the test of distance and time and other ravages. Sarah is a remarkable woman."

Unlike Giles, Tony is a man who appreciates a good hug. "Giles has a bit of my father in him--a very sweet man but not hugely tactile," Tony offers fondly. "Personally, I'm a tactile person. I'll give anybody a hug...and happily. It's not a sexual thing--I like contact."

Hugging isn't the only thing Tony enjoys. "Kissing," he says, "is the most underrated thing. People just assume that's what you do before you get into the rest of it. But kissing is themost exciting thing. You don't have to be in love with someone to enjoy it. And when it is someoneyou love, it's the most electric thing. It's an art. You know that feeling sometimes, when your lips are really sensitive and it's happening for both of you? It's fantastic!"

Of course, not all kisses turn out that well. "The first kiss for the Taster's Choice commercial was shot in Paris. It was supposed to be set in the spring but it was freezing. You could see the breath coming out of our mouths, so we had to suck ice cubes before we talked to keep our breath from showing. Deeply romantic. When I saw the first cut, there were all these slurping noises going on and I said, "Oh God, you've got to take those out!" But an ad exec loved the slurps. It's funny what turns people on. When people kiss on screen, it like it to be--not silent, but at least delicate. Not a three-course meal."

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Page created August 1998; last updated January 1999. Original material Betsy Vera (bentley@umich.edu). This website is for information and entertainment purposes only and is not intended to infringe on copyrights held by others.

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