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SciFi channel interview, January 1998. SciFi Buzz - Episode #205.

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    Transcript (by Becky Dorrie):
    With his role as Giles the school librarian on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, British actor Anthony Stewart Head has landed a choice gig. The cult series is one of the hippest, most unusual shows on tv. But precisely because Buffy strays off the beaten path, it hasn't yet set the tv ratings charts on fire.

    When you run into fans on the street what do they say to you?

    ASH: "It always takes me by surprise when people, people sort of suddenly go "Wow love the show, it rocks, Buffy's cool it's great its like there's people getting off on our stuff"

    In the beginning, Head figured the show would be a slam-dunk in the ratings, seeing as how it was created by Joss Whedon, the hot Hollywood screenwriter who won an Oscar nomination for Toy Story.

    ASH: "We were surprised that it didn't get snapped up when it was first, the first pilot, but Joss has always said "Don't worry, you know it's going to be a slow build, it's not gonna be one of those that sort of every body goes ah that's the one, it's like word of mouth is just gonna build this thing."

    Head is aware of how hard it is for cult shows to expand their audience from his experience as a cast member on the short lived science fiction series VR.5 now in reruns on the SciFi channel.

    ASH: "The producers were very much aficionados of the Avengers and ah shows from the 60's like the Prisoner, they LOVED the Prisoner so all the complexities of the Prisoner they kind of liked to sort of imbue the show with. But if you missed a show, if you missed an episode you were screwed, there was nothing cuz "duh who's that now?"

    Head thinks BtVS has a better chance of breaking into the main stream since it appeals to a broad range of age groups.

    ASH: " That's one of the weird things about Buffy is the breadth of i's appeal. Its extraordinary. I mean,the demographic was I think supposed to be about something like 15 through to about 42, 45 but it's, I mean it goes both ends of the scale, and it goes off the scale."

    The actor believes the show connects with adults as well as teens because of series creator Joss Whedon's smart blending of chuckles and chills.

    ASH: "That was his whole thing was he always wanted to show that you can have real comedy and witty biting satire, along with real thrills, and real horror; and you can do it in, in seconds, you can turn the emotions around."

    While Buffy has not yet become the kind of phenomenon that would make Head a major star, he's come a long way since his role as the male lead in the Taster's Choice commercials, and incidentally Head wants it known that he didn't land his role on Buffy because of those ads.

    ASH: "The producers came to me after I'd been hired and said "You're the Taster's Choice guy!" I went yes. "Well we didn't know, we put your picture up on the wall and everybody went its the TC guy"

    Interviewer: "They didn't like that?"

    ASH: "They loved it"

    Int:"Oh They did?"

    ASH: "Yeah because suddenly they had something you know like a little bit more bankable."

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer may have not yet slayed the Monday night competition but Anthony Head is thrilled to be part of one of the most talked about shows on television.

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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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    Source: Becky Dorrie