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TV Guide. Magazine, U.S.

  • October 27-November 01, 2001, Hollywood Grapevine, by March Schwed.
  • May 6, 1999, Head Sexes Up Librarians, by Michael Peck
  • May 4, 1999, (see page 2.)
  • March 13, 1999, Hollywood Grapevine, by Mark Schwed.
  • February 11, 1999, "What Makes Buffy Slay?" by John Walsh.
  • October 22, 1997, "Sci-Fi/Fantasy Q&A: Anthony Head"


    Hollywood Grapevine, October 27-November 2, 2001, by Mark Schwed.

    A bloodsucking demon didn't force Anthony Stewart Head off UPN's Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Jet lag did. Head was working in Hollywood, but his girlfriend, Sarah, and their daughters, Emily 12, and Daisy, 10, live in Bath, England. He'd get a few days off and race to the airport. "I'd arrive. Then I'd leave," he says. Except for occasional guests appearances, what's next? A Buffy spin-off, with Giles as a ghost hunter, will air on Britain's BBC (there are no plans to broadcast it here yet), and it will be shot near Bath. So after five years of transcontinental commuting, Head will practically be able to walk to work. "Life is very good," he says.

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    Head Sexes Up Librarians, May 6, 1999, by Michael Peck, http://www.tvguide.com/newsgossip/dish/990506c.htm

    You're not likely to find any librarians filed under "sex appeal" in your typical card catalog. But Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Anthony Stewart Head turns that notion on its ear - and likes doing it.

    "Tremendous!" the actor,who plays librarian Rupert Giles on the WB hit says in a recent TV Guide Online chat when asked how he likes his character's sex-symbol status. "I'm still jazzed at the fact that I was referred to as the most sexy man in fiction! I haven't played him with that in mind, but hey - whatever lights your candle!"

    There's no proof the world's librarians care about being made sexier, but Head says they're grateful to be portrayed as more with-it than usual. "I know that a number of library societies have thanked me and commented that it made it cool to be a librarian," he comments. "And that students are now finding it cool to be back in the library and in the books."

    As for the romance department, Giles is going it alone since the death of girlfriend Jenny Calendar (actress Robia La Morte), but Head says he certainly hopes the librarian has a love interest sometime in the future. "[I]t'll be there," he says. "I got very sad when mine got 'knocked off' and the other relationships were developing all over the place."

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    Hollywood Grapevine, March 13, 1999, by Mark Schwed.

    He's recognized as that Taster's Choice--coffee guy and as Buffy's mentor Giles on WB's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but soon Anthony Stewart Head may be known simply as the body. "I can't believe I did this," says Head about stripping naked in front of a studio audience for a May 5 guest-starring role as a self-obsessed anatomy teacher on ABC's Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place. "It was scary." Concerned parents need not fret. "I'm hidden by a vase of flowers," he says.

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    What Makes Buffy Slay? February 11, 1999, by John Walsh, http://www.tvguide.com/scifi/news/990211c.htm

    When Anthony Stewart Head first told his English agent about Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Tuesdays, 8 pm/ET, the WB) he recalls, "She said, 'It sounds great, but I can't see it going beyond a season.' "

    The secret of the show's enduring appeal, Head told the Cinescape web site recently, is that creator Joss Whedon "takes people's angst, which is a reflection of his own, and he twists it by throwing in an unpleasant spin with the spooks."

    Will Buffy ever abandon the daily life of Sunnydale? "Without that stuff you lose the grounding," Head says. "If you go too much in one direction, then you go into pure sci-fi land." But don't worry, he jokes, "the one thing it's not is a soap, so you're not going to have to worry about soapy issues."

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    Sci-Fi/Fantasy Q&A: Anthony Head, October 22, 1997, http://www.tvgen.com/scifi/qa/q102297a.htm

    ANTHONY STEWART HEAD AKA: Rupert Giles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    Two neighbors like the same brand of instant coffee. America anxiously followed the romance that blossomed from this slim premise, partly because of Anthony Stewart Head's easy charm. The success of the Taster's Choice campaign brought the actor to the U.S. from England, where his busy career had been split between stage and screen. Genre fans soon came to know him from regular roles on VR.5 and Highlander. This season on the WB's Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Mondays, 9 p.m./ET), Head says, we'll learn a little more about the tweedy, mysterious Rupert Giles. -- John Walsh

    The word from other Buffy cast members is that you're the coolest guy in the world to work with.

    Well, they're pretty cool, too. It's a really nice bunch of people. I've been very, very lucky in the 20, 21 years I've been working in that I've very rarely come across egos that have gotten in the way of stuff. I've just been really lucky with the people that I've worked with. This bunch -- they're really, really talented and dedicated, and really nice. You always hear actors saying, "Oh, we're like a family." But it really is true. We all hang out together. Nicky [Brendon]'s got a rocking chair outside his trailer. We kind of gravitate to each other's trailers and hang out.

    Were you surprised by Sarah Michelle Gellar's breakout popularity?

    Not at all. I think the show's doing very well for all of us -- touch wood. One of the things that's been flattering in some of the copy we've had -- and we've got some extremely good press -- is the fact that they say it's a real ensemble show, that the supporting characters are written really well. And Sarah -- well, she's great. She really rocks. Did you see the first episode of the new season? Man, she was cool. She did a great job. That episode was particularly good. [Buffy creator] Joss Whedon is at his best when he directs his own words. He knows exactly what he wants. He knows to the finest detail every nuance. It's a joy. But we've had some really good directors this season, and the show is developing a serious edge.

    Rupert has a love interest this season too.

    Yes, that's coming along. We just shot episode eight, and things are heating up. And she's gorgeous. I was watching dailies the other day, and there was this light on her which was just beautiful. Like a David Bailey picture. But the romance doesn't necessarily run smooth. There are things from my past which come back to haunt me. And it affects my relationship with everybody, really.

    Do you believe in the occult?

    Yes. I believe there's a dark side. There's a black side. I had been asked if I wanted to do another series, Poltergeist: The Legacy And I found where it was coming from to be too dark. It was getting very close, when Buffy came along. And I preferred Buffy because it was extremely lighthearted. It just seemed to come from a lighter place.

    Do you think you'd ever want to direct?

    Oh, yeah. Why is that? Why does everybody want to direct? I guess it's to be in control. Joss's dream is to be able to direct his own words because he has seen, too many times, people screw around with his stuff. And he has a seriously intuitive vibe of what works and what doesn't work. And he wants to be able to realize that on screen. As an actor, I guess directing is like painting a bigger picture. I've directed for the stage. But that was a long time ago. I've talked to Joss about directing Buffy, and we've said maybe in the third season.

    You have a lot of science-fiction and fantasy credits on your resume. Are you a fan?

    I seem to gravitate toward it, don't I? I love sci-fi. I used to be a serious fan of [sci-fi author] Ray Bradbury when I was young. It's just wonderful stuff. And yes, I've always been attracted to that. But, as an actor, I'm attracted to good roles. Highlander was a wonderful opportunity. And VR.5 was such a great show. It was just sad that it didn't go to a second season. I think it was maybe a little ahead of its time.

    What was it about Rupert that made you want this role?

    Joss has said that he's kind of out to prove that you can have real horror, real suspense, real situations, and yet you can have real humor. You can switch between emotions. Americans, I think, have a unique ability to do that. I used to marvel at the fact that one moment you can have a complete, ribald farce and then the next moment they get you with a tear jerker. They suddenly hit you in the solar plexus. It's something the English have never been very good at doing. Joss has just taken it a step further -- not only can he move from humor to a tearjerker, he'll step up the suspense as well.

    So what attracted me to Giles was the humor. The first scene I read was when he first meets Buffy, and they end up in the Bronze [the show's hangout joint]. And he's just having a horrible time. And he's basically trying to be very serious and say that she's in danger and she's not paying attention. And it was just really funny stuff. I mean, I had a handle on how I wanted to play it right off. I actually went in to them saying, "Look, this can go somewhere between Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman. Where do you want it?" And they said, "Well, wherever you want. Maybe kind of in the middle." So at his strongest he's Alan Rickman and at his weakest he's Hugh Grant.

    How far in advance do you know what's up with the show? Has Joss given you a peek at any long character arcs?

    No. For example, when I said that I knew that in episode eight my dark past was going to be revealed, I asked Joss, "Well, what is it, then?" And he refused to tell me because he knew that I would immediately start to play that. There would be some little undertone in there somewhere. As actors, unfortunately, we can't leave things alone. We find -- oh, something new to play with! Ooh, a new toy!

    What do you think is the secret of Buffy's appeal?

    Well, certainly a large part of its appeal is that a) it is extremely lighthearted, and b) that it's --- not to get too deep about it -- it's very allegorical. I mean, Joss's vibe has always been that what he writes is an extension of the pain and torture that we've all been through in our teens and in our adolescence. So, do I believe in the occult? Yes, there's definitely a dark side to all of us.

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    Page created August 1998; last updated December 15, 2001. 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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