Buffy & Angel Star Talks Joss Whedon Encounter, John Barrowman & More
Earlier this year, Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia) went public with accusations against Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel creator Joss Whedon that involved years of unprofessional and abusive behavior. Cast members Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn Summers), Amber Benson (Tara Maclay), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Anthony Head (Rupert Giles), Eliza Dushku (Faith), James Marsters (Spike), J. August Richards (Charles Gunn) and more would take to social media to support Carpenter, with some also sharing their encounters on the set with Whedon. Now nearly seven months later, Marsters has returned as a guest on Michael Rosenbaum's Inside of You podcast to cover a wide range of issues in and around the topics of Spike, BtVS, Angel, and more, but there was no way to avoid discussing Whedon.
Touching upon the incident he shared previously where Whedon had grabbed him and backed him against a wall, Marsters says that he feels Whedon's utter hatred of things that are bad & evil combined with the network not letting him kill off Spike was a factor in the face-off. Marsters believes that Whedon saw Spike as this evil, homicidal creature who was meant to be defeated & overcome- not kept around and end up a love interest of Buffy's. So as Marsters saw it, Whedon was taking ut a lot of frustration not so much on him but on Spike & what he represented (with listeners left to take that theory for what it's worth). Marsters says he saw Whedon as a wizard crafting these amazing projects, but also said he could be a "Gandalf" that you would not want to make angry. Marsters also explained that Whedon wasn't around the set a lot when he started on Buffy and Angel. And when he was around to direct, Marsters realized he either wasn't in that episode or was in it minimally. Here's a look at the segment from the full episode of the Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum podcast (followed by a look at the complete episode)
Now here's a look at the entire video podcast, where Marsters and Rosenbaum take a deep dive into Marsters' method acting approach to Spike, the darker aspects of it, and how it impacted his dynamic with the rest of the cast on set. In addition, Marsters discusses what his experiences were like working with John Barrowman (Torchwood) at the 52-minute mark. In addition, the two cover a wide range of topics from secret crushes on set and playing dark characters to a run of rapid-fire questions from the fans.
In Marsters' tweet from February of this year, the actor shared that playing the character of Spike was an honor- but time on the set "was not without challenges" before sending his love and support to Carpenter and others:
After "nearly two decades" before speaking up, Carpenter claimed in her social media posts, "Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working on the sets of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Angel.' While he found his conduct amusing, it only served to intensify my performance anxiety, disempower me, and alienate me from my peers. The disturbing incidents triggered a chronic physical condition from which I still suffer. It is with a beating, heavy heart that I say I coped in isolation and, at times, destructively." You can read Carpenter's entire statement below, where the actress goes on to offer examples of her allegations as well as revealing that she took part in WarnerMedia's investigation into Fisher's claims.