Starburst Return to main Starburst page ContentsSelected featureBuy it
ContentsSelected featureBuy It

Feature: Buffy's Spike James Marsters talks

Demon lover

James Marsters as Spike: but where's the blood?He was once meant to be a here-today, staked-tomorrow villain. But four years on, Spike is Buffy's latest squeeze, and a mark of the show's maturity, as much-loved star James Marsters explains...

Buffy the Vampire Slayer isn't the show it was. As the sixth season goes on, it's increasingly clear that it's grown up. Buffy's no longer a carefree teenager in the throes of first love, and that change is reflected by her distinctly physical connection with the neutered vampire Spike – as the man behind his bleach-blond crop explains...

Why does Buffy The Vampire Slayer work so well?
The metaphor of demons and vampires has come to represent the troubles we all go through in our lives as we try to become our best selves. We use that for more adult themes. At the same time Joss Whedon is letting (producer) Marti Noxon come more into the fore with this story. And her crucible of experience – one she'll always go back to as a writer – is in issues that relate to people in their mid-twenties. It's brilliant that although Joss is still very much in charge of the show, there's another voice that's coming in, using the metaphor to her own ends.

How did you feel about being doing a nude love scene?
It was so weird. I'd known these guys for five years and they're just staring at my socks in embarrassment! No, seriously, it was totally cool. I don't have a big problem with being naked. In fact, I made my professional debut naked, so that burned it right out of me. In Shakespeare's The Tempest, at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. I was strapped naked to a big metal hoop!

Don't you think these scenes are a little racy for Buffy?
No, not really. All the sexuality is implied, we're not doing anything graphic, or that hasn't been done elsewhere on TV. I also think it's a responsible exploration of a young person's sexuality. It's not just titillation. The thing that's happening between Spike and Buffy has a purpose. It's going to say something very painful and truthful about Buffy and her journey towards adulthood. As usual Joss Whedon is wanting to unsettle you: if he's going to put sex on the screen he'll do it in the least comfortable way possible.

What's going to happen between Spike and Buffy next?
Buffy's on the ropes. She's gone as low down as it's possible to go. Now she's sleeping with someone who's basically an evil person. Whether she's making the right choice or not is hard to say. I felt Spike was redeemed a little, as though he was being transformed by his love for her, but then immediately after they get together he leaves her in the lurch with a shark demon he owes money to, a fight breaks out and Spike exits stage left... Now, I don't know any boyfriend that lasted long pulling a stunt like that!

Were you shocked when Buffy died to save the world?
That was the 100th episode of the show, the last episode where Joss Whedon was going to be on the set every day. At that moment Buffy became a true, mature adult. She sacrificed herself for her sister. I thought it was beautiful that Joss was able to wrap up the initial premise so that we could get on with the new one. But then how do you top that? Will we have another apocalypse? Who knows!

by Rupert Laight

Read the full 6-page illustrated chat with
James Marsters
in Starburst #284.

Images © 2002 UPN / 20th Century Fox
Feature © 2002 Visual Imagination. Not for reproduction

Taken from
Starburst #284, see below for ordering options
Starburst issue 284
ships from 05 March
UK £3.40 / US $5.99

VI Direct. Click to buy
Buy it now!

Stores Info

You can order any of our magazines via this secure service.
To buy this issue:

Jump to UK  entry for this issue
UK/World order
Jump to US $ entry for this issue
USA $ order

You can order any of our magazines via this secure and searchable service
Check the Info on our two stores

To SUBSCRIBE to STARBURST, go directly to one of these listings in our online stores

Jump to UK  entry for this issue
UK/World subs
Jump to US $ entry for this issue
USA $ subs
Starburst footer

Visit the official UPN Buffy site