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Feature: Angel

Sleeping with the Enemy . .

Alexis Denisof as Wesley Wyndam-Pryce From embarrassing clown to tortured dupe of Wolfram & Hart, Wesley Wyndam-Price has changed a lot since he first took up Watcher duties.

Good and Evil have never been fixed qualities on a Joss Whedon series. Wesley, more by poor judgement than design, endangered the life of Angel’s child, as he was duped by a fake prophecy that declared ‘The father will kill the son’. With baby Connor lost in a hell dimension, and Wesley’s throat slit from ear to ear, the Englishman began a long, painful recovery, knowing there would be no going back to Angel Investigations.

“There were some surprises there,” says Alexis Denisof, casting his mind back over the third season. “I must say I loved it: it was a great opportunity to explore some of the darker layers of the characters and that’s always exciting as an actor, to get the chance to find some new colours and go in a surprising direction. I’ve been very grateful to the writers for this angle.”

This sombre, subdued, bearded Wesley is worlds away from the foolish, pompous Watcher who first arrived on the scene during Buffy’s third season, sent by the Council of Watchers to oversee the development of rebellious Slayer Faith (Eliza Dushku). This clumsy and comical figure initially seemed an odd choice as a part of the ensemble during Angel’s developing first season, but series creators Whedon and David Greenwalt have adapted the character to this twilight world.

“It’s hard to believe that they’re the same person,” muses Denisof. “But credit to the writers and Joss and David for connecting the dots, because somehow each step along the way has led inexplicably but perfectly to where we are now. To me it makes sense, but you couldn’t have predicted it when he arrived in Sunnydale.”

Does he miss the goofy Wesley?

“Yeah, I must say I am one for enjoying the odd banana peel and double take,” the actor admits, “but this is exciting too. To have a character that contains both is a rarity. I sometimes yearn for the days when he was just clowning around, but they may not be gone – I know that Joss has some ideas about how to find that again. We’re always sitting around goofing off on silly Wesley, so I know I’m not the only one who misses the lighter side of him. But this was an important element to introduce and explore, to be consistent with the show and to continue the organic exploration of all the characters.”

by David Richardson

For more revelations from Alexis Denisof and much more about Angel and Buffy, see:
Starburst Special #53

© Warner Bros
Feature © Visual Imagination 2002. Not for reproduction

Taken from
Starburst Special #53, see below for ordering options
Starburst Special #53
Special - Slayer 2002
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