BWW Interviews: Actor James Marsters Talks About THE BELLS OF WEST 87TH at Greenway Court
Actor James Marsters, popular star of TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel (1997-2004) as Spike returns to the stage with his costar from Buffy Juliet Landau in a world premiere comedy The Bells of West 87th at Greenway Court Theatre opening September 7. In our chat, Marsters talks confidently about his successful rock band Ghost of the Robot, acting, doing other plays he would like to pursue as actor/director/producer...and of course, this new play by Elin Hampton The Bells... where he claims fans will not recognize him...his character is so radically different from the villains they're so used to seeing him play...
Tell me about the play and your role in it.
Are you responsible for bringing the project here?
No, I'm just lucky to be hitching a ride. My character is probably the most clueless character I have played in a long time. I got a note the other day to combine Stan Laurel with either Bill or Ted (Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure from 1989). It would be my choice. I'm choosing...it's been so long... whoever is not Keanu Reeves. Nothing against Keanu, but I think the other guy was more exuberant. I think that that's what they were going for. He's a loving, pure soul, a very likable person...not an idiot, but not highly intelligent, and with a blind spot the size of Australia. Most of life goes over his head. He could probably watch news about Egypt and think it was a happy story. The play is about Juliet's (Landau) character Molly, who is waking up to the fact that she's servicing a bunch of freaks and needs to get out and start her own life. There's a great line in a Tennessee Williams play Camino Real "the violets on the mountains have broken the rocks up"; Juliet is the violet and we are the rocks, in a funny way. And so I'm loving, I'm likable, I'm happy, but I'm of very little use to my girlfriend.
Juliet is an astounding actress. I've interviewed her before when she did Danny and the Deep Blue Sea in North Hollywood. She's right there in the moment.
Yeah. I remember working with her back in Buffy... She would go straight for the insanity part of the character in a full-throated way that other actresses would be too afraid to go for. "Oh, I'm not going to look glamorous" or "I wonder if they're going to think I'm really insane". She went straight for it. She took no prisoners, and she earned my respect over and over again. I'm happy to be able to return the favor, 'cause this time she's the lead, she's the one who's a little more normal, and I'm the freak. And I'm trying to be as brave about going for that freak as she was about going for hers.