The Job: Special Dragon*Con Edition: Ken Feinberg (The Chaos Demon on Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Whedonopolis: How did you get cast for the part of the Chaos Demon?

Ken Feinberg: Originally, I came in to audition for Angel as a thug that Angel beats up. In the process of my audition, I made the producers crack up, and they were laughing at my thug getting beat up. I didn’t get cast as that, but I got a phone call two days later for the Chaos Demon, and I cracked them up again with my style of where I played the character, and I got the part right there. But, the thing is, to get an audition for that show—like it always happens with the popular shows, everybody wants to be a part of it, so just getting the audition was big! It was a thrill, and when I left there after Angel, I was like every actor, beating myself up, but then I got the call two days later: “Oh, they must have liked me!” So, I went in to play the Chaos Demon and the whole room was in stitches, because there was this little gesture I was doing at the audition, moving my hands like this (makes hands move sideways, with thumbs pointing left and right), and the way I said, “Oh, I didn’t know she was seeing somebody!” that was funny.

W: Cool! How long was the makeup process?

KF: Took me about four hours to put the makeup on. I have photographs of the step-by-step stages for the makeup, and the first one was a hard skullcap with a couple of spikes sticking out to put the antlers on. They made a mold of my head previously and had all the latex makeup especially made to fit my face. They put the cap on, and the cowl on and the face on, and it was all flesh-colored, and by the time they finished, the only thing that’s me is the teeth and the eyes. Then the antlers attached to the steel pegs sticking out of my head. When I walked into the set, the writer (Doug Petrie) and everybody else were like, “What happened to your head?” Cos I had the spikes sticking out of my skull and I looked like I’d had an operation.

W: How long was the shoot? Did you have to endure the makeup process many days in a row?

KF: No, it was just one day. I went in, and the makeup took about four hours, and we shot and finished shooting like at 4:00AM. I was working with James (Marsters) and Juliet (Landau) and it was a lot of fun.

 


Juliet Landau, Ken and James Marsters

W: Very cool! What have you done since then? What are you currently working on?

KF: Since Buffy, I’ve acted on Charmed, Alias, The District, and Star Trek: Enterprise, and directed some films that have played in festivals and won awards. Now, I’m based in Atlanta, and have a studio, Atlantic Station Studios, where I am teaching acting, screenwriting and directing classes. There’s a whole curriculum of classes that we do, and I work with a non-profit company that helps educate newcomers to work in film and TV, new media. I’m also directing films, I just did two that premiered in the Cannes Film Festival in France, and I’m raising money to direct more films.

W: How can we help you raise that money you need? Are you doing what Amber Benson did and Juliet Landau is doing, selling things through your website?

KF: I hadn’t thought about that; I went the traditional business route to find people who are active investors, who would like to make an investment into either supporting me as a filmmaker, or supporting my ideas of making positive films with neat ideas and inspiration for people to live their lives a little bit better; films that are entertaining, but that, at the same time, when you leave the theater, you have an idea in your head that makes you go, ‘Oh, okay! This is a way I can see myself improving my life’, instead of knowing how to shoot somebody in a thousand different ways.

W: So, if someone reading this wishes to invest in your movie, how can they do that?

KF: They can email me through my website, or through the studio’s MySpace account or the MySpace account for my films, which is a video blog of our journey to Cannes last Spring.

W: Is this your first convention, or have you done others?

KF: No, this is my third Dragon*Con, and I’ve been to others around the country. This is the first time I’ve been reunited with James and Juliet since we worked together, and it’s just been a lot of fun. James and I were cracking each other up on the set, and in the panels here, we just picked up where we left off. You’ve been to the panels, so you know how well we play off each other, so it’ll be really cool to work with James again, either as an actor/director or actor/actor. We could make a great sitcom together!

W: All right, we got to the end of the interview and we’re gonna do the questions from Inside the Actor’s Studio. You ready?

KF: Okay.

W: What’s your favorite word?

KF: My favorite word? Oy… I’m very partial to the word “coagulate.”

W: What’s your least favorite word?

KF: Er… "*censormode*."

W: What’s your favorite sound?

KF: Mmmmmm… (as in yummy)

W: What’s your least favorite sound?

KF: “*censormode* off!” Anything with a negative energy.

W: What turns you on?

KF: My wife.

W: What turns you off?

KF: Certain people at this convention.

W: What’s your favorite curse word?

KF: My favorite curse word? “Shit,” probably.

W: What profession other than yours would you ever like to attempt?

KF: I’d like to be a novelist.

W: What profession other than yours would you never like to attempt?

KF: Probably working for the DOD or the Government.

W: And finally, if Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

KF: “Welcome home, brother!”

W: Thanks for talking to us.

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