The track organizer, Wayne, explained how the microphones were going to work for the Q&A, and he immediately introduced the guests, James came out first, took a seat and said the set up made him “feel like an astronaut from NASA” (because there was a table with the mics on it, unlike previous Q&As reported here, where he just had a chair and a wireless mic that allowed him to roam the stage at will.) Next came Elisabeth Rohm, Ken Feinberg and finally Juliet Landau, who was running late. James first started “whining” that he wanted to sit by her, so Elisabeth moved chairs and announced they’d be sitting “boy, girl, boy, girl,” which caused James to go “YES!” He then gave Juliet a warm hug, as he hadn’t seen her in quite some time, Ken quipped he “wanted to sit by her too; she should be in between us!” and Elisabeth lamented, “What about me?!” to many laughs.
James and Juliet reunite
For some reason, people kept having problems with the roaming mics, and kept yelling out their questions that could only be partially heard, and so Ken took upon himself to repeat them on his mic for his fellow panelists. The next question was whether they all still had something from childhood, and why. James said he had to think, and Elisabeth went first saying she’d “kept my parents, because I couldn’t get rid of them,” to much laughter. James said he “had nightmares from childhood,” which Juliet said she had as well.
The next question was, of course, about James snogging John Barrowman on Torchwood, and what it was like. James said he was “not allowed to tell you,” but nodded, and so the fan further prodded whether he’d snogged John “off-camera, then.” “No! Not off camera!”
Next, James was asked whether it was true he was slated for a second episode of Torchwood. James sighed and said he wished his manager “was not such a good manager, so I could talk and blab about all this, but I can’t tell you anything about this either.” When it was pointed out to him that Gareth David-Lloyd (who plays “Ianto” on the show) had confirmed it, he said, “Well, then believe him, but I can’t tell you anything!” He then commented, “Now I’m in trouble… Steve’s gonna beat me with the cane!”
The next question was for Elisabeth, about what went through her mind when she got a call from her agent about the part on Angel. Elisabeth replied she’d “just started acting, sorta, so I was happy to have any audition. I’d seen some episodes of Buffy while I was living in London, but I didn’t really know this world existed. So, I auditioned, and then I got a chance to talk to Joss Whedon, who is awesome, and that kinda sealed the deal.” Elisabeth was quick to point out that she “didn’t do it as long as these guys did” –pointing to James and Juliet- which caused James to quip, “You weren’t completely corrupted!” Elisabeth replied that she wanted to be (corrupted), “but then I got stuck in Law & Order,” which caused James to go, "Oh”, and do like an “excuuuuuuse me!” gesture. Elisabeth then said she’d really wanted to do a scene with Spike and Drusilla, and Ken quipped, "It’s not too late!"
Elisabeth got the next question too, which asked the differences in feeling between working on a sci-fi show and a Law & Order-type show (they’re called ‘procedurals’). Elisabeth replied that “sci-fi shows are much more fun. Every single day going to work on Angel was a blast; you really had to be a lot more serious on Law & Order. So, I missed the fun of working on Angel." James added that “the writers miss it too,” like David Fury had told him about his work on 24 (which James called ‘a really good show’): “I hate it! I hate it! I always want to have a demon come on! And they always tell me no…” Elisabeth agreed, “Yes, they told me, ‘You can’t wear prosthetics to the courtroom today! You can’t have a different nose just because you want to be a different attorney today!’” James quipped, "Can I bite the criminal? Can I?” and all of this insanity was greeted with much laughter, greatly enhanced when Ken said, “And I thought getting calls to play demons was a bad thing!”
The next question was for James about his upcoming appearance on Without a Trace, whether he’d started working on it and the differences between working on sci-fi and drama for him, "because I’m sure you can’t divulge anything.” James laughed and said he’s “only done one episode of Without a Trace, and it was only two scenes, and it was a lot of fun because there were people in the crew who’d worked on Buffy, so it was a bit like coming home. Joe from the sound department was there, Athena (second AD) was there so it was really fun.” James further ellaborated: “When you’re on sci-fi, you get to strut, you know? You get to be out there, and blood packs, and everything. It’s all boy fun. When you are a cop, you get to point your gun and be all scared that the bad guy is gonna jump out at you, but it’s its own challenge, and this is what I like about these cop shows: Characters are best defined through action. To figure out who a character is in a movie, you watch what they do, what they choose to do, not how they reveal themselves by just blab
bing it out, but that is more expensive and it takes more time to write that. So, in TV, what they do is, if a character is gonna reveal himself out, they’re just gonna blab it all to somebody near the kitchen sink. And I’m getting tired of that, man. And what I like about these crime shows is that they’ve completely just stopped trying to “make” the character; all of them kinda sound the same and there’s no attempt to differentiate them. What they do is, they hire actors and the actors give the characters their own personality to it, and by the time they film it and edit it, they’re very much different characters because there are different people playing them, but there’s no kitchen sink within 1,000 miles, and you get to define your own character by what you do. It’s kinda like, “Who’s Hamlet? But who’s playing it? So, you give yourself to the character, and that part I like it a lot!” Elisabeth also shared her impressions, “You go to work, all of us in our different jobs, and you get to know really well the people you spend tons of time with, every day, for years and years… There’s a kind of weird loneliness about going to the office, and that’s what these procedural shows do really well is capture how we go to work, we save the day and really we don’t know anything about each other." She exemplified with Law & Order: "You work with somebody for years and years, and didn’t know they were an alcoholic, like Lenny, or a sex addict, like Serena.” At this point, James asked Elisabeth what’s Sam Waterston really like. “He’s very nice, really bohemian. After hiatus, he’d come in with long hair over his face. Right now he’s trying to create a party for the ’08 elections, Unity ‘08… He’s truly like a liberal, hippie type,” and at this, James raised his arms up in the air and went, “YES!” to much laughter. He explained his reaction was due to his concern, “because his character is so good at what he does that I thought, ‘Man, Sam’s gone conservative!’” Elisabeth also added that Waterston was “a good father figure.”
Ken Feinberg & Elisabeth Rohm
e Portishead!” to massive laughs. Juliet deadpanned, “And you’d think someone would know you after 200 years together!”
It was time for another question, but James interrupted: “I’m sorry, GARY OLDMAN?! God! He’s just the absolute bomb!” Juliet agreed, “He’s such a talent; and the way he frames everything… cos in the cell phones, you have that hip-hop—Jewish hip-hop, anyway.” James then asked if Gary was Jewish, and Juliet said he wasn’t, “But in the video he went by Larry Goldman, or something like that. But we got the more expansive, more lyrical sequences from his framing, because he’s such a talent at everything he does.” As an example, she shared an anecdote: “One day, I call his house and I’m like, ‘So what are you doing?’ and he went, “Oh, I’m teaching myself to play the piano,” and it sounded incredible! And I’m like, “Oh, my God! I feel so… untalented! I need to teach myself to play the cello or something.” Elisabeth remarked Gary is an incredible pianist, as proven in his movie Immortal Beloved.
James Marsters and Juliet Landau
The next question was for everybody, and it was what had been their favorite project to work on so far. Juliet said she’d “really loved working with Tim Burton on Ed Wood. It was my first big movie, and he was such a creative spirit. We were afforded luxuries like we couldn’t have on TV, because it was a movie (even if not a $180 million movie) like taking the whole day or three quarters of the day on the scene at the bar with Johnny (Depp) and on TV you have like an hour for that, basically.” James quipped that he “didn’t have the chance to shoot with him, so my favorite work was the Buffy parts working with you, which I know it’s really your second favorite.” Juliet quickly added, “They’re tied!” James deadpanned, “If I’d worked with Johnny Depp, you’d be second!” and burst out laughing. Juliet counterattacked, “He would have snogged him off-camera.” James and Juliet then said their time together on Buffy was “some of the freest acting” they’ve ever done. Juliet explained: “We’d get the scripts, especially in the first season, and we’d get together like a week before shooting, which was also very luxurious, and we’d rehearse and come up with things and we were able to do our thing as actors, so by the time we came on set, we were almost like flying.” James added that his girlfriend at the time “was so jealous of you, oh, my God! Oh, yeah…” Juliet went, “Who knew?!” and added that she and James would “go watch dailies together and obsess about our acting.” Elisabeth took her turn, and mentioned that after “working on Angel, I remained good friends with David Boreanaz, and now on Law & Order, I’m good friends with Sam Waterston, so that’s the best part,” but she said that “the new movie with Bernard Rose was the best experience because I learned to play Beethoven, and I’m not a pianist. I had to take lessons for 2 months to learn to play this Sonata by Beethoven my character plays throughout the movie, and having seen Immortal Beloved, I was intimidated. But I did it, so I can play piano, but only that sonata!” She also mentioned a big moment for her was working with Anjelica and Danny Huston, "because I do more TV, and not that many movies.” Ken said his favorite role was “working with you guys (meaning James and Juliet), because I had so much fun, slime and all, but my other favorite thing was a film I directed last year, which went to Cannes, called Seven Generations, and it’s a spiritual Native American piece, and I directed my Dad playing the Indian shaman and he was just phenomenal!” (The trailer is available at sevengenerations.com.) He described the experience of shooting up in the Georgia mountains in Cherokee language, in the fog as “amazing,” which prompted James to ask: “Did you like just ordering him around, like, ‘Stop doing that, dad!’?” which led Juliet to quip in Drusilla’s voice, “Bad daddy!” to much laughter. Ken said it was “just the opposite; I’d give him just a bit and he’d be doing these amazing things! I’d love to direct him in something else.” His Dad went through chemo over the past couple years, and is now in one of the classes he teaches. Ken had directed him previously in the original musical stage version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, 10 years prior. “This was before my demon days!”
Elisabeth asked if they were allowed to ask questions of each other, and immediately asked Juliet whether she’d ever worked with her Dad (Martin Landau). “In Ed Wood we did, but we only had one sequence together; we never overlapped otherwise. It was one of the scene reenactments from Bride of the Monster, that my character Loretta King was the star of, and it’s a very bizarre scene where we’re in a laboratory, I’m in a wedding dress, and my Dad (as Bela Lugosi) is the mad scientist, and he puts me in a trance and I walk to the table. My dad is supposed to strap me but he gets distracted by Tor Johnson, who is supposed to do something and gets distracted by Angora, and my Dad starts whipping him with a big whip. I looked over at my Dad and said, ‘Is this surreal or what?! This is a little odd…’ So that’s how we worked together. And also, I did another movie called Carlo’s Wake, playing a New York Italian, (in a Brooklyn accent) talking like this, very different, (in normal accent) and my Dad played the patriarch, but he was dead and we were all at his funeral, so I worked with a cast of his dead body—which I didn’t realize, because Rick Baker (whom I worked with on Ed Wood) did it and it was very realistic! So, I come to work, and I’m all, “hey, it’s really nice— (crying) Oh, my God!” It stressed me out; it was a six-week shoot –and I’m gonna cry now- and it was just awful! I felt like I was going to my Dad’s funeral every day! So those are my experiences working with my Dad.” Elisabeth asked for “some coffee for Juliet immediately,” and James asked her, “You ever worked with a rubber dummy of your Dad?” Juliet quipped, “I don’t recommend it!” Elisabeth explained she’d asked the question because she thought both Juliet and her Dad, Martin, are amazing, and she’d &ldquo
;heard all these great stories of Will Smith working with his son, and Jane Fonda working with her Dad in On Golden Pond. Juliet mentioned she’s “worked with my Mom (Barbara Bain). We did a play together and then recently we did the stage reading of this piece called Collective Stories, a Donald Margolies play. We jumped in, we had one rehearsal, we did two readings with a full house, and we had so much fun! We even got reviewed, and we had no idea!”
The next question came from the audience again, and was about a scene that they didn’t quite nail, and whether they could identify it. James said, “The real question is, ‘is there ever a scene you’re really satisfied with?’” The fan asked whether there was a particular one that stood out. “And you want us to point it to you guys, so you can go… (mimicking using the remote on the DVD) ‘Aha!?” Ken went first, and told a story of his scene with James and Juliet: “We were shooting the scene, and they’d shoot Juliet’s close-ups first and they’d spend five days on that, and then they’d do James’ and spend lots of time with that, and then they got to me and I got two takes!” (major laughs) “So I do the take, and the script girl comes to me and says (curtly) ‘The script is this’ and does the line.” (Apparently, she was not very nice.) “So I do the take, and Nick, the director, comes over and goes, ‘Do it like you did it in the audition.’ But they’d changed the script since the audition, so I had to mind-meld both things together.” James said he’d done a good job, and Ken recalled that “when we first shot the scene, and you looked up at me and saw me with all the antlers and slime, you burst out laughing, and going, ‘Joss is a *censormode*in’ genius! Joss is a *censormode*in’ genius!’” Juliet confessed that Joss was mad at her for being unable to show up for the previous episode, as she was shooting a movie, and he took it out in the person Drusilla was to be with, “and that’s why all the slime!” Ken then looked at Elisabeth and went, “So what did you screw up?” to many laughs. Elisabeth said it was difficult to say, “because I’m really hard on myself. I almost did Bones, with David Boreanaz, and I completely screwed up the screen test, to the point that David Boreanaz was, ‘She’s not that bad, ok?’ He’s like, ‘Liz, okay, we’re gonna pay for a screen test, we’re gonna get a *censormode*in’ crew in here, and we’re gonna shoot it as if it were a TV show because obviously you broke under pressure,’ and I was like, ‘Thank you, David!’ So I did the test, but then Emily (Deschanel) did it and she got it, and that’s how I got Briar & Graves. We screen-tested for that one together as well, but he got Bones instead.” James confessed his worst scene is “the first one you and I have together, in that big set when we come in? I was coming from stage, and I so wanted to be good, and I was nervous cos I was acting with you, (scared) ‘It’s Juliet Landau!’ So first of all, my accent sucked! My first line was, (like in “School Hard)“You were there?” and I said it just like that, because I was making a stage entrance. On stage, when you make an entrance, you go and you post in the frame of the entrance, whether it’s a door or a cave, you make sure you have a good frame around you, and you say your first line, or half your first line very loud, and then you pause, then you start moving into the performance space and continue your line. That’s how you make an entrance, and I tried that, and I didn’t really realize that you don’t have to speak loud, because you have a microphone on you! You don’t have to pause for no particular reason, because they’ll cut to you, you moron!” (massive laughs) “To this day, when I look at that scene…” Juliet interrupted, “But you were so good in it!” James replied, “Once you came in, my acting got a little better!” Juliet quips, “That’s the best part of the scene!” causing James and everybody else to burst out laughing, and James to mimic using a DVD remote to find himself, “Oh, there I am! So I wish I could have re-filmed that, yeah." Juliet then said it’s "very difficult for her as well, because there are many elements in movie-making that are treacherous, and the whole idea is to get into that zone where you have a sort of freedom and things are really fluid, and it’s very rare that you get that feeling. So, I’m sure there are many, I just couldn’t pinpoint one.” It was James’ turn to share, “Every take, Juliet. Every take, you’d go, ‘God, I could have done that better!’ And I was always, “We gotta move on, man. You gotta let go.’” Juliet remembered watching dailies with James, and complaining about her acting, and James going, ‘That’s *censormode*ing good!” James added, “You’re more of an artist; I was more like, ‘That was fun!’” Juliet added that the whole fluid thing happened to them a lot on Buffy, and James contributed that “they kept a lot of our nasty bits in. Remember when we were looking at dailies, and we’d go, ‘They’re gonna use that? Oh, my God!’?” Juliet said their characters were all about sex, so they were always doing things, and James explained that “when our hands are below the frame, they’re always doing something… we’re not really doing anything nasty!” and Juliet quipped, “That was me!” causing him to go and laugh again.
Ken was addressed first by one of his students, who send good wishes to Ken’s father, and then proceeded to ask James a question, which caused Ken to call the guy a “tease.” The question was about Spike’s fate at the end of Buffy, which was very final, and how the fans had been happy to see him resurrected on Angel, and whether, in hindsight, in view of Angel’s abrupt ending, James wished Spike’s finale would have been the one from Buffy instead. James promptly answered with a resounding no, “because I’ve got more work.” Ken quipped, “The answer is we want him resurrected on a “Spike” series,” which brought massive cheers from the audience. James added that he’s “heard there are tons of people interested in a Spike and Dru series happening, but the one who seems not to be interested in Joss.” Someone in the audience suggested getting Stephen DeKnight to write it, and James said that "could work.”
The next question was about fan-fiction and what character James would like to be paired with. James replied that they’re actors, “so if you pay us, we’ll be kissing whoever you tell us to. So write it up, get your money together and we’ll talk.” James went on to share his concerns about how girls kiss men. “I don’t know how you do it, because we’re scraggly and hairy and have whiskers. I really feel for women!” The fan then mentioned a lot of Spike/Xander pairings on fanfic, which is greeted with both cheers and “eww!’ from the audience. James mentions that he “saw Nick at an audition the other day and he had, he looked great actually, he’s let his hair grow gray and he looks all distinguished, very hot… You’d have to pay me though!” He also mentioned he’d probably pick a woman always, “nothing against the guys.” He also thinks he “got to kiss everybody on the show” and asked the
audience about anybody Spike hadn’t been paired with. When Dawn was mentioned, he went “Thankfully, yes! That would have been too weird!” And this caused Ken to deadpan, “That would drag you into Law & Order!”
‘You actors, with your pretty faces and your beautiful hair! You get all the women and we writers get nothing!’ (major laughs)
‘Well, Joss, you know, I’m standing here in a haircut that you gave me, with make-up you guys put on me, with the costume that you selected for me- If I look cool, man, isn’t it your fault?’
‘Yeah, but you’ve got those cheekbones’ (making pinching gesture)
‘Yeah, but you’ve got the brains!’
‘Yeah but you’re going to get laid all your life with those cheekbones!’ (more laughs)
"So, I was like, ‘I’m about to be fired and I don’t like what it feels like’, and I asked him, ‘Well, you wanna trade with me, man?’ And he just huffed right off, and I kept going, ‘Okay, I’m dead! I’m dead!’ I don’t know what that was all about! (laughs) I don’t think our relationship ever recovered from that first day!” Ken quickly quips that he got the same speech from Joss, only “he didn’t mention the hair!” James ponders whether it’s something Joss does to all male actors.
Wayne announced there are two more questions, as only five minutes are left. First question was to Elizabeth, regarding her final scene on Law & Order, where her character Serena came out as a lesbian. She said she didn’t want to be like the other female lawyers in the show that kinda flirted with Sam Waterston’s character, and so she decided Serena was a lesbian. “I was surprised they picked up on it, but it was random. Like, who cares that she’s gay?”
The next question was for James, about the chances of another album with Anthony Stewart Head. James said he’d “love to work with Anthony again, but he’s in England,” and Juliet volunteered he’s working on Sweeney Todd with Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. James didn’t know, and faked offense: “He doesn’t have any time for me anymore! He won’t return my calls now, either!”
Even though time for questions was over, James still called on an audience member “just because you’ve got a cool shirt on, so shout it out.” The question is whether it’s true that Spike was supposed to have a Southern accent, and could James show it. So, James replies in the accent he was going to use, “I tried to do an old Southern accent that maybe white people wouldn’t be doing as if maybe I got it like 150 ago and I auditioned for that but the casting director said I should say with the English, cos it’s a little more dangerous.” Massive applause follows the accent, and Juliet contributes that “it was actually cool, because when you came in, you were Southern, and then the director says can you do this? And *snap,* in one second , it was like “Okay, English!” James still laments about his opening line in “School Hard,” which he repeats, and adds “the Southern must have gotten stuck in there somehow, but it was their fault.”
The Q&A ends and just before he leaves, James plugs his Saturday night concert at Center Stage, which is reviewed here.