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James Marsters Would Have Bumped Spike Off Of ‘Buffy’ Fast

When he first appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s second season, Spike, the charming but nefarious British vampire, was an instant sensation. What was supposed to be a quickie gig for actor James Marsters turned into a long-term job he held over two separate TV shows, spanning some seven years. But if it was up to Marsters, he would have fired him pretty quickly.

In an interview with Radio Times (as caught by Entertainment Weekly), Marsters argues that by introducing another fun vampire, on top of David Boreanaz’s Angel, it changed fan perspectives about the show’s portrayl of vampires.

“I mean, the whole thing is, how do we get this guy on without having him ruin the theme? If it had been me producing that show, I would have killed Spike off in a heartbeat,” Marsters said while celebrating the 20th anniversary of Buffy’s series finale. “As soon as the audience said, ‘Oh, we want him. Oh, have him with Buffy. Oh, we love that character.’ Like, uh-uh. He’s ruining the whole thing. I would have killed me off after probably three episodes.”

Marsters added, “I’m kind of a bastard when I’m producing! I’m heartless! So I’m very lucky that they had more imagination and courage than I would have shown, frankly.”

During the chat, Marsters said that, from his perspective, the writers “never really knew what to do” with Spike. “The original idea for Buffy was that vampires were just metaphors for the challenges of high school, or the challenges of life,” Marsters said. “They were designed to be overcome; they were designed to die. Buffy is not an Anne Rice kind of thing, where you’re supposed to feel for the vampires. It’s why we’re hideously ugly when we bite someone. They did not want that to be a sensual kind of thing. It was supposed to be horrific.”

Marsters concludes that making Spike a major character was always “a weird fit,” adding, “They were always, like, coming to me at the beginning of every season saying, ‘We don’t know what to do with you!’” he recalled. “‘We have a plan for the season, we have a plan for all the other characters, we have all the arcs of all the other characters, we just don’t know what to do with you again.’”

(Via EW)

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