VAMPIRES & SLAYERS EXCLUSIVE:
DAVID BOREANAZ SAYS GOODBYE
to say, the WB is about to air the final episode of Angel
, Not Fade Away. In conjunction with the end of the series,
David Boreanaz took the time for an exclusive chat to sum up his
feelings regarding the show, portraying Angel and the new direction
his life is taking him.
From what I've been reading, you seem pretty ready to move on from
Angel at this point.
Yeah [laughs]. I felt strongly about it a year ago, but when they
kind of revamped the show this year, it was a good enough thing
to have happened just for the story structure and the people and
the fans. It ended up really being a thoroughly enjoyable year for
me. Probably the best year of all the years since the first one.
Yeah, this year turned out better than I expected in terms of the
characters and the storylines. But just in general, as far as the
series is concerned, I was itching about a year ago or a year and
a half ago. I always prescribe to the format that when every season
is over, I consider the series over until it gets reordered and
then I move on from there. So when I learned about the show not
being picked up from Joss, I didn't really have much of a reaction.
For me, you take the show for as long as you can, you work from
it, you work on a character for X number of years and you build
with it and you take it as part of your resume. For me, it was almost
like a relief of pressure, so to speak. To have those words come
in, it really took a lot of weight off of my shoulders. It wasn't
like I was rejoicing, but at the same time it felt right.
But from what you were saying, you had reached a point of wanting
to leave before they even rejiggered the show.
There was a part of me last year that wanted to get out. Last year
at this time they didn't even know if we were going to come back
and I'd already accepted the fact that we weren't, but, like I said,
I did that almost every season. In this business, things happen
so quickly and so fast that I've always focused on getting the first
episode done, then the following episode and not be so concerned
about storylines and where the character is heading. I really kind
of keep that unpredictable for myself, because you never know what's
going to happen. I have a pretty good handle on the situation. Walking
around thinking it's never going to end or that you're invincible
I think that's one of the traps in Hollywood, that you have to
really be cautious and be aware of who you are as a person. And
you have to remain strong in that foundation, which is something
that I got from my parents growing up. They gave me that and it's
helped considerably to go through moments like last year, go through
the moments of this year. Truthfully, you kind of get sick and tired
of people asking you, What are you going to do now? I know what
I'm going to do, the cards have been laid out and I don't have to
worry about shrinking something into a hiatus now. I have my whole
life pretty much in front of me and the opportunities are going
to be invaluable. I look forward to the many challenges. That's
what's exciting about being an actor, a producer or a director in
this business. You continue to grow and create yourself as an artist.
That's where I am right now. It's exciting and it's refreshing to
be in a place like this.
A lot of people do tend to be so defined by their shows and their
character to such a degree that when it ends, they don't know what
the hell to do with themselves.
I've always remained cautious of that. But even with the roles I've
taken on during hiatus, there's always been a piece of the Angel
character that's with me. He's a very well-versed character and
he has multiple personalities. When you define a character
and play a character, I think every actor has a sense of what they've
just done inside of them and they use that to the best of their
ability, using it for them rather than against them. That's
pretty much what it's about. You make choices and you make them
for the right reasons and remain truthful to that conviction.
You mentioned that seasons one and five were the best years for
you. Is that because you prefer the more standalone storytelling?
Just getting the show off the ground was a lot of work and a lot
of frustration and a lot of great energy and a lot of crazy stuff
happening in my life. I was just really bombarded with tons of stuff
and didn't know what was going to happen. You were kind of on the
pulse of anxious anxiety and that energy of kind of grasping it
and letting it slip away. It was really kind of intriguing and fresh.
I don't really remember much about years two and three. Four was
just a hard year and with five maybe it was the standalone approach.
I just enjoyed the comfort of different types of shows coming at
One of the things I've admired about the show and I guess it was
true of Buffy as well is that there was never the fear
of having the characters do something that might not be what the
audience expects; that they could go darker than most characters
might. But with all of the censorship issues and all of this nonsense,
do you think the end of Angel could also be the end of
an era in terms of taking risks like that?
I think cable is the new outlet as far as extreme television is
concerned. I think the cable media takes more chances than the networks
do. It's a shame. The whole censorship thing, to be honest with
you, I just think there's a big overreaction to it. People need
to calm down, accept the change and just move with it. We're not
living in the 50s here, it's not like black and white television
with only three stations. There's a multitude of choices out there
that is going to dominate the industry in five years everything's
changing and it's definitely the end of an era. You're even seeing
the end of the hour drama, unfortunately. It will be there, but
it will be in a different format. Just reality TV alone is really
taking off because advertising dollars speak and Madison Avenue
has a chance to exploit that. That's where the medium is right now.
Look at all of the mid-season replacements that came up and got
cancelled. Great shows that aren't being given a chance by the networks
because it's easier to make a buck off of seeing Suzie screw Joe
in the backyard with cameras watching. It doesn't make much sense
to me; it's pretty irrelevant. But in today's society, where America
is, people want to see that fast, furious pace; those dilemmas and
those struggles and conflicts. I think the hour drama will always
be around and I think that comedy will be around, it's just that
it will be in a different format. It's definitely the end of an
era for Joss and for true storytelling. With Angel , I
think the way we ended this year is an open-ended book. You kind
of see the characters going out with a fight, which I think has
been prevalent for Angel since the inception of the show. He's always
going to be fighting and I think that's true today with humanity
and all of the things that are going on in the world.
In the course of the series, would you say the gamut of what you
were able to play was fairly unusual for television? I mean in terms
of the shift from comedy to the darker places.
Oh, yeah. I just thought it was a fantastic journey to be able to
do that. And it was great for me, because now it's enabled me to
tap into those places on different levels and expand on those for
different roles. I can use those opportunities to get certain parts
or get into certain situations or to show certain directors and
take on new projects. I really enjoyed the flexibility of the character
and how the writers allowed me to interchange with him and move
places. I welcomed that and it's one of the reasons I enjoyed it
From your point of view, has Angel evolved from where the series
began to where it's ending?
I think the self-evolution of his character is ongoing. I don't
think for his type of character that there will be an end to his
evolution. As far as where he is and where he was – God, it's
been leaps and bounds. The guy has just completely come out of the
shadows, opened up and has become more vulnerable with a better
sense of himself from the people around him. The evolution is amazing;
emotionally he's evolved ten-fold.
If there's never another Angel adventure, where would you say we're
leaving this character?
In battle. Battle for his own self and battle for humanity, pretty
much. Striving for excellence and continuing the good fight, whatever
that good fight is.
What would you like Angel the character and Ange l the
series to be remembered for?
Again, just a sense of risk, a sense of style. A uniqueness to deliver
story in a different manner; a uniqueness in character to expand
with the other characters around him, to evolve into different types
of characters, to be ever-changing; the angst of conflict within
him. I think there's so much to be remembered and so much to be
proud of about this show. And its use of mythology and verse and
language and just texture, just the way it was shot. It will be
remembered for a lot of things.
When the cancellation happened, were you surprised by the intensity
of the fans' reaction and their attempts to save it?
The fans are so committed, and it's cool to see. Even when the network
moved us around, they were still following us. It's a sheer testimony
to what these people are about, how much they love the story and
don't want to give up on him. It's a blessing in disguise and it's
bittersweet for all of us. Bitter for the fans and sweet that we
get to go out like this with the sense of people yearning for it,
rather than having the attitude, You're in the seventh season,
you now have Angel, Jr. running around. There's a blessing to everything
and I think that all of this is a blessing. You kind of take it
on as one and move with it.
Are you interested in those Angel TV movies they've talked about?
No. I'm interested in a feature film and it would have to be done
right, it would have to be done with a higher bar. I've always thought
this could be done really well as a feature film with the characters.
Even if Buffy was to return, I think the whole mythology of it would
be really amazing to see. I believe in that a lot and I think that
may come to fruition one day. I don't forsee a television movie.
Of course, that's me speaking right now.
Have you got your next project lined up yet?
I have one that is lined up. I actually have a few and I'm just
trying to figure out which one I want to do. There are a few independent
films that are really small and kind of fit what I want to try.
There's also the possibility of a bigger budget one with a smaller
role. I'm just weighing it out right now.
Is there a direction you see yourself going in?
Any kind of Harrison Ford or Clint Eastwood type of roles. Men of
action. Fearless characters. I like the real conflicted characters,
I like characters that have a lot going on and the odds are against
them and they have to come up from the ashes. I'm really attracted
to those kinds of characters. It's enjoyable to me. I love the Joe
Luis type of guy: you can knock him down, but he's always able to
get back up. I love the spiritual characters, I love the romantic
characters – a lot of people haven't seen that part of me,
which is going to be challenging, to show that other side of me,
including humor and a kind of wackiness. It's really a matter for
me of the people involved, the writer and the director.
You sound like a guy excited to embrace this new future.
I'm very excited. Like I said, it's a whole new page and
I'm really looking forward to writing a chapter in a vicious way.
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