Star Chat With Joss Whedon
This article was obtained from Ultimate TV, June 3rd, 1997.

      Welcome to the Ultimate TV Star Chat with the creator of the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer Joss Whedon. He's here, he's sitting down, and he's doing his own typing. Without further ado, on with the questions.

Rapture32: How do you feel about the show's growing popularity?
Joss: I wish the growing would grow.

Rapture32: What made you decide to go into show business?
Joss: I have no discernible skills.

Traveler: has the audience's feedback to BtVS (via the BtVS message board) influence your writing for next season?
Joss: Well, we're certainly not killing off Angel. Mostly it's already in my head.

Angelik: Joss you have already conquered writing, directing, and producing (very well, too). What's next? Acting?
Joss: I'm going to invade Poland.

Hotdog: Joss, do you have any kids?
Joss: Nick, Sarah, Alyson, Charisma and Tony.

Victoria: How did you basically come up for the whole idea of this show?? I think its great and alot better than the movie!! Stay Smiley!!
Joss: I wanted to do horror in high school to get back at everyone I went to school with.

Deedee: How do you alter your writing style to fit such contrasting projects as Speed, Buffy, and Toy Story?
Joss: The genres change, but the style doesn't much. They all have my cadence and perspective.

Angelik: What led to your career as writer/producer/director? Any advice for those wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Joss: Writing is the thing I understand the best and my only advice there is do a lot of it.

Angelik: What was your favorite project that you worked on?
Joss: Buffy.

Angelik: Are you involved in the making of Speed 2?
Joss: No.

Krissy: Are you going to develop the relationship further with Angel and Buffy next season?
Joss: Yes, though in interesting ways.

Hotdog: Did you have fun working with all the actors? R they all down to earth?
Joss: They are. I'm very fond of all of them and I've worked with PLENTY I can't say that about.

Rp313: what was the first script you sold?
Joss: Buffy.

Waxtadpole: Alot of character development was crammed into the finale; was that a precaution against the series being canceled?
Joss: Yes, though I was confident it would return. I hate loose ends. Like I hated my so called life leaving me hangin just when Brian revealed he wrote Jordan's letters.

Angelik: What things are you going to work on in the future?
Joss: Buffy, movies, possibly a new series. Comix, an opera, and I'm developing ideas for a bumper sticker.

Rp313: you seem to really get the problems and frustrations of being a teenager down in your show, do you have children or is this just from memory?
Joss: I'm just incredibly immature.

Waxtadpole: Will you be doing your own take on the cliched evil twin theme? :)
Joss: If I do, it'll be different.

Angelik: Joss, which of the characters is your favorite? Or why do you like each?
Joss: I like them all cuz they're all parts of me (or parts I wish I had).

Waxtadpole: Will the focus be shifted to something other than vampires next season?
Joss: Vampires are a current thread but there's gonna be much diversity over the old hellmouth.

Deedee: You've been quoted as saying that you borrow inspiration from your favorite horror movies. Have you ever been accused of plagiarism?
Joss: Only by you.

Cirby: ...and did you notice that Cordelia wrecks just about every car she drives?
Joss: Yes I did, and she probably will continue to.

Hotdog: joss, How are you doing today? Having a good week?
Joss: No, I'm cranky.

Aug: As long as the WB keeps Buffy on, how long do you want to keep the series going?
Joss: As long as it can stay fresh and I can stay alive.

Tutifruti: Joss, I think the show is great. I'm a little obsessed with it myself. Do you ever think that Angel (David) will ever come on to chat?
Joss: If he has time I know he'd love to.

Rp313: How long did it take you to get this project going?
Joss: About a year till we started filming.

Rp313: Will you accept scripts from other writers or are you going to keep total control?
Joss: I only use scripts from writers on my staff for legal reasons.

Sgtrock: Are there any plans for Buffy and company to fight monsters in other cities or countries?
Joss: If the budget can handle it.

Aug: Could anyone not part of the show ever watch the filming of an episode?
Joss: Not yet, but maybe someday we'll have a contest/

Deedee: What is it like to direct such a young, Emmy winning actress? How did you find her?
Joss: She's incredible. Makes my work very easy. They all do. It's just minor adjustments.

Snowangel: Are there going to be any more guest stars in the next season?
Joss: Yup.

Lmb: How many episodes are scheduled for next season?
Joss: 13 so far, but we'll be doing 22, trust me.

Techzero: JOSS: How difficult was it selling the idea for BtVS series to the studios?
Joss: The WB liked it right off. Joss: The show is more of a thriller.

Snowangel: How long does it take to write one episode?
Joss: A few days or a few weeks. They're HARD to do, mostly developing the plots.

Lestatclass: I noticed some parallels between Angel's character and that of Louis in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. Are you inspired by Rice's work in any way?
Joss: I loved INTERVIEW as a kid and Angel probably owes something to that. But the rest of the vampires are just nasty .

Karebear: Now that the Master's dead, what direction is the show going to go as far as protagonists are concerned?
Joss: Someone will come along to ruin their day.

Sgtrock: Are there any chances the Master will rise again since his skeleton remained intact?
Joss: Hmmmmmm..... Techzero: Joss: Was college a good experience for your?
Joss: College rocked. I was miserable most of the time, but in a party way. I just came back from my 10th reunion.

Techzero: Joss: What was the single most important factor that influenced you to work in Hollywood?
Joss: That's where the movies are and I need the movies.

Yeff: Do you accept spec scripts or hear pitches?
Joss: Not at the present.

Rapture32: Because of your ever growing success what do you see yourself working on in the next few years?
Joss: More Buffy, and huge blockbuster movies that require THX.

Aug: Where did you get the names?
Joss: The characters names are REALLY hard to come up with. Like the characters themselves, they must all be different, and all fit.
Joss: sometimes I can't find a character till I find their name (or a movie till I find its title)

T-c: You grew up in Manhattan, went to high school in England, college in Connecticut, and you live in California now, right? So where do you consider home?
Joss: I have never felt like I had a home (INSIGHT!)

Rapture32: Will Buffy and friends end up in college?
Joss: Some will.

Techzero: Joss: Do you prefer working in TV or film?
Joss: Love 'em both. In TV I have control right now so that's in the lead. I'm fond of control.

Jared: Is Buffy a vampire now that she has been bitten?
Joss: No. They have to feed on you to make you a vamp. She got bit, but only till she was weak, then she drowned.

Felimaster: Joss, what lead you to do a show about the dark side, I mean about vampires, blood, spells, didn't America experience a-lot of that over the 60's and 70's?
Joss: Yes, and that's when I grew up. My life is the dark side (and pet rocks and the Bee Gees.)

Viashino: First of all: congrats on an excellent show. Second, what's up for next season? I'm not lookin' for major spoilers, just a little something to keep me wondering over the summer. Thanks ;-)
Joss: Can't say much, but there will be some new faces in SunnyDale, some prettier than others.

Maytree: Is Xander an avatar of yourself as a teenager?
Joss: Yes, only pretty.

Lawless: Do you feel like the show is developing into what you originally had planned for it or would you like to see some changes?
Joss: The show is exactly the way I wanted it. And will stay that way or I will become cranky.

Aug: How do you pronounce your full name correctly?
Joss: It rhymes with Hoss Bleedin', so if you watch Bonanza and Hoss is Bleedin', that's like me.

T-c: What's your favorite website? Other than the amazing UltimateTV sites, of course. =)
Joss: I always check into Domain of the Slain and then use its links to get to other Buffy sites. I'm new on the web so I only visit sites about ME!

Sgtrock: What is your favorite monster?
Joss: Cookie monster.

Yeff: Did you plan out everything you wanted to happen or just take it a few eps at a time?
Joss: I plan ahead, but some stuff just happens, falls into place and I go Okay, that's cool.

Cirby: Is the whole cast (Slayerettes, Cordelia, Ms. Calendar) coming back in the fall?
Joss: Yup.

Dream-r: How much influence do you have over the freedom in using the material from the official site? It's a really great policy!
Joss: Well, I'm for it, but I think I have the power of none.

Maytree: Any hints on who's going to be the major opponent next season, if there will be one?
Joss: There will be one. that's the only hint for the day.

Maytree: What's your favorite comic book?
Joss: Now or ever?

Sgtrock: What monster really scared you as a young boy?
Joss: My father.

Snowangel: how old were u when u wrote your first screenplay?
Joss: I was in high school but I never finished that one. My first real one was Buffy.

Felimaster: Joss, towards what audience were you particularly aiming when you decided to do a vampire story?
Joss: Children of all ages, or some cliche like that.

T-c: Bill Gates and Aaron Spelling (two heads of the Beast) are working on creating shows that combine Web broadcasting with traditional TV broadcasting. Do you think that kind of stuff is going to take off, and would you ever get into it?
Joss: A long as stories are worth telling, there will be new ways of telling them. Personally I fear technology. I also think that thunder means the gods are angry and I must kill chickens to appease them.

Willow_fan: Any dream show you would love to write for?
Joss: I wanted to write Simpsons or Twin Peaks, but now its Buffy for me.

Buffybuff: What is your favorite BtVS quote?
Joss: Willow's line about flunking out of school from the pack. (too long for here)

Felimaster: Joss, do you consider yourself someone of the dark and mysterious sides of life? if so...why?
Joss: I'm depressed a lot, does that count?

Archangeldamien: It seems that you follow a set of rules for Vampires, but they seemed to be mixed between Broker, Rice, and other influences, is that accurate?
Joss: I made up their mythology based on all I've heard and anything I could think of. It's fun.

Tutifruti: Do you favor any of your actors or actresses in this show?
Joss: Yes, I play favorites, I am evil.

T-c: The question on many people's minds: what exactly happened with Buffy's death in the season finale? How did she die, how did she come back, why is she stronger? Please end our agony!
Joss: I guess we'll find out why and how she's different. As for how she died, see above.

Willow_fan: will you make a character that actually likes Willow? I mean everyone else suffers from unrequited love but her?!
Joss: We'll see (don't you just hate me?).

Edge: Who are some of your inspirations?
Joss: Stephen Sondheim, Edward Gorey, Frank Miller and Buzz Aldrin cuz dammit, he's number two but he was on the damn moon!

Immortal: Joss, great show. About the high mortality rate at SunnyDale, are the police ever gonna stop by?
Joss: Yes but they'll probably be demons.

Techzero: JOSS: What type of music do you enjoy? Along with other hobbies.
Joss: I like girl singers. Jill Sobule, Tracy Binham, Sarah Msglachlen. (sp)

Duckie: Your vamps. are soo scary. The first time I saw them on the 1hr. season premier I was sorta scared. Who is the makeup artist?
Joss: John Vulich designs the prosthetics and Todd Macintosh applies them. Genius boys.

Buffyfan14: For the role of buffy, why did u pick sarah? If not her, who would we be watching every week?
Joss: There was no 2nd choice.

Rapture32: What is your favorite thing on TV right now?
Joss: I love king of the hill -- and when I said no 2nd choice, I meant she was so great, not she was all we could get!

Edge: What is your favorite horror film?
Joss: Alien, the Night of the dead trilogy, creepers.... there are so many!

Lawless: The word, Wigs, Wiggins, or some derivative of it is in almost every episode. Who's idea is that?
Joss: Something I say.

Sgtrock: Are you going to hyper-age the anointed one or keep him as a Dennis the Menace type pain?
Joss: We'll (yeah, I suck) see.

Terrian: The bloody hand print on the TV screen in the finale, was it the anointed one's?
Joss: No, it was a victim's.

Krissy: Will Willow ever get her man? She deserves him!
Joss: See above.

Techzero: How long did you write professionally before you sold your first script?
Joss: I wrote TV specs for about a year.

T-c: Using relatively unknown talents for the music is a great idea! Where do you find these bands?
Joss: People sent in tapes, I'm not sure why.

Archangeldamien: You seemed to be compared alot to the X-Files, is this fair, or just critics comparing two shows in one genre?
Joss: We're different, but we do ape the files to an extent.

Maytree: Did you take the name of your production company (Mutant Enemy) from a song by Yes?
Joss: You are a scary genius. But actually, I named my first typewriter that (after the song) and that's why the company is that.

Lawless: which actor on the set is the least like their character on the show?
Joss: Charisma. She's a sweetie.

Deedee: How do you keep in touch with the current teen-speak to make their language authentic?
Joss: I don't, I never have. The current teenspeak wouldn't be current by the time we aired, so I fake it. It's not what you say, it's how you construct a sentence that makes it sound modern.

Terrian: I just wanted to thank you for your great writing. Especially Toy Story. My children and I love it. You have a great sense of humor.
Joss: Shucks.

Yeff: You've had some good mentions of authentic demonology books - Is there a haunted bookshelf in the writing room?
Joss: A few. But mostly I make it up. I'm lazy.

Sgtrock: Were your parents supportive of your choice of careers?
Joss: No. My father is a writer and told me never to write. But He's okay with it now.

Sgtrock: As a child, were you a voracious reader?
Joss: Yes. We had a farm and there was nothing to do. I think every child should have nothing to do for along while.

Lordjulius: Any recommendations for us aspiring writers about getting an agent?
Joss: Write real good. (now even I hate me)

Peter: There is only a limited amount of Vampire and Demon lore available. How do you propose to keep the show fresh when this is all used up?
Joss: I plan to repeat myself and get into a rut.

Aug: Would you ever write a fan back?
Joss: I'd like to, but the show takes up my whole life. Once we're in production I won't even be able to get on the web hardly ever.

Yeff: What's your current favorite music for listening to while writing?
Joss: Movie scores. I have them all.

Buffybuff: What did you actually do on Roseanne?
Joss: I was a staff writer for a year then I quit.

Rapture32: was it hard to sell the idea of making a show based on the movie?
Joss: Nope. the WB ate it up, thus becoming cool.

Talldude: Do you plan on using computer animation for the monster's on buffy?
Joss: Not much. It's expensive and usually looks like computer animation. However, I am going to start using it for Xander, so Nicky can take naps.

Krissy: When does the new season start airing?
Joss: Sept, I think.

Techzero: Would you be open to a live studio audience?
Joss: Can't do it. this isn't a sitcom.

Dontpanic: Are there any plans for Buffy to team up with other vampire hunters?
Joss: There's only one slayer, but there are people like Sid out there she might run into.

Tutifruti: Why did you kill the principal in the pack? I figured he would start being a major character, did he have a movie to do or something? Joss: Cuz it was cool.

Deedee: Is there pressure from the network to change the show at all?
Joss: No, and I don't respond well to pressure.

Maytree: Did you try to sell the series to other networks, or was the WB your first choice? And if so, why?
Joss: Fox passed, and WB was next. Similar sensibilities there. I like to think Fox is bummed they passed(but I also like to think that chicks dig me, so it's possible I'm wrong)

Idaknow: What do you think about the PG or PG-13 rating your show gets for violence?
Joss: I hate the rating, they make the censors work twice as hard. Rating constrict.

Tessa: Did you personally choose David, Charisma, Anthony, Sarah, Alyson, and Nick to portray the characters?
Joss: I cast them with the network, studio, casting director and other producers. I can't take credit, our casting director Marcia Shulman dug 'em up.

Sgtrock: Do you have any pets and if so what are their names?
Joss: I have a cat FALAFEL and a cat VINNIE

Victoria: Where do you get your inspirations for writing each episode?
Joss: Plagiarism.

Sgtrock: Have you met Tiger Woods?
Joss: Tiger and I are just good friends.

Yeff: Who would *you* like to get as guest stars?
Joss: Tom Cruise or maybe someone famous.

Sgtrock: Any chance we'll be hearing about past slayers?
Joss: Mebbe.

Rapture32: What are some of your favorite movies outside of your own?
Joss: Once Upon a Time in the West, the Bad and the Beautiful, and Peking Opera Blues.

Dream-r: What is *your* most terrifying high school memory?
Joss: Grades six though eleven.

Immortal: If the master is dead, is the hellmouth still the center of supernatural convergence? Why?
Joss: Yes cuz it's closed, but not gone.

Rapture32: What movies/books do you recommend to fans of the show?
Joss: Long Russian novels.

Aug: Will the anointed one be back?
Joss: See above.

Khayos: Did your _antagonists_ come from ideas based in mythology? How do you do research (if any) for the show?
Joss: We research some things (demons in books) and make up others (primals).

Duckie: What's your fav. episode?
Joss: MINE!--er, the last one. Cuz all the character stuff we'd been building paid off.

Techzero: Do the actor's/actresses' give you ideas about next season's scripts?
Joss: Yes and then I hit them.

Sgtrock: Will Buffy learn how to drive?
Joss: Yes, and it will be horrible.

TV James: Ok, let's do two more questions and then Joss will move into the regular chat area and answer questions for about ten minutes.

Ericone: Are there plans for more Buffy tie-in books? Will they be with the same publisher?
Joss: I believe so.

T-c: Now that you know you've got a 9 PM timeslot, do you see the show getting more, er... R-rated? As far as gore, or sex, or both?
Joss: Yes. I'm hoping next season we will be on SHOWTIME at 11:30.

TV James: Ok, Joss is now moving into the open chat area. Thank you all for coming!

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