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Q&A with David Boreanaz at the LA Comic Book & Sci-Fi Con

Originally published on a now defunct web magazine in 2003. It was then ripped off and posted other places, which still ticks me off.)

"The palette that I've had at my fingertips has been a very rare thing. I'm not flapping around in a cape, like Dracula."

On Sunday, May 4 [2003], David Boreanaz appeared at the Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention at the Shrine Auditorium, and did a question and answer session. He signed autographs afterward for the first one hundred and sixty people before leaving for his son's first birthday party. I know the exact number of autographs he signed because I was number 167.

They showed a short compilation of Angel clips -- the same reel which was used by Mutant Enemy to re-pitch The WB for a fifth season of Angel -- before David appeared. The biggest audience reaction to the reel came when James Marster’s "big fluffy puppy with bad teeth" line from Spike's season one crossover episode, "Into the Dark."

David was wearing jeans and a football jersey. He looked great, and was very friendly and comfortable with the crowd. Unfortunately, many of the questions were partly or completely inaudible due to the lack of audience microphones. Fortunately, David's answers were all loud and clear.

Here are the highlights of his Q&A.

David Boreanaz: Thank you. That's very kind. Nice to be here on Sunday. I hope everyone is having a good time here at the comic fair. So here we are. Let's go have breakfast! [audience laughs]

Q: [question about his current projects]

A: We start production on The Crow in June. There's a really good cast ... Eddie Furlong is going to play the Crow. I'm playing a character by the name of Luke Crash. He's the main antagonist, so he's one evil son of a bitch. His boss is Dennis Hopper, who is playing El Nino. I'm going to be riding with the four [inaudible?] apocalypse, so it's going to be a fun ride.

Q: What's your favorite hockey team?

A: My favorite hockey team? The Philadelphia Flyers. They're down right now. It's a sad day; they came out, played well, and got their asses kicked. Right now, it's three to two, when we go back on Monday, hopefully the boys will pull it out.

Q: [season four was great]

A: Thank you. [loud applause from audience]

Q: What about season five, have you heard if you're coming back for a fifth season? And what about casting? Any news about adding anyone from the Buffy cast?

A: Well, the most obvious cast addition would be James Marsters as Spike [loud cheers from the audience]. That would be fun; I'm sure you guys would like to see that.

As far as finding out if we are coming back for a fifth season, I feel optimistic that it will happen. But then again I don't wear business suits and I don't have a nine to five job and I don't make those decisions where the network is concerned.

I'd just like to say that the four seasons we've been on, the support from you guys especially has been great and I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for that. And we'll see, we'll find out. I do think that the next episode that's coming up that Tim Minear directed and wrote for the season finale is really going to shift the whole show to a whole different context. It's going to take it in a way that's going to make each character a very viable resource, and it's also something that's going to be a lot of fun to keep going with. So we'll see what happens.

Q: Getting back to Buffy, [is there ever going to be a Buffy movie and would he be in it?]

A: Everyone has always teased the possibility. I know there are always rumors. Is there going to be a Buffy movie? What's the deal with the Angel possibilities of the film? Those rumors out there are always open to discussion; we'll see what happens with it. It'd be cool. I'm totally not down or against it. I think it would be fantastic.

Q: I was wondering where did the idea for killing Doyle off come from?

A: Well, uh, it's, that's a tough question to answer, because he was such a good friend of mine. I kind of keep that unanswered. It's still tough to talk about that.

Q: [question about Superman movie]

A: Superhero? Superman? Yeah, again, this sounds nuts, man. [laughter] I wake up sometimes and I say, "This is just a circus act, it's crazy." ... I met with the casting director and I auditioned for the part. She was really cool. Schedule-wise, it would have been an impossibility to continue with that. As far as if that comes to fruition, who knows? The film seems to be coming into turn-around right now. I don't know what's going on with it. I just focus on what's really happening at the present moment, and for me that's working on a new project with The Crow and that's it. Whatever comes after it, that's what I focus on.

Q: I love your show. It's absolutely the most fantastic show out there [inaudible] I was wondering if you could give me some insight into their relationship between Angel and Connor.

A: The relationship we've had has been pretty volatile the past year now. Surprisingly, Vince [Kartheiser] and I, we always kind of laugh and say, we'd like to do more scenes together where we're kind of more together, a father-son relationship, and build on that, but then he had to go off and screw my girlfriend. [laughter] That was all wrong as far as Angel is concerned, that was kind of weird.

But what the writers have done with Vincent's character has been pretty interesting. I think they've kind of put him in a corner with it. As far as that's concerned, I don't know what's really going to happen with Connor's character. I know that Wednesday night on the season finale, you'll see a pretty surprising jolt. It's going to be pretty unexpected.

Q: [How did you get the role of Angel, and inaudible comment about two cameos -- someone else and Barnabas Collins, the vampire character from "Dark Shadows"]

A: As far as the last two making an appearance, again, Joss looks at the story first and he facilitates the needs of the story and the character and that's fine. You know, "Who can we bring over from Buffy to add to the show?" You can't just go off and make a show with Buffy characters because some of them just aren't going to fit. So I think he really facilitates story first and foremost.

As far as getting the role of Angel, surprisingly, it was a small role in the beginning. I went in and auditioned as any other actor would. I embarrassed the hell out of myself. I thought I blew the audition and I beat the shit out of myself.

Q: [question about Angel getting an Emmy]

A: I'm not in it looking for any kind of award. I'm not looking for any kind of praise or accolades as far as having a golden statue is concerned. That to me would really not be part of what I'm trying to achieve. I try to be simple and true to myself, and enjoy the process and the project that I'm working on, and give back to you guys something that's enjoyable to watch.

Q: [What has been his overall experience in doing the show?]

A: The overall experience of doing the show? It's remarkably up and down. I kind of look at it as a huge arc for myself, personally striving and challenging myself every day, making the character fresh, unique and different, you know. I take the writing that is given to me, and ... our jobs as actors is to communicate what the writer is trying to achieve, take their stories, we look at it as a whole, and we do our best to facilitate that. I'm really a part of the whole, rather than an individual. I look at it like that. Team player, like the Philadelphia Flyers, unlike the Jersey Devils power play in the NHL.

Q: Were you planning for Angel to ever be able to "get it on"? [loud audience laughter and howls]

A: I think you have to look at, well, there's this whole thing about ... he achieves perfect happiness and his soul is going to be lifted, and Joss answered this question awhile back, that Angel can dig deep, submerge, go in tight, whatever you want to talk about [laughter], he can hit that ass hard [laughter]. The bottom line is if it's bad, if it's true to his heart like Buffy was, it's going to create huge problems for everybody. It's not saying that he can't have fun. He does, behind closed doors. [laughter]

Q: How is your relationship with the other cast members?

A: The relationship with the other cast members has grown considerably ... There was an unfortunate loss of one of them. For me to step on the set and see it as a whole and not as an individual thing, this is just the type of show that we're trying to make. We can joke around, you know. Everyone from Andy [Hallett], to Alexis [Denisof], to Amy [Acker], we've all kind of grown together, especially this past year. I think that's why the show has been taken to a good place, and it would be fun to continue that relationship, that kind of show. It's great. Andy Hallett is a funny guy. He's a great guy. He's a lot of fun to mess around with.

Q: [question about being involved in any movies]

A: Just taking on The Crow. It's going to happen. Dimension is behind it, people are really behind it, and it’s a franchise that's kind of been neglected for the past two or three years or whatever. We're looking at breathing some life into it.

Q: You were reportedly discovered while you were walking your dog. I was wondering what happened to the dog?

A: The dog still gets steak every day. [laughter] Bertha Blue is fine. It was a time in my life before I met my manager. He's my best friend, he's still my manager. I was continually out walking my dog and he saw me. I was in the right place at the right time. But the dog's doing good.

Q: The cast members are all really tall. I was wondering if there was a minimum height requirement? [laughter]

A: Actually, no, we don't have a height restriction. [laughter]

Q: [inaudible question about motivation]

A: Motivation is... There are a lot of other issues that go on within any kind of story, what's being presented to you. So you kind of look at it as a whole, depending on what scene you're working on, what character you're opposite is a great motivation.

Also, getting to lunch is great motivation [laughter], getting home is a good motivation sometimes. ... We work an average twelve and a half hour days, and we shoot each episode in eight days and there's no rest in between. We shoot eight and we go to the ninth day and we start another episode. The schedule is very grueling. It can be very tiring. So you get your motivation from a lot of things.

First and foremost is the story. You read the script, and you say, this is a great story, you start to find it, and you know there's light at the end of the tunnel.

Q: [question on what it was like working on Buffy again]

A: That was interesting. We shot [Angel] on a sound stage in a big studio and going back to Buffy where they shoot in these little warehouses. The biggest thing for me was the height of the ceiling, it's really low.

As far as getting back to work with Sarah [Michelle Gellar] again, you know, she's great. We're just kind of stepped into the shoes, the characters picked up where they left off, and we kind of rocked it. It's going to be good to see Angel and Buffy back together again in those specific instances.

Again, it's going to be an open-ended question, but I just don't think Joss wants to kill these two characters, and so it's going to be a lot of fun. That next episode, the season finale, it sort of sets up the reason why he goes back to Sunnydale. It's going to be exciting to watch.

Q: [Question about who in Buffy cast could move over to Angel]

A: I think, like I said, James would probably be the biggest character. Alyson [Hannigan] came over, and we had fun working with her. [David burps] Excuse me. [laughter] I don't know where that came from. I thought I would share that with you all. [laughter] Excuse me. Um, what was that again? [laughter]

Yes, the recurring characters. Yeah, I think James. It would be cool to see Angel and Spike in a knock-down brawl [loud cheers from the audience]. It would be cool to see them back together again, and those two characters would be fun. It would be fun just to really toy with Spike.

Q: [What is his favorite emotion to play?]

A: The first thing that comes to mind is any kind of passion or angst or quick response. Motivated emotions, digging real deep, get in there and really rip it up. Stuff that's dirty, grimy, real nasty with emotions. ... Angel, he's a very complex character because he does have the opportunity to delve into dangerous personalities at times, but he knows how to keep that at bay, he has a soul. It's also fun to play some of those sarcastic moments that Joss has been able to do with the character, which I hope will be a little more prevalent next season, if that happens.

Q: What is your favorite episode of Angel, and why?

A: Tough question. The first one that comes to my mind would be the one that David Semel directed in season two when we go back in time to the fifties ["Are You Now or Have You Ever Been"]. I think everything was clicking on that episode. It was a stand-up show for us on all levels. It was fun to go back and see Angel at in that time, and what the hotel looked like, it was a lot of fun. And anything having to do with Faith. I love Eliza [Dushku] to death. We just had a great time with those episodes, they were just fantastic. And also my late, good friend, God bless his soul, Glenn Quinn, it was big learning experience for me working with someone of his talent.

Q: [About how David and Angel are alike or different. What does David bring to Angel?]

A: Your experiences in life ... bring something to that character, I believe you put into that character what you take out. ... My personality, who I am, is also who Angel is in a way, and whoever or whatever character I might be playing, so it's a tough question to really answer. You kind of look at yourself and say, ‘Would I really do something like that?’

I don't actually having flying abilities. I'm not good with swords. I'm pretty clumsy. I think that overall the sense of dumbness, walking into walls ... I can walk on the set and find an accident pretty easily [laughter]. I just sit down on something and it's going to break. But when it comes time to do it, I'm fine with it. I can do it. Everybody is walking around the set on pins and needles, worrying that I'll hurt myself, but once recording starts, we get pretty serious.

Q: [question about his similarities and differences to Angel]

A: Similarities and differences... Like I said to this gentleman before, I think that it varies. I don't really wear a lot of the clothes he wears, because they're too shiny sometimes, too weird. I like jeans and tee shirts. Personality, like I said. I think more of the awkwardness comes out at certain times. I can be very shy. There are certain aspects very similar to the Angel character, but there are also a lot of differences.

Q: [Are there episodes and characters he didn't like?]

A: Not like? I don't think there's an episode I can say I don't like. There are some instances that don't work. I can see how they can get kind of slow and muddy sometimes, because the show is dark, because we have such complex themes. ... But every character really works as a whole. I can't say there's character on a show that I don't like. Well, I'm going to take that back. [laughter]

Q: [Is there a character that he thinks should be developed more?]

A: I probably would develop Andy's character a little bit more. Lorne's type of character development would be... I think it would be good to have a boyfriend on the show. Lorne's got to come out of the closet [laughter and cheers].

I shouldn't say this about Andy but he's got a little boo, it's called "little boo" tattoo on his right leg. The next time you see Andy, ask him about that. We call him "little boo." You know, I consider that if you see the development of Lorne from the beginning ... and what he's given to the show just as far as personality is concerned, it's a great example of ... how they throw a character in and see how it sticks, because if it doesn't, it's going to get pretty old pretty quickly.

Sometimes we take chances, like with the Gwen [played by Alexa Davalos] character. How does she fit into the overall theme? Is it going to work? In the beginning of the season, we were kind of like, "Here's a good possible love interest for Angel's character." But, it didn't really unfold into that romantic kind of thing. You're always on the edge when you're involved with Joss and his characters and his stories, not knowing until you find your niche what you can do with it.

Q: [long question about Sarah unhappy and leaving Buffy, and about being typecast as Angel]

A: Well, I can't answer the question about Sarah's departure from the show. I think the run of the show was fantastic, she should be very proud of what she accomplished.

For me, personally, I'm able to play a character that's two hundred and forty some years old and I've had the experience of playing an action hero, the experience of playing a demon, being very vulnerable at certain times. The palette that I've had at my fingertips is a very rare thing. I'm not flapping around in a cape, like Dracula.

There's a lot to this character that I've learned from starting with the character from the beginning. And as far as saying, ‘Oh, well, I don't want to be stereotyped as quote unquote Angel’, I think that other characters I play will be like Angel in all those different types of personalities. I think you look at it as, this as an opportunity for me to expand, and when I get the opportunity to take on other roles and use my experience, what works, what doesn't work. So, I take it that way rather than the opposite.

Q: [More about other roles and being typecast, people not seeing him as anyone but Angel?]

A: Well, again, I mean I don't want to roll out for the room all the parts I've auditioned for and specific roles that I've lost out on in the past because of my hiatus. I only have a two and a half month hiatus to complete things, so I'm limited in that kind of direction, but I've never questioned my talent, personally. I can only see it as a growth period. Sure, there's the scary part of, ‘Shit, that I want [inaudible].’ I don't think it's going to happen. I know what I can and can't do, there is just the show and you have overcome that kind of stuff, it's called adversity. Being patient, seeing what happens. [applause]

Q: Did you always want to be an actor?

A: I wanted to be everything. I wanted to be the fire guy, I wanted to be the police guy, you know, I wanted to be the cowboy, the Indian. I guess I didn't say I wanted to grow up and study the Shakespearean art of acting. I'm not good at that kind of stuff.

I love people. I love experiences. I love going out. I love traveling. I love adventure, I love learning, and I love involving myself in things where I'm going to learn more about people and seeing people. I'm extremely voyeuristic; I like to look at things. I can go to parks and watch people and their personalities.

I didn't study the royal Shakespearean art or whatever. I have a high respect for those people, but my method is trying to get down and dirty with it. I understand the level it takes in order to achieve the impossible dream, and for me, the dream is, "Be very simple." And that's very hard to do. It's very difficult. It takes a lot of work, a lot of effort. I just want to work hard and do what I'm doing.

Q: [question about the character of Angel becoming human]

A: Well, I can't, let's see, when did he become human? [audience reminds him] "I Will Remember You." Oh, with the ring. I was able to walk out in the sun with the ring. Every crewmember was pissed because I had the ring and that meant they had to work until four or five in the morning. Well, I think they toyed with the idea of me becoming human. That would be the ultimate, to become human and ride off into the sunset with Buffy, there you go, there would be a little heart there [David made a heart in the air] I'm sure, turning his character human.

Well, he is human. He's just has a little problem, a small one. You piss him off, he morphs. So you know, we talked about him becoming human, we'll see what happens.

Q: What do you like most about playing Angel?

A: Well, the paycheck's great. [laughter] You know, I'm not going to stand up here and say it's not. Sure I've enjoyed the process. I love showing up and doing the work, it's great. The stress level, the pressure, I can handle it, I think it's really cool. At times I'm pulling my hair out, sure, but it's stupid for me to say the paycheck isn't great. I mean, you've met me, come on. I love what I do, I enjoy it, I think it's fantastic! I mean that's a small percentage of why I enjoy it, there are so many reasons why I like it. I love being around the people that are involved in the business. I love the work aspect of it, watching it all come together. It's really a fantastic process.

Q: [about doing stunts]

A: I would love to do all my stunts, but I can't do that. Mike Massa is my stunt double, he's just the tops. He's great. He does probably, I'd say, maybe sixty-five percent of all the stuff I do. I do a lot of my fight sequences. I can't jump out a window, can't do the high falls. Every time they have a high fall set up, I always go over to the edge, walk over to the edge and make everybody nervous. I've done some wire work. I've done some flips. I do all of my hand-to-hand stuff. The master is usually shot with Mike and the stunt doubles, and then they put you in, but I do all the fight sequences that you see, the jumps. Mike does all the dangerous stuff; the driving with spinning, burning, fire and explosions, it's all Mike.

Q: What can we as fans do to bring the show back for a fifth season?

A: Well, I think it's already written in the cards whether the show is going to come back for a fifth season or not, but you can bombard Jordan Levin at the Warner Brothers network, whose number is... [laughter]

You know, that's a decision that's already made, but I will say the final episode that's going to be aired on Wednesday is a whole new direction for the show. It's going to be amazing if it does come back for a fifth season. The opportunities are going to be unbelievable. And if it's the end of the show, it's going to be disappointing for the fans because it's going to leave a lot of unanswered questions. "Why is he doing that, why is Angel wearing a purple suit?"

But you guys have been phenomenal. One of the rewards of being in the business in a show associated with this. I think it's the opportunity to meet your fans one on one, and I just say thank you to all of you guys. Your support of the show means a lot to all of us. Thank you. [applause]

Q: [is he relaxed in front of a lot of people]

A: I used to be very shy. I used to be really panicked talking to people, large rooms, it's a very nerve-wracking thing. You can say one thing that will be perceived in a totally different way, it's a very fine line that you're walking. I get nervous every time I'm doing it. It's good to go through stuff like this. It's a difficult process.

Q: [question about being a father]

A: Fatherhood is probably the best experience I could ever wish for. It's the best part of my life. It goes beyond any kind of convention. It goes beyond any kind of film, story, or series. If you're blessed to be a father and have a child, it's the most wonderful thing in the world. You're able to see the kid just change in front of you. It's the biggest high in the world. It's a joy. As frustrating as it can be sometimes, you learn more about your insecurities, about who you are as a person. You see yourself. This is life, precious as it is, and how fortunate you are. It's a beautiful thing.

Q: [about charity work]

A: I work with the Make-A-Wish foundation. Twice, three times a year, people come to the set. I was with a girl, unfortunately, she passed away at the beginning of the season, but she came to the set, she was on life support and came to the set for the day. She gave me a gray teddy bear, which I had in my trailer the whole season and it helped me get through a lot because it was a reminder of her.

Q: [asking about David doing a voice part in Disney video game, "Kingdom Hearts"]

A: That was definitely a big learning experience for me, going over to Disney and seeing those squirrels and rabbits really talk. [laughter] It's really weird over there. That was a great experience, and I hope to do more work in that area. It's a tough area to really get involved in. They're very particular. I do look forward to doing more of that work.


Boreanaz: Thank you. Thank you so much for coming.
Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

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