Interview



Q. Cheesy questions first. Such as, everybody that I've talked to wants to know your exact height--

A. Seven foot.

Q. -- Everybody's meas -- yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Lots of people have measured themselves against you and we have a general consensus, but we want --

A. What do you think I am?

Q. We're all debating between 5-7 and 5-8.

A. Oh my god, I'm 5-10. Jesus Christ. 5-8?

Q. How can you be 5-10? Some people are 5-8 and they've stood up next to you and they're --

A. I - uh, we-we could get a-get a tape measure out. Jesus Christ. 6-5, 5-8, 5-7? What the fu-what the heck?

Q. Don't ask me. I've been quested by the people.

A. It's just that David Boreanaz is like 6-5, that's the problem.

Q. Well, he's like giant man.

A. Nick Brendon is like six.

Q. Yeah.

A. Oh, I look like a little imp. Jesus. Next question. Next damn question.

Q. What high school did you graduate to?

A. What?

Q. What high school did you graduate from?

A. Uh, Drake.

Q. Drake?

A. Yeah.

Q. In Modesto?

A. No, that was in- uh- that was in Mill Valley.

Q. Did you go right on to like college or university, or did you go to Julliard then?

A. Then I went - I went to PCP (To guest) hello there.

SSK: Go ahead.

JM: I'm doing a big damn cheesy interview.

SSK: (Laughter) Thanks a lot.

JM: How are you doing, babe?

GUEST: So how is it being Spike?

JM: It sucks--

*****

A. PCPA. Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.

Q. Now where is that?

A. Uh, in Santa Maria, California.

Q. And then?

A. And then I went to Julliard.

Q. Did you um, do any--

A. And they kicked me out.

Q. Well yeah, we've all heard that one already.

A. Yeah.

Q. Um, did you have a favorite one that- uh, play that you did in college? At PCPA?

A. Uh, yeah. Um, uh, I did- I didn't do the whole play but, uh, my favorite acting was just doing scene work from American Buffalo, that was amazing. Probably that was my- my best acting. The first time I actually did anything resembling good acting.

Q. (Laughter) Fun stuff, eh?

A. After like six years of doing waka waka waka, you know. Musical theater.

Q. So you liked American Buffalo?

A. Uh, yeah, yeah. But- let's see I did, uh, I did a play called Michelangelo. Uh- uh- Robert Benedetti directed it and it was- Robert Benedetti directed it but it was as good as the original play. Uh, we did Iensco's Rhinoceros. Uh, on main stage did an original play called Larkrives. Uh, I had a good time, that was the best- that was the best training I did- I had.

Q. College theater?

A. Yeah.

Q. That's fun. I did that, too. Back when I was in school.

A. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Q. Alright. You got kicked out of Julliard, we already know that from like every interview--

A. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Blah. Blah. Blah.

Q. --Horroronline was the most recent one that had that until--

A. I know. I'll dis them if I can. If someone asks, I'll dis them anytime. They were so mean.

Q. Alright. After Julliard we got ru- rumors...see we don't know a full scheduling, you know. You're kind of an illusive person. We've got you placed in New York after this time. Roughly--

A. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Q. --Timeline. Did you have any like any main plays you did or were you just the cast?

A. (Sarcastic laughter) No, I was a bartender. Those were horrible years. Those are the days I do not talk about.

Q. Oh, the non really working days, eh?

A. Uh, no, for more reasons than that. There's stuff that happened that I do not talk about.

Q. Uh, okay, it was those hidden things that you don't do. Alright. So now, you're going to my hometown, Chicago, yes?

A. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

****

Q. Goodman.

A. The Tempest and Peter Barnes, Red Noses. Peter Barnes. (To Dare) Hello, I'm conducting a big cheesy interview.

SSK: Yeah, well- yeah.

JM: You know each other?

SSK: Yes, we know each other.

DARE: This is for Maryann and she wanted you to write bite me--

***

Q. Uh, what's the favorite play that you did in Chicago? Your favorite role? Since it's my hometown, I know more about it so-

A. No, there are- I- I liked doing a lot. I mean, uh, it might um- of been the character of Todd, it was a murderer.

Q. The murder mystery.

A. Uh, yeah, Mortal Risk. That was, uh, ov- overly brutal but well-written play.

Q. You got excellent reviews for that one.

A. Oh my god, ye- uh, oh man.

Q. Yes, you did. Uh, dirct-Um, directing.

A. Favorite direction?

Q. No, did you direct?

A. And Life Was A Dream was one of my favorite ones to act, too. Uh, that's Calderone de la Barca. It's like a Spanish Shakespeare. 1700.

Q. Did you do any directing when you did your theater in Chicago when you guys--

A. I didn't direct in Chicago, but I started directing when we- we moved to Seattle.

Q. That's when you directed? Seattle. In an article in actually Seattle, there were listing well-known Chicago people coming and they said- they immediately listed you as the top runner from Goodman theater and I always thought it was interesting that you were like in two and then you did all this other stuff for all these other theaters and they immediately just pegged you with that. It looks like you got a person.

JM: (To guest) Hey man.

****

Q. Seattle. What did you do? We have nothing written anywhere we can find cause they don't-archives don't go back more than a year.

A. I ran the New Mercury theater. We performed in a church basement on Capitol Hill but, uh, we were much better known when we were down in our own space, uh, in a loft in Pine Hearst Square. Two- two years we were down there.

Q. Two years? Did you enjoy directing?

A. Yeah, but it just burns you out. Producing and- Yeah, directing is great, but when you also have to be a producer for a small theater, you end up being a janitor, the tick-up taker, sweeping out the seats, painting the sets and all the stuff that you can't get people- that you can't pay the people- you know, you can't pay people to do it. And you can't give away enough powers in a theater company and have people do it for free so you get to do the company janitor. But directing was fun.

Q. You keep meeting my family in an elevator. It's just funky. Okay. We're at Macbeth. Everybody knows that it's like your ultimate favorite everything--

A. Yes, yes.

Q. -- It's like kind of obvious, but, uh, is there a specific part in it that brought you into like loving the play? Like a lot of us have a like a single line or something that really changed and went oh god, I love this thing. Or is it just on the whole everything about the play?

A. Yeah, I can't- I can't, uh, I don't think that there's really one moment in it that's- it's just a- it's just everything, yeah. It's um- it's uh--

*****

Q. Macbeth. We're still on Macbeth.

A. Yeah, it's a- it's a um, understanding that Tomorrow, Tomorrow- when- the speech of Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Tomorrow, uh, understanding that he's not whining and he's not sad, he's absolutely without emotion. Uh, when you see how low that- that the main title character, uh, sinks, that- that- that speech is all about that life is absolutely worthless, meaningless, there's no uh, meaning at all. And- and- uh- once you understand that he's not whining about anything, he's just commenting on the way he sees life. And um, he starts as such uh- an energetic and- and life-filled character, and then he journeys and comes to that point, at which point he's not- he's no longer the hero, he's the villain. And just to see, uh, that in order to commit the crimes he did, he had to cut out his own- his own soul, his own psychology, he had to numb himself as so many murders do. Uh, it's weird that- that Shakespeare knew that. But that's- that was the ultimate price for committing the acts that he did out of ambition was that he had to turn off his own connection to real life, to- uh- to protect himself. And, uh, so that when his wife dies, when he hears that his wife is dead, she- he just well she should have died tomorrow, we would have had more time for that tomorrow. A- and- and uh, yeah, so that- that's probably my fav- my favorite one, because actually it requires no acting at all. You get to that and it's the most- it's the big abyss of the role, you just have to sit there and say it. You just say it very simply, it's so disturbing. Yeah.

Q. Everybody's always been asked about that. Ooh, it's Macbeth, I want to direct it, I want to do this, but you never really got to answer why--

*****

Q. We move pretty much from acting now from Seattle and then you pretty- moved- went down to--

A. Los Angeles.

Q. Alright, what's your first TV role that you--

A. Northern Exposure.

Q. -- was it a bit part... it was the Northern Exposure role?

A. Three lines. One word each. Bellhop. Joel was talking to him at an elevator.

Q. I think so- picture. Um. I think she wants a picture. Anyways, uh, okay. You're- actually, you're Northern Exposure role is well-known, the priest one.

A. Yes.

Q. It's very, very--

A. That wasn't my first one.

Q. The second one --

A. Yeah.

Q. --Was very, very well-known. Did you have fun doing that role?

A. Yeah. Everyone was great. I loved doing the character. I took him- I took a very broad choice and kind of ran with it- and- uh, uh, yeah, the crew was laughing at me, so I knew it was good.

Q. (Laughter) Good. So you had a lot of fun with that role.

A. Yeah, yeah.

Q. And that was a large cast in that particular--

A. Yeah.

Q. -- episode.

A. We were all stuffed inside a little tiny house in Seattle. It was not comfortable, but everyone was really, really good.

Q. Do you have a favorite- if you remember, do you have a favorite part, which one that bigger part you did in that one?

A. Um, the first scene when I'm talking about- he's- Joel's like what's it with you- with you- with you- he's Jewish and he's in the middle of the whitest part of America and he's like what is it with you people and mayonnaise, you use it like mortar. (Laughter) That's my favorite line.

Q. Alright, um. Oops. Alright. My husband is being weird. Okay, um, did you do any other television before Buffy? Small roles?

A. Uh, yeah, in Medicine Ball on Fox. I'm a drug addict. Uh and uh did Maloney with Peter Strauss. Some guy who's in the new-the new Scorsese movie, the guy who plays the doctor in the Scorses movie, I was in- great guy, taught- told me-told me how cops handled guns. Because I played a cop who went...psychotic.

Q. (Laughter) What else?

A. (Laughter) I just- I know, I always get those roles, you know.

Q. You never get to be- easy roles.

A. Yeah. Uh that's- that's it, basically, I came- I came and got Buffy pretty quickly after I came to Los Angeles. That's what I did.

Q. Alright, now we're getting into the Buffy. I don't want to know anything about what you're doing now, because I like to be surprised.

A. Good for you.

Q. I don't want to- I only wanted to know yesterday was what episode you were filming, because I know everybody- you guys are all ahead of us and it's interesting to see how far ahead you are.

A. Pretty much ahead. Yeah. Unfortunately.

Q. Typical day for you. Not as opposed to everybody else, because everybody else pretty much has daytime- more daytime stuff than you. What's a typical day like?

A. Well, I- I film a lot in the daytime in- in interiors. Man, I joke about it, but it's- basically I'm there 4-4:30 a.m. Typical Monday, 4:30 a.m., get in start drinking coffee. I've already drunk four shots of espresso by the time I've gotten to the set, then I start chug-a-lugging when I get there.

Q. Bright and early?

A. Yeah. And- um- get to sit down in makeup and just talk in the makeup trailer, which is the actor's safe zone. We can tell- whine- we can tell-dish on people. It's all like, uh, taken in confidence that, uh, um, that certain people won't hear anything you say.

Q. It won't go beyond the walls.

A. It won't be - yeah, yeah. So it's uh- uh- that's- uh, Todd McIntosh is a great makeup artist with two reason that he's great with makeup and he also has a good environment in his trailer. That is pretty cool. Uh, and then we go and we rehearse, and uh, that's basically just showing the- the director and the cinematographer where we want to move in the scene and then we talk about it and see if they can film it that way and ask us to adjust and- so that they can film it. And um, then we go away for like half an hour and they light it, come back and uh, do the takes. Uh, and then uh, uh, they start with the master, which is the scene that's shot that encompasses the whole scene. Then they move in for what they call coverage, which is like a few shots in close-ups and stuff like that. Uh, and then that process repeats itself for 20 hours (laughter).

Q. All day, everyday.

A. And you nap whenever you can. If you can get ten minutes shuteye it's just helpful.

****

Q. That's why I had you sign mine, so I can send it to Lynn and say here, you got a spoon, it's got a signature on it. Alright, so you repeated it like 20 million times, how- how- what's the latest you guys have ever have filmed and like where you were one day continuously.

A. 23 hours.

Q. 23? That's pretty long.

A. Yeah.

Q. I remember when, you know, 16 was a lot. Alright, let's see.

A. You know what- I'm gonna-

****

Q. Alright mid-season two, you were stuck in the wheelchair--

A. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

Q. --Opposite Drusilla because--

FERNANDO: I'm going to make a last call.

JM: Cool. Cool.

SSK: That's a good idea.

JM: That's a good idea.

Q. Was it hard sitting in that wheelchair for those however many months you guys filmed the-the second half of season two?

A. Yeah, I hated that.

Q. Was it hard just sitting there?

A. I hated it. Because you never know what's coming up. You know, that's the only problem with the show, you don't know what's coming up later, so you- I thought I was going to get staked in the wheelchair, I thought I was gonna die there, so I- all I wanted when I came on the show was a good body count and a good death. That's all I- fine- I just-that was- and I- and I- and at that point I didn't have either. I was a badass for like two episodes then I was that damn wheelchair most of the time and uh- and uh I though I was just going to- just go pathetic and be forgotten about or something like that. I wanted to get out of that thing so bad. I went months without ever seeing the stunt guy. You know when the stunt guy is dressed as your character, you know you're about to get your butt kicked.

Q. (Laughter) Your butt kicked there. Alright um, the crossover- how was it filmed? Did you do one week where you did all the Buffy episode and then the next week you went and did all the Angel?

A. Yeah. Angel was one week ahead as far as the numbers of the episodes, they started a week earlier than Buffy, so I just uh, it was episode number three of both shows, but I started with Angel and then just started into Buffy right after that.

Q. So you did the second one first, basically.

A. Yeah. Yeah.

Q. That must have been interesting--

A. It was.

Q. --You knew how it end but you didn't know how it began.

****

Q. Mercedes McNab--

A. Uh-huh.

Q. --Who played Harmony--

A. Yes.

Q. How was it working opposite her as opposed to- you were always working with Juliet Landau instead. How was it really opposite her in that-those parts in there? Was it different in--

A. Mercedes is um, less intense. Uh, which is not bad. It's, uh, it's not- it's just different, you know. Uh--

GUEST: James, how are you doing?

JM: I'm doing good man.

GUEST: How did you enjoy the dance last night?

JM: I liked it. The music was good, but I didn't get to dance. (Laughs)

SSK: You got mobbed.

JM: So let's- let's wrap up, cause I'm about to leave so--

Q. Um, Kevin West in Angel episode, the torture guy.

A. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, theater guy. Cool guy.

Q. Did you like working with him?

A. Yeah, I did very much. He always knew his lines and he was very simple. That- that role could have really been weird and sucky. But he made it- he rooted it and was very simple, and I thought he did really good work. He was- yeah- he was like a theater guy. We talked theater all day.

Q. He's been in a lot of stuff. Um--

A. We complained about our agents. (Laughter) Yeah.

Q. Um, just so you- I don't know if you know this or not, but you are considered- last year you were voted the sexiest villain on television.

A. (Big smile) Yeah, I know, yeah, that was good.

Q. That was interesting.

A. Yeah.

Q. Um, compliment you on your s--

A. Go ahead. Vote that way again. That's- the people notice that shit, you know in LA, yeah.

Q. I don't know if they're- It's because of your stage presence. You don't even have to- you could just walk in there and stand still and you make the character very much three-dimensional.

A. Thank you.

Q. And that was just something we notice very early. Even though you sounded like Tim Curry in School Hard, that's best who we finally figured out who you sounded like--

A. Tim Curry? Oh yeah, that's what it is. Yeah.

Q. The scene where you just walked out of the car. It was--

A. I loved that.

Q. How do you like doing these conventions?

A. I like it. I wish I was more- more rested for it. But that's- you know- I like it.

Q. Lot of fun meeting everybody?

A. Exactly. I mean, you just sit around and get told you're cool. Really. 500- 500 people making me look cool. I'm one of them. But when 500 people trying to make one- one guy look cool, the guy's gonna look cool. Whoever they decide that they want to make look cool, they'll do it, and I'm very lucky that they decided to make me.

Q. Look cool.

A. Yeah.

Q. Very nice.

SSKH: I think it's the hair. Yeah.

JM: Really. Cause why- why didn't Spike get killed, you know? His hair worked and his coat worked. Whatever the heck that it was. You know. The accent and the coat. Or whatever. If they would- if they would have costumed me a different way they might of just killed me, really. You know. They- they would have- they had like a- a- see-through plastic shirts and stuff like because it was suppose to be punk, it was like glam-punk. If they would have done that, people would have hated me, and I would have died. I got so lucky.

SSK: Well, yeah, you have a huge following.

SSKH: It's the hair and accent. I mean if you go to another country, you- you have an Eng- er- an American accent, everybody loves you.

JM: Yeah, yeah, I know. I know. Go figure it.