Undead or alive, English or American, in Buffy or in Angel, Juliet Landau and James Marsters ooze chemistry and charm. On Sunday 2:30PM, the talented duo offered humor, wisdom, and a dash of vampy creepiness to the packed Westin Peachtree Ballroom.
Though they’re Buffy villains, Spike and Drusilla won plenty of hearts. “In Joss [Whedon]‘s world, vampires were metaphors for problems that you overcome,” Marsters pointed out, “so I think he was a little uncomfortable with people liking us!” Landau recalled Whedon telling her that he envisioned Spike and Drusilla as vampire Sid [Vicious] and Nancy [Spungen]. In Landau’s mind, “I was Sid—and he was Nancy!”
Punk-rock stars and villains have more fun, it seems. “When you’re the hero, you’re always having to feel guilty about something,” Marsters said. “You’re always running from A to B, sweating, feeling guilty. Whereas if you’re the villain, you’re just lurking in an alleyway, waiting for the hero to run by—and then you pop him in the head and you go home. It’s easy!”
With true villainous ease, Marsters and Landau slipped back into their characters to indulge the room with a thirty-second impression of Spike and Dru. What would really happen if the vampire power couple came to Dragon*Con, though? “Happy meals, baby, happy meals,” Marsters confirmed. Landau laughed, chastising him: “We can’t eat our fans!”
Buzzing with the recent news about Whedon’s upcoming S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series, a fan asked: “Which one of you would look better in a S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform?” Marsters answered, “I think Juliet would look good in any uniform.” Not missing a beat, Landau replied, “I think James would look good out of one!” These two definitely need to play another couple.
Given that both actors maintain successful careers in theater, that couple might just be onstage. Marsters piqued Landau’s interest when he described the play Kvetch by Steven Berkoff, about a couple with no social life who breaks the fourth wall to whine to the audience. I’m sure hoping Landau reads it.
Nivair H. Gabriel has whiled away her twenty-four years of life on Earth as a writer, feminist, engineer, photographer, and fangirl. She is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop and has contributed to io9.com, Fantasy Magazine, Pittsburgh Magazine, MIT's The Tech, and the Hugo Award-winning Weird Tales. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where she works as a technical writer by day and sometimes sleeps by night. She believes that the existence of Jon Stewart is proof of God's love for humankind. This is her fourth Dragon*Con.