Buffy's James Marsters refused not to be in love with Dru in Slayers
Buffy star James Marsters ignored instructions to make a significant change to the character of Spike in the new Buffyverse story.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans, rejoice! We finally have a return to the Buffyverse.
Slayers: A Buffyverse Story is a brand new Audible offering, which acts as an expansion of the Buffyverse.
Not technically a sequel or continuation of the Buffy TV series, the audio story nonetheless explores new avenues for some of our favourite characters, picking up 10 years after the events of the series's finale.
Spike is deep undercover in Los Angeles, convincing the forces of darkness that he's back to his evil ways – before his cover is blown.
So Spike (James Marsters) is back, as is his long, long-time paramour Drusilla (Juliet Landau), alongside Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), Giles (Anthony Head), Anya (Emma Caulfield), Tara (Amber Benson), Clem (James Charles Leary) and Jonathan (Danny Strong).
The series also introduces a "new slayer for a new generation", as Marsters puts it: Laya DeLeon Hayes as Indira.
In an exclusive interview with RadioTimes.com, which was conducted in line with SAG-AFTRA union rules, Marsters and Landau revealed what it was like reprising Spike and Dru – and why their infatuation with each other is key to the essence of the characters.
"What's amazing from my perspective," Landau said, "is that it's an alternate universe, and Spike and Dru coming back together, you're not sure whether Spike is going to come over to the dark side or whether there's going to be heartbreak and betrayal.
"And we have such an epic love story. And that is such a huge component of the characters, along with the nefarious and diabolical things that we do."
"I think the reason that my character, Spike, was interesting from the beginning is that they had told me not to play love – because [I was] playing a soulless vampire who didn't have anything," Marsters revealed.
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"And I decided to not do that!" he laughed. "I really played the love for Drusilla.
"I feel like love is where the rocket fuel is; it's the way to connect with the audience. And so I just really leaned into loving the heck out of [Drusilla]. Which was easy, because I had such a bond with Juliet right from the beginning."
Where we find Spike and Drusilla in Slayers is, of course, less than straightforward.
"And, like any long term relationship, it gets complicated," Marsters teased. "I mean, she at one point took up with the Chaos Demon. But you come back into Slayers and there's a wealth of that to draw [from].
"And there's the real question: will Drusilla be able to pull him back to his old self? Because he does still love her...
"Or will he fight that and try to charter the course?"
Reflecting on returning to the role of Dru, Landau said: "What's interesting is that Drusilla isn't subservient to anyone, and she isn't an appendage; she drives a lot of the action
"I actually find it surprisingly easy to slip back into Dru. Luckily, I don't think I'm her in my personal life, hopefully! I'm a lot more stable and sane.
"But I think if you have a character for a long period of time – I know from my theatre background – when you live in a role for a period of time, a run of a show or a series, a part that you've been doing on television, it's somewhere in your DNA, in your tissue, in your being.
"So there's an element of it that is easy to sort of just tap right back into."
Fans of Buffy will want to head to Audible to delve into this brand new Buffyverse adventure. We can guarantee hearing Spike and Dru's voices again is worth the visit to this new reality.
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