Exclusive interview

I (Kiba) had the fortune of asking Joss questions that people sent me in 2001. So glad to have it done, and thank you Joss – I know you’re a busy guy! Things in brackets [] are my comments; things in italics are descriptions of what I was actually, physically doing during the interview.

Kiba: So here’s how this is gonna work: I’m gonna ask you questions with the name of the Bronzer or other Net Fan, and you answer, coherently, incoherently, in another language, whatever. And I can interject witty remarks or my own questions at any time, cuz it’s MY interview and I’m just snobby like that. Cool?

Joss: UP IS GO, ON YOUR MARK

Kiba: Ok, first, a disclaimer: these questions have been changed from their original version. They have been formatted to fit your comprehension. Or something. And stuff in between these thingies [] like this: [is from me].

Joss: RIGHTIE

Sushi asks: Joss, after building a rather large shrine to you in my bedroom, several of my so-called friends have been acting peculiar around me. I mean, it’s true that on occasion I’ll sacrifice a ram or two in your name, but is that any reason for them to question my sanity? How do I go about convincing these narrow minded individuals that Whedonism is a valid lifestyle? Also, would you prefer I smite the evil Aaron-Spellingites with a nail-bat, or the slightly more traditional nail-board?

Joss: The Joss does not advocate any form of violence, except cool slo mo matrixy type violence, which, let’s face it, we can’t do. We must learn to tolerate — yes, even love — the spellingites. And keep sacrificin’ them goats!

andyourlittledogtoo asks: How long did it take to go from the conception of Restless until the finished product? And can you explain your writing process?

Joss: My writing process is about two things: Structure and emotion. I’m incredibly strict about working out a tight structure, every piece fitting, so there are not too many surprises in a first draft. But it all stems from emotion. What emotion are we in love with here? What do we need to feel? What do they (the characters) need to feel (a dif ques). We build from that. with RESTLESS, i had to throw structure out the window. It was a poem. Though I knew what it meant and what the dramatic flow was, I literally just had to sit there (or lie there – I got my appendix out during that script) and wait for the next thing. It was very liberating for me. When i was BEGGED for an oultline for act 4, i made one — and then ccouldn’t write a word, because it was wrong. Had to wait for the flow.Joss is watching me interview him on my webcam, and thus he responds. kiba has paper.

BuffyBuff asks: Are there any plans to explain why the dates given for Angel’s birth in the flashbacks (1727 was on his gravestone) make him much older than what he has said he is in Buffy episodes like “Reptile Boy” and “Some Assembly Required” (240-something)?

Joss: I honestly don’t give a rat’s netherparts for dates. They should match, they don’t, we’re lame. I blame others. I hold a sign up to the webcam that says “Yay Kai!” In case you didn’t know, Kai is Joss’ wife. kiba has good paper.

SocKs asks: Hi Joss! How exactly do you get ideas for stand-alone episodes? Do you write ideas down on rainy night while watching an infomercial or do random ideas just come to you out of the blue?

Joss: out of the blue, somewhat. Or out of other art — but it’s not all just clever plaguerism — the johnathan superstar ep came from listening to Nerfherders “Lamer than lame”. Just the feeling.

[Kiba says: Superstar was loverly, once I figured out who Johnathan was.]

Carita asks: Who’s idea was it to name the Karaoke Bar on Angel..Carita’s [Caritas]?

Joss: I believe that was Greenwalt. Yes, it was his ep… He is the mighty brain and loves to write for Krevloneswath of the Deathwok clan.

[Kiba says: I myself like Numfar of the Deathwok clan.]

Joss: he is a sassy little number, ain’t he?

Sita asks: I am wondering if there was some bad experience that Joss has had in the past with a Canadian? He seems to have issues with us! (grins) We are NOT peculiar and we do not say “oot!” Don’t tell me to “chill oot!” this time either Joss….you crazy fool!

Joss: You say OOT! You say OOT! Okay, not you, but MANY CANADIANS (and even some northeatern americans like Eliza) SAY OOT. Travel your land, and learn the ways of the people there. They are many, and varied. And no, I have nothing against canadians. I had a wee problem with the french after A4, but that was me being pigheaded. I hold up a sign to the webcam that says “NEKKID GILES” (a4 = alien 4, and no, kiba, no nekkid giles.)

[Kiba says: that was for andyourlittledogtoo and milkncookies.]

Phil PhuD asks: I notice when you refer to comic books you liked when you were younger, like Ross Andru’s SPIDER-MAN, Gene Colan’s DRACULA, or John Byrne’s X-MEN, it is always the artist you mention rather than the writer. I suspect that you realized you were a writer later in life. Do you think of yourself as a writer or an undiscovered director?

Joss: Writer. I love to direct, and produce, but my tombstone will say writer. It is the most wonderful, and the most important thing I can do. The rest is gravy. As for the comics, I have guilt about not knowing exactly who was writing which book. I do know all the writers, but i always hesitate to say their names lest i get it wrong and offend I put on my Joss is a Hottie hat. (Kibs — thatnks for the very short trying-on-hats montage)

slayerdaddy asks: When you’re actually writing the scenes that wrench our hearts out, viz. Willow/Oz in New Moon Rising, do you sit there laughing out loud or just chortling maliciously?

Joss: Actually, I tend to cry. I always act out scenes, silently or no, and when I write a sad scene I often cry copious and exhausting tears. I could only write the Buffy/Angel scene in AMENDS in ninety minute stretches. I hold my brand new Michelle Branch CD up to the camera. (Kibs — she was live in NC recently. If she’s around, live is WAY better than the album.)

[Kiba says: What what? I missed Michelle Branch? Dammit!]

Black Aria asks: What tarot deck did Drusilla use?

Joss:Speaking of Michelle Branch here, not Dru. (she’ll be back. She’s sweet and down to earth and the shows (Jesse be praised) reflect that and are rockin’.)

[Kiba says: YAY MICHELLE BRANCH!]

Joss: no idea. an UNO tarot deck?

Algerina asks: [with respect to the Writers’ Guild] …as a writer yourself what do you think the main issues are?

Joss: the main issues WERE the expanding media — new stations, internet — and the lack of residuals and protection in those areas. Plus respect — the possessary credit — which was a big thing to me. Seeeing “Brian Singer’s Film” on the Ususal Suspects was offensive. And the DGA comprimised. I make my webcam go upside down. kibs, are you on the posidon?

[Kiba says: hehe. no, just playing with my cam software.  ]

Frodo asks: [Was] Dawn [supposed to be] an interactive process? [Were] there clues which we [could have used] to try to figure out Dawn’s raison d’etre? ([Did] you making choices based on input from earlier episodes)?

[Kiba says: oops, bad editing on my part “making” here goes my membership in Grammar Goddesses of America.

Joss: We knew what Dawn was — we didn’t know EXACTY what she was for, but we knew the basic conflict, and the rest we let come to us when we needed it. It was about the emotion — the rest followed. (I’m a broken record.) (And Kibs, feel free to correct my spelling.) I hold a sign up to the camera that says “I heart Mia” your heart is Missing In Action?

[Kiba says: no. That was a sign for my lovely friend Mia – queen of all things Hallett.]

Jen the first asks: What made you think of Vampires? I mean it’s not exactly something that would usually make me think ‘wow’, which is probably why your TV shows are such big hits!! Also – I’ve noticed that the names of all the characters are quite strange e.g.. Buffy, Willow, Oz, how did you think of those names?

Joss: Hallett rocks (well, Souls)

[Kiba says: he does.]

Joss: Vampires — i wanted something known, so I could have room to create my myth (slayers) without too much confusion. Character names I choose very carefully, to be unique, unlike another character, and fitting. I.E. Willow is sweet and Vulnerable. And has dif vowel sound from others.

The Sci Fi Bard asks: Dear Joss that is of Whedon, Just when exactly will the all-sock puppet episode be airing? I have to know in advance so that I can line up all my socks on the chair so that they can all see the TV screen, or else some of them might go into a right-old sock-sulk!!!! multus amor and kisses The Sci-Fi Bard

Joss: look, we all know it’s gonna happen. It’s a budget issue. When we run out of budget — bring on the socks. I hold a sign up to the webcam that says “Spike + Kiba PLEASE Joss?” Spike’s hot romance with Kiba WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A SECRET! Nice goin’, kibs. nice goin’.

[Kiba says:  ]

Jen the second asks: How does it feel to be a hottie? Is there actually a noticeable temperature difference between yourself and non-hottie people? What kind of perks come along with being a hottie?

Joss: what is  ?

[Kiba says: it is happy smiling with big teeeth]

Joss: the better to… the hottie qestion. Uh, you guys do know that it’s a brilliant fabrication, right? I was one of the homelier guys around even when I WASN’T surrounded by proffessionally pretty people. But thanks.

greeneyes asks: Joss, I’ve been very impressed with comments that you have made at the bronze. I’m curious if you hadn’t gone into writing would you have considered a career in Psychology? I’m also curious since I’m 19 days older than you, What year did you graduate from high school?

[Kiba says: You doubt your hottieness? Do you think Kai would lie to you?]

Joss: kibs — kai is dif. hence, marriage.

[Kiba says: Kai is “special”]

Joss: but not “special needs”

[Kiba says: hehe]

Joss: grad in 82, and I’ be a lousy shrink. No talking about ME! How would I talk about ME if I had to listen to other people? shudder… I would teach.

Cassandra asks: Will there be an episode [of Angel, presumably] where Angel & Angelus actually get split & Angelus gets to wreck a little havoc on LA?

Joss: kibs, pick up your camera and show me room. (unless there is naked man on it.)I do. nice tour. dizzy

[Kiba says: tried to get my pics of Aly & Emma in their undies in there, but the camera wouldn’t go far enough – cords. grr.]

Joss: you have pix of emma in her undies? How is that blackamil thing panning out for you, anyway?

[Kiba says: hehe. Hey, she posed for a magazine. I just bought the durn thing.]

Joss: I miss everything. But Angel wil wreak some havok at some point. Other wise, where’s the fun?

Yannick asks: I’m a comic book reviewer at the www.11thhour.com. You’re currently writing a comic mini-series for Dark Horse, are considering to write something like “Untold tales of Buffy” or Faith’s origin as a slayer, something like that? Would it interest you to write established comic characters?

Joss: The comic is TALES OF THE SLAYERS, and it’s a series of short pieces about past slayers. REALLY excited about it. And yes, I do want to write established chars — with all my free time!

Slayerette 2000 asks: How do you feel about the Channel 4 [in England] showing Angel at 6pm heavily cut, and showing “I Will Remember You” before BBC2 shows “Pangs”! Also are there any plans for David Boreanaz to do a striptease?

[Kiba says: I think Caritas should become a karaoke strip club. And Angel thought singing “Mandy” was humiliating…]

Joss: England has had a wonky broadcasting history with us. What can you do? They’re still great fans. No stripping. Sorry.

Little Willow asks: If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Joss: Jane Austen. ’cause, apart from being brilliant, she’d probably have kick-ass table manners.

Willow’s gimp asks: From what I’ve read of your high-school days, they were fairly lonesome and generally a bit pooy. I was wondering how you managed to keep this vision and positive image that you obviously now have. Did you have them throughout high-school, or did they develop afterwards? And if you had them through high-school, how did you stop them waning?

Joss: I have a more or less posative attitude about people — I wasn’t a victim in school, I was just lonely. I have no ill will, the occassional old girlfriend (that’d be after highschool) aside.

Miskatonic asks: Would there ever be a Scoobies-go-to-England storyline?

Joss: You got the money?

Saffron asks: T he British characters on Buffy are always portrayed so well. It makes such a nice change from most American made shows, where they are little more than stereotypes (Lest we forget the ‘Friends’ debacle). Soooo..(Not including Tony Head for obvious reasons!) How much of that is from your own time in England and how much is just the actors themselves?

Joss: it’s both. People are people, they just talk different. Giles was kind of a stereotype but the whole point o the show is to look behind those and see what’s tickin’.

Josspeare asks: What was it like directing an episode that someone else had written? Why did you chose that particular episode (Untouched) and what did you think of Mere’s writing in that episode?

Joss:  that ep fell to me by lot — mere did great — and i was psyched ’cause it dealt directly withh a girl’s burgeoning power — my basic recurring theme. Daisy kicked, too.

OzLady asks: Which movie have you seen which caused you to say to yourself, ‘Damn! I wish I’D written that!’

Joss: matrix, magnolia, three kings, casablanca, oh brother (and all coen), south park, sense and sensability, Firestorm with Howi Long… one of those is a lie, byt the way.

Sushi asks: While playing a game of “Anagrams”, I was startled to unravel what may very well be the conclusion to the entire BtVS series. It turns out that you can rearrange the letters of “Joss Whedon is God” to form “JoDog is show’s end”!!! What can you tell loyal viewers like myself about this mysterious new “Jo Dog” character and the carnage he will surely bring to our beloved show?

Joss: stop giving stuff away!

Jen the second asks: What is up with your JAG obsession?

Joss: I made like one joke! Diagnosis Murder, that’s an OBSESSION.

Willow’s gimp asks: Any chance of an ‘All WIllow All Nekkid’ episode? ‘Cause that’s an evening of top quality programming if ever there was one.

Joss: We all agree. However, there are no plans at this time. Alexis is bigger than me.

DeAn asks: Is it true that your ideas for storylines arise while Kai is hand-feeding you grapes?

Joss: I wish.

Jen the second asks: Who is your favorite muppet? (Personally, I think of you as a cross between Beeker, Animal and Fozzie. I, myself am a unique blend of Miss Piggy and Gonzo.)

Joss: grover. Always, grover.

Little Willow asks: Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Joss: The Urals, under the name Stephan Kospovitch. Damn! I just blew my cover!

andyourlittledogtoo asks: I read somewhere that the original concept for Angel was to be some sort of a Raymond Chandler style series. Would you list Chandler as an influence on your writing?

Joss: Never read him. We wanted to do a detective type series, but I’m just not cut out for it. I like characters more than plots. (Though I demand plots)

Kiba says: And now, the Kiba-centric part of the interview:

Joss: yee haw

Kiba says: As official hired lobbyist of the Undress Wesley Campaign, I’ve been asked to notify you of their existence. Here’s the spiel: Safarigirl and Janni lobbying for a “Clothes-Free Alexis” now amended to a “Shirt-Free Alexis”, as we don’t want to “challenge his dignity”.Help us partially undress Wesley. Will the plot arc revealing Spike’s love for an interesting, mysterious new character named Kiba begin next season or the following season?

Joss: so, kibs, what made you first — oh, I don’t ask?

Kiba: you can ask if you want! that would be a fun turnabout actually.

Joss: Since I’ve already explained YOU HAVE TO STOP GIVING AWAY PLOT TWISTS, I’ll ask — what do you do when you’re not typing with me? Mostly, and most loved?

Kiba: I type about you.

Joss: sweet

Kiba says: also, I go to class And I eat.

Joss: sweet, but in a less me-centric way

Kiba says: I want to close the official interview with some slightly edited words from DeAn, who is my watcher…

Joss: okay

Kiba says: Joss he lies in all of us. Sleeping, waiting and though unwanted, unbidden, he will stir open it’s jaws and howl. He speaks to us, guides us. Joss rules us all and we obey. What other choice do we have? Joss is the source of our finest moments, the joy of love, the clarity of hatred and the ecstasy of grief. He hurts us sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without Joss maybe we’d know some kind of peace. But we would be hollow… empty rooms, shuttered and dank… without Joss, we’d be truly dead………………….

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The Avengers 2 (Movie)
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Joss Whedon is writing and directing this sequel to the Marvel film, The Avengers.
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