For the very first interview of the Summer Interviews, I collected questions from the fans for actress Michele Kelly. She was Alonna in the episode, "War Zone." She was kind enough to agree to this interview and answer questions from the fans about her acting and experience on the show. This interview is EXCLUSIVE to the site and is not to be posted anywhere else other than this site.
1.) I've heard other guest stars/regulars on Buffy and Angel say that it's a really different experience working on a show of this type (possibly because of the hours or the genre, or maybe because it's a Joss thing!) Can you describe for us a little bit of what your experience was filming the episode "War Zone"?
Question by Bagel
I have to say that doing "Angel" was really out of the ordinary for me, for
lots of reasons. First, getting to play someone as unrestricted as a
vampire is a thrill. When I got the lines the night before the audition, I
literally shouted, I was so excited. She was a freak when she turned, and
that's just so much fun. Like playing the bad guy when you're a kid. Then,
I have to give props to David Greenwalt, the producer, and Joss. They were
just so chill, into going into extremes, letting me run free. Then on the
set... now that was wild. We did a lot of night shoots which means you're
there from sundown till sun up. After a while, when the 3:30am dilerium
starts to set in, everything gets surreal. It feeds so well into your
character and the whole mood.
2.) What attracted you to that particular role? Did you have any specific reason for choosing it?
Question by a.k.a Buffy
I was kind of telling Bagel that there's an unbelievable freedom you get
when you can go into a character that demented as Alonna gets when she
turns. It's like if someone put a Ferrari in front of you, gave you the
keys, and walked away. You'd get in that car and freak. That's what I felt
when I got that role. "Now it's my time. No rules. No politeness. Just
Me and My needs." I know it sounds selfish and awful, but it's probably
that same kind of twisted fascination we get watching that same sort of
stuff. Dark, f---ed up, and fun.
3.) How difficult was it to effectively make the transition from a loving, caring sister to someone full of destruction and pure evil?
Question by VampyrSlayer
Oh, you Slayer:
Difficult? The most difficult part of it is that J. August Richards, aka
Gunn, and I are friends. We've worked together before, he's hung with my
family, blah, blah, blah. So to be able to look at him as if I want to hurt
him, play with his mind?! It's something society's tried really hard to
remove from our insides in the first place. Then to have to do it to a
friend, made a part of me not want to hurt him. On the other hand, this
kind of part only comes around very seldom, so that kept pushing me to "get
him." You know those times when you've had a fight with someone, or your
insides are just so torn apart that you feel totally alone, like the world
is this evil, black void, and inside, deep, comes this part of you that just
wants to scream or push or f---ing strangle someone, or even hurt yourself?
Raging despair. That's where I/Alonna were when she turned, totally alone,
no one else in the world close to me. I'd been killed- the worst isolation
ever. All I wanted is my brother. Love... which is all we really want
anyway. So, that's where I got the impetus to go into that ugly space,
being "pure evil" - it was just the other side of loving.
4.) You had to play two very diverse characters in one episode. At one point you were a sweet, innocent girl who cared for people, and at another point you were a malicious vampire. Which character did you enjoy playing more? Would you rather have to suffer like Alonna did when she was human or would you rather have the power and the freedom of a vampire?
Question by ByTe Me
Honestly, ByTe Me, I enjoyed both, but in different ways. I grew up an only
child, so having a brother to protect me was really beautiful. Being in
that one-on-one. And having others to care for. They were my crew, no
parents, no structure, just each other. But the whole dark, vampire thang,
now that was like a rampage. To me it's like music. Sometimes, the soft,
corny crap hits the spot (as much as I don't want to admit it), and then
other times, Limp Bizkit. Ya dig?
Alonna live vs. Alonna dead? hmmmm... Power and freedom are really
seductive. And suffering does suck. But on the whole, I personally, would
rather have love and "family" (both brother and friends) and find a way to
make some good times. I'd be really lonely without... Hey! wait a minute, I
just thought of something ( I should have thought of while we were shooting)
Do I as a vamp ACTUALLY want my brother or is it just b.s. to have the flesh
and the conquest? You guys tell me. What's the official vampire need
thing? Well, if I don't really crave human companionship, and I had no
conscience and no guilt, then hell, I'd go for the power. Imagine...
5.) For the scene where you were a vampire, did you receive any input from the director or your fellow actors on how your lines should be delivered? Did you have any suggestions on how you think your character should deliver the lines and act in the scene?
Question by Lissa
The director, David Straiton, was really cool. He liked what I did in the
audition, and kind of let me play. Then when he'd see things that worked,
he ask me to keep them in, and give me other suggestions, like when I
pushed him onto the ground, he said to enjoy that more, and that's when a
laugh came out... after all, I was relishing in all this new-found strength
and freedom, even if it was for evil, 'cause I had no conscience in the vamp
realm. The other actors generally try to keep their mouths shut about your
work and let the director, and/or producer, handle that. What the director
and I both understood to be happening was that I had turned but not fully,
yet, when I confront Gunn. It's like I was in conflict, good pulled by
evil, back and forth, until evil finally wins out, I morph, and the rest is,
6.) If you had the opportunity, would you like to return to Angel, either as the same character or as another? Is there a particular actor that you'd like to work with again based on your time working on the episode "War Zone?"
Would I like to return? Hell yea! It was the most fun I'd had working in a
really long time. As you all well know, the writing's great, the characters
bizarre. It's a lot better than playing Martha, the librarian.
In terms of actors, I'd like more time with Angel, 'cause we really didn't
get that much screen-time together, and he's a cool cat, very low key. And
story-wise, definitely Gunn. Maybe explore some of our past together and
how he carries that into his life now with Angel. Does he think back onto
her, their family? Does she come to him? Talk to him? Guide him? What
makes him go on?
7.) Do you and the character have any similar quality's?
Question by SealedNFate
Alonna, in a lot of ways, is like a mom. She watches out for everybody's
well-being, makes sure they're safe. Kind of like the female side of Gunn -
he's just more aggressive about it. I tend to always be watching out for my
peeps - I'm pretty concerned about what they're doing and why. Are they
happy and ok? I also think Alonna doesn't like to really show her deep
feelings, but all her feelings are on her sleeve, anyway. Ditto for me.
8.) Did you watch "Angel" before you got the role, and do you watch now?
Question by Megg
The weird thing about it is I'd NEVER seen a episode of "Angel" before I
booked the role, and I'd only seen a bit of Buffy, once or twice. They come
on Tues. nites, and that's the night I have acting class - ironic, eh? So,
auditioning was a bit of a wing-it situation.
Since I've done the show, checked out the web sites, etc, I realized how
much there is to it. The fans are amazing! Your devotion to it and what
makes it tick, has really made me interested. Plus, now that Gunn's gonna
be a regular, he's a friend and I like to support my friends. Now, the
acting class problem, I can fix with a VCR, if only I can get cable - my
9.) What was your favorite part about working on Angel and why?
How about least favorite, since there were so many great things - the
vampire make-up! At first, it's really wild to see yourself as a vamp. You
are totally unrecognizable. Looking in the mirror for the first few times
literally freaked me out. I felt disgusted and intrigued at the same
time... Ugly and free. I felt both female and male - kinda like Angelina
Jolie (wait - hear me out) she's a woman, but she's ballsy. She could
knock you on your ass in a second, mentally or physically , if she's in
freak mode, or she could straight up sex you. But after 4 or so hours in
that make-up, I'm telling you, that sucker starts to ITCH!!! And the drag
of it is that the makeup and prosthetics are so thick that you can't even
scratch. But compared to all the fun, I can deal.
10.) Do you have any other acting projects in the works? If so, what are they?
Well, I just finished an episode of "V.I.P." ( yea, the Pam Anderson show -
I know, I know - pretty campy, but the fluff was actually kinda fun.) Other
than that, most shows are on hiatus till July or August, so I get to chill
for a bit. Maybe see if I can do any movies... pet my cat... watch the
grass grow... learn to surf?...
Thanks, you guys, for everything. Actors hardly ever get contact with the
viewers and it's just really , well, nice isn't the word, but appreciated.
You can also look for Michele Kelly in a series of Budget Rent-A-Car commercials (the ones with the weird things happening) and a commercial for Ortho Tri-Cyclen.
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