Amy Acker Fan

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Buffy & Angel Magazine (US) – 2007

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In a retrospective interview, we talk to Amy Acker about life after the end of Angel and Alias, and her ambitions for the future. Is Amy heading for a career in comedy? Read on to find out…

It’s been a very busy three years for Amy Acker. Since Angel finished, she has been working on Alias and Justice League Unlimited, giving birth (to Jackson James and Ava Grace), and delighting fans with regular appearances at conventions. We met up at Starfury’s “Not Fade Away” convention for an Amy update!

Alias has now ended. Were you, or rather was Kelly, very busy in the last few episodes?
Yes, it was nice. They kept me working at least. I was busy killing lots of people, and being very evil. It was great, it was a lot of fun.

Did you enjoy the experience on Alias? Was it satisfying for you as an actor?
It was neat, because it was a role that I never thought in a million years I would be cast as — me as an evil mastermind! It’s been fun. Every time I read a script I was thinking, “Okay, I never thought I’d be doing this.” But it also meant that I got to be with Drew Goddard and Jeffrey Bell from Angel, and a bunch of other people I knew. All the rest of the writers were wonderful as well. It was a great cast — overall it was a great experience. I was a series regular for the last 10 episodes.

What does mean in real terms? Presumably that you know you’re going to be there for every episode?
I don’t think it means that much. You get paid a little more and you know that they’re going to have you on every episode.

And even if you’re not on, you’re credited…
Yes — they would still have to pay you and credit you.

Did the writers and the producers give you any idea where they were going to take Kelly for the rest of the season, particularly as by that stage they knew it was coming to an end?
No, I had no idea. I just kept waiting to read the script where I died. I wasn’t told anything.

Did you have any talks with them about her, or did they ever ask you what you’d like to do?
No, I think they had pretty much mapped out how they wanted it all to go down. Of course, it was mainly about Sydney and all of that. That was the more important storyline. I was just glad to be a part of it for the last year.

How did the atmosphere compare with the final year of Angel? On that you knew it wasn’t coming back just before the end and there was always the possibility of it getting reprieved. But on Alias, that was the end. It was definitely wrapping, come what may.
It wasn’t so hard for me, because with Angel there was such a small group of us. There were the five main cast-members, and we were all so close and we were there every day. With Alias, there were so many people I didn’t ever have a scene with, just because of the way the storylines worked out. I think it was perhaps a little harder with me on Angel. I knew when I started working on the show that it was probably going to be the last year anyway. It was nice for me just to get to do that character, but for the other people in the cast, I could see that they were going through the same stuff that we had gone through [on Angel].

Were there any words of wisdom you could pass onto fellow cast and crew? Could you tell them that it gets better with time?
No, because I think it’s still sad. On Angel, we were lucky because we really were good friends with the other people on the show. I still see Alexis [Denisof, Wesley] two or three times a month, and Joss, so it’s not been as sad as thinking I’d never see them again. But when you see someone every day, and then only see them twice a month, your relationship changes.

I know Jennifer [Garner] was sad about Alias ending, because she was saying she felt as through she had grown up in front of these people; they were her family. I think probably being the lead of a show like that, that’s done so well, must be really hard.

The pressure has to be there, like it was for Sarah Michelle Gellar after Buffy — and sadly, whatever you do, there are always going to be people looking out for you to fail…
Well, Sarah’s done well with her film career, and Jennifer has already been such a star while she was on Alias. She’s been able to do so many things. I’m sure she will be great.

So what’s next for you?
[With the new baby] I’m going to be mom for a while and see what happens. Then I’ll get back into it some time soon.

But for the time being, concentrating on your family?
Yes, for a little bit. It’s so hard at the beginning without sleep, and all of that stuff. I started working pretty soon after having the first one, but I think I might take a little more time this time.

After you had your first son, was it hard to juggle being a mom with working?
No, I don’t think so. I was still able to be around. But it’s so hard when you’re auditioning and interviewing, and you have only slept three hours a night. You don’t really feel that you’re putting your best self forward.

So, what’s next for you? You’ve played a bookish girl, a warrior, and a villainness — what’s the next challenge?
I think it would be great to play a nice, romantic-comedy type role, the sort with real dialogue. That’s something I haven’t really gotten to do, so far. It’s probably not as fun as getting to kill people and being able to chase monsters and all of that, though!

The other cast have being doing lots of different shows in different genres…
I’ve been talking to Alyson [Hannigan, Willow], who says how much she loves doing How I Met Your Mother. I hope that show does well; it’s great, and she’s so funny on it. Alexis is on it later in the season, and I ended up doing a little spot on it in one of the same episodes as him. He’s much funnier than I am. I’m not sure that comedy is my forte, but it was really fun to do.

Would comedy not interest you, then?
I would love to do it. Anything — maybe just a different genre. Not that Angel and Alias are the same genre, but they have a similar appeal.

There’s a definite overlap.
I love doing all of the genre stuff, but it just would be nice to play a realistic, normal girl for a minute.

Have you had any contact with any Alias fans?
I really haven’t. I haven’t left Los Angeles since I’ve been on the show. Actually, the flight attendant on the way over here was an Alias fan, and he was talking to me about it — but that was the first person I think I’ve spoken to about the show.

Would you expect the show to attract a different sort of fan?
You know, I don’t know. I’ve made the mistake of reading the Television Without Pity resumes — I get mad at my husband when he looks at them. I tell him he should never read those things because you only remember the bad things that people say. But it does seem, reading the stuff online, that half the people watched Angel, and the other half are saying, “Who’s Fred? Why are you saying this stuff about Fred being a bad guy?”

The internet can be a breeding ground for unpleasantness — but it can be just a vocal minority. It can be a mistake to listen to those people…
You just have to think, who knows who that person could be? And, you shouldn’t put so much importance on it.

What did you bring away from Angel that you took to Alias?
I think being able to play Illyria and the character being so different towards the end was really helpful in getting to do this part, because Kelly was so different from Fred. I didn’t get to do too many actual aliases, but the ones I did get to do were fun, just getting to switch off between characters.

Did you get many chances to get into disguise?
Not really. I was more of a mental bad guy, plotting things for other people to do.

In terms of returning to the part, what’s the latest situation on the Illyria TV movie? Has there been any movement on that you’re aware of?
I think that has been nixed now. It was not ever going to be just an Illyria TV movie — it was going to be Spike with Illyria. They were going to try to do a Spike, and a Faith, and a Willow movie, and release them. I think they didn’t really come up with enough money to do them in a way that Joss thought they should have been done. So, I think they have been postponed… forever.

But if someone got the money together and wanted to make them in five years time, would you still go back?
I don’t know.

For some people, it’s a comfortable suit to put back on; for others, going back to a part like that is trying to get into a suit you’ve grown out of…
I don’t know how I’d feel. It would depend on what was happening and if Joss was doing it. Any opportunity to work with him, I would take in a heartbeat.

So with some time on your hands, what shows are you watching?
My current favourite TV show, the one I’m not obsessed with right now, is a HBO show called Big Love. It’s quite bizarre, but the acting is incredible. It’s about this polygamist family — this man, Bill Paxton, has three wives, with Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny, and Ginnifer Goodwin as the wives. It’s a great cast, and the acting is so good. It’s really fun to watch because it’s so bizarre. Somehow you just buy into the fact that it’s okay for him to have three wives.

Looking back now, what’s your favourite episode of Angel?
Probably “A Hole in the World.” It was so emotional. Joss was doing it, and doing all those scenes with Alexis. I was always hoping that he would get to be the next James Bond!

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