The romance between Buffy Summers and the vampire Angel is arguably one of the most iconic in television history. According to one Buffy the Vampire Slayer star, it wasn't supposed to exist. Joss Whedon created Buffy the Vampire Slayer. According to James Marsters, who played Buffy's other vampire love interest, Spike, Whedon wanted vampires in the show to be ugly cannon fodder. Someone else had to talk Whedon into the Buffy and Angel romance. During an episode of Michael Rosenbaum's Inside of You podcast, Marsters said, "Joss felt that vampires should be ugly, they should be very quickly overcome, and they were not supposed to be sexy. He said, 'I don't like that Anne Rice crap.' He got talked into one romantic interest vampire - that was Angel - it wasn't his idea. That was the only one, that was the exception."
This feeling contributed to Whedon's frustration at Spike's popularity upon joining the show in its second season. "I came along, and I wasn't designed to be a romantic character, but then the audience reacted that way to it," Marsters said. "And I remember he backed me up against a wall one day and he was just like, 'I don't care how popular you are, kid, you're dead. You hear me? Dead. Dead!' And I was just like, 'Uh, you know, it's your football, man. OK.'"
Whedon eventually got over both his hangups about vampire romances and Spike's popularity. Angel becomes Buffy's big romance throughout the first three seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer until the character left Sunnydale to headline his own Los Angeles-set spinoff show.
Marsters played Spike as the villain in the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. After that, he continued to guest star in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel until Whedon made him a series regular on Buffy during its fourth season. He remained a part of the cast until the series ended and became a part of Angel's cast during that show's final season.
But Masters also notes that Whedon was not joking during that intense altercation about Spike's popularity, and says that Whedon never apologized for it even after bringing Marsters back. It's the latest accounting of a pattern of bad behind-the-scenes behavior on Whedon's part.
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