Even as a small child, Buffy writer/creator/executive producer Joss
Whedon knew his interest in super heroes, horror stories and other
twisted tales was out of the ordinary. ''It was deeper, more consuming
than [with] other children,'' he says. ''While they were outside playing,
I was indoors, fascinated by a large stack of comic books.''
Whedon is an old boy of Winchester public school. Now, he has an
impressive list of writing credits that include Alien: Resurrection,
Speed, Toy Story and of course, the 1992 film, Buffy The Vampire
Whedon studied film at Wesleyan in Connecticut, where he graduated
''broke and without a job prospect ... I wanted to write for TV,
so I wrote a sickening number of TV specs, most of which were returned
to me.'' After a year of sending his work around, he found success
with a script he wrote for Roseanne. A year later, he quit the show
after selling a movie script.
Whedon takes the horror genre very seriously. His favourite description
of Buffy is My So-Called Life meets The X-Files. ''Basically,
Buffy has all the classic, very cool monsters: vampires, werewolves
and mummies,'' he says. ''She is a good role model for not just
girls but for everybody, because she has to use her wits and her
physical strength to win. Yet, she still has to get high marks in
all her courses at school.''
He says his storyline inspiration for Buffy involves not only his
own experiences in school, but the universal woes of others. ''When
I get together with my writing team, I ask them 'What was your favourite
horror movie? What is the most embarrassing thing that ever happened
to you? Now, how can we combine the two?''
Season 4 will take Buffy and the gang to University, with adult
challenges and yes, some more scary monsters. Whedon is pretty optimistic
that the show's formula can translate to this grown-up milieu: "College
opens up a whole new wealth of problems to look at and our characters'
relationships are always in flux." He is of course also hard at
work on the new spin-off show, 'Angel', directing the pilot and
overseeing the script. With 'Angel' having already started in the
US, it won't be long before we find out whether the talented Mr
Whedon has another huge hit on his hands. As Tony Head said, "It's
only a matter of time before we lose him to the cinema."
Read BBC Online's exclusive interview with Joss.
All images are copyright
2000 20th Century Fox.
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Anthony Stewart Head
Exclusive interview with Joss