Anthony Head explains how "Buffy" will see the dark side. Buffy's watcher says
the WB doesn't understand the show's fan base
by Liane Bonin
Giles, the world's
stuffiest librarian, in
drag? "Buffy the Vampire
Slayer" star Anthony
Stewart Head surprised
some fans late last year
by donning Dr.
on the VH1 tribute
"Rocky Horror 25: The
Anniversary Special." Despite that sartorial
transgression, he's still EW's favorite snob: In
naming "Buffy" one of the 10 best TV shows
of the year, EW TV critic Ken Tucker raved
that "the guy gets more laughs out of
prissiness these days than Frasier and Niles
Off screen, Head, 46, is no fussy stick in the
mud. To prove it, the former Taster's Choice
pitchman talked to EW.com about Giles' love
life, the new direction "Buffy" is taking, and
how he mastered tromping around in stiletto
Hey, you don't sound like Giles! What
happened to the posh accent?
I'm kind of a long way from Giles in a lot of
ways, which people realize when I walk in the
door with my earring and my jeans and
everything. But over the years, Giles has
gotten a little closer to me, becoming a little
hipper and a little funkier.
So, fess up. When is Giles getting a new
girlfriend? He hasn't exactly been lucky in
I'm constantly getting asked about it, and I'm
very flattered. But the problem they found
with my last girlfriend Olivia (Phina Oruche)
was that she was normal. What do you do
with that? She couldn't join the gang, and to
kill off another girlfriend (like the ill fated
teacher Jenny Calendar, played by Robia
LaMorte) would be too cruel to Giles. I think
he'd end up in the loony bin. But I'm going to
pass the suggestion on to Joss.
In its fifth season, "Buffy" is up 12
percent among adults 18 to 34. Do many
grownup "Buffy" junkies approach you?
Yes, but they always say that they like the
show in a slightly hesitant way, slightly
embarrassed. "I know I'm not supposed to,
but I watch 'Buffy.'" And it's like, it's all right,
man! You're not alone!
Is it frustrating when people refer to
"Buffy" as a teen show?
It's never been marketed as what it is,
because it has a truly universal appeal.
Though the teen thing has done very well for
the WB, I think they have to widen their
horizons. At a photo shoot once I asked an
executive, 'Are you looking to expand our
audience?' And he looked at me pointedly and
said, "Well, we're now looking at ways to
attract more women in their 40s." And I just
thought, I'm not saying a word. That's not
about looking at the big picture. Look at what
you have, not what you think you have.
How have you been coping with the fan
reaction to the show's newest cast
member, Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg)?
People got so pissed about the sister, Dawn!
And even my publicist was calling me saying,
"What's going on? This is horrible!" And I told
her, just wait, it's cool, something will
happen. Because I didn't want to spoil it,
since it's such a great concept.
This season Buffy seems to be exploring
her dark side and her connection to the
first slayer. Will this change the tone of
Joss wanted this season to be about the id,
about finding out what makes you tick. It's
the next step after that "Yeah, alcohol!" part
of growing up. And that's something that you
go on learning. I'm still hanging in there.
Last season, Giles serenaded us with a
bluesy rendition of "Behind Blue Eyes." Is
his musical side going to emerge further?
That represented the climax of his midlife
crisis, so it's kind of done its thing. Joss
hasn't proclaimed either way on it. But I have
been approached by a little independent
record label that wants to put me and George
Sarah, who's written a few songs for our
show and "Angel," together for an electronic
music album. I've written a bit and we've
compared notes and it looks great.
Your family [girlfriend Sarah Fisher and
his two young daughters] still lives in
England. That's one hell of a commute.
Yes, and I don't get back often enough. But
the kids absolutely love the show. The times
when we've talked about maybe me leaving
they've said, "Oh my God, no, you can't, you
can't!" It's very hard, because they're
growing up and Sarah has raised them as a
single mother for six, seven years now. At
some point, I will have to go and spend some
time in England. But we shall see.
Isn't your brother Murray Head, the guy
who sang 1984's "One Night In Bangkok?"
Yes, he is. He's living in Paris now. I saw him
a few months back, and I know he wrote and
starred in a film in France. But to be honest I
don't know what he's doing.
For seven years you did those soap opera
Taster's Choice commercials with Sarah
Maughan. Do you even drink the stuff?
No, I don't. But I still get recognized from the
ads. It's always, "Do I know you?" Because I
wasn't an actor in a show and you didn't see
my name, I was just this person in people's
Having starred in the London stage
production of "The Rocky Horror Picture
Show" in 1991, was it a thrill to get back
into your Frank-N-Furter costume for
I got an extremely warm reception, which
surprised me because I wouldn't have thought
that many people would know my work from
eight, 10 years ago. In London, my Frank was
much more demonic than any of the Franks
that went before. I liked the challenge of
finding something different in the character.
Instead of wearing green scrubs, I came out
in a 1950s high waisted nurse's gown with a
pillbox hat. I just had fun with it.
How hard was it getting around in those
I'd seen countless Franks in very clumsy,
stacked heels and platforms, and I wanted to
be very mobile, so I had these 3 1/2 inch
pointy black patent leather ankle boots.
Because they supported my ankle I could leap
around like an idiot. And I did.