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Buffy star James Marsters would have killed off his character Spike 'in a heartbeat'

No need to call Buffy — James Marsters would have personally put a stake through Spike's heart if he'd been in charge of the hit series.

The actor, who starred as the beloved bleach-blond bloodsucker on Buffy the Vampire Slayer from 1997 until 2003, revealed that he would have killed off his character after he noticed that Spike was changing the fan perspective toward the vampires on the show.

"I mean, the whole thing is, how do we get this guy on without having him ruin the theme? If it had been me producing that show, I would have killed Spike off in a heartbeat," he told Radio Times in a new interview to celebrate Buffy's finale turning 20. "As soon as the audience said, 'Oh, we want him. Oh, have him with Buffy. Oh, we love that character.' Like, uh-uh. He's ruining the whole thing. I would have killed me off after probably three episodes."

James Marsters
James Marsters

20th Century Fox Television/Kobal/Shutterstock James Marsters as Spike in 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'

He added, "I'm kind of a bastard when I'm producing! I'm heartless! So I'm very lucky that they had more imagination and courage than I would have shown, frankly."

Marsters made his first appearance as the vitriolic vampire in the supernatural series' second season, joining fellow stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, and Anthony Head. He would later go on to reprise the role in its spin-off Angel.

Earlier in the interview, Marsters admitted that he thought "they never really knew what to do" with his character, who quickly became a fan favorite, or how he should be part of the larger storyline.

"The original idea for Buffy was that vampires were just metaphors for the challenges of high school, or the challenges of life," he explained. "They were designed to be overcome; they were designed to die. Buffy is not an Anne Rice kind of thing, where you're supposed to feel for the vampires. It's why we're hideously ugly when we bite someone. They did not want that to be a sensual kind of thing. It was supposed to be horrific."

Because of this, Marsters said, the decision to keep weaving Spike into the show's longterm arc was "a weird fit."

"They were always, like, coming to me at the beginning of every season saying, 'We don't know what to do with you!'" he recalled. "'We have a plan for the season, we have a plan for all the other characters, we have all the arcs of all the other characters, we just don't know what to do with you again.'"

However, he noted the writers were eventually "able to figure something out" for Spike to do each episode.

"But what it meant was I think that I was plugged into the other arcs," he said. "I was the villain, and then I was the wacky neighbor, and then I was the wrong boyfriend, and then I was the fallen man trying to redeem himself. And then, ultimately, a kind of guinea pig hero by the end."

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