The Avengers director Joss Whedon was once hailed as one of the most popular storytellers in Hollywood, but his reputation has nosedived over the past couple of years due to mounting allegations of toxic behavior leveled against him. Things reached a peak earlier this year after Buffy the Vampire Slayer actress Charisma Carpenter came forward with her troubling experiences on the hit TV series, drawing the support of many of her co-stars like Sarah Michelle Gellar, Michelle Trachtenberg, and others.
During an appearance on Michael Rosenbaum’s podcast Inside of You around this time, James Marsters—who played vampire bad boy Spike—opened up about an altercation he had with Whedon, in which the showrunner pinned him up against a wall and threatened to kill off his character. Having returned to Inside of You for another interview, Marsters has now been asked to elaborate on his comments about this incident. You can see what Masters had to say in the video above.
Rosenbaum asks Marsters whether he was aware of any incidents with other actors, to which the star indicates he was not. However, he did say that “everyone had their own experience, and I’m not going to tell them they didn’t.” As for his own perception of Whedon, Marsters describes him as “a mad wizard”, someone capable of creating “magic” on screen but not somebody that you want to “piss off”.
In contrast to many of his Buffyverse colleagues, Marsters still appears to hold some respect for Whedon and concludes that he believes his short temper came from the pressure he put on himself to create a top-tier TV show. The fact that Whedon did produce something as super-successful as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, not to mention his other works such as Firefly and his Marvel movies, is likely why the truth about his behind-the-scenes behavior never emerged for so long. But these days, quite rightly, creators are being held to account for their wrongs, no matter how good their work is.