Angel Season Three DVD featurette (Region 2, Disc 3)
Executive producer: David Naylor
Writers-editors: Lisa Hancock, Edward Yost
Field producer: Jorge Romero
Line producer: Nancy Naylor
Camera: Maury Dahlen
Audio: Al Alonso, Steve Bryan, Mike Sakaniwa
Make-up: Joannel Clemente
Production coordinator: Cory Williams
Copyright 2002 Fox Home Entertainment
Transcript and video clip by chasa at DearOne.net (transcribing and encoding was time-consuming, so please do not redistribute)
Note: I haven't attempted to transcribe or list all of the Darla-centric scenes or snippets that are shown during the featurette, just the interview comments. And nope, I won't be encoding the entire featurette...you'll have to buy the DVD set!
[Montage of Darla moments set to Angel theme song]
Mere Smith: Julie Benz is *amazing*.
Tim Minear: Everyone's interested in Julie Benz.
J. August Richards: To watch her work is like acting class all over again.
David Boreanaz: Her energy is really a beautiful ball of energy and that transcends to the character that she brings to life.
[Title screen -- Darla: Deliver Us From Evil]
Julie Benz: I have a process that I work from, as an actor, but in a way I feel Darla just kind of possesses me...it's this weird...I can't describe it...in a way, it's that weird magical thing that happens with actors and the right part. I mean, before every episode and every take, I have what I call the "oh, shit" factor -- which is, "Oh, shit, (she laughs) I'm gonna get fired," like, they're gonna realize I don't know what I'm doing! And then, you know, the cameras roll, and they yell "action," and magic happens.
[Scene from Offspring where Darla arrives in L.A. on the bus]
Julie: I try to stay away from playing her as just plain evil because in her eyes, she's not evil...um, in her eyes she's, you know, what she's doing, she does for fun...you cross her path, she makes a game out of it...but it's ultimately about survival, and it's about what she has to do in order to survive, and she just happens to have to kill people to survive.
[Scene from first Buffy episode, Welcome to the Hellmouth]
Julie: Well, when I first started playing Darla, originally, you know, I did the pilot...and she was just Vampire Girl, she didn't even have a name...no history...I was supposed to die. Darla came to be because of Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt really liking me as an actor and liking what I was bringing to this Vampire Girl and then developing her from there. Darla on Buffy was first seen as a Catholic schoolgirl vampire...you know, she had to blend in with the high school kids and things like that, and she was very almost bubble gummy.
[Scene with Darla and the Master underground in Sunnydale]
Julie: But she grew into this whole dark, sexual being we were able to explore more on Angel. We've lightly touched on Darla's past in the episode titled Darla, and we've shown that she was in colonial Virginia in the 1600s, and she was a prostitute. So, obviously she did not have the easiest life, and I envision her maybe being orphaned and living on the streets, and doing whatever she can to survive...and of course prostitution. I don't think very many people were kind to her...um, I don't think she had the easiest childhood, it wasn't like she had parents and a normal family, all that stuff, no. I don't think she had much love, either. I think she was very damaged. And then dying of syphilis is not really the most graceful way to exit life. (she laughs) So, that was also dealing with the illness and everything, um, very difficult for her as well...so, I think this was a young person who was dealt a bad hand. And that's why she was so willing, when the Master came in, to seek savior in him.
[Scene of the Master turning Darla in Virginia]
Julie: Darla waited a long time to make herself a mate. She searched a long time to find the one person that she thought she could spend eternity with. And she found Angel. But there's also a whole mother-son element to it, as well, because she sired him and taught him how to be evil and be a vampire and, you know, I made him who he is. I cursed him, as some people would say, or I gave him eternal life. Either way, I'm responsible for why he is here today. So, there's a responsibility on his part and a love that's deeper than a love you have for a lover. Since then, she's never sired anybody else either, so there's obviously...in her eyes, Angel is her soulmate. *Not* so true for Angel (she laughs), obviously! But to Darla, Angel is her soulmate and will forever be her soulmate, and will forever be the one person that can greatly affect her.
David Boreanaz: It's definitely a dark connection to his past, and what he shares with Darla as far as him being sired by Darla back in the 1700s and her appearing once again, in a form of manipulation.
[Darla and Angel scene from the end of Reprise]
David Greenwalt: At the end of Season Two, Joss Whedon and Tim Minear and myself were out to lunch and...(something unintelligible)...what the hell are we gonna do for Season Three? And Joss hit on the idea right away and said, "What if Darla comes back pregnant?"
[Scene of pregnant Darla from end of Heartthrob]
Tim Minear: Actually, I wanted to kill her off last year, and Joss wouldn't let me. At the end of Reprise, which was in Season Two, where Angel comes home to find Darla there, and they end up gettin' it on, I wanted him at the end of that erotic encounter to stake her...but Joss was not ready to get rid of Julie and Darla's character.
Julie: I left halfway through Season Two. Darla ran off, never to be seen or heard from again...and eight and a half months later, she pops up in this bar in Nicaragua, and you're not sure what's going on with her, I mean she looks a little...not right.
David Boreanaz: What we find is that she's pregnant (he laughs)...with his child, so that changes the whole scope of everything from the start of Season Three to the end of Season Three, and where it brings us today.
David Greenwalt: And Darla pregnant is just...is just too beautiful. Cause here's this tough, murderous, wonderfully witty character carrying around this baby.
Mere Smith: She is pregnant by Angel. We figured it was just about the right time for the bun in the oven to be ready to come out.
Julie: She's carrying this baby, and doesn't really know what it is.
David Greenwalt: She's *wicked* pissed.
Skip Schoolnik: The baby really messes her up.
[Angel and Darla scene from the end of Offspring]
Julie: For many reasons, it has a soul, and that's the most disgusting thing to her...is that she's feeling this soul, and she can't handle that.
Skip Schoolnik: She's very torn -- her psyche is very torn because love is not an emotion she's ever experienced. And all of the sudden she's having these feelings, and she can't relate to them and she doesn't really understand them, but she knows they're so.
Julie: And she's tried to get rid of it, seeing shamans and traveling around trying to do everything to get rid of this life, and the Powers That Be are protecting it -- or something's protecting it -- and she can't get rid of it.
[Rooftop scene from Lullaby]
Julie: The soul really starts affecting her.
David Greenwalt: Although she does not have a soul, she now has one growing inside of her. This thing turns her good -- the idea that all the evil, all the terrible things that she and Angel did for so many years, that there's some...they did this one good thing.
Julie: And she actually starts loving this life that's inside of her.
Tim Minear: Any kind of feelings she was have(ing), it was really the soul of the baby, that she was the temporary host for, and once that baby was delivered, she would revert to her evil self and kill that baby.
[More rooftop from Lullaby]
Charisma Carpenter: Now she knows what it's like to be good, and the only reason why she knows what it's like to be good is because this child, this being, this soul is inside of her. But once that soul has left, then she'll be back to evil and she'll try to kill it, and she didn't want to do that.
Julie: And she decides not to let that happen, and to instead kill herself...(be)cause in her eyes, this is the greatest thing she's ever done in her life. It was such a beautiful script, because it was really a beautiful end to an amazing character. For her to finally redeem herself, in the last twenty minutes...was, just...it blew me away, I think it blew the audience away. You know, for so long, I've heard people say how much they hated her, and how they just wished she would die...and then when Darla finally *does* die, all the sudden people were really saddened by it.
Charisma Carpenter: It was a *tremendous* thing to do story wise. I mean, she's been with us since the pilot on Buffy, you know, and she's been with us throughout...and here we are in essentially -- with these producers, in this story line with her -- six years. So it's a long time, so to kill off a character like that is, you know, groundbreaking, actually.
David Boreanaz: She may creep back into the next season, you never know, with flashbacks and what not, but, um...she's sorely missed now.
Mere Smith: I think she's dead. I think she's dead dead dead. We've like, killed her three times. I figure, y'know, one of them's gotta take.
Jeffrey Bell: Nobody's ever really really really dead, but I feel like that story's pretty played out. You know, I think it was really mined for all it's worth.
Tim Minear: Very early on in the year as we were breaking the story arc, we talked about, you know, "The Birth." Scott and I sort of came up with this idea simultaneously that it would be interesting if she was dusted and gave birth at the same time. And the way the midwife or the doctor helped deliver the baby was he just staked her and there was a baby on a...and Joss of course took that to the next cool place, which was, she should to it to herself.
[Darla death scene from Lullaby]
Julie: Shooting that death scene was really...no acting required, really...knowing that, you know, this was it, and to say goodbye to her...and she's been such a part of me for so long, and such a joy to play. And it's not just about leaving the character -- it's also about leaving the family, to say goodbye to everybody...I get emotional just thinking about it! (she laughs) Oh, God! (watch a video clip of this segment; AVI format, DivX 5.0.3 or higher needed for viewing)
[Closing montage of Darla moments with theme song]