James Marsters is an American actor and musician. Born in California in August of 1962 (yeah, he really is 52 now!), he’s undoubtedly best known for his role as the villain turned anti-hero Spike in the brilliant Joss Whedon shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.
Spike – a bleached blonde, Billy Idol-alike British vampire in a leather duster – was a role Marsters played from 1997 until 2004 and, in spite of being introduced as a bad guy, he quickly became one of the most popular characters in the Buffyverse.
In fact, Marsters was one of the most popular actors in the world of television during his Buffyverse stint and it was easy to imagine him going on to mega-stardom.That hasn’t necessarily been the case, and many are wondering what became of him. He has, in fact, been extremely busy and has done some extremely interesting stuff since 2004.
Given that some of that has been quite low-key and/or brief, there’s every chance you may have missed a lot of it. Here’s an update on Marsters’ work and general activity since his role as Spike came to a climax. These are ten things James Marsters has done since the Buffyverse ended.
James Marsters has always been a keen musician, but his career in music has been more successful since his stint as Spike.
He was the lead singer for the rock band Ghost of the Robot in 2003 and 2004 – a band with which he made an album and toured Europe, selling out everywhere they performed – and launched a solo career later in 2004, which was quickly followed by a tour of the United Kingdom in 2005.
He performed solo for several years until Ghost of the Robot reformed in 2010 and he is still their lead singer to this day.
James Marsters is a very personable and approachable man who is very receptive to and appreciative of his fans.
He regularly appears at fan events and is a bona fide veteran of the convention circuit, indeed having created one of his own – “James Marsters and Friends” – in September of 2006. At that particular event, he interacted with his fans and performed several of what were then his most recent solo music tracks.
Marsters has also appeared at the likes of Wizard World Comic Con, Boston Comic Con, Megacon Orlando, Miracle Day, Supanova Pop Culture Expo, Awesome Con and Angel Convention.
8. Audio Work
James Marsters has a very distinctive and pronounced voice and he has put it to good use in recent years by lending it to a number of audio-based sources.
For example, he narrated the audiobooks for supernatural detective novels The Dresden Files for several years. Such was his success in this particular endeavour, when he was unable to narrate the “Ghost Story” instalment of the series due to a scheduling conflict, there was a public outcry and Dresden Files author Jim Butcher recently had Marsters record it belatedly as a result.
In 2011, Marsters appeared in an L.A. Theatre Works radio production of The Importance of Being Earnest and, in 2012, he also recorded audio books for The Vampire Empire novels.
7. P.S. I Love You
This was the highest-grossing movie that James Marsters has appeared in since his Buffyverse days came to an end – and certainly his highest profile movie, given that his co-stars included the likes of Gerard Butler (300), Lisa Kudrow (Friends), Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry), Kathy Bates (Misery), Gina Gershon (Cocktail) and Harry Connick, Jr. (Hope Floats).
In the movie, Marsters played John McCarthy – husband of Gina Gershon’s Sharon McCarthy – in what was a fairly brief role, but one in which he did himself no harm in a movie that was otherwise critically panned.
6. Dragon Ball Z
A much bigger role for James Marsters came in martial arts adventure Dragonball Evolution – a film that earned even poorer critical acclaim than P.S. I Love You and considerably less in terms of its box office gross.
Marsters portrayed the villainous Lord Piccolo in what was an adaptation of the Japanese manga Dragon Ball that wasn’t really faithful to its source material at all. He was heavily made up for the role and initially had trouble breathing in costume. His performance wasn’t particularly great, but he was involved in some impressive fight scenes with Goku, who was played by Justin Chatwin (War of the Worlds).
James Marsters appeared in another of the biggest and most popular television series of the new millennium after his stint in the Buffyverse shows when he took a part in Smallville. It wasn’t a small part either – Marsters played an adaptation of one of Superman’s most iconic villains; Brainiac AKA Milton Fine.
He appeared in season five, seven and ten, as well as an uncredited voice cameo in season eight. His version of the character was that of a self-aware computer in humanoid form and which had a Kryptonian origin. He was portrayed as a shape shifting AI with physical statistics similar to those of Tom Welling’s Clark Kent, but with additional technology-based abilities, including cloning and technopathy.
James Marsters has appeared in the BBC spin-off of the globally popular Doctor Who, Torchwood. He landed the role after personally contacting the producers of Doctor Who expressing his interest in appearing on the show.
His role was Captain John Hart – a role written with Marsters specifically in mind. Hart was an omnisexual time traveller who played opposite John Barrowman’s Captain Jack Harkness – a character with which Hart had been involved with in the past.
An interesting character, Hart had spent time in rehab for an addiction to alcohol, drugs, sex and murder and many of his personality traits were very similar to his Spike character in the Buffyverse.
3. Got Married
James Marsters had been married prior to his stint as Spike in the Buffyverse – to Liane Davidson, with whom he has a son called Sullivan – from 1989 to 1996, but he remarried in 2011 to former model Patricia Jasmin Rahman (pictured above), who now goes by the name Jasmin Marsters.
The pair married in a civil ceremony in Los Angeles and are still as close as ever. Indeed, they have made plans to work together, with Jasmin having begun to try her hand at screenwriting.
There is a 23 year age gap between the pair, as Marsters was 48 when he married a 25-year-old Jasmin.
2. Played Buzz Aldrin
In a role that went a little bit under the radar, James Marsters portrayed world-renowned astronaut Buzz Aldrin in the 2009 television movie Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11.
The film depicted the story leading up to the Apollo 11 moon landing launch on July the 20th of 1969 and included a lot of actual footage taken during the time period known as the Space Race era.
Other actors in the production included The Walking Dead star Andrew Lincoln – playing fellow astronaut Michael Collins – as it portrayed the points of view of the three different men who took the first steps on the Moon’s surface.
1. Voiced Comic Book Characters
As previously mentioned, James Marsters has a very distinct voice – one that also lends itself well to voicing animated characters – and he has used it in a number of cartoons and animated movies portraying comic book characters in the last few years.
For instance, he voiced Lex Luthor in the 2010 animated movie Superman: Doomsday (in which fellow Buffyverse alumni Adam Baldwin voiced Superman) and he has also voiced the likes of Mister Fantastic and Korvac in various other animated productions.
Additionally, Marsters has also appeared in the likes of Caprica, Hawaii Five-0, Supernatural and Andromeda so, needless to say, he’s still very much active and you should keep your eyes peeled for him. Don’t you think he’d be great in a comic book movie?
Did you enjoy this article? What else do you know James Marsters has done since the Buffyverse ended? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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