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Connor A failure of the actor or simply a failure of writing ?

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  • Connor A failure of the actor or simply a failure of writing ?

    Ok so Connor is considered universally as a failure as a character. Even the Actor has come out and said he hated the role and that the writers shot him down on all ideas he had for the character.
    So it got me thinking could a different actor have made the role better or was it simply the writing. As VK said, he pretty much did the same scene over and over again .
    So who is most to blame the writers or the actor ?

  • #2
    All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.



    * Angel couldn't actually do Angel/Darla and it couldn't actually do Angel/Cordelia. Connor is the result of Angel's having sex with Darla not caring or actively wanting to 'revert' to 'Angelus'.

    It was almost impossible to make Connor a well-liked character.

    Imagine Dawn's popularity if she were the result of Buffy having sex with Xander.


    * For the few Angel/Cordelia 'shippers, Cordelia/Connor wasn't helpful to Connor's popularity. So, that was the writing. But, overall, Connor's an interesting character.


    * Ultimately, you couldn't do too much with The Destroyer without hurting the eponymous star of the TV series. Somehow, a barely ambulatory Angel is able to toss Connor around when the previous year Connor easily beat the entire Fang Gang all at once.


    * I don't know if another actor could have done a better job with Connor. The only reason David Boreanaz has a career is because he had perfect chemistry with Sarah Michelle Gellar for what Buffy/Angel was. Nothing was said that David even read with Sarah.

    Marc Blucas wasn't well cast as Riley Finn, but I don't know if Joss Whedon and the casting director/s could have foresaw SMG/James Marsters chemistry in "Something Blue" (B 4.09).


    * Finally, Connor's story is relatively good until Angel & Faith S10. And Vincent K. was 'axed' partly to make room for James Marsters and his and David Boreanaz's salaries.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MikeB View Post
      All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.



      * Angel couldn't actually do Angel/Darla and it couldn't actually do Angel/Cordelia. Connor is the result of Angel's having sex with Darla not caring or actively wanting to 'revert' to 'Angelus'.

      It was almost impossible to make Connor a well-liked character.

      Imagine Dawn's popularity if she were the result of Buffy having sex with Xander.


      * For the few Angel/Cordelia 'shippers, Cordelia/Connor wasn't helpful to Connor's popularity. So, that was the writing. But, overall, Connor's an interesting character.


      * Ultimately, you couldn't do too much with The Destroyer without hurting the eponymous star of the TV series. Somehow, a barely ambulatory Angel is able to toss Connor around when the previous year Connor easily beat the entire Fang Gang all at once.


      * I don't know if another actor could have done a better job with Connor. The only reason David Boreanaz has a career is because he had perfect chemistry with Sarah Michelle Gellar for what Buffy/Angel was. Nothing was said that David even read with Sarah.

      Marc Blucas wasn't well cast as Riley Finn, but I don't know if Joss Whedon and the casting director/s could have foresaw SMG/James Marsters chemistry in "Something Blue" (B 4.09).


      * Finally, Connor's story is relatively good until Angel & Faith S10. And Vincent K. was 'axed' partly to make room for James Marsters and his and David Boreanaz's salaries.
      Angel was just the boyfriend on BtVS but for Angel the show they switched him into an action hero. Which is pretty much the same role he does now for Seals. It doesn't require a huge amount of acting just the ability to look the part. Obviously on Angel they (well Tim Minear) did make the character more 3 dimensional with layers but Boreanaz while his acting improved was always limited. Thankfully Glenn Quinn then Alexis Denisof (And JM for S5) could act.

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      • #4
        I have answered your last question only for season 5 of Angel and I have to do the same now:

        i like Connor. A lot. I like VK as Connor. I love how Connor asks Angel "Have you ever written a resume?" and then shows up telling him there must be an apocalypse waiting. I neither think the actor failed nor do I think the writers failed with regard to Connor. But I have only ever seen Connor in season 5. I haven't seen him sleeping with Cordy. I might see things differently, if I had.

        flow
        ................................ Banner by buffylover

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        • #5
          Ok so Connor is considered universally as a failure as a character.
          Is that so? To me he's just "meh" - I've no strong feelings either way (that said, I quite liked Connor in S5 and the comics). I don't like him as Pete in Mad Men - but that's because I don't like Pete. I'm presuming I'm not on my own in this? Is that a failure of the character?

          Even the Actor has come out and said he hated the role and that the writers shot him down on all ideas he had for the character.
          I have a tendency to ignore what actors say and just go with what I see on screen.
          sigpic

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          • #6
            I have to disagree with the original post because I adore Connor, he is one of my favourite characters of the verse. I'm immensely looking forward to rewatching S4 (it's getting closer!! ). When I first watched AtS I found him really compelling to watch as considering the influences on his behaviour, the traumas he has lived through and the choices he makes through S3-5 (and then on in the comics) in context of that and his current situations is fascinating to me. I only recently heard that VK disliked the character and was frustrated with the writing and having his suggestions ignored but that doesn't affect my feelings towards the writing or character one bit.

            I've only just finished S4 of Mad Men (and am unspoiled for the rest), but I find Pete interesting to watch in that too. I don't like him much at all, but he does intrigue me. I haven't seen VK in anything else that I can think of so I don't know what I think of his acting overall, but Connor I adore.
            to be returned...

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            • #7
              I always felt sorry for poor Connor. He was groomed by a psychopath to kill his own father. He was completely brainwashed, lied to and treated more like a project than a human child. Not only that, but he was raised in a hell dimension where everything was constantly trying to kill him. There is really no wonder he turned out the way he did. Once he gets back to Angel, he's used again by Holtz and 'Cordy' to further their schemes. His father does little to help him, and eventually gives up on him completely and simply wipes his memory.

              As for Vincent Kartheiser, I have mixed feelings about him. I don't think he was right for the role and I think it needed someone more charismatic, so even if he was one note, you couldn't help but be drawn in by him an feel sympathy for him. I have also read what he said about AtS and his time on the show and he was incredibly honest, which I appreciate, but he also came across as incredibly charmless. I think it's that lack of charm that let him down on the show, rather than simply just his acting ability.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Priceless View Post
                I always felt sorry for poor Connor. He was groomed by a psychopath to kill his own father. He was completely brainwashed, lied to and treated more like a project than a human child. Not only that, but he was raised in a hell dimension where everything was constantly trying to kill him. There is really no wonder he turned out the way he did. Once he gets back to Angel, he's used again by Holtz and 'Cordy' to further their schemes. His father does little to help him, and eventually gives up on him completely and simply wipes his memory.

                As for Vincent Kartheiser, I have mixed feelings about him. I don't think he was right for the role and I think it needed someone more charismatic, so even if he was one note, you couldn't help but be drawn in by him an feel sympathy for him. I have also read what he said about AtS and his time on the show and he was incredibly honest, which I appreciate, but he also came across as incredibly charmless. I think it's that lack of charm that let him down on the show, rather than simply just his acting ability.
                This.

                I didn't hate Connor, I found him sympathetic and tragic. But he also wasn't a favorite of mine, unlike some other semi-antagonistic characters, like pre-redemption Faith or Darla.
                Someone said that VK was miscast and that they should have found someone very charismatic and attractive, the way you'd expect from a child of Darla and Angel. And that's when it hit me that, yes, VK is a good actor, but he doesn't have a great deal of charm - in fact, he tends to be the best suited for roles of characters you kind of want to punch in the face (Pete on Mad Men).
                If the actor had made the character more appealing, he could have been a fan favorite in spite of everything he did. People even call him whiny and annoying, when he had every reason to be screwed up the way he did. Look at characters like Loki or Kylo Ren, who can be described in similar terms (whiny manchild who hates his father - this is how haters see Connor) but who have far, far less justification with their (not so) "tragic" backstory, and who have done far, far worse things than Connor ever did, yet fans adore them.
                You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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                • #9
                  I think charisma would have been a failing quality in Connor because he is broken and a great deal of that shows in how void he is of social abilities and emotional intelligence because of the abusive background that he has had. How tragic and bleak his story is and how he has been abused is reflected in the negative behavioural results. I don't find Connor especially attractive and I'm glad that doesn't play a factor in why I like the character so much to be honest. If there was a physical charm to him it would, for me, undermine the draw to the character that is from all that he has experienced. One of the things that I like about what I like about him is that it is so focused on the cause and effect without an emotional draw to him for reasons beyond his story and experience. I can see that it could have made him more easily likeable and popular but it would have made him less fascinating to me.
                  to be returned...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by flow View Post
                    I have answered your last question only for season 5 of Angel and I have to do the same now:

                    i like Connor. A lot. I like VK as Connor. I love how Connor asks Angel "Have you ever written a resume?" and then shows up telling him there must be an apocalypse waiting. I neither think the actor failed nor do I think the writers failed with regard to Connor. But I have only ever seen Connor in season 5. I haven't seen him sleeping with Cordy. I might see things differently, if I had.

                    flow
                    Will you ever watch the rest of Angel. Certainly not watching the Crossovers like In The Dark and 5by5 and Sanctuary really hurts the story for Spike and Faith in Angel S1/Buffy S4

                    - - - Updated - - -

                    Originally posted by TriBel View Post
                    Is that so? To me he's just "meh" - I've no strong feelings either way (that said, I quite liked Connor in S5 and the comics). I don't like him as Pete in Mad Men - but that's because I don't like Pete. I'm presuming I'm not on my own in this? Is that a failure of the character?



                    I have a tendency to ignore what actors say and just go with what I see on screen.
                    I agree with you about the S5, not the comics as I don't really count them anymore and besides no actor.
                    Any way this is what he said specifically

                    The Scanner: Speaking of Angel, you played a fairly divisive character on that series as well—Angel’s sullen offspring Connor. Were you aware of the strong feelings that character generated?

                    Kartheiser: I knew people were reacting really strongly to Connor, but I didn’t know why because I didn’t know the show’s history. To me, the character lost its thrill about four episodes in. From there on out I felt like I was doing the same scene over and over and over. Every week I’d show up and have a scene with Cordelia, then Angel would show up and I’d have some sort of conflict with him. There’d be a couple of fight scenes where I’d fight with them even though I didn’t want to and then I would sulk and leave. That to me was every episode. Ultimately, they wrote him into a corner. There was nowhere for him to go. I think the majority of the fans really hated Conner and really hated me and getting me off the show was the highest priority. And I don’t blame them.

                    The Scanner: What’s been the biggest difference between making Angel and Mad Men?

                    Kartheiser: There was a real sense on Angel that people were just doing a job. The grips, the DP, even the directors would kind of just show up, do their job and go home. On Mad Men, people really love the show and it means something to them. Every DP we’ve had has worked their ass off, we see directors we won’t be working with for two weeks walking around the set setting up shots and all of the actors come in prepared. People really care about this project. Not to say we didn’t care about Angel, but there was a sense we could do no wrong. We had our audience and regardless of what we did, we were going to keep that audience. On Mad Men we also have Matthew Weiner on set all the time whereas Joss [Whedon] was hardly ever on Angel. I think Joss was doing Firefly at that point and was in love with his next project. I had a friend who filmed a few episodes in the first season of Angel and said everyone was invested and there was crazy energy, so maybe I just came into it late. I let them know right off the bat that some of the choices they were making [about Conner] were wrong. I showed up to play that character and I had a lot of ideas. And they didn’t like any of those ideas. That’s okay, I’m in the business of having my ideas rejected. But after about 7 or 8 episodes of coming in with ideas and realizing it just didn’t matter, I became really complacent and jaded and angry at the project. I felt like it wasn’t a collaboration, that the people I was working with didn’t care to take risks. Some actors were able to find risks in there. If you look at Amy Acker, she just did an incredible job; she came onto that show with a developed character and stayed with it. She took a big risk and succeeded and I admired that.

                    The Scanner: Was it in part because of your experience on Angel that you chose Mad Men over another sci-fi series like Heroes or Jericho?

                    Kartheiser: That was more with Heroes because I don’t know if Jericho is that sci-fi. I was never a fan of Buffy, I’ll say it straight out. I was never a fan of Angel. I always found it hard to say Joss’ words. And that’s not a knock on Joss. I just don’t think I ever understood the show and my performance suffered because of that. They did the right thing by removing me. Then Spike came in the next year and he gave the show the shot in the arm it needed. That’s what they hired me for and I failed. So I didn’t blame that at all for wanting to try something new. I think it was a relief for me and for them.

                    - - - Updated - - -

                    Originally posted by Stoney View Post
                    I have to disagree with the original post because I adore Connor, he is one of my favourite characters of the verse. I'm immensely looking forward to rewatching S4 (it's getting closer!! ). When I first watched AtS I found him really compelling to watch as considering the influences on his behaviour, the traumas he has lived through and the choices he makes through S3-5 (and then on in the comics) in context of that and his current situations is fascinating to me. I only recently heard that VK disliked the character and was frustrated with the writing and having his suggestions ignored but that doesn't affect my feelings towards the writing or character one bit.

                    I've only just finished S4 of Mad Men (and am unspoiled for the rest), but I find Pete interesting to watch in that too. I don't like him much at all, but he does intrigue me. I haven't seen VK in anything else that I can think of so I don't know what I think of his acting overall, but Connor I adore.
                    Lol I'm only on S1 of Mad Men so please don't spoil me

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                    • #11
                      BtVS fan

                      From there on out I felt like I was doing the same scene over and over and over. Every week I’d show up and have a scene with Cordelia, then Angel would show up and I’d have some sort of conflict with him.
                      Yes - it's called repetition. BtVS and Angel are both heavily invested in repetition and the return of the repressed - history repeating itself. It's more obvious in Connor because his story is so compressed - he ages 18 years in a matter of months - Angel/Spike have been the same age for hundreds of years. Their stories would be just as tedious and repetitive if they weren't spread out in story time and real time.

                      BTW, the eye-rolling's directed at VK - not you!

                      I just don’t think I ever understood the show and my performance suffered because of that.
                      I didn't think his performance was bad but I agree he probably didn't understand the underlying themes.
                      Last edited by TriBel; 09-09-19, 09:44 AM.
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        Would any director/producer hire Vincent Kartheiser to give a show a 'shot in the arm'? I'm not sure VK has a lot of self-awareness about his own abilities. I also think that if you are the director/writer/producer of an established show with a vision of what that show is, having a new actor constantly coming to you with ideas would be the most maddening thing in the world. Especially when he admits he doesn't like the Buffyverse and doesn't understand Joss Whedon's work.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Priceless View Post
                          Would any director/producer hire Vincent Kartheiser to give a show a 'shot in the arm'? I'm not sure VK has a lot of self-awareness about his own abilities. I also think that if you are the director/writer/producer of an established show with a vision of what that show is, having a new actor constantly coming to you with ideas would be the most maddening thing in the world. Especially when he admits he doesn't like the Buffyverse and doesn't understand Joss Whedon's work.
                          To be fair if your doing 20 hour days on what's basically the same scene over and over again it must get a bit frustrating and boring

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post
                            To be fair if your doing 20 hour days on what's basically the same scene over and over again it must get a bit frustrating and boring
                            Agree, it must be incredibly difficult, but that's VK's reading of the scenes. A better actor may have found more nuance, or acted more nuance between those scenes. He may have changed his tone, his inflection, added something more or taken something away, given more of himself, or pulled back more, played the character in a way that was perhaps not on the page, but was true to the dialogue. Even a one-note villain played by a good actor, can bring something new to a scene every time, even though those scenes are essentially the same.

                            Connor is an interesting character, new to the world, groomed to be a killer, trapped between two fathers (three by S5) There's a lot there in terms of character psychology for an actor to work with. The dialogue isn't bad, and in many cases it's very good. I still feel a better actor could have bought more to it.

                            I also wonder, instead of VK going to the writer/director/producer to discuss his feelings about the character, he should have just acted him the way he wanted, and let those people see it for themselves. If it came across well on film, they would have perhaps kept it and encouraged him to do more.

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                            • #15
                              It really does come across as him not gelling well with the show personally and I think the directors did a great job with him if he didn't get the character himself, which clearly he didn't, because I adore him. It isn't the same scene over and over because the external context is also part of it all and if he is stuck and limited in how he can interact and respond to people who are connecting with each other and the world around them then that's part of the character's story. There's just a real lack of understanding there that's the issue I think. Consequently I can imagine that his suggestions were entirely out of step with what they were looking for and just plain wouldn't have worked. That he didn't even like the shows himself can't have helped him 'get' the character or his story. Interesting to read but it doesn't impact how I see the show/character at all, I'm just glad they didn't take his ideas on board.

                              It seems somewhat destructive to me to openly criticise like that too. Bridges possible were burnt at the time but it would be quite off-putting to hire him for a different project reading comments like that I think.
                              to be returned...

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