Whedon – “Dollhouse Fell Together Really Quickly”

by admin on November 4, 2008

Vice Magazine pick the brain of Joss Whedon in this recent interview. Here are the Dollhousesque bits: 

The more I research you the more I fall into these wormholes. You’re so anti-linearly prolific. How do you know when to pursue an idea and when to let it go?They kind of decide for themselves. With Dollhouse, it all fell together really quickly. I talked to my wife about it and we were both clear that this was gonna happen. It’s very organic. You just wait for that to be, you wait for the thing that asserts itself. You’re never sure what it’s going to be. I thought I was going to do Wonder Woman for a long time.


Yeah, what happened with that? You’re so good at creating your own superhero woman characters, why would you want to take on one already in existence?

Because it was Wonder Woman. And I was interested in her, once I thought about what makes her tick, and I was interested in making my version of that work. But Warner Brothers was not interested in that work. It’s their ball. She’s a character who’s kind of elusive, she’s an old-fashioned superhero. At first I didn’t know what to do with her and then I realized, oh no, that’s what’s great about her—that she is an old-fashioned superhero and there is no place for her here. Or anyplace.

You write such rich characters that I feel like it’d be hard for some of the actors whom you’ve worked with to get a job and not have someone refer to the people they’ve already played. It’s not them as actors, it’s your strength as a writer. I look at photos of Eliza and go, “Oh, that’s Faith.”

Thanks. I want people to remember that, but at the same time if at the end of the first episode of Dollhouse you’re still saying that, we probably blew it.

It seems Dollhouse is a chance for Eliza to play off the idea that an actor is malleable by a director but fixed by a viewer, but in this role she’s looking for a sense of self.

That’s the whole point of the setting, is her sense of self and her assertion of herself and getting past what people—even me—expect of her… People have already accepted that she can be something else, so she’s already gotten past Faith a little bit. She has been sort of pigeonholed, though.

You can read the entire interview here.

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