Tom Lenk

Thomas (Tom) Loren Lenk was born in Westlake Village, California, USA on June 16th, 1976. Tom graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from UCLA. Since graduating, Tom has had a wide variety of acting jobs. He toured with the European Cast of Grease playing the role of Doody. He is also a playwright, having written three plays to date. But it is the part of geek Andrew on Buffy the Vampire Slayer that he is best known. Keri Allan caught up with him as the final volume of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was about to be released on video...

Keri Allan: How did you get involved in Buffy? Were you a fan of the show before you joined?

Tom Lenk: It was the normal way of things in television - auditions, I actually played a vampire during season five, and that was in full make up so I was able to audition later for this role, and I got it!

KA: When you agreed to play the role of Andrew did you have any idea how long your character would be sticking around for?

TL: No, I mean we knew we'd be on all of season six, but that was all that we were originally told. I didn't know that we'd be around for season seven and I had no idea that I would end up going through to the final episode - I assumed that I would be the first one killed!

KA: Yes, I guess that you must have been impressed that you ended up surviving right through to the end of the finale!

TL: Yeah, I was very happy about it!

KA: So when did you find out you were going to be in season seven? Did you get much warning?

TL: We were actually on our way over here to appear in a convention in London last October and we're getting on the plane and we all got the call saying we want you to be here, so it was real last minute and it was sort of fun jet setting all over the place.

KA: How many conventions have you been to now?

TL: Oh I've just done a few, they're pretty interesting you get to meet the fans and what not, there's worse things than going to places where people all love you!

KA: I can imagine. How do you find the Buffy fans?

TL: Usually dedicated and you know, just happy to meet you, and supportive and it's nice because they all want to know what you're doing next. They'll tune into whatever you're on its pretty cool. Every once in a while you get a couple that are sort of fruit-looped, I had a couple that said: "Wow, you look like shit! I hope you're feeling okay?!' Thanks! I don't think they meant it how they said it, but it was still a little odd.

KA: Do you find that a lot of fans really click with your characters because of the whole 'nerd' aspect of it, do they think you're 'one of them'?

TL: Yeah we usually have to explain that we're not really geeks we just play them on TV [laughs]. They're always disappointed to learn that we really don't know any of those sci-fi references that we're talking about. It's always a little upsetting to them, 'cos I think in a way they really relate to us because a lot of them are sort of into the whole thing - they're very similar to the characters that we play, so it makes them sad when they find out that we're not really like that. But we are 'Act-tors' hence the whole 'pretending' thing. We hate to break it to them, but that's our job!

KA: To clear the record then, are you anything like your character or are you the total opposite?

TL: No, I think I'm a lot less awkward than he is, although he does live in his own fantasy world, I live in my own world also, but its not quite as colourful. He's an interesting character to play, he has an imagination that just runs wild, and if I just let my imagination run wild I'd probably come up with those things too.

KA: What was you favourite scene that you filmed while on Buffy?

TL: I think that would have to be this past season, in Storyteller when I'm filming my masterpiece theatre sort of send-up sitting with this smoking jacket and a pipe. That made me laugh when I read it, and made me laugh when I was doing it, I really had fun.

KA: Thank you for your time.

Buffy: The Vampire Slayer season 7.2 is available to buy on video from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment from 08 September 2003

You can buy this video now by clicking here. You pay £25.99 (RRP: £34.99)

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