by Tami Katzoff
Like Judd Apatow, Wes Anderson and Christopher Guest, Joss Whedon likes to keep his favorite actors close. He uses them and reuses them, over and over, in his film and TV projects. It’s sweet.
One person who’s been a beneficiary of Whedon’s familial casting tendencies is Tom Lenk, whose first major acting role was Andrew Wells on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Since then he’s appeared in “The Cabin in the Woods,” and he’s in the upcoming Shakespeare adaptation “Much Ado About Nothing” as well.
Lenk has worked with many other producers and directors since his “Buffy” and “Angel” run, but he always says yes when Joss comes calling.
“It’s nice to have one person in my career that I keep getting to go back to.” Lenk cites Whedon’s cinematic vision, storytelling talent and passionate support of his cast as factors that set him apart. “He’s just in it to win it, always,” Lenk says. “He’s as excited as you are to be working.”
Lenk also gets major support from fans of the Buffyverse. “I was at Chipotle the other day, and the guy at the cash register was like, ‘That will be $8.75 and by the way I really loved your work…’” He thoroughly enjoys interacting with his fans, but that wasn’t always the case. The sudden fame early in his career was a difficult adjustment. “I think I was a little overwhelmed by it when it was happening,” Lenk says. “I didn’t know how to process it.”
Despite the initial challenges, Lenk feels lucky to be a part of “Buffy’s” band of actor brothers. “It was a major life change to be on that show,” he says. “I cherish every moment that I spent there.”
MTV News producer aTami Katzoff presents The Weekly Whedon, a column exploring all corners of the Whedonverse from "Marvel's The Avengers" to "Buffy" and beyond. Assemble your reactions in the comments section!