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Ask Keith Szarabakja

Lyri

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Welcome to the thread for Keith Szarabakja's Q&A. The answers he has given to our questions are intelligent, professional, and extremely honest.

I feel very privileged to have been able to speak with him, and I hope you enjoy reading his answers as much as I did.


============================================


Kean: Did you enjoy playing Holtz? What was your favorite moment?

I loved playing HOLTZ! I have two favorite moments: one) In LULLABY when I sang "All Through The Night" to my daughter whom Angel turned into a vampire before I kill her; 2) In BENEDICTION when I have my final confrontation in the hotel room with Angel and I tell him that Conor needs HIM now as I'm an old man and can do nothing more for him. But there were so many moments that I loved , it's hard to name one.


charmingslayer: What was it like shooting Angel?

It was work, but really fun, terrific work. All the crew and cast were very supportive of me and of each other. The hardest part was that we did so much night shooting, so my schedule became very turned around. It was hard on my marriage and my family. I ended up divorced after it was all said and done, though I don't think ANGEL was the cause, but it may have been a hastening factor in it.


Scobro: You do a lot of voice acting; my question (in a few parts) is this: Was it difficult to teach yourself to be expressive strictly from the vocal inflections without the assistance of body language? And what of voice acting, if anything, have you taken to the screen?

No, it wasn't difficult to make the transition from acting to voice acting. I just do what's written in front of me and try to give it its due diligence. I have no set "method" of working. Each project (and each part) dictates its own style and method. Sometimes I succeed, which is what you see. Many times I fail, which is what you don't get to see because I don't get hired for the part.


HisMrs: On screen, you and David Boreanaz played mortal enemies, but how did you get along off screen?


We got along fine, though we weren't particularly close. David's child ended up at the same school my children attended, as a matter of fact, though he entered as we were leaving. I was serving( and cooking) a welcome breakfast for incoming parents and families, and I saw him there. I went up to him and tapped him on the shoulder. He didn't recognize me at first, until I said, " For two hundred years, I slept. For two hundred years, I've dreamt of nothing but this moment"¦" Then he goes, "My God, It's Holtz!"


HisMrs: What has been your favorite role of your career so far?

I loved playing HARLAN WILLIAMS , the old man who gets younger in STEPHEN KING'S THE GOLDEN YEARS. It was a true challenge to live and work with all that make up every day, but I think I acquitted myself well with him, though, unfortunately , the series went nowhere and my performance was essentially unnoticed. I also really loved playing HOLTZ. I mean, what's not to like?


Buffyversefan: What was it like facing off with Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight?

Heath was an artist and a gentleman. There was nothing not to like about working with him. He was fun and creative and very willing to work with you. There was nothing of the tyrant or egomaniac about him, at least from my perspective. His death is a terrible loss to our profession.


Buffyversefan: Christian Bales's Batman vrs. David Boreanaz's Angel - Who would win?

Neither. Holtz would win. He has right on his side. Holtz , if you really think about it, is very similar to Batman. He is stamping out what he feels is evil and is considered a renegade and a vigilante. And he works at night.


charmingslayer: What new projects do you have coming up?

I'm hoping my play DARK TALE will be staged in Chicago next year. Other than that, I've just been doing a lot of video games. Oh"¦ and I do have a bit of a recurring role on COLD CASE as a corrupt deputy police commissioner.


Lyri: Holtz was considered to be the Big Bad of season 3 of Angel, but do you yourself see him as a bad guy?

Let's see"¦ Angel killed my wife, ate my baby and turned my darling eleven year old daughter into a vampire, forcing me to kill her"¦. And I'M the bad guy?


Black Eye Guy: Which do you find more creative, acting or writing?

They're both creative in their own way, but writing is taking nothing and turning it into something, whereas acting is usually a matter of interpreting something that already exists. So I have to say that writing and seeing your own vision realized is more fulfilling, at least so far. Though acting is still something I love to do, don't get me wrong.


Wesley: Do you think Holtz was right to do all that he did to Angel? Do you feel Holtz's philosophy was that of 'the ends justify the means' or do you feel his motivation was revenge, through and through?

See number 9.


Kean: Do you hope to do more writing? If so, is there any particular topic or issue that you want to delve into?

Yes, I have more plays in the hopper. One, is called CHICKAMAUGA and is set during the American Civil War on the battlefield of Chickamauga , Georgia in September 1863. Three Union soldiers and two Confederate soldiers meet before, during and after that battle. Another, TRAVELOGUE, follows a young man as he takes his fiancée on a trip to Italy, where they have a miserable time. He gradually falls into following his father's experiences in WWII. Both of these plays are dramas with strong comedic aspects. And BELEAGUERED which follows a group of Little League parents during a baseball championship game for seven year olds in 120 degree heat. It's a comedy. And I'm still looking for my next topic. I hope it will arise soon.


Sunnydale Siren: You starred in the short lived series 'Profit' back in 1996, That show was DEFINITELY ahead of it's time, which got middle America's panties ALL in a bunch. Thirteen years later, I'm still pissed at Fox for cancelling the show. 'Profit paved the way for edgy shows like Damages, Nip/Tuck and now Mad Men. What was it like working on the series, and did the controversy surprise you?

PROFIT was a dream to work on: great scripts, great actors, terrific directors, a wonderful crew. Too bad we didn't have a supportive network. I'm extremely proud of the work that everyone connected with that show did. It broke my heart when we were cancelled. And yes, it did pave the way for later, more edgy shows to come, not that I've been on any of them. I think that if we had been on a cable network like AMC or FX or HBO or SHOWTIME it might still be running, or at least have had a long life.


Lyri: You recently had a reading of your play, Dark Tale, in Chicago. Can you tell us a little bit about it, and the actors involved?

DARK TALE is a drama set in suburban Cook County, Illinois (the county in which Chicago lies) during the Kennedy presidential campaign of 1960. Two brothers who own a growing, successful savings and loan and who have political ambitions, are caught in the whirlpool of the smoke-filled backroom politics of the Cook County Democratic machine. It takes place at the fulcrum where the political, the financial and the criminal come together. The actors were all local Chicago actors at the reading, though one of them, Ron Dean, did work in THE DARK KNIGHT as an actor with me. He played a Gotham PD detective. TWO FACE shot him in a bar towards the end. I hope they all work on the eventual production.


Buffy Summers: Is it difficult to play a villain, especially in a show such as Angel with such an intense fanbase? Is it hard not to take it personally when the others actors on set are reacting negatively towards your character, as 'the bad guy'? Did you find that people 'on the street' confused Keith with Holtz?

No one on the set ever treated me badly or confused me with what they felt might be the "villainy" of my character. Of course if you want to know how I feel about that "villainy", see # 9 above. And no one on the street has given me grief either, come to think of it. Though they are a bit wary of me at the fan conventions I attend in England.



Thanks for presenting me with these thoughtful and thought-provoking questions. I hope that I answered them to your satisfaction.




Keith Szarabajka


===========================================

I would like to thank Mr. Szarabakja for his time and patience in answering these questions.
 

HisMrs

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Awesome!! I hope he was as excited to be interviewed for the board as we were to hear he was going to do it! :D Thanks again, Lyri, for getting this done!! :D
 

TheChosenTwo

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We got along fine, though we weren’t particularly close. David’s child ended up at the same school my children attended, as a matter of fact, though he entered as we were leaving. I was serving( and cooking) a welcome breakfast for incoming parents and families, and I saw him there. I went up to him and tapped him on the shoulder. He didn’t recognize me at first, until I said, “ For two hundred years, I slept. For two hundred years, I’ve dreamt of nothing but this moment…” Then he goes, “My God, It’s Holtz!”
I can so imagine him doing this :D It plays in my head now over and over.

I love that man. Thanks!
 

Spanky

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Right on.. very good.
 

Lindsey McDonald

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He seems so nice and like he really appreciates the fans. Some great answers too. Thanks to Lyri, Mr. P, and the other mods involved in doing this - it's really cool seeing the boards associated with the actors. And big thanks to Mr. Szarabajka. I doubt he'll see this, but it's appreciated that he took the time to answer.
 

Washburne

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A nice read. Thanks to everyone involved. Guess he didn't want to see the difference between Angelus and Angel. ;)
 

Bluebird

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Oh wow, that was great. :) He seems like a lovely guy.
 

Tsquared

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Yeah, he seems totally awesome! Thanks Lyri; his answers were so rich, you could tell he took his time in his responses. Didn't jibble-jabble and scrabble something really quick. I'm a fan! :)
 

sk

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That was great!

Thanks to everyone involved, especially Mr. Szarabajka of course.

/SK
 

Mr. Pointy

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I took the liberty of correcting a couple of typos in the article...the Spelling Nazi made me...
Thanks for this Lyri...excellent stuff...I have now added Keith to the list of Whedonverse people I'd like to meet.
 
E
Emzzie
can you change "knew" in charmingslayer's question to "new". The typo is bugging the heck outta me!

Emzzie

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Wow! He sounds like such a great person :) I love how he said his lines to David at the school thing. Too funny!
 

Lyri

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I've met him a few times, and he's a genuinely nice guy...and I have been on the receiving end of that Holtz speech. It really does send chills up your spine!
 

Buffyverse Fan

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Wow, what a gracious guy. For someone that's seen such success in Genre TV and Hollywood Cinema, I'm just so impressed.

I like his answer to Boreanaz' Angel vs. Bale's Batman, haha. If Holtz had Alfred & Lucius backing him up, I could see him taking down those two :)
 

LadyLavinia

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He seems so nice and like he really appreciates the fans. Some great answers too. Thanks to Lyri, Mr. P, and the other mods involved in doing this - it's really cool seeing the boards associated with the actors. And big thanks to Mr. Szarabajka. I doubt he'll see this, but it's appreciated that he took the time to answer.

Actually, he seemed quite friendly and open. I saw him being interviewed on one of the Special Featurettes for THE DARK KNIGHT.
 

Taake

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Black Thorn
oh great to read, I love this actor. I think he's fantastic at what he does and he has a marvelous voice! Also the best last name ever. :D
 
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