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Connor A failure of the actor or the writing ?

Btvs fan

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Ok so Connor is considered universally 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 ?
 

nightshade

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I would go with both, the writers in the first instance as they didn't give the actor enough to work with, and then he got bored and disliked playing the role, so probably didn't give it his all.
 

DeadlyDuo

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I'd also say both. The writers decide what lines an actor says, the actor decides how he delivers them.

Much like with the initial writing of Dawn, I think the character was supposed to be younger than the actor playing him (not entirely sure how old Connor is supposed to be). The problem with this is it makes the character look stupid when they're doing things idiotically that a character the age of the actor should be able to do competently eg Dawn eating ice cream. Connor was just so thick. For someone who grew up in a hell dimension and would have to have their wits about them, he believes an awful lot of crap so easily and then because of this, he keeps messing things up for the heroes.

Also, much like Kennedy, I think how the writers envisioned the character is not what comes across on screen. Connor is the Kennedy of Angel. Wangst is not a good look on anybody but you have to be able to pull it off to an extent where it doesn't irritate the audience. Unfortunately VK failed on that score. It's not entirely his fault as the writing was against him and the Cordy/Connor stuff was poison to both characters.
 
B
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VK was about 23 during Ats S3 and I think Connor was meant to be 16/17

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The writing was the main and almost only problem. I personally think VK did the best he could with what he was given and is probably responsible for why there still are some Connor-fans out there, passionately defending his messed up character. The writing, however, did the opposite of what writing is supposed to do; move someone's story along. Connor remained stuck in the same place he was when he first returned from Quor'toth and it didn't change until Origin in S5. His entire role was to hate his father and no matter what Angel did or no matter how close Connor got to actually forgiving his dad, something would inevitably come along to make Connor think he was right to hate Angel all along. And that's it, that's his whole storyline. Other than being into older chicks, what else do we really know about him, except that his sneer does not become him?
 

Taake

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think VK did the best he could with what he was given and is probably responsible for why there still are some Connor-fans out there, passionately defending his messed up character.
You called? :p

I love Connor, but I do think they kept him too one note and didn’t allow him to grow. There were glimpses of hope that they would let him grow, but alas...

Also, father and son being rivals over the same woman is just icky.

There was definitely room for improvement in the writing!
 

Spanky

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I wouldn't call Connor a failure either. And VK said that after Whedon took over the showrunning duties he no longer liked, nor understood, the character.
 

Btvs fan

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I wouldn't call Connor a failure either. And VK said that after Whedon took over the showrunning duties he no longer liked, nor understood, the character.
If Connor was not a failure how was he a success ?
 

Bluebird

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Connor has a surprising amount of fans, and I'd count myself one. He's not my favourite character but he's not a failure in my eyes. I thought he had some of the most affecting scenes of season 4 and I found his struggle with the world quite tragic and almost endearing. I was so happy to see him in season 5. It was kind of bittersweet to see how this Connor had turned out, because it showed that he always had the capacity to be this good man but had been corrupted from childhood by Holtz.
 

telperion66

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If Connor was not a failure how was he a success ?
Vincent Kartheiser had an incredible presence in the role of Connor. His performance had such gravitas.

He brought so much authenticity to the role, coupled with great humility and sincerity.

Love the character up until the writing went a bit iffy with the whole Cordy/Jasmine thing...
 
B
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After seeing Mad Men I have to agree with you. VK kills it on that

Athene

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I think it’s the writing because I do enjoy him a lot when he’s with the right characters and in the right scenes - he’s great with Angel and in Faith’s s4 eps. Overall, Connor was interesting.
 

DagonSphere

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Vincent was really great as Connor, he brought a lot of intensity and emotion to a character that was mostly one-note. It is definitely the writing, but he was written to be unlikeable on purpose.
 

Ethan Reigns

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I don't blame the actor for not liking the character he plays because the writers made him weak. He got as much of a character assassination as Cordelia the way his character was written. I think Vincent would do a better job with better writing that made him a force to be reckoned with rather than just a stupid adolescent.

Where were the episode directors during this whole mess? Surely they must have seen that this wasn't going to work. But television is a writer's medium. much more so than the movies, so they just have to execute the episode as written.
 

RachM

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I'd blame the writing, especially after seeing Vincent's acting chops on Mad Men, where he is phenomenal as Pete Campbell.

I think Vincent did the best with what he was given, but Connor was a very stagnant character, and so there wasn't much for Vincent to work with. The times where he was given decent material, he was really good (Origin and Home both come to mind).
 

Btvs fan

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I don't believe in such binary labels. It's not a case of either/or.
Seems to be for the actor
.
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.
 

katmobile

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It sounds like he didn't really understand the show but also that he was bored by how one note Connor was. I'll mostly go with writing but then again he did say that Connor was raised to hate his origins and ergo who he was. He's like someone raised in a cult that hates a minority group when he's a member of that group or partially a member of that group.
 

FaithLehane16

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I blame the writing more than the actor. Vincent's not that bad. You shouldn't hate on the actor because they play the character you can't stand, even though Connor formed a mental illness from the messed up s*** that happened in Angel Seasons 3&4. I hate Barney Stinson, but I don't hate Neil Patrick Harris.
 

Taake

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Though I can understand that it's just a job for them, it is always a bit of a bummer when actors are hired who don't give a crap about the show/book/movie-world they enter into. Not everyone can be a super-fan, and I totally respect that he's open about that it just wasn't really his thing, but yeah, it is a bit of a bummer. I can understand his frustration though, I think he did a good job considering, and though I don't really think listening to the actor's ideas is a must, I kind of wish they would've in this case.


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.
This is really interesting though, I guess having a very loyal fanbase can be a bit of a creative liberation as well as a stumbling block.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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You write and direct around the limits of your actors, like they did with Andy Hallet and Summer Glau. VK is correct, his character never changed, said the same thing every episode. "Holtz, the man who lied to me constantly, was telling the truth. Angel, who tried to earn my trust, is lying."
 
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