She was part of an iconic series that led the way for kick-ass women in TV & film, & she had us in stitches with whore-ifying insults throughout the early 2000s.
Now, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Bring it On’s Clare Kramer is ready to take on another ‘beast’ at Oz Comic-Con Melbourne this weekend (9-10 June), but before she does, we were fortunate enough to have a quick chat to her about reboots, C-C-C-Courtney, female-led shows and more:
Thanks for taking the time to chat. I know you’ve probably heard this question a lot over the past week, but did Buffy fans get back to you on Twitter about whether or not they want a reboot/remake?
Yes, and the general consensus is that they do not want a reboot. I think it’ll probably happen at some point, it can be expected, but among the fans it was echoed that they don’t want it.
Why do you think there’s so much resistance to reworking or reviving the series?
It’s not just with Buffy, it happens with a lot of genres where people resist change. For example, after the original Star Trek, nobody wanted a Next Generation, which is now viewed as the best Star Trek series. But at the time of its release, nobody was excited. It was change and people resist change.
When someone watches a series, they do it during a certain time of their life and it means something special to them. They think a new cast and a new story line will affect their personal experience.
If there were to be a reboot or revival, how would you see it happening?
I’m not the person to ask. I think maybe that’s a question for Sarah Michelle Gellar or Joss Whedon. But I think you’d need to bring back some of the original cast and the original writers. Aside from that, I don’t know where you’d take it.
I know Bring it On has turned into a ‘cheer-tastic’ franchise & it’d be near impossible to have a sequel with the original cast – because they’re not in high school anymore -, but if there were to be, what would Courtney be up to 18 years later?
I think she’d be leading the charge in some way, maybe as a high school coach. Or maybe as the mother of the head cheerleader.
The writing for Bring it On was timeless and hilarious. Courtney had the best lines in the movie, what your favourite insult to say?
The one where she says, ‘you’re being a cheer-tator Torrance”. I don’t think there was a stand out line but I will say that there was a lot of laughing during the try-out sequence. There were so many funny things that happened.
You have two daughters correct? Have your daughters watched the movie? Did they think mum was being a mean girl?
I have two sons and two daughters. They have watched the movie and they loved it, they thought it was funny and that my hair was very blonde. They are able to separate me-on-camera from me-in-real-life, so they don’t take too much away from it.
I’ve raised my children watching a lot of film and TV because I’d love for them to be directors or writers one day. So they’ve seen and been exposed to a lot. They’re not too phased.
Well, you were part of such great female-led shows and movies, do your daughters take away that positive female messaging when they watch you?
I think they’re too young at the moment, but I hope that’s exactly what they see. I want them to know that women can play interesting characters and that they are not just there to facilitate the male story line but are going through their own struggles and changes.
You just mentioned women facilitating male story lines – when I look at the geek pop culture scene two decades ago I feel as though there were a lot of female-led shows, but now there are a lot of strong female characters but they’re taking the back-seat to male-led shows – is that something you’ve also noticed?
Definitely, I am always noticing a shortage of female roles. The way it works is that networks produce more of what’s working and aren’t taking as many risks, which leads to a slump in female leading characters. I hope that’s something that can be turned around and they encourage more female writers and directors to lead these shows.
Aside from a shift in female-led shows in geek pop culture, what are some other changes you’ve seen in the scene over the past couple of decades?
There’s a lot more content, specially genre content, and that’s due to lower cost of production and multiple distribution platforms such as Netflix and Amazon. That’s a good thing because there’s the ability to take more risk with genre material. There’s really interesting content that wouldn’t have been green lit 20 years ago when they were being filmed for film and therefore 20- to- 30 times as expensive. That’s the biggest change in TV and film in general.
Speaking of genres, geek pop culture tends to go through phases – vampires, zombies and now comics – which is your favourite?
I love the superhero stuff, I love the MCU and I’m a big zombie person. I love The Walking Dead, although it’s not a show about zombies it’s a show about the living, I love World War Z, it’s one of my favourite films, which they’re now making into a series.
Would you like to be cast in the new World War Z series? Or if you could create your ideal role now, what would it be?
Oh, I don’t know the answer. Um, maybe a female detective role, not unlike a Magnum, P.I. meets Agatha Christie. A middle-aged female with a family and she’s a bad-ass, crazy detective.
Is there anything you regret not doing during your time on Buffy? Like whether it be something you wish your character had the opportunity to do or something you wish you’d discreetly taken from set?
I think there was a culmination with Glory and I was happy with how the character ended in season five. The story lines all came together. They weren’t sure if the show was going to continue for season six and seven, so that was a good wrapped up package.
I am sad that Glory was strangled by Giles, I wish she’d had a better ending. I think she should have won and gone back to her dimension.
Clare Karmer will be at Oz Comic-Con Melbourne this weekend (9-10 June) where she’ll host Q&A sessions. She joins an incredible line-up of actors including Lesley-Ann Brandt (Lucifer), KJ Apa (Riverdale), Julian Dennison (Deadpool) and more. CLICK HERE for more information.