We had a chance recently to sit down with Joss Whedon and Eliza Dushku and chat about Dollhouse. Check it out below!
What is the difference between the pilot and the un-aired pilot?
Joss Whedon: The un-aired pilot is a second vision. It contains a lot of things about the characters like who they are, where there heading – that people might not have seen or expected.
Are we going to see Echo evolve more as a savior type character in Season 2?
Joss Whedon: Yes, a lot of her life, not just because she is a doll, but just in general has to do with the fact that people become obsessive about her. We are going to learn in the start of the season that they’re not wrong. There is something special about her. She is going to be a major factor in what happens to the dollhouse.
We know how passionate you are about your work. Did you find it difficult to become emotionally involved with Dollhouse for fear of cancellation?
Joss Whedon: I have been hurt before. So I made the decision early to just phone it in. No, you know what? I’m a little bit wiser and a little bit more removed in terms of how I deal emotionally with the whole business of it, but when I get into the story, that’s the only world I live in. I love the characters and the cast so much that when I’m in the writer’s room, that’s my life. It’s our only life, and all we do is get excited and come up with things that we’re a little embarrassed we thought of.
How close did the show come to not having a second season?
Joss Whedon: I’d say it came extraordinarily close to being cancelled. I say it was probably pronounced on the table. It came down to some very simple numbers that worked in a very complicated fashion to fudge. Ultimately, the fact is that my shows have never gone that big, but they’re marathon runners not sprinters. This is the studio where I did these shows even when they weren’t on the network. They know that, so they fought hard to make it as easy for the network as possible. So it was really basically the hard-core fan base that tipped the scale. That scale was tippy.
Eliza, Can you tell us a little bit about your involvement as a producer?
Eliza Dushku: Well, when I asked Joss to come to lunch and pulled my little request out for him to help me with the next place I wanted to go in my career- he wanted to help, but I don’t think he wanted to do it all. We sort of established that we would do this as a team. When we’re on the show, and actually in production, there’s a lot going on. There’s a big cast, it’s a big show, and it was sort of decided it would be a partnership. I do feel responsibility in that I have much more invested in the show. I want to see it go on. I want to see it be great. Joss is sort of off doing other things. I feel like I’m the constant on set, and in a way can kind of hold the set down, or blow it up. That’s a different role fro me, but it’s also something I’m grateful to Joss for, because it has given me an opportunity to also produce other things. I’ve been in this business for a long time and that’s a great door to have opened to me.
Joss, where would you say Dollhouse stands in all your other shows? What do you want to say with this one?
Joss Whedon: I think with this show, I want to say to the people who have felt a connection to me that maybe you want to back away and avoid eye contact. That, maybe there’s something horribly wrong with me. This is my poetical way of expressing that. I think of it as a work that actually frightens me at times. In a way that my shows seldom got to. At the same time I have that sort of jolly love of everything that’s going on, and I have to be reminded sometimes that what I’m doing is reprehensible. I think it’s a mature work in the sense of I’ve grown up and gone insane.
How will the second season be different for Paul Ballard now that he has found the dollhouse?
Joss Whedon: We had always intended for Paul to find the dollhouse. We didn’t want him be like the reporter in the “Hulk” showing up to late every episode. They’ve been working on him from the outside with November and now his alliance with Echo is going to be really tested. He’s going to be in there partially to protect her, but also to find out what’s really going on. You can gaze into the abyss or you can live in it. It’s going to affect you. As she starts to grow, were going to see everyone else really start to come apart a little bit.
The show has touched on political issues and ethical issues. In Season 2, is there a topic that you are interested in exploring?
Joss Whedon – Well, I think ultimately the thing that fascinates me is morality and personal politics. The politics of the person in the moment. Yet, I would say in terms of a second season, the abuse of power and the different kinds of forms it can take is going to become broader and in fact more political than it has been. We’re going to see the dollhouse in the world a little more.
Will Dollhouse become a comic book at some point?
Joss Whedon – I don’t see it happening. I don’t care how good an artist is, they’re not going to make an Eliza. Ultimately, she doesn’t fly; she doesn’t shoot fireballs, except in that one episode. It’s going to be awesome. I think this belongs exactly where it is. On television.
Interview By: Emma Loggins
– Dollhouse Official Site