Creator / James Marsters
"When you are a hero you are always running to save someone, sweating, worried and guilty. When you are a villain you are just lurking in the shadows waiting for the hero to pass by. Then you pop them in the head and go home... piece of cake."

James Wesley Marsters (born August 20, 1962) is an actor/singer most famous for playing the Ensemble Darkhorse vampire Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. His other most famous roles are as Milton Fine (Brainiac) in Smallville and Captain John Hart in Torchwood. He appeared on Caprica as terrorist leader Barnabas Greeley, appeared on Warehouse 13 as the Count of St. Germain, and also portrayed Piccolo in Dragonball Evolution. He also has provided the audio performances of all of Jim Butcher's Dresden books to date. Most recently he became the voice actor for Zamasu in Dragon Ball Super.

He is married to Patricia Rahman, which caused a few eyebrows to raise due to the large age gap (23 years) between them, and the fact that Marsters had attended her high school graduation (they started dating when she was 17-18 and he was 42).

Tropes associated with this actor include:

  • Converted Fanboy: He ended up becoming a huge fan of Dragon Ball after watching the anime to study his character as King Piccolo for Dragonball Evolution.
  • Creator Backlash: He was so disturbed by his character Spike attempting to rape Buffy during the episode "Seeing Red" that he had his contract updated so he would never be involved in sexual assault scenes ever again.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Dyed his hair platinum blonde to play Spike.
  • Fake Brit: Several of his roles, including but not limited to Spike, John Hart, and the Count of St. Germain. Several people on the set of Buffy thought he was actually British.
    • His most well-regarded roles are usually this, despite the fact that Marsters is American. Supposedly casting agents in Britain still mistake him for the genuine article. Doesn't help that his full name is James Wesley Marsters, or that he bears a good resemblance to Sid Vicious.
  • Fake Nationality: He's stated in interviews that he can do any accent he can get paid to do. Irish, Italian, French, Russian… The Dresden Files audiobooks pretty much prove that.
  • Handsome Lech: Many fans who have met him in person talked about his habit of hitting on younger women. He would later start dating his wife while she was still in high school and he was in his early 40s.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: While Spike runs up and down the scale from vicious bastard to anti-hero, Marsters is a very easygoing man, and the DVD extras for the show demonstrate that he's quick with a joke, very friendly with the cast and crew, and always willing to take an extra moment to speak with his fans. In regards to the Attempted Rape scene in "Seeing Red", Marsters was so repulsed and disgusted by the violence of the scene that he insisted it be shot as quickly as possible and apologized profusely to Sarah Michelle Gellar both before and after (he credits Gellar's support and professionalism with helping him get through it). Afterwards, he instructed his agent to have it specifically written into his contract that he will not take part in any rape scenes, period.
  • Older Than They Look: Born 1962. No kidding. Check his Wikipedia. We are absolutely sure he's not really a vampire, right?
  • One of Us:
    • Attended Star Trek fan conventions when he was younger.
    • He is a Dragon Ball fan, to the point he resisted furiously when the producers of Dragonball Evolution tried to make Piccolo look normal and demanded he look like the original character. He ended up being a Converted Fanboy when doing research for Dragon Ball Evolution convincing the crew to keep Piccolo's green design rather than the Bishounen looks they were going for. He even ended up voicing a character in the actual show, Zamasu, in Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 and Super.
    • He's a comic geek and a gamer to boot.
  • Promoted Fanboy: His role in Dragonball Evolution came full circle when he was cast as Zamasu in Dragon Ball Super.
  • Throw It In!: The scar on his eyebrow is real, although it has healed noticeably since Spike's first appearance.
  • Typecasting: Two of his most famous roles (Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and voicing the Dresden Files audiobooks) involve playing a supernatural badass who favors snide comments and long leather coats.
  • What Could Have Been: According to the commentary track for Superman: Doomsday, he was almost the voice of Green Arrow for Justice League Unlimited, but he had to pull out before recording began.