Andy Hallett didn't begin singing until Patti LaBelle invited
him on-stage at a concert. After moving to Los Angeles he
worked as a runner for an agency and then as a property manager
and personal assistant. When Buffy the Vampire Slayer
creator Joss Whedon saw Hallett singing in a Universal City
blues revue, Whedon conceived the character of The Host, an
anagogic demon who reads people when they open up through
singing karaoke. Hallett was invited to try out and got the
part, his first job ever as an actor. Keri Allan spoke with
Hallett as season four, part I of Angel was due for
release on video...
your biography it says you fell into acting, so how did you
get the role of Lorne?
Hallett: Well I knew Joss Whedon, who's the creator of the
show, for a couple of years beforehand so he got to know me
as myself. I used to drag him into karaoke bars and I think
he was stunned by that whole scene. He such a kick out of
them and I think somehow, some way, he saw this vision of
Lorne in there somewhere. So he asked me one day if I wanted
to audition for this role. He said: "It's inspired by
you, but you still might not get the part".
He said he wanted me to audition for this part of the karaoke
demon, and what did I think? and I was like, "oh my god!"
I never thought it would come to this, I thought it would
be a couple of times, but I did 51 episodes as a guest cast
member, before he asked me to be a regular - and that wasn't
until season 4 episode 14. He called and said: "We want
you to join the team. What do you think?" Luckily I can
say that I already felt like a team player, like I already
felt like I was part of the family. So, of course I accepted
The thing that I'll never forget was when he said: "None
of us know what the future holds, and who knows what will
happen with the show. I just wanted to have you have the opportunity
to say that you were a series regular in case the show doesn't
get picked up next year." I thought was really wonderful
on his part and really considerate, to think of me and my
resume and so forth, because having that on your resume holds
a lot more weight that saying you were a guest star. So I
just thought that was spectacular.
As this was your first acting role, did the guys give you
any handy hints?
You know that's a really good question! You're right, that's
exactly what happened because I went in there not knowing
a thing and was totally... Oh my god! I almost said "totally
green!" [Laughs]. That's so bad, I've never said that
before. That's hysterical! I was totally fresh, new, so I
was kind of nervous and scared. Alexis Denisof [Wesley] was
awesome as he really made me feel comfortable he really made
me feel at home.
I really feel comfortable with everybody, but he played a
big part in that. And I learn stuff all the time. Like I have
to say Mark Lutz [Groosalugg] has taught me so much. He's
also one of my closest friends - we're actually neighbours.
never forget, one day we were doing a scene where I had got
back from looking all over town for something. I wanted to
walk into the scene, down the stairs with a limp as if I was
exhausted. But I didn't think that I could do that because
it wasn't scripted that way. And Mark said: "Who cares
if its scripted? Just do it. If that's how you wanna play
it". I had spent so much time memorising lines, following
the script, following the stage directions and so forth that
I wasn't taking enough time to put my own self into it and
Mark was like: "That's what its all about. Let loose."
So I walked into the room and limped all the way through the
scene and they loved it! The director was Tim Minear and he
loved it and cracked up and thought it was perfect for the
I can open up and put a lot of my own stuff in without worrying
about them reeling you in. And if its too much or too little
they'll tell you and the director will ask you to do it differently,
but he made me feel comfortable with trying stuff.
glad you asked that question 'cos I rarely get to say anything
about that, and that's a good one.
As Lorne was partly based on you, are you bringing more and
more of yourself into the character as you play him?
AH: Yes, and largely in part of what I just mentioned. Like
simply because I'm becoming more confident, but also becoming
more comfortable with that cast - just like knowing a friend
better, becoming better friends you just feel more comfortable
around them. I think when you're more comfortable like that
What's a normal day like for you on set? You're the first
to arrive and the last to leave aren't you?
I tend to be, yeah. It takes three hours for make-up. Dayne
Johnson's also become a real dear friend of mine. He's head
of the make-up department. He used to be on Buffy then
he came over to head the staff on Angel and obviously
he has a lot to do on the show. He does my make-up and we
get along great. I can't imagine spending that much time in
the make-up chair with someone that you can't stand.
up at 4am, travelling to the studio and then sitting for three
hours without being able to move or do anything, makes it
hard to stay awake. It can be pretty boring. But Dayne went
out and bought a DVD player, a TV and a VCR and its wonderful
because now I can watch movies in the chair. I never used
to watch movies, so he got me into watching movies.
You all come across like being good friends and there's always
tales of high jinks on set. What's the funniest joke you've
been involved in?
Oh God, that's a good one. There's so many. I think the most
fun around there is all of our inside jokes. And usually its
not even a big prank. It's just in the middle of a scene,
J August Richards making a gesture that indicates something
and I'll look but we're on camera and I cant break up laughing
you know, which a lot of the time I do.
say that I am probably the worst at laughing on set, in terms
of laughing and not being able to stop. Everyone else seems
to be able to pull themselves together, I can't. But yeah,
it's always a lot of fun.
Do you meet up with the guys much outside of work?
Um, probably the most is Alexis and J and we get along so
well - Amy too. I love Amy - I just went to her wedding. She
got married to a lovely, lovely guy who's wonderful he's called
James, and James is awesome.
How do you feel about the conventions?
I've been to a handful but they're outrageous! I think that
they're really great for the viewers because obviously the
people that come to them are real staunch supporters - and
they're really, really into the show. But, I think about stuff
that I'm that interested in and if I was to go to a convention
that had people at it that I watched and perhaps admired in
a certain type of way, I think that would be really fun for
me. So I see how it can be fun for them, to meet you up close
and get to talk to you and tell you what's on their mind and
what they like and what they don't like. Its just a really
good venue for them to give their two cents and I think its
really wonderful to hear what they think, because without
them id be jobless!
remember for example in LA, I met, and I'm certainly not putting
myself on a level with Cher at all believe me, but I met Cher
one time. I was never that interested in Cher, like she's
super famous and everyone knows who she is, but I wasn't really
that into her music or her. And then I met her in a hardware
store and she could not have been nicer to me, she was so
nice and so sweet, so now when I see Cher on TV I watch her.
I wouldn't say that I'm an avid follower of hers, but I do
watch her now if she's on the TV.
I think that's true of the fans that go to conventions. If
you're nice to them and you give them your all - and I usually
do, or I try to, I feel like you've strengthened your audience
and it creates a stronger bond between you and the audience.
KA: What's the strangest question you've
been asked by a fan?
The strangest question... Well it was more of a comment. I
was asked if I read fan fiction. Which I wasn't familiar with,
and someone said: "Well I think you should check it out."
And they described a scandalous story about Lorne involved
with fan fiction and I won't give any more detail than that,
but it was truly scandalous! [Laughs]
Then I went on and checked out some of those sites and they
are wild! Just absolutely wild what they talk about on those
Do they give you presents or anything?
Yes, they give me wonderful things and little gifts that they've
made and you know what I've been finding - people have been
giving me pictures that they've drawn, they'll drawn Lorne,
my character, which I think is unbelievable that they've gone
to all that trouble. Its really, really spectacular to think
that people have a talent like that and they share it with
you, especially if it's a drawing.
A lot of people will give gifts that are specifically involved
with that area, like a lot of people in Blackpool were giving
us rock candy, so they'll give you stuff that's indigenous
of that area and so they're really heartfelt gifts of cards
and sweet stuff.
Have you had a chance to potter around London at all? You've
been here before though, haven't you?
Yeah I've been here - this is my third time to London. I love,
love, love it here. This is the very first place in my life
that I've ever been where after spending a day or two here
I said I could live here - it's the very first place I've
ever felt that way.
I love the energy of the city - like it's a combination of
just this like ultra-sophisticated city with like a small
town charm to it. I love walking through all the big roads
and seeing the architecture first of all - it's amazing, we
just don't have that. I mean there's some places like in Boston
and certain parts of New York that have the old brownstone
buildings, they have some nice architecture there, but for
the most part in places that I've lived, Miami Florida is
not at all this, I mean it has its own appeal too, but that's
what I think I like about it. And the people have that same
vibe to them too, there's these ultra sophisticated - well
not all of them! [Laughs] - especially in London proper, sophisticated
looking folk, everyone seems to get dressed up here.
Thank you for your time.
season four: part one is available from 20th Century Fox
from the 14 July 2003. RRP
a list of other relevant sites click here.