From Starburst #257. Reprinted here without permission.
ANGEL'S EYESby Judy Sloane
In the fight against LA evil, Angel has a trusty right hand man in Doyle. But he's a bit of a demon as Glenn Quinn tells Judy Sloane.
He's half-human, Half-demon, a street smart Irish gambler who's on a mission to assist Angel, the vampire cursed with a conscience, in helping those in trouble and therefore restoring his soul. In Angel, Glenn Quinn carefully balances drama and humour as Doyle, the mysterious mentor who intends to guide Angel (David Boreanaz) to redemption.
The Irish actor admits that he'd never really seen Buffy The Vampire Slayer when the opportunity arose for him to audition for Whedon.
"I requested some episodes with Angel in them, which they sent me, because I wanted to know about his character since he's the one I was helping. They sent me a couple of episodes from last year where this character Whistler was involved with him, trying to help him."
"When Quinn picked up the script for Angel he realised the character he was reading for was that of Whistler.
"I really liked the part," acknowledges the actor, "and I read for it as an American. They said, 'Great,' and it was either Joss or I who said, 'Let's do a bit of Irish'. They were giddy about it when I did it. Something clicked and they were pretty happy. I tested the next day with David and the two of us immediately started laughing so hard. I found out a couple of hours later that I was going to do the series. The write up in "Variety" said, 'Glenn Quinn will be playing a character called Whistler'. That changed pretty quickly. I found out myself, through reading "Entertainment Weekly", that the character was now called Doyle. I thought, 'Cool."
The series is decidedly more serious than Buffy The Vampire Slayer. "It's way darker," says Quinn. "I've seen one of two Buffys and this is not a Soap Operait's pretty much all shot at night, there's none of that prancing down the front steps of the high school talking about yellow dresses. It's really moody a la Angel heart or Blade Runner. It's very like Batmanthe shadow of the night. I think David would make a good Batman. Doyle's there to keep the show light. He's not so much the comic relief, he's serious about what he's doing but, at the same time, he's got a sarcastic mouth on him."
Appropriately set in the "City of Angels" Los Angeles, Doyle first meets Angel in his apartment. Accompanied by a few flashbacks from Buffy, the character provides a neat precis of the bloodsucker's history to date.
"He doesn't throw me out," quips Quinn. "He's like 'Who the hell are you?' And I say, 'Doyle'. He says, 'Get the hell out of here', and I say 'Hey man, I'm here to help you'. I think what I say to him makes enough sense for him to keep me in the place. What I'm saying is so overwhelming, he must listen.
Doyle's other 'relationship' is with Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) another Buffy 'graduate' who has travelled to Los Angeles to become an actress.
"Doyle is always messing with Cordelia," laughs Quinn. "He's got his heart set on her, but she doesn't want anything to do with him. He's constantly after her, and she's like, 'get a life!" But he definitely has eyes for her, so we're building that relationship."
Angel and Cordelia set up an office where the vampire sets out on his path of redemption with Doyle's help. "he gets visions," says Quinn. "He gets a flash, he sees a name or a face for a split second. Basically, I say to Angel 'Melissa Burns works at such and such a placelet's check it out!'. Then Doyle and Angle are on the case."
Not that Doyle always wants to assist with the actual helping part of the assignments. "I don't, " Quinn states emphatically. "Angel says, 'You're coming with me', and I'm like, 'No, I'm not. I'm just the messenger. I'm going to see the game tonight."
A huge amount of the filming is conducted at night, as Angel is a vampire and would burn to death in the light of day. Quinn owns a bar in LA called Goldfingers, so he knows the night life 'fairly well. It's not really dangerous shooting at night because we have a lot of security. There's a dark side to every city. Here in Hollywood a lot of crazy stuff goes down at night. I've seen things going on in my bar and its great to draw on that. We've never actually had any drugs happen in our place, but I've seen fights go on there. A lot of people are being screwed over. So this show could go on forever!"
PLAYING IT SAFE
Although Doyle would rather be at the race-track than participating in the action, Quinn is the exact opposite. "I'm into doing my own stunts," he says with enthusiasm. "I learned [how to] years ago when I was doing a show for American TV called "Covington Cross." And I had a lot of fighting and rough stuff in that and I always wanted to do my own stuntsit just looks a lot better. We've got really good stunt guys on the show and they teach us all this stuff. The other night I had to put on a back brace and pads and everythingI want to participate and they're letting me, so it's pretty cool."
As they finish shooting their sixth episode, Quinn reflects on how his character has grown since filming began, conceding, "It's like a puzzle, every day you get a new piece. I don't think the puzzle will ever be quite filled because its always nice to have a piece missing. It always keeps you guessing. Doyle woke up one day and he was demonized. I'm on the run from something. I'm atoning for some of my own sins. Who knows what they are right now? He's definitely helping Angel help to himself. All sorts of possibilities will come from that."
With only a new weeks of filming behind him, Quinn has no problem picking a memorable moment. "I did some good work with David last week that we're both pretty proud of," he confesses. "Doyle is on the run and this time it's Angel's turn to help him and to me that is interesting because wasn't Doyle supposed to help Angel? Now it's like, what the hell is Doyle running from? That's all I can tell you, but there's some interesting stuff going on and it's pretty great to get the next script and go, 'Holy cow, I can't believe I'm going to shoot this next week'. You really have to be on the money with your lines because they shoot fast."
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Quinn moved to California with his mother and two sisters when he was 19. "It's like day and night for anybody to come from a different part of the world," he concedes. "Six thousand miles is a long way to come and for it to end up like this is unbelievable."
ONE OF THE FAMILY
The actor is, perhaps, best known for his role as Becky's husband, Mark Healy, in the successful sitcom Roseanne. When the show finally finished its run, Quinn decided to take a self-imposed hiatus from the business.
"Shelley Winters and Estelle Parsons, both Oscar winning actresses, said to me 'Take six months to a year off and go travel the world'. Coming from them I thought it was very interesting. I wanted to learn more about myself and get away, and I came back stronger. Doing Roseanne was such a great experience, it was like losing a limb when the show left. We were all so tight.
"Every six months I go down to new Orleans and visit John Goodman. And Roseanne and I are still good friends. But on Roseanne they'd feature me in maybe three episodes a year, and the other times I would just walk on and walk off. That was frustrating but it was a great, great gig. But now I've found just what I wanted to do. In Angel I get to branch out and bloody act!"
A SHARP EXIT
Fans of Angel were shocked when news recently leaked of Doyle's imminent departure from the series. That sudden exit takes place in episode nine, [Hero], as Joss Whedon aims for a major whammy that should shake the show to its core.
Speaking to Starburst shortly before this news broke, Quinn was unaware of this turn of events at the time of the interviewand looked forward to a long, successful future with an acclaimed show that was pulling great audiences on a Tuesday night for the WB network."
"Angel will definitely get better as it goes on," he insists. "I'm not going to say it's going to come out and blow people away, but I think we're going good work and I hope people receive it that way."