Exclusive: 'Free Agents' Anthony Stewart Head on his Dysfunctional Character, 'Buffy' and 27 Pets
Exclusive: 'Free Agents' Anthony Stewart Head on his Dysfunctional Character, 'Buffy' and 27 Pets
Lisa Palmer
Lisa Palmer
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
You may know Anthony Stewart Head as the pervy, Michael Scott-like, socially unaware boss on the new NBC comedy Free Agents.  But I simply know him as Giles, Buffy's upper-crust watcher in the cult-favorite television series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I spoke to Head, the actor who played/plays both roles at the press tour this summer about Buffy, Free Agents, and just how much of an animal lover him and his wife are. 

A cardinal rule of interviewing anyone from Buffy is that no matter what current project they're working on, Buffy must be mentioned.  So I brought it up first so we could segue into his new role on Free Agents.  I asked Head if he's still in touch with his costars from a show that actually began its run in 1997!  Head emphatically responded, "Oh God, yes!  I think of it [his time on Buffy] so fondly! Emma [Caulfield, who played Anya] just came to London not too long ago.  Alyson [Hannigan] and Alexis [Denisof] I see when I come to town, Sarah Michelle [Gellar] sends me films of her daughter growing up and I hope to see her when I'm in town now.  Nicky [Nicholas Brendon] I just saw at Comic Con, Joss [Whedon] I just saw at Comic Con, so yes.  James [Marsters] I haven't seen for awhile, but when he was playing in England, I went to a few of his gigs." 

So, there you have it.  Head is very much still a part of the Whedon universe, so rest easy Buffy fans.  You can sleep at night.

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So what about Anthony Stewart Head's new show, Free Agents?  Head tells me that his cast is great, especially since it's made up of a number of stand up comedians. "It's a different show because it's not quite a romantic comedy since the two main characters get together right away and everyone knows it's a terrible idea.  It's about the workplace being a kind of fishbowl.  Everyone sees your business, everyone has a comment, everyone has help to offer, and everyone is so off target.  It's got great heart and it's about human relationships," Head says. 

He goes on to say that the two main characters are surrounded by dysfunctional coworkers, and I suggest Head plays one of them on and off screen.

Head laughs and says, "Yes, I've got my own dysfunctions!  Completely!  I used to think I was normal...anyone who thinks they are normal is in a terrible pickle.  I embraced my dysfunctionality some time ago...I don't know that Stephen [Head's character on Free Agents] is interested in change.  I think he likes his dysfunction and enjoys the effect he has on people."  Head describes Stephen further and says, "He's predictable in as much as you know he's always going to say something off the wall and outrageous."

At this point, Anthony Stewart Head is traveling back and forth between England, waiting and hoping for a higher order of episodes.  Somehow we got on the topic of his wife, Sarah Fisher who works with difficult animals as a living on and off the silver screen.  "She doesn't dominate them", Head tells me.  "That doesn't work.  She teaches positive reinforcement.  It's simple, really...don't ever do anything to an animal that you wouldn't do to a child."   Head compliments his wife and says, "I'm a huge, huge admirer of her work.  We're both fans of each other's work."  Her show is called Talking to Animals

Since Head and his wife are such animal lovers, naturally I asked if they had pets.  I wasn't quite prepared for the answer I received: "Yes, we've got 5 dogs, 8 or 10 horses, 4 donkeys, 6 rabbits, 2 cats, and we used to have a 26 year old goldfish that just died that's been with me since the start of my relationship with Sarah."  Head and I both agreed that the death of his goldfish was not a good metaphor for his loving relationship with his wife. 

At this point, we'd been talking for 12 minutes and I thanked Head for giving me the longest interview of my short interviewer life.  I explained to Head that I spent my adolescence with him, so really it was only fair that he give me 12 minutes of his life.  Head is happy, healthy, and hoping for the best regarding Free Agents

I wish Head and his costars and crew on Free Agents the best of luck on their first season!  Free Agents airs Wednesdays at 8:30pm on NBC. 

(Image courtesy of NBC)