PaleyFest: 'Dr. Horrible,' 'True Blood,' '90210'
From True Blood: When trying to cast the role of Sookie, showrunner Alan Ball made Anna Paquin -- who won a Golden Globe for her performance -- read five times:
"It wasn't so much auditioning as it was stalking," Paquin said. "I thought it was acting abuse. It's really fun being the only pasty brunette vampire-looking person in the room that's filled with people auditioning for a busty tan blonde person. ... I'm grateful that Alan and HBO were able to see beyond the aesthetic."
Asked later why he continues to return to Fox after the early demise of his "Firefly" series, Whedon said that the issues that have plagued "Dollhouse" -- from the network's early script rewrite demands to the more recent brouhaha over Episode 13 being available only on DVD -- he said the situations are "eerily similar in some ways and very different in other ways."
"And the reason I went back was because of ('Dollhouse' lead) Eliza (Dushku)," he added. "I don't care; she's worth it. The relationship (with Fox) has always been equitable. … It's very different from when we did 'Firefly.'
"I will say that the worst thing I could have done right before starting ‘Dollhouse' was ‘Dr. Horrible,' because it just rolled off and came from our hearts and we sang and that was it. … ('Dollhouse') was a grind after the freedom of ‘Dr. Horrible,' and it made me a much crankier person and a worse boss and (the rest of the panel) can attest to that," Whedon said.
And from 90210, there's brain-melting quotes from the cast:
"It's also personal, I have a lot of it around me, but it also was exciting at the same time because I wanted a challenge, a real story line that was for me different than what I've played before. ... I wanted to play it honest," she said, adding that she researched bipolar disorder and found YouTube videos posted by people who filmed themselves "in their mania ... where you see their rants and after seeing the scripts, and seeing her (Silver) go all over the place on all these tangents ... in her own mind it made sense."