Exclusive: Felicia Day Interview

Felicia Day

Felicia Day

If you’ve been following Dr Horrible you’ll know that Felicia Day has done interview after interview after interview since Dr Horrible started gaining attention. Recently Felicia Twittered that she’d had to decide “No more interviews. That’s it. I could spend all day at mixers and doing interviews, but I gotta make more stuff to interview about!” so the Dr Horrible Fan Site is very thankful to Felicia for granting us one final interview… Thanks Felicia!

If you had written Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, how would Act III have ended?

FD: I see no reason to morning quarterback (yipes, was that a sports term I just used?!?!). It was set up so beautifully that the way it ends is the only way it could have ended in my opinion. It was perfect. Had it been more upbeat, I think it would have not had the impact it did. Art should provoke and not placate. I think all the controversy is a compliment, not a detraction.

Some people have criticized Penny’s character saying she’s not strong enough and doesn’t live up to Joss Whedon’s usual portrayal of strong women characters, do you have an opinion on that issue?

FD: Does every woman character have to be “strong”? What does that mean anyway? To me Penny represented the normal life that Horrible craved, someone who didn’t judge, someone who cared about others before she cared about herself. She wasn’t kicking people in the face, but she was true to herself and brave enough to be “good” in the face of a cynical society. Just because she was naive doesn’t mean she was weak. Personally, I loved playing her.

Last time I spoke to you, I asked if you would be interested in doing a sequel if given the opportunity, you joked that you’d work Craft Services if you had to. Now that we all know what happens in Act III do you think we’ll see Penny return in some way if there’s another episode?

FD: People read waaay too much into that Craft Services remark! I always talk about craft services! Because frankly, it’s one of the great things about filmmaking: An open trough of food to snack on all day featuring thing you’d never buy at home, like processed cheese and crackers. Who wouldn’t want to work in Hollywood with that as a perk! As for a sequel, I can only cross my fingers! Of course I’d love to come back somehow, but only if it served the vision of the Horrible creative collaborative. If they’re reading this, I can also snap a mean clapboard. 😉

Did you have any expectations about how people would respond to Dr Horrible before it went “live”?

FD: I’m so tied to the net I practically have an Ethernet cord plugged directly into my brain, so it was obvious to me that Joss + Whedon Fan Base + Amazing Product would be a phenomenon. That said, the reality of it was more overwhelming than I could have ever envisioned. It’s one thing to say “it’s going to be huge”, but to see an independently produced show in the #1 slot of iTunes and featured in a spread in Entertainment Weekly, that was nothing anyone could have predicted.

Last week was your first visit to Comic Con – what were your thoughts as a visitor?

FD: Uh, wow. Can we say unprepared?! I had no idea they constructed buildings to accomodate that many people! It was insane! When I was rushing from place to place I kept lamenting the fact I was so packed that I couldn’t stop and shop. When we walked on stage for the Dr. Horrible panel and like 3,000 people were cheering, man. I know why Miss America ladies cry now, sorry I made fun of them all my life. It was overwhelming, like the whole weekend.

What was the experience like as a guest?

FD: Crazy!! I literally couldn’t walk sometimes because so many people would recognize me! The thing I’m proudest of is that when I was in the more “corporate” section of the exhibit floor, I didn’t get stopped much, but when I was on the independent vendor side, I wouldn’t make it two feet without a wave. I love that!

Do you have a favourite fan encounter from Comic Con?

FD: When Irrel (http://twitter.com/irrel) gave me the cutest fan art for Dr. Horrible of me, Dr. Horrible and Hammer. She also did fantastic fan art for The Guild that I found online later, you can see it on The Guild site, www.watchtheguild.com. It was so amazing, I will treasure that drawing and meeting her.

Will you ever confess to Twittering in public again?

FD: LOL I love that moment, I turned as pink as my sweater! The only revenge I have is that I’m sure that I’ve created a few thousand Twitterholics like myself after that incident. Take that!

Do you ever worry that being so open with fans will create problems for you, do you think there will come a time when you’ll have to back off a little?

FD: Due to the massive influx of communication, I am finding that I can’t really answer nearly as many emails/msgs etc. which sucks, but I still try to read everything at least. I could spend 9 hours a day just answering Facebook messages, which does no one good if I have no time to write or produce other things 🙂 That said, I’ll never consider it a “problem” until someone shows up on my doorstep (please don’t do that, haha).

As someone who is so involved in the social networking community, what was your reaction to seeing Dr Horrible on the front page of MySpace this week?

FD: I was pretty geeked out (Did you see my Twitter? 🙂 ) I was particularly struck that it was getting so many views. A lot of web people have “theories” about length of videos, what viewers will tolerate, but Dr. Horrible shows that it’s quality that keeps people watching, not arbitrary length.

What impact do you think the success of Dr Horrible will have on your career?

FD: Of course I hope it opens doors for me in mainstream TV and movies, but honestly I’m most excited about the opportunities to keep producing and acting in web content. I love being on the forefront of a media revolution, and Dr. Horrible definitely lends web video more legitimacy and will forge new pathways for creators everywhere.

The second season of The Guild should be out in September, is there anything else you’re working on we can look forward to?

FD: We’ll be shooting The Guild Season 2 in September, so release may be pushed to October. It’s all about getting the funding pushed through at this point. I have a Guest Star on House airing in September that I’m looking forward to, and I’m writing another show with Machinima.com, a sitcom set in a game world. In my “spare time” I’m also developing a few other projects for the web and other media. There are so many opportunities for me right now I just need the time to figure out what direction I want to go and do it!


  1. That’s a great interview, and I’m really glad you asked about the ending of Dr Horrible since it’s been such a subject of discussion. It’s good to know that Felicia is working on so many projects – lots to look forward to in the future for all her fans!

  2. What a great interview! I love her reply about Penny not being ‘strong’ and this: “I know why Miss America ladies cry now, sorry I made fun of them all my life.” Hahaha =)

  3. Great interview!
    I really can’t see how anyone can be any more nice and friendly as Felicia!

    I can’t wait to see more of her! Tv, movies, web… she should rule the world (together with Joss) and produce things to all medias!

  4. I’m so sick of people saying Penny isn’t a strong character just because she, like almost all women do at some point in their life, took a tiny bit too long to realise she was going out with a jerk (Remembering she did actually realise Captain Hammer was a tool and was going to leave him). Sure, Buffy would have probably kicked Dr. Horrible’s ass and maybe Captain Hammer too for good measure but to me it is the lack of Penny’s physical strength that makes her the strongest character in the story. ‘Here’s a story of a girl who grew up lost and lonely, thinking love was fairytale and trouble was made only for me.” Penny didn’t live a charmed life, she went through the same struggles as any other person and through that gained the strength to devote her life to charity. What could be stronger than that?

  5. I agree with Michael. Penny stands for the choices Dr.Horrible could have made and didn’t. It seems they both had unhappy childhoods, both grew up knowing things needed to be fixed but they took radically different paths.

  6. michael, can I ask where in the plot penny “realises Captain Hammer was a tool”? Her last words were “Don’t worry, Captain Hammer will save us”, which suggests the contrary.

  7. She was just hit by chunks of death ray, so I can forgive her confusion.

  8. I saw “Bring It On Again” today, and it made me extremely happy to see Felicia…. I just kept going “awww….”

    (Do I lose points for watching a cheerleading movie?)

  9. It near the end where she got too embarrassed about even being near Hammer and was leaving the stage to get the heck out of there. Penny’s not completely oblivious, and Hammer is seriously obvious, so as soon as she put it together how much of a jerk she was, she was out. I’ve always interpretted her saying that Captain Hammer would save them as her trying one last time to turn a blind eye to his faults and try to be optimistic that he was still, in some respect or other, a good guy who had care in his heart.

    I’m commenting on this article about five years late, but that’s okay.