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Mutant X Interviews: Freddie Prinze Jr. (4/03 Zap 2 It)



Excerpt from Zap 2 It 4/16/03: Writer Freddie Prinze, Jr.

Freddie Prinze Jr. Refuses to Be Limited
By Kate O'Hare Wednesday, April 16, 2003 10:00 PM PT

"Summer Catch" and "Scooby-Doo" star Freddie Prinze Jr. doesn't believe he should be limited to acting.
....
To this end, Prinze -- the husband of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" star Sarah Michelle Gellar -- makes his official writing debut the week of April 21 with "One Step Closer," an episode of the syndicated science-fiction series "Mutant X." This came about through Prinze's friendship with the show's creative consultant, Seth Howard.

"We were talking about the show," Prinze recalls, "the things we liked and the things we didn't, and Seth said, 'If you're so smart, write an episode.' And I said, 'OK.' They gave me pretty much total freedom to write my story within their world, and that's what I did."

The series focuses on "new mutants" who have banded together to fight evil under the leadership of one of the scientists (John Shea) who created them. Victor Webster plays Brennan Mulwray, who can manipulate electricity.

In Prinze's story, the kidnapping of a senator's daughter coincides with an uncontrollable escalation of Brennan's powers, threatening both the mission and his life.

"Brennan has lost control of his powers," Prinze says. "He thinks he's going to die and Mutant X does, too. I knew I could take care of all five actors, because I know that I write really good dialogue, because I'm an actor. I write the lines that wish I could always say and never get the chance to."

"So, since Brennan's supposed to be the strong one and the unproclaimed leader of the group, I thought it would be best if the one everyone perceives to be the strongest, if he was the one that was most afraid. How would he deal with the fact that he's going to die?"

"And when people saw how he was dealing with that, then all of a sudden their fears and worries start come out. We've got to see how our leader's going to handle the situation before the soldiers that follow decide how they're going to deal with it."

Prinze also had a practical agenda. "I sit in an office when I write. Literally, I'm saying all the lines out loud, I'm acting it out, I'm running around and jumping and trying to tell a story that everybody's going to love from top to bottom. I wanted to write an episode that you could shoot within your schedule and budget."

According to Prinze, this "Mutant X" script is no one-shot deal. "I've written two screenplays. I've written two pilots. I've written this episode. I've ghostwritten for a couple of shows. This is what I want to do. I don't plan on acting for the rest of my life."

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