More Than Just Duplicitous and Evil: Joss Whedon on Crafts and Craftiness

The rivalry between knitters and crocheters is "an age-old war, like the vampires and werewolves," Joss Whedon told me.

If only I'd known he knew that when I was preparing to speak with him last month. Now I'm just left wondering why I hadn't assumed from the start that he'd be well acquainted with yarn crafts. I would have prepared way more specific and craft-geeky questions for him about crafts of all sorts. (Joss, if you're reading this and want to follow up, let me know.)

See, back at the end of July the Wired blog asked Whedon how publicity was going for his new internet short movie, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, and he replied, "Fact is, there's been some buzz, but it hasn't reached the places it would normally. Where's our write-up in Crocheting Monthly?"

Knowing how much the crafts community loves them some work by Whedon (work including creating the television shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly; the movie Serenity; the trailblazing Dr. Horrible; and more), and always up for what seems to be an impossible challenge, I thought it might be fun to see if we couldn't deliver him that crochet write-up. I had no contacts in Hollywood, so I asked the online crafts community to help try to get his attention.

Ask, and ye shall receive. The crafts world erupted in blog posts providing the equivalent of Jayne-hat-wearing fans standing on street corners in sandwich boards reading, "Joss! Do an interview with Crochet Me!", jumping up and down and waving their arms. Additionally, crafters, being everywhere—possibly hiding in your boss's office this very moment—are of course also well connected. By several routes, someone knew someone who knew someone that could pass our formal request to Whedon's assistant.

At the end of August, I heard from said assistant who told me Whedon definitely wanted to do the interview, but that he was too busy at that time working on his new show, Dollhouse (which will premiere in the U.S. on Fox on Friday, 13th February 2009). Finally, one Friday morning in November, he took some time to talk to me by phone about how crafty he really is, what the Fox network might have against decoupage, what his advice is when it comes to making stuff, and how he found out about us, his avid crafty fans.

Here are some of the things we talked about:

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
Underworld
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Firefly
Jayne's hat
Dollhouse
Dr. Horrible DVD
The New Knitting: This Is Not Your Grandma's Arts & Crafts (soulless junk quote)
Bishop Desmond Tutu

PS I've posted a transcript of the interview, which might help (except for the couple of parts that were too muffled even for me to understand).

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