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Feature: Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Slayer Sidekick

Xander and Anya

Nicholas Brendon, aka Scooby Gang member Xander Harris, tells us what we can expect from the latest series.

Speaking with Nicholas Brendon is like, well, interviewing his character, Xander Harris, from UPN’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Besides the obvious physical similarities, both have the trademark smirk, the casual fashion sense (jeans and loose shirt), the mellow personality, and, most importantly, the sly sense of humour. Take, for instance, how Xander-like his attitude is towards taking down big bad Willow (Alyson Hannigan) in Season Six’s grand finale, Grave. “In my own mind, I’m always the hero,” he jokes. “I watch the show differently than you do. No, it was cool. I loved doing that scene with Alyson, and Joss [Whedon] has been so busy doing Firefly but he was there for that. It was fun. I’m just acting and it’s kind of hard when people say, ‘Hey, thanks for saving the world!’ It’s like, ‘Oh, it’s alright. I’ve got you covered.’”

Currently shooting episode three of the new season, Same Time, Same Place (“We all die,” he quips), what quickly becomes apparent is that Brendon has mastered the art of secrecy. “I can’t divulge anything,” he says with a smile. “I’m under contract. I could be sued. Then I would be off the show. Wouldn’t that suck? I think it would suck for all of us.”

A little more prodding and a few incantations didn’t help either. “I’m not having sex anymore,” offers Brendon, referring to his recent break-up with vengeance demon Anya (Emma Caulfield). “Buffy [Sarah Michelle Gellar] and Xander are hanging out a lot more. We’re like Frick and Frat.”

However, while the newly-married actor refuses to give away any spoilers, he does let a teaser slip when reminiscing about his favourite supernatural opponents.

“The one this year is going to be pretty fantastic, and once you see it you’ll understand why I’m saying that,” he promises. “The Master was a great way to start, but those things in Hush, The Gentlemen, were freaky. Back then, TV Guide said it was the scariest hour of TV ever. I get chills thinking about it. We shoot in Santa Monica and they had to hang these rigs down so they could be floating everywhere. When you’re doing these scenes and they have these cloaks on, it’s freaky watching it. They’re swooping around and it’s freaky. Freeeaaakkyyy!”

Even though Hush reached some frightening new heights and earned Whedon a writing Emmy nomination, other spook-filled adventures staked a place in Brendon’s heart as well. “Wish was awesome,” he recalls. “Whenever you get to put on prosthetics and teeth, it’s like wearing glasses and talking to someone when you’re shy. It was something that let you hide. And we had this little orgy-type feeding on Cordelia [Charisma Carpenter]. I’m not gonna lie to you, that was fun too!”

by Bryan Cairns

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Feature © Visual Imagination 2003. Not for reproduction

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Cult Times #88
January 2003
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