Charisma Carpenter: no-one's going to touch her lunch-box, apparently

It’s half time, so it must be time for a change. As Angel’s first season continues, familiar face Wesley arrives to replace the departed Doyle.

Alexis Denisof and Charisma Carpenter talked through the changes with Simon Bacal.

Warning! Spoilers for all UK readers

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Alexis Denisof, alias Wesley Wyndam Price in Season Three of the WB’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer, is the latest veteran of the hot hit to become a regular character on Angel, the network’s Buffy spin off. Angel – from the creative team responsible for Buffy’s success, premiered last October – revolving around the titular vampire Angel (David Boreanaz), who has started a private investigation agency in Los Angeles. Cordelia Chase, now a wannabe actress, is Angel’s assistant in his ongoing attempts to redeem his own soul by preventing others from falling victim to the forces of darkness.

“When my character first appeared on Buffy last season, he was going to be killed within a couple of episodes,” says Denisof about Wesley, who debuted in the Buffy episode Bad Girls. “But as Wesley developed further and further, he became such a wonderful addition to Buffy’s universe that they [producers Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt] kept him on the show for the remainder of the year.”

Wesley’s decision to join forces with Angel and Cordelia follows the exit of Doyle (Glenn Quinn), their half-demon ally – and a spiritual mentor initially sent by the enigmatic Powers That Be, who seem to have chosen Angel to stop the spread of evil on Earth.

“I love working with David and Charisma (Carpenter, who plays Cordelia),” Denisof says. “And I jumped at the opportunity to become a part of Angel’s universe because Wesley now has an excellent chance to further grow and evolve. I’d love to see him become a cross between James Bond and Inspector Clouseau since he’s a pompous and irritating guy who’s always very full of himself. I would also love to see how those traits materialize should Angel ever find a way to take him back through time to other periods of history.”

Denisof also hopes the new series will explore his character’s personal history. “He was educated and raised in England, and his family was dedicated to fighting vampires and demons,” the actor muses. “So I think there’s a whole curious life to explore when it comes to the things he’s done, the places he’s visited and the eccentric information he’s collected over the years. We actually have an episode about Wesley’s childhood, an element which will hopefully prompt fans to become more and more intrigued and mesmerized by this character.”

Meanwhile, the aforementioned Carpenter is also more than happy to be a part of Angel’s universe. “The series is a tremendous workload, so it’s a shock because I wasn’t in high demand during my three years on Buffy,” Carpenter says. “But I’m beyond satisfied with the series because I’m able to flourish as an actress – thanks to my character’s ability to be vulnerable, scared, courageous, heroic and funny.”

The actress believes her character has developed considerably since her days of battling supernatural nasties on Buffy The Vampire Slayer. “Besides using her abilities as a survivor,” she says, “she must conduct research and use her brain. If she remains the Cordelia seen on Buffy, the one-dimensional gratuitous person walking the streets of Sunnydale, we wouldn’t have much to work on.”

Since the show’s debut, the actress has received a stream of positive feedback from fans. “These days the remarks from little girls are not pressing me to be nice to Buffy. Instead, they say ‘Oh, I especially loved it when you were there for Angel – that was really nice’. They’re also pleased that Cordelia’s not so perfectly dressed all the time. She wears flip-flops now, something which probably makes her more earthy to the fans.

“I’m still looking for my action figure, but she hasn’t materialized yet,” Carpenter adds. “Apparently my fans need to start protesting. I want an action figure, dammit – I want a Barbie doll. However, I do have a special lunchbox that was sent to me by the network – it’s going into a shrine. I mean, nobody’s going to touch my lunchbox. Initially, I was really tempted to give the thing to my family, but since it’s been such a big part of my life, I’m not going to part with it anytime soon.”

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Picture © Sue Schneider / Moonglow Photos Feature
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