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Nicholas Brendon Actor

Nicholas Brendon

Nicholas developed a solid Hollywood reputation in the role as "Xander Harris" on the WB's action drama "Buffy The Vampire Slayer." Nicholas first appeared on television in a handful of commercials and series guest spots. Feeling slightly disenchanted with Hollywood, he took a personal hiatus to play the "real life" roles of production assistant, plumber's assistant, veterinary janitor, food delivery guy, script delivery guy, day care counselor and waiter. He was fired from all but one of the aforementioned positions. During his seventh year in the F&B (Food and Beverage service, for the layman), Nicholas decided to give acting another go; after two months of auditioning, he landed the role of Xander and hung up his apron for good. During his hiatuses from the show he starred in the motion pictures "Psycho Beach Party" and "Demon Island." After "Buffy" wrapped, Nicholas tackled the role of "Dana," the stylish, loving cousin in the 2004 ABC Family movie "Celeste in the City." Offscreen, the LA native enjoys quality time with his loved ones, Dodger games and cooking. He also devotes himself to awareness efforts on behalf of the Stuttering Foundation of America. Nicholas, whose fans have raised more than $5,000 for the SFA through his official Web site, served as honorary chairperson of the charity's Stuttering Awareness Week from 2000-2003. He's the first person to serve in the role for three consecutive years.

Just more facts about Nicholas Brendon

Height: 5'11"
Eyes: Hazel
Birthday: April 12, 1971

About his name: Brendon is his middle name. That's why he and his twin brother, Kelly Donovan, are credited with different last names. Nicholas would prefer that his last name remain private.

Brothers: Kelly (the older twin), Christian, Kyle.

Marital status: Married to actress/writer Tressa di Figlia on Sept. 1, 2001.

 

Nicholas Brendon on the Buffy finale

Nicholas Brendon has provided the comic relief on Buffy, the Vampire Slayer for seven years. From high school nerd to adult flunkie, Xander has always had a crack about the various monsters the gang has faced over the years. In person, it’s easy to see where that sense of humor comes from.

From posing for photos with goofy expressions to going off on random tangents during an interview, it seems Brendon is Xander. And we’ll see a lot more of him next year, as he goes on to star in his own series for Fox.

What was the last week of filming like? I’ve been doing two shows. I’ve been doing a sitcom for Fox that’ll come out next year on the Fox network, so I was very hectically coordinating Buffy and the emotions of that, and then starting this new show. So, saying goodbye to my old cast and saying hello to my new cast. It’s been a very strange week. I haven’t really had a second to really reflect. Wednesday [April 16] was the last day. I cried when I left, like a little baby whose pants were soiled. Change me, mommy, change me. You’re not my mommy. I’m being kidnapped. Christ, where am I? I’m not Mexican. Why am I in Mexico? What the f*ck’s going on right now? So yeah, it was very emotional, but I was very lucky to have booked this pilot, to have the work continue on. But it’s just been a really weird week for me and I’ve been very busy and I haven’t really had time to reflect. Me and my wife are going to Chicago on Sunday and on the plane we’ll have to talk and say, “What the F just happened?”

In the finale, does Xander still fight blind? Yes, you know, Xander loves to fight blondes. I think it’s very evident when he fought Harmony.

How about blind, B-L-I-N-D, since Caleb poked his eye out? I had a sword fight and it was tough. Does he love to fight blind? Would you?

I just asked if he could. Yes, he can, but I don't think he loves it.

What do you think of losing the eye? I think it’s actually great. The idea would be like we would love to do a film and I think we’re going to, and I talked to Joss about it. Xander’s not going to have some mystical eye grow back. He’s going to have an eye patch.

Can he still do construction work? I think he’s going to change. He’s not going to build 3D anymore. He’s going to be more of a 2D type guy, which means he’s going to be poor. “Here’s my concept. Everything’s in 2D.”

How have you felt about playing the everyman who has no special powers? He does. Actually, I think Xander’s power was the most extraordinary because it was wit. The tongue is mightier than the sword, my friend.

How do you feel about the ultimate arc you got to follow? Listen, he’s been a fantastic character and apparently people really, really relate to him. So, I can’t complain about anything. I think Xander’s helped out a lot of kids and a lot of adults throughout the country and the world, and the show has been fantastic.

Double Take By Nicholas Brendon

Can’t get enough of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Nicholas Brendon? Let him introduce you to his identical twin.

Last fourth of July, a busful of teenagers stopped at an In-N-Out Burger in Bakersfield, Calif., thought they spotted me. Psyched to meet Xander Harris from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, one girl ventured over to request autographs for herself and her friends.

“Actually, I’m not Nicholas,” the guy replied. “I’m his twin brother.”

Angered by what they thought was an attempt to blow them off – to them, the guy was obviously Xander – the group erupted, throwing French fries at him. He was forced to get in his car and leave.

The punch line here? The guy really is my identical twin brother, Kelly. People get us confused all the time. In fact, ever since I began playing Buffy’s wisecracking cohort two years ago, Kelly gets recognized as me more than I do. (This is probably because I grow a goatee whenever I’m not working, whereas he’s always clean-shaven). Occasionally, when a starstruck fan approaches him, Kelly pretends that he’s me just to brighten her day. But 60 teenagers at the same time? That’s where he draws the line.

Kelly and I talk about these bizarre moments – and everything else on our minds – all the time. He’s been my best friend ever since we shared our mom’s belly 27 years ago. Take, for example, his providing me much-needed encouragement after my first, not-so-great day on the Buffy set.

It was 100 degrees, I was incredibly nervous (this was my first real acting job) and I wouldn’t drink water for fear of having to use the bathroom while shooting. Worst of all, I didn’t know how to read a call sheet, the schedule that lists the order in which scenes are filmed. During lunch, I suddenly discovered that I had to shoot a dialogue-heavy scene with Sarah Michelle Gellar that afternoon – and I hadn’t even looked at the script! When I got in front of the cameras – dehydrated, hot and flustered – I passed out. It was completely humiliating. So I called Kelly.

“Nick, you’re gonna have more days to prove yourself,” he said. Somehow, his stating the obvious really helped me feel better. Why? Because it came from him.

double trouble

Of course, being a twin can sometimes spoil the party – literally. We grew up in Los Angeles, where our parents – Bob, a car dealer, and Kathy, a talent agent – would throw us joint birthday bashes. Since Kelly is older than me by three minutes, he always got his cake and “Happy Birthday” song first. Mine would come just minutes later, but by then our friends were already eating his cake. They weren’t into my cake.

But in the style department, it was Kelly who drew the short straw. Back in grammar school, my mother dressed us in matching shirts, pants and sweaters. Mine were always blue, and his were always … brown and yellow. While I was sporting the cool color around kindergarten, he was nicknamed “Brownie.”

Despite my fashion superiority, Kelly and I weren’t all that different as kids. But upon entering Chatsworth High School everything changed. You think Xander hates high school? Well I redefined teenage angst. While Kelly went to parties and out on dates, I remained girlfriendless all four years and had acne, braces (he also had braces) and worst of all, a stutter.

Although I was fine speaking around Kelly or our younger brothers (Christian, now 16, and Kyle, now 14), sometimes at school I’d feel the stutter coming on, and I’d keep quiet to prevent mortification. Dialing information once, I tried to ask for the Foot Locker store in Canoga Park. But I kept saying, “C-C-C…” Kelly grabbed the phone and shouted, “Canoga Park! Foot Locker!” I finally got over my stutter after high school, once I realized that my insecurity was causing it and I learned to slow down my speech.

My haven during those dreaded years was the baseball diamond. As a starting player on the nation’s top-ranked high school team in 1988, my junior year, I was dead serious about playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers. But I had to abandon that dream when I hurt my arm a year or so after graduation.

Instead, I started to think about acting – as did Kelly. But knowing we’d be competing for the same parts, he graciously stepped aside and let me take a crack at it first. My mom helped me land some early auditions, while I worked various side jobs: electrician’s assistant, sitcom production assistant, waiter. In the meantime, Kelly worked steadily in production, designing sets for TV shows (he learned on the job). I got a few commercials – among them Clearasil, Burger King and Sprite – but soon became frustrated. I decided to give college a try and even considered going to medical school. Ultimately, when I was 25, I quit school, returned to acting and landed my role on Buffy.

Buffy started out like MTV’s The Real World: The WB put six strangers (Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, Charisma Carpenter, David Boreanaz, Anthony Stewart Head and me) together and sent us off for four months of rehearsing and filming. And it worked. We all got along, and it translated into a successful show. Kelly was obviously happy for me, but I felt as if I was leaving him out. So I helped him get a job working on the Buffy set. However, it eventually only made things awkward between us. It seemed so sadistic for me to be in my trailer running lines with David Boreanaz while my brother would walk by hauling an 80-pound tree.

But lately the circumstances have changed. Kelly has decided to pursue his original goal of acting, and he’s been getting great feedback from casting directors at his auditions. I feel better knowing that it’s only a matter of time before he’s in a movie or a television show.

brotherly love

As Kelly and I grow older, we realize how special our relationship is. There’s this unexplained twin phenomenon that even we can’t understand. For example, we’ll be driving together, and out of nowhere we’ll start singing the same song (usually an obscure one, like Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”) at the same time. Weirder still is a recurring dream we both have. One day about four months ago, I mentioned, “I had this dream last night.”

“About an elephant?” he asked.

“Yes,” I answered. “Did you move up really close to the elephant and feel really peaceful the closer you got to it?”

Yes, he did – and that revelation made us both feel a little bit uneasy. I was like, “Hey, get out of my head! It’s my dream!”

But the Unsolved Mysteries aspect of our connection is nothing compared to the emotional bond we share. I’ll never forget what he did when we were 21, after my first breakup with a girl I loved. (I’m a long-term relationship guy, which makes endings especially hard.) Kelly came over to my place that day, picked me up, and we drove to Lake Arrowhead, one-and-a-half hours east of L.A. This Garth Brooks song came on the radio, and I just started bawling. Without a word, Kelly reached over and held my hand. He didn’t have to say anything – I already knew what he meant: No matter what, he’d always be there for me. And vice versa.

 

Nicholas Brendon: Oh, brother!

Twenty-eight years ago, Nicky Brendon, Xander Harris on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, made his debut three minutes after his identical twin, Kelly, in a Los Angeles hospital. These days, Kelly, who spent the past five years working in film and TV production, is following Nicky--into acting. But the pair, who share a two-bedroom L.A. apartment, occasionally part company.

Kelly: I'm the neat one.

Nicky: He's not neat. He used to be really, rally neat, but he's let himself go a little bit.

Kelly: I'm the clotheshorse. He borrows more of mine than I borrow of his.

Nicky: Are you insane?

Kelly: I just steal your clothes and don't return them.

Nicky: Hands down, Kelly steals more clothes. He also works out more. I go to the gym because I really enjoy it. Kelly goes because he feels he needs it.

Kelly: I have to become one notch more beautiful.

Nicky: I wake up and it's like, "Oh God, I hope I look that pretty.

Kelly: As we get older, we're starting to look different. Even our faces are changing a little bit.

Nicky: And I started growing my hair out.

Kelly: People still mistake me for Nick. If a little kid comes up, I say, "yeah." If an adult comes up and asks me if I'm the guy on Buffy, then I say, "No, we're twins." They say "Oh, sure you're twins. Once, people did throw french fries and napkins at me when they didn't believe me.

Nicky: Kelly goes out too much. [Laughs]

Kelly: He pays me $200 a week to sign autographs.

Nicholas Brendon's new movie ''Unholy''

Sky Whisper Productions' "Unholy" Movie Begins Production In New York. "Unholy," a new feature length thriller starring Adrienne Barbeau (Escape from New York, The Fog, Carnivale) and Nicholas Brendon (Psycho Beach Party, Buffy The Vampire Slayer) has begun shooting in Queens, N.Y., this past weekend. Under the directorial eye of Daryl Goldberg, and penmanship of Samuel Stephen Freeman, "Unholy" is the first in-house feature for Sky Whisper Productions. Sky Whisper Productions served as an associate producer on "Zombie Honeymoon" which is currently on the festival circuit. Joshua Blumenfeld and Freeman are Sky Whisper's executive producers.

The film deals with a grieving mother, Martha (Barbeau), trying to uncover the terrifying secret that is jeopardizing her family. Along with her son (Brendon), Martha becomes entwined in a conspiracy involving a fabled witch, Nazi occultists and the U.S. government. The film is inspired by an actual military document found discussing elements of Nazi witchcraft that were smuggled into small town Pennsylvania following World War II by the U.S. administration.

"We are thrilled to have actors of the caliber of Adrienne and Nicholas on Sky Whisper Productions' first feature film," said Blumenfeld, Sky Whisper CEO and "Unholy" executive producer. "Both stars have extraordinary followings and for good reason. I believe that this production will contain one of the best performances audiences have ever seen from both of these actors. There is already extraordinary buzz surrounding this film on dozens of Web sites, and we are confident that it will likely be one of the most successful horror films of the year."

"I believe that this terrifying and unusual tale, along with cult genre icons such as Barbeau and Brendon, is sure to guarantee a creation like none other," said Freeman, scriptwriter and co-executive producer on "Unholy." "There has never been a genre film like this before. Audiences will leave the theater scathed."

 

The X-Appeal of Nicholas Brendon

Xander Harris may not have had any superpowers as such, but that never stopped Buffy, and the Buffy viewers, from thinking that he was a real superhero. Buffy Magazine caught up with the popular actor to discuss life after Buffy, his hopes for the return of the franchise and his future projects...

It comes as no surprise to see that Nick Brendon is tired when he comes into the Green Room at the end of the Starfury Fusion convention being held in Blackpool, England. For the past two and a half days he has been giving his all to the fans, entertaining them on stage, both in tandem with his onscreen lover, Emma Caulfield, and just before we meet, in a solo panel. Effortlessly bounding around the stage, he has been swapping jokes, occasionally becoming serious, but always handling the audience with the kind of light touch that has endeared him to fans around the world, making him a constant favorite at conventions.

Nick looks lean and fit, and this is in part because, as he announced shortly before the convention, he recently voluntarily entered an alcohol treatment center. “Over the past eight years, I’ve discovered that Buffy fans are the most caring and supportive fans in the world,” he explained when he made his announcement. “Knowing that they will be behind me, rooting for me as I go through this process, makes everything that much easier. I’m looking forward to leading a happy, sober life.” And the fans certainly lived up to his expectations, giving him presents and passing on their good wishes.

The actor looks round the Green Room and gives a cheery ‘hello’ to other cast members who are scattered around, then reacts with mock hurt and surprise when nobody acknowledges him. “I’m saying ‘hi’ to you!” he sings out, and when they tell him that they’re just listening, he stage mutters, “I just say ‘hi’ to them, and they didn’t say ‘hi’ back… that’s odd…”

Admitting that the weekend has been tiring, Nick slumps back in an armchair but is happy to chat with Buffy Magazine, looking back at his work on the show. “I was sad,” he admits, when we start discussing how he felt as his seven years on Buffy drew to a close. “It was a big family, you know, and I was used to seeing these people five days a week – the crew and the cast… the cast and the crew.” He gives a grin. “I don’t want anyone to feel slighted there by putting them in the wrong order! Yeah, there was a definite tinge of sadness, and, of course, there was the anxiety of wondering what the last day was going to be like. Was there going to be lots of tears and stuff?”

In the event, Nick was actually very busy during the filming of “Chosen.” Not only was Xander involved heavily in the final battle between the Slayer and the forces of The First, but the actor was also simultaneously working on another project. “I was doing a show for Fox,” he recalls. “It was a pilot for The Pool at Maddy Breakers, by the creator of Married… With Children, Ron Levitt. It was an awesome show, with a fantastic cast, but the pace was completely different from Buffy. Acting in front of an audience is amazing – you get an energy from the audience that’s just like theater.”

This meant that, although he realized that he was no longer turning up for work at the Santa Monica sound stages, which had been part of his life for so long, the full impact of Buffy’s ending didn’t affect him immediately. “It kind of hit me about three months after it had wrapped,” he admits. “I missed the camaraderie of it. It had been the first job for most of us, and we’d seen what the show had become as it went along.”

Nick has no complaints about the end of Xander’s journey through the series. Throughout the show’s history, he has said that he puts his faith in Joss’ writing. “It’s been nice to relinquish control and delegate what this kid is going to do,” he points out. “He’s been growing up and trying to discover himself. I would read the script, show up to work and find out where he’s going. At the end, he lost body parts! I thought that was great. If there’s a film to be done, I’ll be wearing an eye patch! And he lost his love. I thought it wrapped up quite nicely.”

Although in the past, Nick has maintained that he knew that there were certain central core characters who Joss Whedon would not allow to be killed, all bets were definitely off when it came to the closing episodes of the series. At one stage, Nick reveals, it was even considered that Xander would turn to the dark side. “As I said on stage earlier, I like playing evil. And Joss likes me when I’m playing evil. He came up with the idea that I would be killed. It would have been when I got my eye poked out – I was going to be killed then, but he thought about it, and decided that the fans might not like that, so instead I lost an eye.”

Nick admits that it came as something of a shock to see the black and white words of the script, bringing everything to a close. “We knew that people were going to die,” he says bluntly. “One of the things that we were warned about was that people were going to die in the finale. Then we got word about three weeks before we shot the episode of the people who were going to be dying.” He pauses for a moment, then says more quietly, “That was kind of weird. When you read the script and see a line that says Spike is dead – okay, at least for a week! – or another one that says ‘Anya lays down on the floor, dead,’ it was strange, because we were always laying on the floor – but we would always get up again the following week.”

For once in Buffy, death really did seem to mean death. “There hadn’t been that finality before, no,” Nick agrees, then laughs again. “Except for Spike, of course!”

Looking back over the whole seven years, Nick thinks that the greatest thing he learned from the experience was “patience. Tons and tons of patience. In every respect.” He laughs when he’s reminded of his jokey comment a couple of years earlier that ‘the 14-hour days aren’t as much fun as they used to be, and you’re in your trailer for 10 hours, thinking that everyone is conspiring against you!’ “Yeah, I learned patience about the hours, about everything,” he says.

There’s a large grin on his face when he says that the highlight for him of his whole time on Buffy was “learning patience…” and he’s determined to keep the gag running as long as possible when he says that “patience” is a challenge that he can now face as a result of working on the show. He turns serious for a moment. “I don’t actually view it that way,” he says. “I attack each part differently. I learned a lot from working on Buffy. I became a lot more comfortable in what I do. I was on there for 144 episodes [he missed “Conversations with Dead People”], so there was definitely a lot of opportunity to learn while I was there. I still get nervous, but now it’s like it’s ‘fun’ nervous. Those nerves make me shine a little bit – at least I hope they do.”

Nick has always maintained that he prefers to work on ‘quality, not quantity,’ and since work ended on Buffy, he has played Celeste’s gay cousin in the TV movie Celeste in the City, working alongside a fellow former fantasy actor, Roswell star Majandra Delfino. “It was nice to be working on something where I didn’t have a love interest,” he admits. “It was a lot of fun to do.” However, the actor is very honest about what he looks for when his agent sends him a script. “I want to be hired,” he says bluntly. “I want to book the job.” In reality, he’s much more choosy than that, and he adds, “I look at the way it’s composed. If I’m doing a comedy, then I want to be sure that the beats are there. If it’s a drama, does it hold my attention when I’m reading it?”

Like many of his castmates, and indeed everyone who has worked on a Joss Whedon show, Nick considers that he was spoiled by the fantastic dialog that he was given to deliver during the series, and the overall quality of the scripts, whether written by Joss directly or overseen by him. “Oh yes, we were spoiled. I’ve learned that it all starts with the writers,” he says firmly. “It’s very much in the writing. Hopefully, I’ll get lucky again – lightning can strike twice, or maybe even three or four times.”

At the time of this interview, there had been no confirmation on the rumors of Buffy: Animated being resurrected, and Nick admitted that he was “wide open right now. I’ve been talking about maybe doing comedy – I want to do a sitcom in front of a live audience and have fun. I also want to play a villain, or maybe be in a romantic comedy.”

He is absolutely insistent that he has no regrets about the seven years that he spent playing Xander. “No,” he says instantly, “No regrets at all. It’s a pretty good way to spend that time.” Indeed, unlike many actors who have appeared in a long-running series, who are champing at the bit toward the end of the run for a chance to do something else, he even says that he would be happy to sign up for another long-running series.

Nick used to say that “Xander is a very important person in my life, but he’s not me,” but he agrees now that it’s become really hard for him to be able to see how much the character of Xander has been influenced by Nicholas Brendon. “I really don’t know how interchangeable they were by the end,” he admits. “I was just learning my lines, and hopefully doing a good job.” But, as with any long-running series, the writers saw what Nick was bringing to the table and started to play to the actor’s strengths. “Yes, that’s what makes it really hard to say!” he laughs.

As our time draws to a close, and Nick prepares to face the UK fans for one last time in a final autograph session, he’s typically modest about what he would like to see if Buffy the Vampire Slayer does translate back to the big screen at some point in the near future. “The eye patch,” he repeats. “I would have to wear an eye patch. But other than that, there’s nothing I can particularly think of. During those seven years, [Xander] went through the whole gamut of emotions. I’m more than happy to leave that in the hands of the Powers That Be.”

Make-over artist: Nicholas Brendon goes for laughs in 'Celeste in the City'

Nicholas Brendon is as funny and flippant as the character he played for seven years on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

When asked in a recent telephone interview about his role in the upcoming ABC Family movie Celeste in the City (airing Sunday at 8 p.m.), he said, "I wanted to play Celeste, but they said, 'No, you still look like a dude.' ''

Instead, Brendon plays Dana, the gay cousin of Celeste (Majandra Delfino, best iknown from Roswell), a young journalist who comes to New York Cty in desperate need of a makeover.

"I hate to sound cliched, but I wanted to take something else on,'' he said. "It was a lot of fun, really. I'm not playing a romantic lead. On Buffy, I did have a girlfriend. It's nice to be in a project where I didn't have a love interest. I was my own love interest.''

Dana and his friends take to Celeste like the gang on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Brendon changed his posture, his walk and his voice for the character. There's not a trace of the beloved member of the Scooby gang. After joking that he thought of playing Dana like Harvey Fierstein (complete with a spot-on impersonation), Brendon said he was wary of making Dana too much of a stereotype.

"Once I got all the lines down, I just kind of came up with him. He's based on no one. I could have gone way over the top, and I just choose not to. I wanted to keep him real and still utilize the comedy. It wasn't written like Sean Hayes' character on Will & Grace."

Since "Buffy'' ended last spring, Brendon has adjusted to life without the series. "I miss the camaraderie of it,'' he said. "It was pretty much all of our first jobs. Seeing the show become what it became, going through that together . . . that's seven Christmases, seven birthdays - you build a huge bond.''

After filming 145 episodes of Buffy,' a show full of humor but not exactly lighthearted, Brendon is focusing his efforts on landing a sitcom for the fall.

"I want to do a sitcom in front of a live audience and have fun. I did a sitcom pilot for Fox last year when I was finishing Buffy, and acting in front of an audience is amazing. It's like theater basically and you get that energy from the audience.''

Also appealing is the schedule of a sitcom, which is often less demanding than a one-hour drama. "If I want to start a family, it's a lot easier with a sitcom,'' Brendon said.

There is still talk of the cast coming together for a big-screen version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer,' something Brendon, who lists "Once More with Feeling,'' "Hush'' and "The Zeppo'' as his favorite episodes, is definitely open to. But fans won't be seeing Brendon reprise his character of Xander on the WB series Angel,' which ends in May.

"Joss (Whedon, executive producer) didn't ask me to be on Angel because Xander and Angel don't get along. But there's not enough conflict to have it make any sense.''

The actor is the spokesman for the Stuttering Foundation of America. He conquered his stuttering through acting classes and practicing tongue twisters. Brendon often corresponds with people who stutter via e-mail and meets them in person.

"There are so many different phases of stuttering, and it always breaks my heart. I always wish I could say, 'When I'm done hugging you . . . your stuttering will be gone.' ''

'Buffy's' Xander Grows Up

HOUSE OF THE RISING XANDER: After several seasons of being abused, possessed, beaten up and generally treated as a bit of joke, Xander Harris (Nicholas Brendon) of the WB's Tuesday-night staple "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" has finally come into his own. In the wake of being turned into a simpering minion by Dracula (Rudolf Martin) in the season opener, Xander -- a founding member of Buffy's (Sarah Michelle Gellar) demon-hunting "Scooby Gang" -- declared a new era in his life.

In a later episode, "The Replacement," Xander found himself split into two, with one half housing all of his insecurities and the other half possessing all of his self-confidence. When the two halves were reunited, Xander finally found the courage to move out of his parents' basement, take on greater responsibilities at his construction job and get an apartment for himself and his steady girlfriend, ex-vengeance demon Anya (Emma Caulfield), to whom he later professed his profound love.

"It's nice to see him grow and mature," says Brendon, "because I've been the nerd guy for four years. It's nice to see him, I guess the word is, mature, there."

"There are depths we haven't seen yet. There's lots going on in the show. It's nice to see how the writers are writing differently. It's nice to go back and play a different character."

"The Replacement" also allowed Brendon to work with his twin brother, Kelly Donovan (neither brother uses his actual last name as a stage name). "That was awesome," says Brendon.
While Brendon played both Xanders in most of the episode, fans were hard-pressed to tell when identical-twin Kelly was on-screen. "God was in a good mood that day," says Brendon of the resemblance. "Kelly worked pretty much every day, for the off-camera dialogue stuff. In the scenes where you saw us together, that was me and my brother. If you get to know us, you can see the differences, but upon that once glance, it's spooky."

Did the two ever indulge in "twinspeak," their own private language? "As kids, we did, but now that we're adults, we actually talk to each other in real words and stuff."

The episode, though, wasn't the first time that Kelly has had to pretend to be his brother. "Kelly actually gets harassed a lot on the street. I'm working a lot, so I don't have the opportunity to go out much, so Kelly gets the brunt of it. If it's a little kid, he'll sign an autograph as me. He's a good man."

Not only does Xander have a new place to live, so does Brendon, who has bought a house for himself and his girlfriend. "We bought the house about eight months ago," he says, "so we've been doing a remodel of the bathroom. That's about done now. We were looking for a house just to redo the bathroom, because we wanted to do the bathroom our way."

Why a house now? "I just felt it was the right time. We wanted to get out of our little apartment, and we found an awesome house. It was just the right time and the right fit. It's got everything we wanted in a house, so we wanted to jump on it."

Any other big personal developments to announce? "No babies coming yet, nothing like that. I might be getting a new car. You need one. I tried using one of those Razor scooters there for awhile, but I was late to work every day."

While Xander negotiates the end of adolescence, Brendon is already well into adulthood. "I'm 29," he says, "turning 30 on April 12. But I'm playing 19, isn't that great? I moisturize. It's more the dialogue than anything else. People are believing that I'm 19. They've believed that for four or five years now."

"If there's good dialogue, and you're a decent actor, you can sell it. If I don't shave, I can play 29 or 30; if I shave, I can play 19."

How is he enjoying the progression of the relationship between Xander and Anya? "It's like any relationship when you're 19 years old. It's funny that she happens to be an ex-demon person. Everyone's got baggage and skeletons in their closet. It's definitely Xander's most serious relationship. We'll see how it goes."

Like all the "Buffy" cast, Brendon is close-mouthed about future developments from series creator Joss Whedon. "It's been an awesome season, and I know what's going to happen, so I'm really pleased where the season is going to go. I would say, by June it's all going to happen. That's all I can say."

In other Brendon/Xander news, look for an action figure of the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" character to be released in the new year, and the eventual unveiling of "Pinata" (http://www.pinatathemovie.com/), Brendon's next movie. Directed and written by the team of David and Scott Hillenbrand, it concerns teens trapped on an island and haunted by a demon. Also starring are Jaime Pressly ("Jack & Jill" ), Garret Wang ("Star Trek: Voyager"), Eugene Byrd ("Chris Cross" ), Nate Richert ("Sabrina, the Teenage Witch") and Aeryk Egan ("Brooklyn Bridge").

Nicholas Brendon: Xander the Great

Separated from all his college-going friends and dating a man-hating demon, Xander still finds time to invite the gang over for Hallowe'en, sell bad beer to the student population and grapple with a few vampires. "This isn't really a comical world," confides Nicholas Brendon

The fourth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer has taken the successful series in new and unexpected directions. The Scooby gang is out of high school now, and facing the real world challenges of college and life decisions, along with the decidedly other-worldly challenges of demons, monsters, and a mysterious government agency fighting alongside (or is it against?) the Slayer.

Those different directions give actor Nicholas Brendon pause as he considers the implications of the past year. "We're not done yet, so these are my thoughts while we're still shooting," says Brendon with the same dry delivery viewers have come to expect from his character, Xander, on Buffy.

"It was cool because it was a growing year for everybody. And very realistic, which is what I think Joss does an amazing job with on the show. Like Willow's new relationship, which I think happens in college -- and the confusion, the hurt from opposite sex people," muses Brendon. "And my character, it's just kind of... it's funny, because it's kind of what I did in my real life. I didn't go to college right away... if ever. He's just trying to find his niche in life, and every week he has a different job. It seemed that even though we had a lot of the monsters and ghouls and stuff, the main monster and ghouls seemed to be real life traumas and problems."

The character of Xander often seems to fill the role of the show's Greek chorus, commenting on events as well as translating what's happening on-screen for viewers. But he's also the personification of series creator Joss Whedon, who has stated that Buffy's depiction of the trials and tribulations of teenage life is essentially a thinly veiled version of Whedon's own high school years. "I think it was Joss when he was in school, but now he's God, so he has more say on what the outcome is," jokes Brendon. "It's almost as if the show is seen through Xander's eyes. He guffaws and laughs and looks in wonderment, and also he has to live Joss's life in high school and college."

The wry, sardonic wit that's Xander's trademark comes naturally to Brendon. "No, I just take the lines and do them like I want to do them. I like comedy. It's escapism. Because this isn't really a comical world."

Consider his response to being asked how does he keep things fresh on the series: "I'll change sodas that I drink. Mondays I'll never have a Coke, I'll have a 7-Up on Mondays, Sprite on Tuesdays, Pepsi on Wednesdays. Orange on Thursdays and maybe root beer on Fridays," he says with a straight face, completely serious -- or maybe not.

Aside from comedy, Brendon cites baseball as having been a major influence in his formative years. "Baseball was very, very good to me. And I [watched] Love Boat and Dukes of Hazzard; I was never really into Sci-Fi and didn't really read any comic books at all. I was just a kid who loved to play baseball, and whenever there was a baseball game on TV I'd watch it. And I was always playing baseball. So I didn't really watch any Sci-Fi at all." An arm injury cut short his aspirations of playing baseball professionally, and it was then that Brendon turned his attention to acting. When he hit a dry spot between parts, he took a job as a production assistant on Dave's World, and then promptly nailed a guest spot role on the series, too. He's since appeared on the soap opera The Young and the Restless, had a role in Children of the Corn III - Urban Harvest, and has appeared in several Los Angeles theater productions.

Although his tendencies don't lean toward science fiction, like any other eligible 20-something male actor in Hollywood these days, Brendon wouldn't mind it if the role of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode II rolled his way. Not that he believes it will. But, he tells, "George Lucas came to our set two months ago. And so I went and I met and I talked to him. But when I realized the kid in the first episode is Anakin, I realized that it probably is not going to happen," he laughs, shrugging it off. "I would love to. I just wasn't into it. I've seen all of the movies when they were rereleased and they were cool. But at the time, it was just so blown up, and when everyone had all the action figures, I just didn't want to be a part of that. I wanted to play kickball instead. But yes, I'd definitely do it. I think Lucas has proven his worth."

As has Buffy, apparently. After four years on the air, Buffy remains one of the WB Network's strongest, most consistent, and most-lauded efforts. Not that Brendon or any of the other actors knew what they were in for when they first began on this little-show-that-cold, which was based on a mildly noted feature film. "No. It was like fighting tooth and nail with the network for them to even give us a shot, because they picked up 7th Heaven over us. We were a midseason replacement. And so I think it was because of Joss being who he was, even then, that they gave it a shot. I think the first episode we all saw together was episode three, which was the witch episode, and we were all sitting there with chills, going, "oh my god, this is a really cool show." And I think that's when we started to realize [what we had with Buffy]. And then when it aired the ratings were really good, and we never looked back."

There are advantages to being part of a hit, established series: namely, job security. "Now we're getting our pick-ups early," explains Brendon. "After the first season we had to wait to see if we were going to be picked up. Then you wait until a week before they start shooting to get your option, to see if they want you back. But now they're doing it like, we got picked up for next year long ago, and we'll start production in July and probably in August we'll have our next season pick-up and the options coming in. So, the show's going to be around for a while. And we're all just trying to stay happy, and keep it real and fresh. And that's kind of up to the actors in a sense, to do that. It's fortunate."

There's always the potential for shock with Buffy, and Whedon never misses a beat when he sees a chance to throw viewers for a loop. However, according to Brendon, rumors that a character on the series will be killed off at the end of this season are inaccurate. But he does drolly offer this insight: "Buffy, Xander, Willow, and Giles are the four characters that will never die. Unless there's a bitter contract dispute with Fox. Anyone above and beyond that is expendable in Joss's eyes."

Nicholas Brendon's man Xander

Ex-demon-dating funny man Xander Harris may be goofy, but he does his share of bad-guy butt kicking. Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Nicholas Brendon took a time out to tell us about his life off the set.

Q: Can we expect anything new and outlandish from Xander this season?
A: Aside from the fact that they've allowed him to be less gawky - you know, I no longer have to wear stripes with my plaids - there's not a whole lot I can reveal right now. You will just have to watch the show.

Q: Speaking of which, would you be a Buffy fan if you weren't actually on the show?
A: I'm not sure. Buffy requires a certain level of devotion. It's amazing how committed people are to it. I recently met someone who was completely obsessed with it, and he kept referring to things that had happened on the show that I wasn't even aware of. That was a little unsettling. Sometimes I feel like saying, "Hey, it's just a show." But I am having a blast. I feel this character is in my heart, in my bones. And the show is so well written, it's almost as if we are doing a short film every week.

Q: How would you describe your last movie role in the comedy Psycho Beach Party [due out on video in April]?
A: Even though I played a gay guy, I was actually the straight man. I was not the funny guy, which is one of the reasons I wanted to do it. On Buffy, I am now considered the far-out funny guy. With Psycho Beach Party, I was so nice and philosophical, it was almost boring. But it was also a huge challenge because your natural instinct as an actor is to show off.

Q: So who are you off-camera? Straight or funny?
A: I try to maintain the perspective that life is meant to be laughed at. I mean, some days I cry, but for the most part growing up I was the funny guy.

Q: Yeah? How so?
A: I'm always inventing new characters for my girlfriend because I love to make her laugh. I think I succeed, but she's pretty much convinced I'm a nut. In fact, her pet name for me is "a real-life crazy person."

Q: Is this a serious relationship?
A: Very! We've been together two years.

Q: What's your secret?
A: A lot of love.

Q: Do you ever give advice to your guy friends about relationships?
A: No way!

Q: Why not?
A: Relationships are so unique and individual, it's hard to step in and give advice. I mean, sometimes I give advice to my brother. Because I love him and only if he is making mistakes and if he asks.

Q: What about you? Who gives you the best advice about love?
A: Well, my girlfriend, of course.

Q: How do you keep romance fresh?
A: We try to force ourselves to go out on dates. [Laughing] We actually pulled that off five months ago. Going out on traditional dates can be kind of dicey for us, especially if we go somewhere popular, like Universal CityWalk. I have to keep my head down, otherwise I get mobbed.

Q: Does being famous ever get on your nerves, say when someone asks you for an autograph when you're in the middle of a romantic dinner?
A: Oh, no. Fans are the main reason I do what I do. I have been given this opportunity to reach out to a lot of people. And I love being able to entertain somebody, even if it's only for a few minutes. Someone who otherwise might be having a really bad day.

Q: Who entertained you when you had bad days?
A: Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in Some Like It Hot. I went through a rough time back in my early 20s, and I swear I must have watched that film at least 90 times. This was right before I was a professional actor. Before that I was completely obsessed with baseball.

Q: Why were you so bummed out?
A: My parents were going through a divorce. It was a rough time. I felt really lost. One night I went out into the backyard, and I was talking to God - asking for direction - and acting was the answer I got. That was pretty terrifying, because I was not a confident kid. I had a stutter. I had ears that stuck out and acne. I was definitely not cut out for acting. But I decided to chance it.

Q: Did acting cure your stutter?
A: The sad thing is, there is no cure for it. I will always have a stutter. In fact, it still comes up to this day when I am at auditions or speaking in front of a group of people. I just hide it better now. But rehearsing and practice definitely changed it. I feel really fortunate. I think having a stutter is one of the most devastating things that can happen to a young kid. This year I'm planning on volunteering for the Stuttering Foundation of America. I'm hoping to become a spokesperson for them so that I can help other people.

Q: What about the future? What do you want to see happen?
A: We finish with the show in April, and from there it's up in the air. I've got my hands full right now, and Sarah is doing Scooby, and Alyson is doing American Pie 2, so I have to be mindful of the girls' schedules. But I would love to get my hands on a decent script sometime soon. It's tough, but they are out there. Ultimately, I would like to do a dramatic, emotional film. I have a lot of that inside of me, and that would be a great way to get it out.

Nicholas Brendon: Xander the Survivor!

Talk about a quick rise to fame: Nicholas Brendon had been acting for only about a year before landing the role of Xander Harris on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He made his television debut in a Clearasil commercial, appeared on The Young and the Restless and Married … With Children, and starred in a pilot, Secret Lives. Other than that, he played an evil corn follower in a feature film, Children of the Corn III – Urban Harvest and starred in Los Angeles theater productions of The Further Adventures of Tom Sawyer, My Own Private Hollywood and Out of Gas on Lovers’ Leap. He also worked briefly as a production assistant on Dave’s World.

Then he landed the role of Xander, giving weight to a character that is primarily a comic relief part. Aided by Buffy creator Joss Whedon’s oversight and some high-quality scripts, Brendon has fleshed out what started as a simplistic, one-note role to one of sometimes surprising depth.

The first hit came during the sixth episode of the initial season, “The Pack,” in which Brendon turned in an exceedingly creepy performance as a nasty, violent Xander possessed by an evil spirit. In the second season, “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” provided an opportunity for Brendon to display both dramatic and comedic abilities, and he never missed a beat. The current season has provided even more opportunities for Brendon to shine, particularly in “Dead Man’s Party,” the second episode, in which Xander lashed out in anger at Buffy, who had gone AWOL.

Q: You were fairly new to the acting profession when you landed the role of Xander. How grueling was the audition process for you in getting the part?
Brendon: It wasn’t that bad. It was just boom-boom-boom-boom. I went four different times, and then they told me I had a part on a show.

CM: Had you seen the Buffy movie? Did you know what they were trying to do with the TV series?
NB: Oh yeah, yeah. And then I read the script, and the script was what Joss [Whedon] wanted it to be, which I felt was better than the movie.

CM: Nowadays, networks allow very little time for a series to establish an audience. Considering that Buffy arose from a not overly successful feature film, how confident were you early on that the show would survive without the network axe?
NB: I think being on a network like the WB at the time was beneficial for both parties. And I think that Buffy has helped to launch that network and make it the fastest-growing network right now on TV. You know, I had faith in Joss, and I was rereading the scripts, so for me it was pretty easy. I had faith that the network would actually let us develop the show.

CM: At the time that you came on to the show, how many scripts had been done?
NB: I’m not sure, I mean, he had the pilot script, and we just went off of that, because you shoot the pilot, and then they pick you up off of that. And then after it was picked up, he just went to his writing!

CM: Xander is one of the characters that has deepened more than some others as the show has progressed.
NB: Yes.
CM: How would you describe the difference between the early Xander and the current one?
NB: Not as all-over-the-place. A bit more secure. Not as sexually pathetic as he once was. Doesn’t really want to learn much, but will experience.

CM: Do the writers let you know the general long-term arc development of the character?
NB: Yeah, sometimes, but then it’s getting to the point where it’s kinda better not to know. We’ll have conversations and we’ll say, “What’s going on?” because we just get excited about it. But then you have to realize, just show up to work, do my stuff and go.

CM: Do you have much input in recommending directions for the character?
NB: No. We’ll discuss it and come up with other things, but it’s all Joss Whedon.

CM: In fact, that was my next question: how “hands-on” is Joss in such developments? Some executive producers barely show up, others are there every day.
NB: He’s there every day.

CM: So he’s in control of all the long-term developments and mapping out the direction of the show.
NB: Yeah. He’s got his hand in everything.

CM: Your first great episode in portraying Xander was “The Pack,” where you got to portray a quite different Xander – violent and evil. Recently “Dead Man’s Party” showed us a brief glimpse of a forceful and angry Xander. Do you think the character has an underlying intensity beneath the superficial goofiness?
NB: I know Nick does. Yeah, definitely. I think he’s a kid who’s in touch with his emotions very well, so I think when he’s bothered, he’ll say something about it, and that’s what’s been going on.

CM: You have great on-screen chemistry with all of the female co-stars you’ve been paired up with – Sarah Michelle Gellar [Buffy], Alyson Hannigan [Willow], and Charisma Carpenter [Cordelia]. Talk a little bit about working with each of them.
NB: Yeah, let’s see. Sarah is nice to work with. She’s very professional. She’s been around for a while, so I’ve learned a lot from her. And the same with Alyson. She’s very sweet and gives you a lot in the scene. And Charisma, there’s that whole chemistry thing – she has great timing with her jokes, and it’s nice to work off of that, to work off of somebody like that. You just go bam-bam-bam-bam-bam. It’s really hard to define them in words, so let me sing it for you! [Laughter] No, I don’t have a song for you.

CM: Well, you know, in last night’s episode [“Homecoming”], Xander and Willow seem to renew a tentative romance from the first season. Should we read something into that, or is it a throwaway scene that they want to tease us with?
NB: We kissed. We’ll see what happens.

CM: Your great second-season episode was “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered” – that seemed to be the “Xander episode” for the year.
NB: Right.

CM: Do you have any comments in particular about the filming of that episode?
NB: It was fun to do. It was nice to be busy; it was nice to have a lot to do. And I like the episode a lot. I thought it came out really well. Other than that, uh, I just got to play a lot with the comedy and the timing and just the whole – like a ribbon wrapping around a pole. [Laughter] I had a lot of fun doing it.

CM: And it was great to see the return of Amy [Elizabeth Anne Allen] from the first season.
NB: Yeah. It was nice. They’re very good with that kind of stuff.

CM: It was a little surprising to see Xander blackmailing her – although she uses the word before he does. There’s a little more to Xander than we may have guessed before!
NB: Yes. Exactly.

CM: He doesn’t seem to have many qualms about doing whatever he thinks he needs to.
NB: No, no. He’s a survivor.

CM: Will the series continue to move along more or less in “real time,” or will you guys stay in high school for ages?
NB: No, it’s real time. We’re in college next year. Yeah. This is our senior year.

CM: Maybe I’m making too big a deal of this, but your hairstyle changed between seasons one and two. You had bangs at first, which made you look younger, like you belonged in high school. Then it was brushed back, and you looked like a college guy. Whose choice was that?
NB: Yeah. In the beginning my hair was long, and I liked it that way. But the network wanted me to cut it because they couldn’t see my eyes, and now pretty much every day it’s changing, because I’m not really a fan of short hair. So it was the network’s idea initially to cut it, but I would like to have it long again. You know, it is what it is. It’s just hair. And a kid in high school is going to have a different hairstyle every day!

CM: The new issue of Entertainment Weekly calls Buffy “as dramatically satisfying as Homicide, ER, and NYPD Blue,” which is pretty high praise right there. Do you have a preference for the humor- or the drama-dominated episodes?
NB: I think the balance is what makes the show work. You need the comedy; you need the drama; you need everything. It’s like the puppet master – pull the string, pull the string. It’s like The Truman Show -- okay, intercept, intercept! It’s just a very, very delicate mix. But we’ll have story arcs where it needs to become more dramatic. And you go through that, like a five- or six-episode art, and then boom! Because in TV, things don’t heal. At least on our show, things don’t heal the next episode. There’s a carryover factor, which is nice. But I like the comedy a lot, since that’s my part.

CM: Twenty years ago it was rare to find a TV series that mixed comedy and drama, but now more and more series are doing it -- The X-Files, Xena, and others. Buffy does a lot of it, and you really don’t know when you tune in whether you’re going to get comedy or drama, and it makes it kind of exciting.
NB: It’s great, and we’re kind of a pathfinder in terms of TV, and it’s nice on a show that is original. I think we’ve got some amazing writers, and Joss Whedon’s been nominated for an Oscar. I don’t like to see the Emmys being scared off. We’d all be proud if nominated, but I think with being neither [exclusively] a comedy nor a drama, I think our show gets overlooked because of that. We’ve got a lot of critics, and a lot of magazines and newspapers and everyone else, saying it’s one of the best shows on TV, and it’s kind of weird to have that happen.

CM: We’re huge Homicide fans, but we wrote that the Buffy episode of “Passion” at the very least deserved an Emmy nomination. I think you guys got nominated for a couple of technical awards.
NB: Right, technical, which is great! But, you know, we all, and the writers, and Joss, work their asses off. Not that they’re working for an Emmy, nor have they even discussed this with me [laughter], but it would be so nice for someone to say, “Wow, you’re doing a good job.” Or a Golden Globe for that matter. Maybe it’ll happen one day, and I’ll be very, very, very proud of the guys.

CM: You worked for a short time as a production assistant on Dave’s World. Do you have ambitions to work behind the camera in some capacity down the road?
NB: [Pause] In some capacity down the road, perhaps yeah. [Laughter]

CM: I didn’t know whether you had background training in direction or something?
NB: No, no.

CM: There’s been talk of an Angel series next year.
NB: Yeah, there is one.

CM: Are you going to be part of both series, or just Buffy?
NB: Buffy.

CM: Being in a weekly TV series can be somewhat of a grind. Do you plan on staying around for a while?
NB: That’s out of my hands, but I would like to stay. It’s fun, a lot of fun. I guess just see what happens. You never know. Death can really up ratings! [Laughter]

CM: Joss does seem to have this tendency to eliminate fairly regular characters, such as Miss Calendar last year!
NB: He loves that. He likes to go against the grain, in a sense. And he knows what people want – or don’t want, for that matter, but they don’t want it so badly they want it.

CM: Well, let’s hope Xander stays around for a while. Or even if they do kill him off, he could pop up the next week as a vampire – a whole new life as a different character. I thought they might do that with Calendar.
NB: Hey! Exactly!

CM: I guess you can never be completely dead on a show like Buffy.
NB: True.

CM: Do you have any non-Buffy projects lined up?
NB: It’s been nine months of this, so I’m just going to do this and see what happens. Things are kind of in the works, but you just never know what’s going to happen in this wacky, wacky, wacky town.

CM: Anything else you’d like to say about you, or the show, or your character, that I didn’t cover.
NB: Um, let’s see here, uh, no! [Laughter] I think Calista Flockhart’s pretty, I see her in a magazine here. Pretty girl. Leave her alone. You can quote me on that, by the way.
CM: You don’t think there will be any backlash?
NB: No backlash!


Buffy's Buddy

Asked to describe his character, Buffy the Vampire Slayer's pal Xander, Nicholas Brendon cracks wise: "Awkwardly ugly. Is ugly, so he has to use a sense of humor."

After getting fired as a production assistant on Dave's World ("I was just too damn attractive; they were threatened by me"), the 26-year-old actor has quickly made his mark on Buffy, which moves from Mondays to Tuesdays with this week's two-part episode (WB, January 19-20). But will Xander and Buffy ever be more than just pals?

"Things are changing," Brendon hints. "We'll see what happens in terms of relationships." For now, he's enjoying Xander's flirtation with catty Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter). Unlike his character, he says, "I just don't have a crush on Sarah Michelle Gellar."

 

Nicholas Brendon Interview at Ultimate TV

Q: Who's your favorite actor/actress?
A: Jack Lemmon.

Q: Nick, is there going to be a second season? There's been some speculation that there isn't. I hope so, this show is great!
A: Waiting for the answer. (The WB announces in May for all of their shows.)

Q: How did you get into acting?
A: Broke my elbow playing college baseball.

Q: What was your very first job?
A: Clearsil commercial.

Q: What are your future plans? Are you working on anything right now?
A: In between projects and auditioning.

Q: What's your favorite aspect of acting?
A: These chat lines.

Q: Are you allowed to play off your character more to what you want or are you stuck going along with everything the director wants?
A: What I want.

Q: We've heard you started acting becase a girl broke your heart... what's the whole story? We want the gory details!
A: No, no. A girl broke my elbow and that's pretty gory.

Q: What did you do when you weren't filming the episodes, and what was a typical day like on the set?
A: I would see movies, read, and play the guitar. Typical day on the set... lot of waiting, and a lot of bagels.

Q: How do you get along with your castmates and do you see them much when you're not filming?
A: Got along splendidly and they're all very close friends of mine.

Q: How did Xander evolve - was it mostly Joss (Whedon, Buffy creator)? What parts of him came from you?
A: I play the character, Joss writes the lines, but I say them as I say them. It was a combined effort.

Q: Do you like to watch yourself on tv?
A: I really don't mind. I can disconnect myself (most of the time.)

Q: Where's your state of residence?
A: Hollywood Hills.

Q: What was your favorite episode and why?
A: The Pack (last night's episode) because I got to go away from the "Xander" character.

Q: How long would you like to continue with the show, barring no major changes?
A: As long as they want me.

Ql: In last night's Pack episode you were so convincingly animal-like...what did you do to prepare?
A: I pretended I was 15 years old again.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: I would like to be doing film in some capacity.

Q: How do you feel about being the #2 (Angel's way past you, dude) sex symbol for the female watchers?
A: Xander's Xander and Angel's Angel, but thanks for watching.

Q: What is the wierdest thing that ever happened on the set?
A: I got pantsed by Willow.

Q: Any crazy fans following you around yet?
A: I think Buffyluvr is starting to stalk me.

Q: Do you mind doing these chats with total obsessive weirdos?
A: Are you calling yourself an obsessive weirdo?

Q: Do you get a lot of recognition while walking around in the public?
A: A lot of glances.

Q: How long do you have to prepare for an episode?
A: You get the script about 3 days before and it's an 8-day shoot.

Q: I love your outfits!! (They're) very stylin'! Is that wardrobe, or is that your own clothes?
A: Thank you for enjoying it, it's wardrobe, and I'll give them to you.

Q: How far in advance do you tape an episode?
A: Depends. Next season will be different than this season.

Q: Are you going to do any appearances at conventions or something along those lines?
A: Not up to me.

Q: What's your favorite movie from 1997?
A: I saw Slingblade in '97.

Q: Do you think and Willow will ever get together in the show?
A: I can't tell you right now, you'll have to keep watching.

Q: Do you read much literature? If so, who is your favorite author?
A: Larry Flynt and Charles Bukowski.

Q: I'm thinking of becoming an actor, do you have any suggestions?
A: Get to L.A. and just remember, people are people.

Q: What is the hardest thing about filming a show like Buffy?
A: The hours. The endless ungodly hours.

Q: How do you relate yourself to Xander?
A: We both have a very low attention span.

Q: Are you going to appear on the Tonight Show or any of the the other cast members?
A: Jay called me last night and we're trying to work it out (kidding). Hopefully soon.

Q: What was it like playing a possessed bad boy?
A: It was like eating tapioca pudding. You know when you put tapioca pudding in your mouth and it just explodes with taste? That's what it was like.

Q: People our age are woefully ignorant of old movies, so I think it's pretty damn cool that you're into them. How did you get turned on to that? (BTW, if you haven't seen it already, watch 'His Girl Friday' with Cary Grant/Rosalind Russell.)
A: Because I like old movies more than new movies. They were made differently back then.

Q: Did you get to meet the members of the bands that were guests on the show? They aren't super-stars yet, but the music is pretty cool. It's one of the great things about the show.
A: I've met them all and they were all very friendly. And gave me records.

Q: How would you best describe yourself?
A: Not quite as attractive as Angel but I have a good heart.

Q: Does anyone ever recognize you from the show?
A: Not really.

Q: What is your favorite movie of all time?
A: Some Like it Hot.

[Editor's Note: Apparently someone asked if he believes in vampires and the question wasn't archived.]
A: I believe that people think that they're vampires. But when they start killing people and sucking blood, the law steps in.

Q: Has acting on Buffy the Vampire Slayer dramatically changed your life?
A: Yeeeeeeaaaaahhhhhhh.

Q: Do you pride yourself on giving sarcastic remarks?
A: Yeeeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhhhh.

Q: Do you think acting is hard and would you recommend it to other's who would like to act?
A: If you allow it to be fun, it can be very fun and easy. Have fun with it.

Q: Have you read any scripts and reacted negatively to what it asks you to say/do?
A: I turned down a part because of nudity once.

Q: What has been your favorite acting experience?
A: Buffy. By far.

Q: Do you get along well with your co-stars?
A: Very well. They're all really nice people.

Q: Was there ever a point in your life that you almost gave up on acting completely?
A: Yes.

Q: How does your family feel about your newfound fame?
A: They're very supportive.

Q: Are you used to the "celebrity life" or do you wish to be an average person again?
A: I can still go to a grocery store without being harassed, so I enjoy both.

Q: Have you ever gone out of your way for a devoted fan?
A: I don't think I have that many fans yet, and they haven't asked me to do anything unusual.

Q: Are you surprised that the show is such a hit?
A: No, not at all. I think the writing is very intelligent.

Q: What's your favourite TV show, beside's your own?
A: Simpsons and Seinfeld.

Q: After filming did the cast hang out or did you all go your seperate ways?
A: We still hang out, aside from Tony (Giles) who's back in England.

Qi: Are you doing any other projects besides Buffy?
A: Trying.

Qt: Are you happy with the money you're earning from Buffy?
A: I'm very happy with the money I'm making from Buffy. I could be happier...

Q: Hey since last night's episode, how do you feel about hyenas? :)
A: I still find them to be very tasty and tender.

Q: Will you be getting anymore involved roles, like last night's ep?
A: You have to watch...

Q: What's the atmosphere on the set? Is it really serious all the time? Or is it laid back and fun?
A: Laidback and fun with just a dash of seriousness.

Q: What were you doing before this?
A: I was a waiter at Kate Mantilini in Los Angeles.

Q: Have you gotten Alyson back for when she pantsed you?
A: No. How do you truly pay someone back for something like that?

Q: What do you think you'de be doing right now if you weren't acting?
A: Wishing that I was acting.

Q: What was your real high school experience like? And do you ever get flashbacks from working on the show?
A: I was very shy in high school. I didn't talk to many people.

Q: Do you think that we're supposed to take the show as tounge-in-cheek?
A: If you enjoy it, that's all that matters.

Q: How'd the pig taste? ;)
A: Crunchy.

Q: Is there any practical joking on the set with your co-stars? If so, can you tell us about any of it?
A: Lot of shaving cream was involved.

Q: What's the biggest perk about being a star?
A: Coffee. Free coffee.

Q: How do you answer the criticisms that the show is a bad example for teenagers.
A: I've never once heard that before, unless you're saying that.

Q: If you had to choose which character would you prefer to date.
A: Buffy.

Q: What are your dreams and goals in life?
A: To entertain people for as long as I possibly can.

Q: What's the worst experience you've had with meeting a fan?
A: Groping. Lots of groping.

Q: Do you consider yourself someone that keeps to himself, or an extraverted party animal?
A: I keep to myself.

Qi: Did you always want to be an actor?
A: I wanted to be a baseball player since I was a kid and fell into acting.

Q: Does acting ever get in the way of your normal life style, with family and friends?
A: I'm just a lot more busy now, so sadly I don't see my family and friends as much.

Q: Ever had a run-in with the law?
A: We all get speeding tickets, don't we?

Q: What's the first thing you bought with your paycheck? (Don't respond if it's something lurid like a condom or something.)
A: I bought stock in Trojan.

Q: Have you ever done any plays or anything like that?
A: A couple.

Q: Do you ever feel like a pawn in a bigger game?
A: Huh?

Q: You seem to always get to be possesed in the show or get hit or hurt will it change?
A: No, and I do all my own stunts, so I'm actually really hurting myself.

Q: Have you ever seen Rocky Horror Picture Show? If so, do you find it difficult to look at the guy who plays Giles and not see him in fishnets?
A: It's easy, since I see it on a weekly basis... in my trailer.

Q: What would you like to see in your character's future?
A: I would like to see Xander a bit stronger.

Q: Do you read all your fan mail?
A: Yes

Q: You said that you turned down a script because of nudity. What show was it?
A: Friday the 13th., part 8 or 9?

Q: How long does it take to make an episode?
A: 8 days. And a lot of sweat.

Q: When you heard the title of the show, did you have second thoughts?
A: I was surprised they were making the movie into a show and then pleasantly surprised when I read the script.

Q: Does it surprise you that the show has so many older fans?
A: No, because the writing is so clever.

Q: Is there any romance off the set between two members of the cast?
A: No, not that anyone's told me about.

Q: During the episode "Never Kill a Boyfriend..." you had some lines that were done in a very Seinfeldesque manner. Did you do this on purpose?
A: In the house, I was doing a bit of a Kramer thing.

Q: Were you intimidated by any of the other cast members when you first met them?
A: They were all so nice.

Q: How did you get "discovered?"
A: Barbizon School of Modelling (kidding).

Q: Do you think everything happens out of fate?
A: Yeah, I really do. But you don't realize it until three years later.

Q: Is Hollywood as weird and wild as it seems?
A: Certain parts of it are.

Q: Are there any stars you want to work with?
A: I'd love to work with Tom Hanks. And Steve Martin.

Q: Did you win the part of over any of your fellow friends that are actors, and how did your friends react?
A: Yes, I did actually. Since I was buying the drinks, they were all very pleased.

Q: Any advice for fighting shyness/introversion?
A: If you want to do something, do it. The last thing you want to do is be 40 and say "I wish I had done that.'

Q: Did you have a crush on a girl in HS like Xander has on Buffy?
A: I really didn't date that much in high, I was THAT shy. But there was a girl that I longed after, but we were good friend, I just couldn't tell her. She was beautiful.

Q: What's your idea of a perfect date?
A: A nice house, making a nice meal, seeing an old film and listening to Louis Armstrong.

Q: What have you been up to since you finished filming the first season?
A: Moving and auditioning.

Q: Do you want to write, produce, and direct like every other actor?
A: I want to wait tables. Again.

Q: Have you ever wish to star your own movie? What would it be like?
A: It would be a movie about children.

Q: We're out of time! Thanks for coming and come back next week for Charisma. Same Buffy time, same Buffy channel!"
A: Thank you very much for watching the show and I'll talk to you guys soon.



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