There’s good and bad news in equal measure as Joss Whedon announces that Buffy the Vampire Slayer will live to slay another day. Sadly, it won’t be a continuation of the beloved TV series that many of us grew up with, meaning “new” Buffy will be a complete reboot with a more diverse cast.
It’s time to open the coffin and raise the “stakes” once more as we look back at the acclaimed ‘90s and ‘00s spectacular. From the doe-eyed Buffy to hard-faced Spike, dishy Angel to loveable Xander, wicked Willow and bitchy Cordelia, who were the cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and where are they now?
Sarah Michelle Geller
A souped-up version of Kristy Swanson’s portrayal of Buffy from the 1992 movie of the same name, Sarah Michelle Gellar became a household name thanks to her Britney-inspired vampire slayer.
Also grabbing the spotlight with roles in slashers like I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream 2, Gellar starred alongside then boyfriend (now husband) Freddie Prinze Jr. in the Scooby-Doo movies.
Ditching acting from 2009-2011 to focus on her daughter, Gellar’s return was also as producer on the short-lived drama Ringer. Although she reprised her role as Kathryn Merteuil for NBC’s pilot of Cruel Intentions, the show wasn’t picked up and Buffy remains her biggest claim to fame.
A modern telling of Romeo and Juliet, Buffy would’ve been nothing without a leading man to star alongside Sarah Michelle Gellar. The sometimes vampiric Angelus left Buffy in Season 3 to focus on a Boreanaz-led spin-off. Although Angel had all the making of being the next Buffy, it was sometimes a little too dark for mainstream fans.
Apart from taking a bite out of the Whedonverse, Boreanaz is now known for playing FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth for 12 seasons of Bones. Boreanaz now heads up CBS’ SEAL Team, which airs Season 2 in October 2018.
One of the biggest post-Buffy success stories was Alyson Hannigan. Playing the adorable Willow across all seven season of the show, she also rose to prominence in the American Pie movies. Apart from being the wiccan Willow, Hannigan is also remembered as Lily Aldrin on How I Met Your Mother.
Keeping magic in her blood, Hannigan is the current host of Penn & Teller: Fool Us and has an upcoming part as Ann Possible in the live-action Kim Possible movie. If Hannigan didn’t have enough to thank Buffy for, it is also where she met her husband Alexis Denisof -- who is better known as Wesley Wyndam-Pryce.
Often living in the shadow of the rest of the Scooby Gang, Xander was the goofball friend of Buffy who never quite got the girl -- settling for demonic Anya instead. After leaving Sunnydale as a crater in the ground, Nicholas Brendon has remained a regular on TV and appeared as Kevin Lynch on Criminal Minds from 2004-2014.
Brendon has spoken openly about his run-ins with the law and difficulties with substance abuse. The star was once arrested for beating a woman in his hotel room and has even appeared on an episode of Dr. Phil to discuss his demons. Still tied to Buffy, Brendon shares a writing credit on the comic continuation of the series for Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10.
As the guiding force of Buffy and father figure to the younger characters, Anthony Head’s role as Giles completed the Scooby Gang. Aside from playing Buffy’s stoic Watcher, UK fans will remember Head as the Prime Minister from Little Britain.
Sticking with the BBC, Head also played King Uther Pendragon in Merlin, and after seeing his performance in "Once More With Feeling", Saw director Darren Lynn Bousman cast him in Repo! The Genetic Opera. There were once talks of Head having a Giles-centric spin-off titled Ripper, but it fell into the development hell of abandoned Buffy projects.
Buffy was known for balancing light and dark, but this really came to the forefront of the show in Season 3 when Whedon cast Eliza Dushku as Faith Lehane. Activated after Kendra perished (after Buffy had perished), Faith was even more wayward than the show’s lead.
Also known for Tru Calling, Dushku was lured back by Whedon to head up Dollhouse -- albeit briefly. Reportedly wanting to avoid being typecast as a “bad girl”, Dushku turned down Whedon’s offer for a Faith spin-off. Why Eliza, why?!?
Not to be confused with James Marsden -- but just imagine Spike in Westworld -- James Marsters played Buffy’s cockney gent who was loveable and loathable in equal measure. While modern TV shows are littered with antiheroes like Walter White and Nucky Thompson, Spike was one of the first (and best) as a truly great Buffy villain.
After playing the suave vampire, Marsters landed several villainous roles like terrorist Barnabas Greeley on Caprica and the legendary Brainiac for The CW’s Smallville. If Marsters wasn’t cool enough already, he was also the lead singer of rock band Ghost of the Robot and co-wrote the comic Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike and Dru.
Introducing Dawn in Season 5 of Buffy continues to divide fans, and so does Michelle Trachtenberg’s sometimes whiny performance. Speaking for Buffy’s anniversary, the actress told EW about the backlash she has received over the years for playing Dawn.
Trying to put the shadow of Buffy behind her, Trachtenberg’s baby face saw her star in the 2006 remake of slasher Black Christmas and secure a major recurring role as Georgina Sparks in Gossip Girl -- where she was nominated as “Choice TV Villain” for the 2012 Teen Choice Awards
Buffy herself may have sent teen hearts aflutter, but could anyone really top Charisma Carpenter’s jaw-dropping turn as Cordelia Chase? Evolving from cheerleader bully to reformed demon hunter on Angel, Cordelia has one of the most interesting Buffy character arcs.
With a recurring role on Veronica Mars, Carpenter headed to the dark side to play the demon Kyra on Charmed. Appearing in the first two Expendables movies, Carpenter also had a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it role in one episode of Scream Queens.
Did you know that Seth Green also had an uncredited part in the 1992 Buffy movie? The Family Guy favourite could’ve stuck around much longer as the werewolf Oz on Whedon’s show, but allowed the character of Willow to grow into so much more when he bowed out in Season 3.
Joining the Austin Powers movies, Green also starred alongside SMG for Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed and is credited as being the co-creator of Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken. Another little-known Green fact is that he voiced maligned mallard Howard the Duck in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.