The cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer gathers for their 20-Year reunion

After reducing me to a squealing fangirl with last week’s cover featuring the cast of the upcoming return of Twin Peaks, Entertainment Weekly is devoting the cover of its latest issue, on newsstands Friday, to the cast of another beloved cult TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The show ran for seven seasons, from 1997 to 2003, and the cover is in honor of their 20 year reunion.

The magazine is also featuring a gallery of photos of the reunited cast, which included show creator Joss Whedon, Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy, of course), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Amber Benson (Tara), Alyson Hannigan (Willow) and hubby Alexis Denisof (Wesley), David Boreanaz (Angel), James Marsters (Spike), Seth Green (Oz), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn), Kristine Sutherland (Joyce), and Nicholas Brendon (Xander). Anthony Stewart Head, who played Buffy’s mentor Giles, was the only cast member of note who missed the reunion, most likely because he lives in the UK. Eliza Dushku, who played Faith, was also noticeably missing.

Joss Whedon, who called the gathering “surreal,” jokingly noted, “For the most part, this is like a high school reunion but much worse because they all still look really great. I was hoping some of them would puff out a bit. But that did not take place.” He’s right, you know. Sarah, Charisma and Alyson (who will always be Lily from HIMYM to me) look great. The fellas – James, David and Seth aren’t looking too shabby either. They all definitely looked better than the motley crew assembled for my last high school reunion.

In a short interview, most of the cast talked about how the show put a fantastical spin on the horrors of high school and how they were proud that so many kids could identify with the characters in their own way. Sarah said that when you boil it down, Sunnydale was just like any other high school, except the terrors weren’t quite so literal, telling EW, “It’s the ultimate metaphor: horrors of adolescence manifesting through these actual monsters,” adding, “It’s the hardest time of life.” You said it, sister.

Lily…I mean, Alyson gushed about playing Willow, declaring, “It was the role of a lifetime. I met the love of my life [Alexis]. And just to get to go to work every day and have Joss sort of train me — I’ll never have a better experience than that.”

As for the show’s enduring legacy, Joss told EW,

The most important thing to me is that I have had people come up to me and say the show made me feel different about what they could be, about what they could do, about how they respond to problems, about being a female leader. People getting strength from my own little terrors is … there is no better legacy than that.

Sarah also waxed philosophic about what the show was able to accomplish over its seven-year run, stating,

I’m so incredibly proud of what we all created. Sometimes you need distance to really understand the gravitas of that. I appreciate everything about that job. As an actor, all you ever want to do is leave your mark — you want to do something that affects people.

[From Entertainment Weekly]

You can see a short clip below, but if you’re an über fan with 45 minutes to spare, you can watch an extended special on People Entertainment Network.

Full confession, I never watched an episode of Buffy, but I did see the movie. (Does that count?) I am familiar with many of the faces and it is kind of cool to see them all together again, especially because there’s no remake/reboot or return associated with this gathering. Twin Peaks aside, none of the recent reboots have excited me (although I’m on the fence about Will and Grace). Besides, I think we are all kind of Vampire-d out, right?

Photos: WENN.com, Fame Flynet

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117 Responses to “The cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer gathers for their 20-Year reunion”

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  1. Goats on the Roof says:

    Seth Green played Oz. His character’s given name on the show may have been Daniel, but I don’t recall anyone ever calling him that.

    And no, watching that awful movie doesn’t even remotely count. The show was so, so much better than that shitshow of a film.

    • LAK says:

      The only memorable thing about the movie is that Ben Affleck is a high school jock and Hilary Swank is one of the cheerleading meangirls.

      Other than that, it was rubbish and doesn’t deserve a mention in any discussions of the TV show.

    • TQB says:

      The movie is fun. It’s campy and ridiculous and a good time. However, it is completely devoid of what made the show amazing – the substance and the spot on allegories to real life.

    • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

      I have a soft spot for the movie – it was meant to be camp and trashy. Its so bad its good. The movie and TV show are very different and shouldn’t be compared. With the TV show Whedon got to realise his vision.

  2. Lindy79 says:

    “Full confession, I never watched an episode of Buffy, but I did see the movie. (Does that count?) ”

    Nope

    • Goats on the Roof says:

      Seriously…Corey needs to get herself to Netflix ASAP to watch some episodes before they are removed on April 1st.

      • Luca76 says:

        What they are removing Buffy?????Calling in sick tomorrow.

      • Goats on the Roof says:

        It and Angel are on the list of shows being removed in April. However, it appears Buffy will still be on Hulu.

      • Rachel says:

        WHAT?!?! What is this blasphemy?? I watch the entire series through at least once a year. What am I going to do if Netflix removes it? In fact, I still have a few episodes to go before the series finale. I’ve been limiting myself to only watching it while running on the treadmill (to motivate myself to run on the treadmill). Guess I’m abandoning that plan for a Buffy free for all.

        And also… wherefore art thou Giles?? Seriously, ASH couldn’t hop a trans-atlantic for the reunion? I’m sure the coven could’ve flashed him there no problems.

      • ab says:

        oh no, buffy has been on my netflix re-watch list forever! I had to get through my gilmore girls and star trek: tng re-watches first. I was a big buffy fan when it first aired but missed the last few seasons. ugh. :(

    • SusanneToo says:

      Watch Buffy. And Angel, also a great show. The movie is not the REAL Buffy.

  3. Aiobhan Targaryen says:

    No, it doesn’ count. Yes, the character name and back story are the same, but Joss and the cast took out the straight campiness and made it a tad more serious and relatable. It still had its funny moments infused into the writing, but it wasn’t silly humor.

    Creepiness aside, I absolutely loved Buffy and Angel; they were my first OTP. My pre-teen heart was broken when they broke up on the show.

    Also, Xander was a horrible friend.

    • detritus says:

      Xander was horrible in general. He seemed so cute when I was young, but rewatching as an adult completely changed that.

    • Gr8k8 says:

      Show came out when I was 10, and I own all seasons and rewatch them all the time. I’ve heard people mention him being a terrible friend before, but I still don’t see it?

      • Bootsie says:

        I recently rewatched for the first time since I was a teenager and it really struck me how creepy Xander was – especially in the first few series. Creepy and pervy.

      • Ange says:

        Xander was SUCH a Nice Guy.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Xander was the worst! The absolute worst.

  4. Luca76 says:

    No the movie doesn’t count!!!! Watch it it still holds up and is so much better than so much television out there.

    I really don’t know what made me happier Buffy and Angel, Buffy and Spike or Willow/Tara/Oz
    Ok I loved it all….and Joyce looks fantastic!

    • Sayrah says:

      I loved Buffy and Spike

      • Rachel says:

        I’m a Buffy/Spike girl, too. I’ve been re-watching the series, and I just recently re-watched Help where Buffy tries to save Cassie, and Cassie tells people all these little snippets of their future. Like when she says to Spike “she’ll tell you.” Gah! You don’t realize until the very end what she means.

      • Bootsie says:

        Oh I LOVED Buffy and Spike. Angel was such a drip.

      • Anna says:

        Same here ! Fun story: there are comics that continued where the TV show left off, and Buffy/Spike are a thing.

  5. Kezia says:

    I cannot describe how much seeing the movie does not count!! The programme was absolutely nothing like the film, it is so, so funny and moving as a programme. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I would recommend it to any age – teenager to adult. I’m 30 and I’d rewatch it any day. Stan so hard. Also Twin Peaks is my other favourite programme of all time so I am HERE for all the anniversary stuff!

  6. 1979 says:

    Sigh. Really Corey? Why did you even write this if you’ve never seen the TV show? Or maybe you should have just left that part out of your write up and we would have been none the wiser.

    • Goats on the Roof says:

      Not to blow up this thread with my fangirl comments, but she outed herself (to me, anyway) as soon as she referred to Seth’s character as Daniel. He was never really called anything but Oz on the show.

      • Mel says:

        THIS!!
        I was like Daniel??? oh, OZ!! of course!!
        And the show is EXACTLY what should come to mind when you hear “Buffy”.
        True Buffy fans, IMO, do not even acknowledge the movie.
        The beginning is “Welcome to the Hellmouth”!

      • LAK says:

        Oz: * shrug*

    • Danielle says:

      I was wondering the same thing. This may have been a better and gossip ier post were it written by someone who watched the show.

  7. Mia4s says:

    Anthony Stewart Head is doing a play in London right now which makes his absence more than understandable (plus he’s interviewed, pictured, etc.). No Eliza Dushku seems a bit odd though. Maybe they were going for the more long term cast? I do hope Nicholas Brendan is doing better. I was honestly surprised he was there.

    • Sigh says:

      I think it was just for the series regulars and Eliza was always a guest star or something along those lines.

      • detritus says:

        Hmm… except Oz was there. And Anya and Tara.

      • Sigh says:

        They were all series regulars at some point even if they started as guests stars etc. Sadly, Eliza wasn’t. I love Faith, she made an impact for the 20 odd episodes she was in but she wasn’t a main/supporting character like Oz, Anya or Tara. ( she was better😉)

      • detritus says:

        I really liked Anya and always thought she was too good for Xander.

        I was trying to think about the seasons Faith was in, and I guess she didn’t stick around for complete seasons like Oz or Tara or Anya did.

        I think you are right, its the impact I’m thinking of. She had some major roles and she was so watchable.

      • Sigh says:

        Oh I completely agree. Anya was waaayyyy to good for Xander. She put up with a lot of crap with him that quite frankly she never should have. Her story is just heart wrenching.

    • chick b. says:

      I think Brendon’s absence on the cover is really glaring. He does appear in the short video with Caulfield (looking forward to her showing up on Fear the Walking Dead) but it seems like they’ve stayed buddies from being on the convention circuit. Lainey hinted at bad blood between Brendon and the cast but I’ve never heard anything other than his own struggles.

      I know the character of Xander is not looked upon fondly by many but I really liked the way he was written; he did a lot of jerky things as teenage boys are wont to do but he ended up staying loyal to his friends.

      • Sigh says:

        I liked Xander too. In season 7 he ended up explaining his character better than anyone else when he was talking to Dawn about not being ‘chosen’. He messed up a lot but every character did.

        And he ended up saving the world when no one else could. #yellowcrayon

      • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

        I think Nic Brendan has always been a bit of a douche, from what I can recall about the gossip at the time, he resented the size of his role (comedic side kick) and wanted bigger storylines (Xander never really got the big story lines that some of the other cast members did). Plus I think his addictions started while on the show and its rumoured that it made him not the easiest/best person to work with.

        But I could be wrong – am sure others may have more details.

      • Sigh says:

        Wasn’t Nic a total d*ck during a cast reunion panel at Paley Fest? Like, completely off his chair? I think I remember SMG talking about how Buffy was this great influence on her and he interrupted her and said something nasty like, “don’t you mean Susan Lucci?”

      • detritus says:

        oh that’s some good dirt Sigh. I didn’t know there were rumors about Lucci kicking SMG off of Days.

      • Sigh says:

        I know the typical dirt/rumors around that show like Alyson and Sarah hated each other, Sarah and David had an affair blah blah bla… none of it’s probably true but the Paley Fest thing, that happened and I’m sure there’s video of him completely hijacking that panel and acting a fool so I can see why they’d been hesitant to include him in a whole lot.

        My favorite story is SMG talking about how crazy the hours were and the the call times were ridiculously early. She said one time she was so tired and drove all the way to the studio before she realized she wasn’t wearing pants.

  8. Talie says:

    I used to roll me eyes at the idea of a Buffy movie, but with how well Power Rangers just did…I think if Joss Whedon was involved, the millennial population would eat this up. I certainly would see it!

    The only downside would be David Boreanaz playing Angel, as he has noticeably aged. I guess special effects could step in though.

  9. DavidBowie says:

    You never watched the show? Then why did the EW cover make you squeal? BtVS is my all time favorite show. I almost cried when I saw Joyce.

    • Zuzus Girl says:

      She squealed at last weeks cover about Twin Peaks but it is weird she even bothered to write this having never seen the show.

  10. Honest B says:

    LOL so hard at a reference to the movie which was so goddamn bad (totally different cast!) Series was SO good!

  11. LAK says:

    Le Sigh. I loved this show.

    What am i saying? I still love this show. Will watch reruns.

    And i remain shocked that Spike was American in real life because he got the english accent and ticks perfectly.

    Wesley was more your typical American playing an englishman stereotype acting, but Spike nailed it.

    I still have momentary comfusion when i find him in other tv shows or being interviewed in his natural american voice and mannerisms.

    • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

      Oh yeah – Spike was one of my faves and yes I was also surprised to learn he was American. He rocked the Billy Idol look.

      I still ship Spike and Buffy – Angel annoyed me thou am not sure its down to the character or David Boreanaz (but he’s good in Bones).

      • cr says:

        I think by the end of Angel I sort of shipped Spike and Angel.

      • Laughy saphy says:

        Spike was my favorite too, and while I could appreciate Angel, he was never my favorite. Riley was the WORST though. Ugh.

      • LAK says:

        I appreciated Riley in the same way a person appreciates a palate cleanser between meals. Dependable, necessary and utterly forgetable. He stayed long enough

      • Rachel says:

        Actually Billy Idol stole his look from Spike…

        Marsters has said in interviews during downtime, Anthony Stewart Head would help him with his accent. Randy Giles!

      • Bootsie says:

        Actually, Spike’s accent was never quite right – too broad Cockney – but still good. I thought Wesley’s English accent was better – more authentic and genuine-sounding. As an English person, I could tell immediately that Spike wasn’t English, but Wesley had me convinced for awhile.

  12. Ezzi says:

    I just came here to say….SPUFFY FOR LIFE!!

  13. bleu_moon says:

    I tried to get my oldest daughter interested in Buffy. The first season is mighty cheesy but I was trying to convince her to hang on until season 2. She said, ” Yeah, whatever, Mom. Buffy sucks. TEEN WOLF is better.”
    *heart breaks*
    I have failed as a mother.

    • third ginger says:

      She may come back to it later. My daughter binged watched it just last year [when she was 23] I was in my 40′s when it was first on, and I never missed an episode. Among my little girl’s favorite scenes: Buffy giving Spike hell about his Drusilla obsession. Buffy to Spike: “you’re causing all this mayhem ’cause your girlfriend’s a big ho…”

    • detritus says:

      Whenever I try to convert people I also try to get them to skip the first season. It’s not great.
      With guys, I’ve had much better luck starting them on Angel. I think there’s less teen romance in it maybe? And more of Cordie in little outfits.

  14. EOA says:

    Neither Charisma Carpenter nor Kristina Sutherland seemed to have aged. Maybe Eliza Dushku couldn’t miss classes for this. :)

  15. Millenial says:

    I never watched Buffy either (it was a bit before my time) but I liked seeing the cast all together, too! I love SMG, and I’ve grown to love David Boreanaz from watching Bones (which is sadly over, I’m so bummed).

  16. littlemissnaughty says:

    Oh my god I love(d) that show. It was so far ahead of what was on TV back then. There are a few shows from the 90′s for which that is true but this especially.

  17. Bluesky says:

    Corey, you HAVE to watch the show!! It was so wonderfully campy and fun!! I loved Buffy because she was strong and she also was a Valley girl!

  18. ria says:

    Spike is still so cool, even though i loved his bleached hair more.
    James Marsters should have had a bigger career, i found him always way more talented than David Boring.

    • chick b. says:

      I never understood why Marsters didn’t have a bigger career. The only thing I can think is casting directors have super-limited imaginations and wrote off Marsters b/c the role was so physically specific.

  19. Mophita789 says:

    I watched BTVS when it was on TV (Tuesday nights in high school and college were sacred), and have watched the series multiple times through since then. To me it is a masterpiece and continues to be touching in different ways as I’ve gotten older – a way to help me understand people (the characters are so so rich), the world, relationships and articulate and cope it depression. And it’s so ahead of its time and progressive in so many ways (Tara/Willow obviously) but how amazing and clairvoyant is it for the season 6 big bass not to be supernatural, but 3 entitled whiny men, one of whom has a gun.

    So no, not enough to see the movie :-) . Grrr…argh

  20. Insomniac says:

    Can’t wait for the upcoming novels!

    And I love these pictures. Everyone looks great. I love SMG’s hair and dress in the photo with James Marsters.

  21. TeamAwesome says:

    This make me nostalgic not only for Buffy, but also Television Without Pity, where I spent many an hour discussing the finer points of Buffy, Angel, and a host of other shows.

    I can still sing every word of Once More With Feeling, and do, every now and then.
    And yes, Xander was a super crappy friend/person in general.

    • chai35 says:

      OMG, TwoP! I spent so much of my high school and college years reading recaps there. I loved them almost as much as the shows.

    • AmunetMa'at says:

      I miss TWOP all the time. I didnt binge watch, I would binge read. When Buffy was showing in order on FX, I would go back to the forums. Man good times.

  22. CommentingBunny says:

    Seeing Joyce made me lose it. Apparently it’s a Pavlovian response for me … The Body will always be my go to when I need to have a good cry.

    Anya’s speech.

    “It’s always sudden.”

    “Mommy?”

  23. Machiamellie says:

    Buffy will always have a special place in my heart. Jenny Trout (you can google her) is currently doing a Big Damn Buffy Rewatch where she blogs in-depth about an episode every couple of weeks. Good stuff. She’s only on season 2.

  24. Mel says:

    Few shows have had impacted me the way BTVS did.
    Plenty of anecdotes but, raise your hand if you spent a TERRIBLE Summer and got dehydrated from crying too hard between season 2 and 3!
    Seriously, I think Becoming PART II is part of TV cliffhangers history.
    When you think it was just a mid-season show!
    It’s unbelievable.
    I have the DVDs and rewatch them sometimes.
    If it’s on TV, I’ll watch it as well.
    When you get to season 4 in particular, it doesn’t necessarily show its true age, I think.
    The fashions are more noticeable in season 1 and 2, but it’s also probably due to budget constraints.
    Anyway, good job there, EW! And yes, I DO have 45 mins to spare to watch a Buffy special!!

  25. Lindy says:

    Just chiming in to agree that no, the movie doesn’t count. That show changed my life. Which sounds really dramatic. I didn’t start watching it until grad school, though I was in college when it was on. I give BTVS at least some of the credit for showing me I could be brave and make hard choices even if it was scary and even if it felt like the world was going to end. I’ll be buying this issue of EW for sure.

    • third ginger says:

      SMG has said that much of the show was a metaphor for teen angst and struggles. She is right on the money!

  26. Laughy saphy says:

    Dang, that pic of SMG and James Marsters is giving me allllll the feels. Spike and Buffy forever. I remember being 15 and *mesmerized* by Spike and his beautiful cheekbones and arms. BRB, swooning!

  27. teacakes says:

    Seriously this just reduced me to a squealing thirteen-year-old all over again.

    Buffy was the first tv show I ever loved and it’s still like a beloved old friend to me. SMG ♡♡♡♡

  28. Diana B says:

    This is bomb. I loved that show so hard. BuffyxAngel 4ever!!!!

  29. Grant says:

    Charisma Carpenter is still breathtaking. Love me some Cordy!

  30. Rocio says:

    I absolutely love the movie but not the show! Sorry!

  31. Beckysuz says:

    I loved Buffy so hard as a 16 yo girl that my Aunt got me a claddagh ring just like the one Angel gives Buffy. I wore it for so many years that my finger grew around it. True story I’m still wearing it at 35.

  32. Abbess Tansy says:

    No the movie doesn’t count, but I have to admit its campy fun. The tv series is much much better. I adore that show!

  33. BalladOfALadyman says:

    I’ve been reading this site for years and I’m finally commenting because DAMN if seeing all these people again didn’t make nostalgia take over and have my heart jump into my throat. For people who’ve never watched the show (especially during the pre/teen years), they’ll never know how much it hit and stuck with you. (Also SPUFFY 4EVR OMG)

    • AmunetMa'at says:

      Yep, the 1st season was my 8th grade year and I watched it until my Sophomore year in college. It was a staple in my life. I just loved those characters.

  34. Jess says:

    This makes me so happy! I still miss Buffy so much!

  35. Penfold says:

    I was obsessed with the movie when I was 10 (in 1992) because I was completely in love with Luke Perry. It’s fun as a cheesy vampire movie. C’mon, peewee Herman is playing a vampire- how could you not laugh? Lol.

    But the show was fantastic and, along with the X-Files, my favorite shows of high school.

    “Out for a walk…bitch” never fails to make me laugh.

    • Sigh says:

      “What I’m saying is Spike’s been to vet and now he doesn’t chase the other puppies anymore!”

      Spike really had some of the best lines.

  36. Neo says:

    Needs more vampires.

  37. Kitten says:

    Damn tough crowd. Poor Corey lol.

    It was an awesome show. Still miss it. This thread also reminded me that I have my 20 year HS reunion coming up in July. Ugh.

    Sarah Michelle Gellar ♥ She really doesn’t look like she’s gotten anything done to her face, right?
    Respect for that.

  38. JeanGrey says:

    I don’t get the Buffy Spike ship. He almost raped her when he went through that phase when he was obsessed and stalking her. Then no one talks about it after that episode. I was completely turned off to Spike from that episode on. It was always Buffy and Angel for me.

  39. Elyssa Gooding says:

    Small observation: Charisma Carpenter repeated a derivative of “create” about 10 times in 30 seconds. I love her and all her work, but she clearly benefits from writers.

  40. detritus says:

    a+ trolling on the movie comment, corey.

  41. leidub311 says:

    I have loved Buffy so much since it started!! I got my boyfriend (now husband) into it, my 19-year-old niece LOVES it, I own all seasons and can quote pretty much everything. This gives me life, I’m so sad Giles couldn’t be there!

  42. Spiderpig says:

    AHS didn’t go because he is currently starring in a fringe play in London (with one of my dear friends, coincidentally) that is about to transfer to the West End. And very good he is in it indeed, Canadian accent and all.

    Didn’t meet him but there was a crowd of Buffy fans outside waiting for him, he was signing autographs as we left.

  43. lissanne says:

    My favorite show of all-time! The characterizations were so rich.

  44. Andrea says:

    Where is Juliet Landeau?

  45. Lisa says:

    I watch Buffy on Netflix and lucky me own it on dvd. That show is one of my serious guilty pleasures. Whenever I want to veg, clean or am feeling off, it’s my go to!! LOVE THIS follow up!!

  46. I Choose Me says:

    I will go to my deathbed loving BtVS. And Once More with Feeling is my favourite episode of any show EVER!

    Oh and I used to be Bangel shipper but several re-watches have changed that and now I’m Spuffy forever! I acknowledge that their relationship was toxic in the beginning but it evolved into something so much better by the end.