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March 29 2006

"We're stealing all the Joss Whedon cast". Big write-up about the 'How I Met Your Mother' panel from the recent William S. Paley Television Festival.

. There was a moment when we were shooting the finale when it was Amy, Alexis and Alyson and Nicholas Brendon just showed up to hang out. It was like everyone from every Joss Whedon show.


Oh to be a fly on the wall at such an occasion.
It's like The Beatles getting back together or something like that.
Kind of. If SMG showed up then it'd be like The Beatles getting back together including John. Only not as gross and corpsified. But, y'know, significance wise.
One of the reasons that i firmly believe that we haven't seen the last of the Buffyverse is the closeness of the cast members and Joss. These people truly love each other and not in the usual Hollywood "we are all really good friends, as long as we are paid to say that" kind of way.

Sooner or later there will be more from the Buffyverse, whether that be the Spike DVD movie or something else entirely, and the best thing is that all Joss will need to do is look around the guests at his next BBQ to cast the thing.

That is assuming Joss does BBQ's. Maybe a karaoke night?
I have never actually gotten that "we love each other lots" vibe from the Buffyverse cast -- there are definite friendships and stuff, and two relationships (Aly and Alexis, Amber and Adam Busch), but not an all-cast love-in. It's the Firefly cast that could be described as the cast that loves each other, and for that I think we can "blame" Nathan, who's been an informal, non-Joss leader of the crew.
And here I thought it was Bones stealing the cast from Joss Whedon shows. LOL. It's great to hear how so many creators are Buffy geeks which is a good thing for the verse cast.
What day and time is 'How I Met Your Mother' onhere in the US BTW
Monday nights on CBS at 8:30 ET.
Well, i wasn't actually meaning that the entire casts of both Buffy and Angel were planning to start a communal home together, dottikin, lol.

What i was referring to was the obvious connections and real friendships and relationships that still exist long after both shows have ended, some of which you have mentioned yourself. To me that is a very rare thing in television and a good omen for future developments. The various actors are much more likely to agree to come back to former characters when they really enjoy being around the other cast members, i would assume.
It would be interesting if they did actually work their way through the entire BtVS and Angel casts. Considering how talented they all are, it would certainly not be too much of a trial. Interesting thought.
And here I thought it was Bones stealing the cast from Joss Whedon shows

And I thought this was going to be an article on Veronica Mars.
dottikin: I agree with your basic point, but I think there's a more obvious reason for that than Nathan's greatness (not that I'm doubting that at all). Looking back at the Buffy cast after S1, I think they had the exact same feeling of closeness, fighting for a common cause, awareness that their show might be killed off before its time, awareness that they had a great group of people working together to make a potentially great show, Joss in the trenches with the entire cast.

After the seven/eight years they worked together, it's only natural that some deeper friendships were formed, while others perhaps drifted apart slightly. Some castmembers moved on while newer ones arrived... constantly changing the balance. While the Firefly cast undoubtedly seem to have a genuine love for each other, let's not forget that they were still very much in the honeymoon period when the show was pulled. Unlike the Buffy cast midway through season 2, they never quite reached that feeling of security that the show would be around for another few years. Even when Serenity was greenlit it was very much a huge bonus to all involved. The Firefly cast were constantly fighting for survival which brings people together. I'm not saying the cast wouldn't have remained close, but I think that the overall relationship would have inevitably changed as the years went by had the show succeeded. So on that level, based on the timeframes involved, I don't think the cast relationships can really be compared.

[ edited by Impossible on 2006-03-29 18:20 ]
I didn't know Amber Benson and Adam Busch are/were together. Were have I been?! I really must pull my head out of my...place that isn't the top of my neck. Call myself a Whedonesquer? I hang my head in shame.
Note to Carter Bays and the HIMYM braintrust:

Next time Nick Brendon "hangs out" on set, would it kill you to write him into a scene with Aly?
"Kind of. If SMG showed up then it'd be like The Beatles getting back together including John. "

Am I the ONLY Whedon fan who could care less if SMG ever again touched a pointed piece of wood? I'd honestly prefer to see what other actresses could do with the Buffy character. I'd really like to see the Buffyverse just rebooted with an entirely new cast. I don't mind seeing Whedon alumni together again. I'd like to see them together doing new things. Happened upon Charisma Carpenter in an episode of Veronica Mars last night. That was cool. And I saw Hannigan in that series too. Breath of fresh air it was. However if we're to get a group of them together, nice to see they're not rehashing the old.

Hannigan acknowledged she was in fact looking for a comedy at that point, saying, "I wanted to go to work and just laugh all day and be silly and goofy. The first few seasons of Buffy was that job. And then it sort of turned dark and we tried to destroy the world… and that was fun too, but…" Bays then cracked, "You're not gonna like season two! We have this weather controlling machine…"


Now, Hannigan's an American treasure and I never can get enough of her. Her comedic grace is unprecedented. Admittedly in the latter years of BtVS she was underappreciated for her comic talent because her character went dark and serious and there was that whole "Witch in Slayer's Shadow" thing. However, it's her grace that makes comedy work. She can inject that wherever it's needed which is precisely how Whedon utilized her strengths. The argument between Xander & Buffy in season seven where they're arguing about whether or not Anya was worth fighting for or deserved killing, and Willow's sitting right there in the room and they start using her recent madness as an example. Her response is priceless. That's what I mean by comedic grace.

As for casting Hannigan, Thomas noted that, "We are enormous Buffy dorks thanks to my wife Rebecca. Ted's based on Carter, Marshal's based on me, Lily's based on Rebecca. And I said, 'We're writing a pilot and we're going to make a character based on you.' And she basically said, 'That kind of freaks me out. I'll let you do it if you can get Alyson Hannigan to play me. If you can get Willow!' And somehow it happened!"


If I were ever involved in a tv show as a staff writer and one of the characters were openly a reflection of myself? I'd be lobbying to get Nicholas Brendon to play the part. That would so rock! ...it'd be creepy weird, but it'd rock!

And here I thought it was Bones stealing the cast from Joss Whedon shows

And I thought this was going to be an article on Veronica Mars.


And I thought the cops had found out about my abduction scheme. No, wait! I mean...
Am I the ONLY Whedon fan who could care less if SMG ever again touched a pointed piece of wood? I'd honestly prefer to see what other actresses could do with the Buffy character. I'd really like to see the Buffyverse just rebooted with an entirely new cast.


Way, way, WAY too soon for that. Why would anyone want to rehash a television show that has pretty much only just gone off our screens? Especially given the fact that the first version is so well loved. The majority of times that an old favourite is given a new spin, be it in television or movie form, the new version pales in comparison to the original. Only Battlestar Galactica comes to mind as an example of an updated version actually being better and even that has a large number of fans of the original still hurling abuse and complaints.

Nope, i think attempting to recapture lightning in a bottle a second time with a remake of Buffy the Vampire Slayer would be just asking for trouble, and without any good reason to do so. Stick with the original and tell new stories of a whole new cast if necessary but don't retread old ground.
Hey guys. I wrote the above article. Glad you enjoyed!

Throwing my two cents in; I do think impossible has a point about the sense of closeness of the different casts and how it's not really not comparable due to a lot of factors. From what I've read/seen/heard, the Buffy cast was indeed very close early on. I have no "inside information" on any falling out later or anything, but I do agree that there's a big difference in how people relate to each other over seven years (as other cast members come and go and people naturally change) vs the Firefly cast, who were closely bonded together for a few months and then had the show cancelled. That would seem to me to naturally give them more of a nostalgic Summer Camp vibe (I'm being EXTREMELY simplistic mind you... I know people at summer camp don't have their camps, ahem, fired) vs people who were coworkers for many years and had many more varied experiences together.

That being said, the fact that several of the Buffy/Angel crew is still close does this fan's heart good!
This never made any sense to me. I'll let it lye as that.
Am I the ONLY Whedon fan who could care less if SMG ever again touched a pointed piece of wood? I'd honestly prefer to see what other actresses could do with the Buffy character.


Wow, not caring if SMG resumes the Buffy role, okay. I don't necesarily agree, since I'd love to see SMG do Buffy again. On the big screen, for instance, whereas on the smaller screen I'd prefer the other characters being given a chance to shine first (although I wouldn't mind if Buffy popped up somewhere in there as well).

But an actual other actress playing Buffy? The words "no way in hell" come to mind. SMG has made Buffy her role and I don't think we should spend any thought on someone else continuing the part. Way to soon for that, like Primeval already mentioned. Heck, I think it should never happen.

Also:
And here I thought it was Bones stealing the cast from Joss Whedon shows


Yikes, I feel out of the loop-y. Haven't been watching Bones (I'm bored with all these CSI-a-likes, and although I liked DB in it, it couldn't keep my attention), but have Whedon alumni - apart from DB - turned up on the show? Am I a bad whedonesquer for not knowing? ;-)

Also - nice article, Eric G. And, btw, doesn't Cobie Smulders look terribly, terribly cute in that picture? ;-)
GVH, Adam Baldwin played an FBI agent in a recent episode and David Denman (Skip the demon) was on last week. Those are the two that come to mind.

*Bad* whedonesquer! Bad! ;D

[ edited by melanie on 2006-03-29 22:16 ]
Ah, check, thanks melanie. Adam and Skip (wonder how recognisable he'd be to me, out of costume). I'll probably try and watch those episodes. I actually did like the show in an 'I'm entertained' sort of way. Just not something I go out of my way to watch.

*Bad* whedonesquer! Bad! ;D


Well, obviously I deserved that ;-)
Am I the ONLY Whedon fan who could care less if SMG ever again touched a pointed piece of wood? I'd honestly prefer to see what other actresses could do with the Buffy character

Zachsmind, could be ;). I remember this coming up before and to be honest I was kind of aghast at the idea. Tongue in cheek I think I suggested a Buffy:The Next Generation but I really, really don't want to see the same roles played by different people. I suppose we all agree that Joss and the other writers to a lesser extent were the creative geniuseses (genii ?) behind the show but, to me at least, the actors weren't mere cogs to be swapped out at will. They were also instrumental in Buffy's phenomenal (maybe unprecedented) power and emotional resonance and deserve a lot of the credit.

Also GVH, in interview Christian Kane said he 'wouldn't be surprised if he turned up' since apparently he and DB are good buds (though that's not what you'd call cast in stone. Heh. Cast. Geddit ? Ahem. Wow, look free gold *scurries away to hide from the pun police*).
Yeah, David and Christian actually are very close friends in the real world. I remember reading something a while back about how they and the late Glenn Quinn used to hang out together a lot. Pretty sure that was in an interview with DB himself somewhere. Certainly wouldn't be all that shocked to see Christian turn up in Bones.
GVH, Skip is totally UNrecognizable out of costume, to me anyway -- he's baby-faced! The actor also appears on the US version of The Office as Roy, Pam's fiance.
Saje, it'd be cool seeing Christian Kane and DB reunited on screen, so here's hoping.

melanie, I'd figured as much. Baby-faced...not exactly what I expected :-).
Ah, another one came to me...Harry Groener was in one episode of Bones, I believe.
The bad guy from "The House Always Wins" was on last night. Actor Clayton Rohner, character Lee DeMarco. For some reason, IMDB hasn't caught up with it yet.
Saje said, "...the actors weren't mere cogs to be swapped out at will."

Yes they are. Actors are puppets. The story is paramount. If fans of Whedon's vision would realize this, we'd get more stories.
Not at all, ZachsMind. For me, and I would imagine many other fans of both Buffy and Angel (actually, come to think of it, any popular television series) the actor is probably half the reason you come to care for the character. Not wanting to take anything away from the part Joss and the other writers played but it was just as much thanks to Sarah, David, James and the others that I came to love the shows as much as I did.

I won't argue that if different actors had played the roles right from the start then we might still have loved the show but the fact is that they didn't. We have grown accustomed to seeing Buffy with the face of Sarah Michelle Gellar and Spike looking very much like James Marsters. That is just the way it is and those are the characters we want. Not just Buffy and Spike "the idea" but the Buffy and Spike we have seen develop over the years, their true faces included.

Also, I don't think for a second that it is anything to do with the actors involved that limits the stories we are getting. Do you really believe that if the roles of Buffy and Angel were recast then a network would suddenly be jumping at the chance to green light a new series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Not likely. The only thing that is stopping more Buffyverse stories happening is that Joss isn't getting the funds to make them happen. The Spike movie hasn't been held up by James, just the financing that is needed to make it.

Recasting any of the roles would be both a waste of time and effort as well as disrespectful to those that made the characters great before. And by that I am most certainly including the actors.
I hope you are joking Zachsmind, but I fear you are not. If you truly think actors are interchangable, I suggest you go to the theater see various productions of the same play to see what a difference the actors make.

[ edited by newcj on 2006-03-30 17:50 ]
Ditto with the above. If Joss wanted actors _purely_ as replacable puppets, he'd be working in radio. And that's exactly the opposite to what he does.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-03-30 17:50 ]
(Radio actors make a huge difference in performance as well Gossi. Can you imagine someone replacing Garrison Keillor even if he wrote all the material?)

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