Make-over artist: Nicholas Brendon goes for laughs in 'Celeste in the City'
March 12, 2004

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 known 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.' ''


Nick, from long experience in the business worlk, the powers that be do whatever they want to do. So Mr. Whedon's excuse is patently lame, although I respect his genius. I just hope you don't take it to heart.

I am so glad to hear you are a fan of the show. So many stars seem to not appreciate the value of their effort. I learned this was not universal when I read about the late John Cassavetes (actor and filmmaker-Rosemary's Baby if you are too young).. He and his wife, the excellent actress Gena Rowland, used to enjoy having parties in which they would watch their films with friends. How delightful that would be to do that with you.So, don't miss out on something because of fear of appearing proud of your work. Stardom requires not just talent but a quality that no amount of experience or talent can equal. The Captain (William Shatner) is as popular as ever.

Two sample great scenes. One is:when you turn into a soldier on Halloween and say something like, "I wan't you to know I am taking a lot on faith here." Second is when you and spike visit the big brother of the teenager with the football jacket that makes women love him; notice that the look on Spike's face is p;riceless when the big brother offers to let you and Spike stay to party in his basement.

Posted by: Paul Henri on August 11, 2004 11:08 PM

just a note sorta
ahhh were 144 eps of buffy

im a nit picker i know im sorry

But nick you did make one heck of gay dude.

Posted by: Steph on June 13, 2004 10:35 AM

I'm all for a Buffy big screen movie. That will be awesome! Keep bugging Joss to do it Nick. There are tons of ideas from the fans on fanfiction. Inspiration can come from there. I believe that Joss needs to do this, make a movie version of Buffy once again, because he needs to sort of make up for the first. Bringing back some stars from the original would be cool. Hey, Nick you could be a producer. It'd be cool. Let me know if it goes through. I would totally watch it seven times and bring lots of friends with me too.
Hugs and kisses,
I loved you on Celeste in the city. I thought that you were going to be Celeste.

Posted by: Kat on June 8, 2004 12:38 PM

that is so sweet what nicky says about the stuttering children

Posted by: nicky b fanatic on May 16, 2004 01:59 PM

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