'Buffy' alums reunite for 'Chaos'

Boston Herald
By Amy Amatangelo
Sept. 3, 2006

There’s something nostalgic about running into your high-school flame.

Now imagine it happening on the small screen. Charisma Carpenter and Nicholas Brendon, who played sweethearts Cordelia and Xander on the hit series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” reunite for the first time in the ABC Family movie “Relative Chaos” (premiering tomorrow at 8 p.m.).

“It’s fun because we’ve both grown, and it’s so fun to see each other as grownups,” Carpenter said during a recent interview. “And to actually just let loose and have fun and be on a set - that’s just such a joy.”

“It was just really great,” Brendon added. “It really harkened back to a time. I felt like I was back in high school.”

“Buffy” was the big break for both of them when the series became a pop-culture phenomenon in 1997.

"We were just so green,” Carpenter said. “I didn’t even know where my light was or how to find a mark and not fidget.”

“We’re definitely not as stressed now,” Brendon said.

In “Relative Chaos,” Carpenter plays the girlfriend of Dil Gilbert (Christopher Gorham). Brendon plays Dil’s obnoxious brother Gil.

“We talked about, on-set, how hard it was for him to have me on-set with another boyfriend,” Carpenter said. “He said, ‘Next time you have to be my girlfriend.’ I said, ‘Of course.’ ”

The reunion with Brendon wasn’t the first Carpenter has had with a former “Buffy” castmate. Last season she played gold-digger Kendall Casablancas on “Veronica Mars.” Alyson Hannigan (Willow on “Buffy”) played the sister of Kendall’s much-younger boy toy. The two met up in a hilarious scene of biting one-liners.

“I adore Alyson,” Carpenter said. “Her character was really, really bitchy, and it was really funny.”

For years on “Buffy,” Cordelia picked on Willow. Now Carpenter thinks Hannigan was able to get her revenge. “I figured I had that coming for a long time,” she said and then laughed.

The part on “Veronica Mars” was an adjustment for Carpenter.

“It was fun. It was ballsy. It was brave. It was hard because there was a lot of sexuality. It was a big adjustment I think emotionally and physically. I had to get somewhat comfortable with my body. I think it’s a great show. I’ve had the opportunity to be a big part of a story line that was eager to be told by the people who write it and eager to be watched by the fans who enjoy it.”

Carpenter said her part will be smaller this season on “Veronica Mars.”

“I think you’ve got to tune in right away - catch the first episode or you’re going to miss the whole season.”

Brendon just finished his first play, “Lobster Alice,” opposite Noah Wyle with the Blank Theatre Company in Los Angeles.

"When I first started, I thought, ‘Wow, I don’t know if I can do this.’ But it’s such a beautiful medium.”

Carpenter and Brendon hope to have more opportunities to work with the former residents of Sunnydale.

“The hardest part of ‘Buffy’ ending was saying goodbye to Xander,” Brendon said. “It was like saying goodbye to a good friend of mine.”

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