It’s been over a decade since the end of Joss Whedon’s incredible series Buffy The Vampire Slayer, but for fans of the show, it feels like only yesterday that the Scoobies were busy stopping yet another Armageddon. While the adventures of Buffy and the gang continues in a series of comic books, the cast of the hit show have moved on.
Despite several enduring friendships and many cast members working together (or with Whedon) on other shows, several of the stars, including Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eliza Dushku and Anthony Head, have shot down rumors of a twentieth anniversary reunion in 2017. Sad as that is for hopeful fans, it’s not too surprising – especially as so many of the Buffy stars are simply too busy with other projects right now! From other supernatural shows to writing, producing, or making music, let’s see what Buffy and friends have been up to since they left Sunnydale for good.
Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles)
Father figure to Buffy and the Scooby gang, Giles went from school librarian and rule-abiding watcher to a significantly more badass magic-shop owner over the course of the show. He had his own trials and tribulations with love interest Jenny Calendar (Robia LaMorte) and the Watcher’s Council, but his most important relationship was always with Buffy, and we knew that he always had her best interests at heart.
After the show ended, Anthony Head continued to work on quirky cult films and shows with a hefty dose of magic to them; clearly his time on Buffy left him wanting more of the same. He starred in the strange and wonderful Repo: The Genetic Opera (where he showcased his incredible voice), as well as in Merlin as Uther Pendragon, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters as Chiron, Dominion as David Whele, and even made a brief appearance on Doctor Who.
Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg)
Buffy’s quirky and cute best friend Willow became a fan-favorite in the series, not only for her individual style and amazing intelligence, but because she was often the more relatable female star. Willow went on to gain some superpowers of her own as one of the most capable witches in the world, and the show made waves when she came out as a lesbian in college. In the final season, Willow got a particularly steamy scene with Kennedy (Iyari Limon), which was the first lesbian sex scene on broadcast TV.
Hannigan also went on to have an incredible acting career post-Buffy, starting with her role in gross-out comedy American Pie (and its sequels). After a few smaller parts in various series, she had starring role in another hit TV series as Lily Aldrin in How I Met Your Mother. She married Buffy co-star Alexis Denisof (Wesley) in 2003, who also went on to work with her on How I Met Your Mother (D’Awwww).
Nicholas Brendan (Xander Harris)
The third original Scooby, Xander Harris spent quite a bit of time as a screw up, before a particularly interesting spell showed him his potential. After years as a sidekick, he really came into his own in later seasons, rising in the ranks of construction and falling in love with ex-demon Anya. Sadly, he didn’t get much of a happy ending in the show, but he was a long-running fan-favorite nonetheless.
Sadly, Brendan didn’t have quite the success of his co-stars after Buffy ended. He went on to work on a range of lesser-known films and smaller TV parts, including Private Practice, Psycho Beach Party and a recurring role in Criminal Minds. The star also struggles with addiction and depression, and has had several run-ins with the law over the years. He has spoken publicly about his issues and thanked fans for their continuing support, and hopefully he can overcome these issues and find new success with upcoming films Snatched and The Inspector Chronicles.
James Marsters (Spike)
Initially a pure villain, Spike went on to become the romantic lead and a major fan-favorite as he developed. His initial move away from evil may have been forced on him in a military experiment, but by the final season of Buffy, Spike was a true hero, putting Buffy and her family above all else and becoming a key part of saving the world.
After winning a slew of awards for the role of Spike, Marsters took his incredible cheekbones and went on to appear in many more sci-fi and fantasy shows. He appears in Caprica, Smallville, The Super Hero Squad Show, Supernatural, Warehouse 13 and Witches of East End. He also found musical success, first with band Ghost of the Robot (which reformed in 2010 after a five-year hiatus) as well as with his solo album Civilized Man in 2005.
David Boreanaz (Angel)
Buffy’s first love, Angel spent some time as both hero and villain on the show, and generally defined the tall-dark-and-brooding stereotype for teenage girls in the ‘90s. While he was supplanted by Spike later in the series, Angel did re-appear multiple times after his death (dying is not a particularly permanent state on Buffy).
Angel was such a popular character that he got his own spinoff show starring Boreanaz, Angel, which ran for five seasons from 1999-2004. Angel involved several of the cast members from earlier seasons of Buffy, and even had some crossover with the show. After Angel, Boreanaz went on to star in another huge TV hit with barely a breather. Bones first aired in 2005, and is still running today, eleven seasons in.
Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase)
Another Buffy alum who went on to star in Angel, Cordelia Chase went from the high-school arch-enemy to a (relatively) useful member of the Scoobies for a few years, before making the wise decision to get the heck out of Sunnydale. Her role in Angel was vastly different from her initial character in Buffy, as she was the capable and caring (platonic) helper to Angel.
Since then, she’s had a busy acting career, primarily in TV with roles in Veronica Mars, Charmed, The Lying Game and Scream Queens (among many others!), as well as a few movie roles including The Expendables and The Expendables 2.
Emma Caulfield (Anya)
Ex-revenge-demon Anya (aka Anyanka) won fan’s hearts as the unashamedly capitalist and surprisingly cute love-interest for Xander. Despite her villainous beginnings, she became a vital part of the extended Scoobies and took over The Magic Box for Giles in later seasons. Famous for her fear of bunnies, hearts broke in the finale when Anya didn’t make it out alive.
Caulfield went on to act in a range of series and films, including Gigantic, Life Unexpected, Darkness Falls and TiMER, and will be appearing in both Once Upon A Time and Supergirl in 2016. She also tried her hand at producing with Bandwagon: The Series, a semi-autobiographical show about an actress trying to hit the big time. This independent film was followed up with a webseries in 2010-2011.
Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn Summers)
Fans were shocked when season 5 of Buffy revealed that Buffy, previously an only child, had an annoying little sister, Dawn. The character’s abrupt appearance in the show was slowly explained throughout the season, as it was revealed that Dawn was the human embodiment of a mystical Key, planted in the Slayer’s life so that she would be protected. As the show continued, Dawn became the least popular character in the show, constantly running off and getting into trouble, necessitating saving by the Slayer.
Eliza Dushku (Faith)
Revealing what happens when a Slayer is called but doesn’t have the moral fiber or the capable Watcher that Buffy did, Faith appeared on the show as both a friend to Buffy and her eventual enemy. Faith lived in the grey area, using her super strength to help, but also for selfish reasons. Her devil-may-care attitude eventually pushes her too far, and although she returns to the light side in the end, she still represents the darker side of Slaying.
After Buffy, Dushku worked with Joss Whedon again in Dollhouse, a series about a bizarre business that imprints new personalities and skills on people in order to rent them out as ideal companions. Like many other Buffy stars, she continued to work in sci-fi, fantasy and horror with projects such as Tru Calling, the animated Torchwood: Web of Lies and Wrong Turn, but she also revealed her lighter side in comedies Bring it On and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
Seth Green (Oz)
Green’s relatively brief tenure on Buffy was as Oz, the musician love-interest for Willow (before she came out, of course). Of course, no one on the show is as simple as they first appear, and it was revealed that Oz was also a werewolf, something that Willow took extremely well, but which led to his departure in the end.
Unlike many of the cast members, Green was already a well-established actor by the time he appeared on Buffy, having been in front of the camera since the age of ten. He also was one of the few to focus on comedies and voice work after the show, rather than sticking with darker and more supernatural genre work. He’s well-known for his roles in Family Guy, the Austin Powers franchise, and The Italian Job. He has also appeared alongside Alyson Hannigan again in How I Met Your Mother. However, he is possibly best-known for co-creating the hilarious stop-motion comedy sketch show Robot Chicken, which went on to win multiple awards, including three Primetime Emmys.
Amber Benson (Tara Maclay)
Willow’s first girlfriend and fellow witch Tara became a major part of the team toward the end of season 4, at times being something of a mother figure to Dawn and often standing as the voice of reason for the group. Her harrowing portrayal of the partner to an addict (Willow and her magic addiction) was incredible, and her death at the end of season 6 was gut-wrenching.
Since the show, Benson has been involved with all aspects of the film business, on screen in Latter Days and Crush as well as shows such as Strictly Sexual and even alongside Buffy alum Sarah Michelle Gellar in Ringer. However, she has also done incredible work behind the camera, writing, directing and producing for Chance (where she also starred alongside James Marsters) and writing on The Theory of the Leisure Class. She was also involved with the comic book continuation of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, writing “WannaBlessedBe,” “Wilderness 1” and “Wilderness 2,” all about Willow and Tara.
Nathan Fillion (Caleb)
The Big Bad of the final seasons, Caleb was a brutal villain who appeared as a priest, hellbent on destroying the world. He came pretty close, too, and was responsible in part for Buffy being ostracized by the Slayerettes and kicked out of her own home before the final battle, not to mention blinding Xander in one eye.
Now, Fillion is a major star, especially within the nerd-verse. He worked with Whedon again (actually, at the same time as he appeared on Buffy) on the cult show Firefly and the spin-off film Serenity, as well as the mini-series Dr Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. He also stars in the murder mystery series Castle, and has appeared as himself in geek-culture hit comedy The Big Bang Theory. His latest project, Con Man, a webseries with Firefly co-star Alan Tudyk, set crowdfunding records, and has been a huge success.
Danny Strong (Jonathan Levinson)
Jonathan may never have been a central character in the series, but he appeared throughout, even as part of the un-aired pilot episode. Jonathon was little more than a punchline for most of his highschool years – the nerd who is picked on and called out as a loser. After this, he decides to take the magical way out of his problems, becoming a warlock and eventually a member of the Trio, a bumbling crew of “supervillains” that annoy Buffy as much as cause her any actual issues. Even Jonathan’s death is a joke, as he is sacrificed to open the Seal of Danzalthar, but his anemia means that the blood simply isn’t enough to do the job.
Buffy was one of Strong’s first ever roles, but since the show, he has gone on to win two Primetime Emmys for his work as a writer on Game Change, as well as writing for the hit series Empire and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (Parts 1 and 2). He also had a recurring role on the Emmy-winning Mad Men and co-wrote The Butler with Lee Daniels.
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers)
Sarah Michelle Gellar wasn’t well-known before she landed the starring role in Buffy, but her tenure as the plucky cheerleader with a destiny as a vampire-hunter launched her to fame. Buffy may have started out as a perky, preppy teen, but as the show progressed the role became significantly darker as the character suffered through loss after loss (not to mention her own death – more than once!).
Gellar rose to the challenge, and went on to star in a huge number of movies and TV shows, winning multiple awards for her work – including an Emmy and a nomination for a Golden Globe. Some of her projects included the hugely successful Cruel Intentions, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scooby Doo, The Grudge, and All My Children. More recently, she starred in the thriller series Ringer, and alongside the late Robin Williams in The Crazy Ones.
She’s been just as successful in her personal life, happily married to Freddie Prinze Jr for thirteen years. The couple have two children, and Gellar (now legally Prinze) is also very involved in children’s charities, including the Nestle Share The Joy Of Reading Program, Make A Wish Foundation and Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA.
Any other Buffy alum doing good in the world? Let us know in the comments!