Buffy the Vampire Slayer defined a generation, showcasing the young talents of a number of actors and actresses who were able to simultaneously make viewers laugh and tug at their heartstrings. Joss Whedon’s series helped to launch the careers of stars like Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan and David Boreanaz.
Most of the actors going into Buffy were relative unknowns, without many credits between them. However, the acting chops they were able to showcase on the series brought them to new heights in the entertainment world, giving them the base needed to build a successful career on.
Clearly, casting was key to the original Buffy’s success, and, although nothing has come of the many reboot talks in recent years, it’s still fun to speculate about who would be cast in the main roles should the series be recreated. So, What If Buffy The Vampire Slayer Was Cast Today? Here’s who we think should be tapped to star.
13 Principal Snyder: Michael Emerson
Emerson would be a perfect choice to take on the role of Armin Shimerman’s acerbic Principal Snyder, who has frequent run-ins with Buffy and her friends throughout the series as he tries to keep order in Sunnydale High. Michael Emerson, who is a Lost and Person of Interest alum, is used to playing older, mentor figures with, let's be honest, questionable intentions. Although Emerson has never played a character who is as out and out mean as Buffy’s high school principal, it would be interesting to see the actor manifest some rage in his roles. Plus, who doesn’t want to see Ben Linus get eaten by a giant demon snake? I know I do!
12 Oz: Jarod Joseph
Jarod Joseph may be best known to you from The 100. The actor has just the right amount of cool to play the part of Willow’s werewolf boyfriend, Oz. As Nathan Miller on the CW series, he’s shown that he can deliver lines crisply and quietly while still making his presence known on screen. Joseph, who has also been seen on Mistresses, Arrow, Once Upon a Time and Fringe, has had an impressive and diverse career for an actor so young. Although he hasn’t yet had to master Seth Green’s signature detached delivery for any of his roles thus far, his adaptability and talent mean that he should be able to adapt to the requirements of the part.
11 Tara: Nicole Munoz
Nicole Munoz has had a long career in TV and film for someone so young, with over 45 IMDb credits to her name at just 21 years old. Munoz is probably best known for her role as Christie McCawley on Syfy’s Defiance, a part in which she showed off her acting range (while also playing an ill-fated love interest, something which, unfortunately, is fitting for Tara’s character). In addition to her film work, Munoz is also an accomplished dancer, and would be able to bring that grace and experience to the character of Willow’s girlfriend. What we want from Tara is to see a shy, quiet character develop into someone unafraid to speak her mind and reveal her feelings, and Munoz can fit that to a tee.
10 Dawn: Chandler Riggs
Known for playing the annoying, vaguely sociopathic child Carl on The Walking Dead, Chandler Riggs might just be able to equal Michelle Trachtenberg’s Dawn in general horribleness. Although it’s not the fault of Riggs or Trachtenberg that their characters were so disliked (well, mostly not their fault), both Carl and Dawn have the whiny personas and annoying tendencies to get in trouble that can almost singlehandedly take down a TV show. If he can get a little bit of extra complaining and a tendency to attract vampires instead of walkers down, Riggs should be able to bring just the right amount of teenage angst to play Buffy’s mystical younger sibling.
9 Anya: Kiernan Shipka
Although the Mad Men actress may be a bit young for the part at only 16 years old, she has the sassy delivery necessary to nail the part of vengeance demon turned high school student Anya. Shipka has proved her ability to grow as an actress throughout her years playing Sally Draper, and, with that type of talent and adaptability, it’s clear that the actress has a bright future ahead of her. Moving on to playing the iconic role of Anya would be a great next step for a promising young actress. She'll have to pull off the vaguely robotic, yet constantly endearing personality of the vengeance demon. Let’s just hope she’s afraid of bunnies.
8 Faith: Isabelle Fuhrman
Fuhrman, known for her villainous roles, would be a great choice for the role of the second slayer Faith. She starred as creepy kid Esther in the horror film Orphan before being cast as vicious tribute Clove in The Hunger Games, a role in which she showed off her action chops. Fuhrman clearly has the ability to be scary, just like Faith when she hits her darker points throughout the series, but she has also shown on numerous occasions that she has the potential to deliver the right amount of vulnerability and humor necessary to really nail the complex role. As a foil to Buffy, the actress who takes on Faith needs to match the prime slayer on an athletic and emotional level.
7 Cordelia: Malese Jow
Although Jow is a bit older at 25 than the rest of the high schoolers in this potential casting, the extra confidence gained with age could be the key for the portrayal of the mean girl with a heart of gold, Cordelia. Jow, who has appeared on a number of teen shows on The CW, including The Vampire Diaries and Star Crossed, has the quick line delivery necessary for Cordelia’s signature insults down, as proved by her recent turn as Linda Park on The Flash. Her role as Park, among many of her other parts, has shown that she also has the caring and heart necessary to play Cordelia, a combination that makes her perfect for the role.
6 Angel: Ricky Whittle
Whittle knows how to play the mysterious brooding love interest, as shown by his role as Lincoln on The 100. His portrayal of Lincoln was quiet and powerful, just like David Boreanaz’ portrayal of Angel, drawing viewers to him every time he appeared on screen, even when he was only in the background. Although Whittle may be a bit busy, having just landed the leading role of Shadow Moon in Starz’ American Gods series, he might be able to find time in his schedule to play such an important part in a potential Buffy reboot. If not, perhaps some of our commenters can help fill in this crucial role in the Buffyverse.
5 Spike: Tom Felton
The Harry Potter actor has the look necessary to play Spike, with the bleach blonde hair, cool guy persona and British accent all going for him (although he may need to rough up the accent a bit in order to fit with Spike’s Cockney tone). He has proved his ability to play evil in his role as Draco Malfoy, showing off his quick wit and skill at delivering insults. Felton has also recently delved into music, starting his own record label, which means that, just like original Spike James Marsters, he would be able to deliver a song on the series from time to time. We can't wait to hear that.
4 Giles: Ron Glass
Glass already has experience in the older mentor role in a Joss Whedon series, playing the role of Shepherd Book in the short-lived, but beloved, Firefly. While playing Book, Glass was able to deliver knowledge and guidance to the group without seeming too preachy, a very necessary quality for someone to take on the role of Buffy’s librarian watcher, who was often stuck with delivering the exposition in the series. Glass has proven throughout his long career that he can bring the right gravitas and wisdom to the part, bringing in the perfect mix of mentorship and heart that Anthony Stewart Head so brilliantly portrayed throughout Buffy’s seven seasons.
3 Xander: Colin Ford
Ford brought just the right amount of goofiness and introspection to one of his most memorable roles as young Sam Winchester on Supernatural, delivering an unforgettable performance even in such a small part. He then went on to show off his sarcasm, smarts and humor in his role as Joe McAlister on Under the Dome, all key qualities for the role of Xander, originally portrayed by Nicholas Brendon. The 19-year-old is still fairly new to the world of acting, but he has managed to impress in every role he has been in, and would be able to bring a great new comedic energy to the dorky fan favorite character.
2 Willow: Georgie Henley
Henley, best known for her role as the precocious Lucy Pevensie in the Chronicles of Narnia films, hasn’t acted much since her days of child stardom, but her background has uniquely prepared her for taking on the role of Willow, Buffy’s witchy best friend. Lucy served as the heart and brains of the Pevensie siblings, helping to guide them towards always doing the right thing while also demonstrating her smarts, her childlike wonder and her empathy. These qualities, greatly portrayed by Henley, even as a child, are exactly what an actress stepping into the shoes of Willow Rosenberg needs, and it would be great to see what the more mature actress could do now.
1 Buffy: Chloe Grace Moretz
Finding someone with the abilities to step into Sarah Michelle Gellar’s shoes in the title role was no easy task, but Chloe Grace Moretz is perhaps the most fit for the part. Moretz, who has an impressive roster of TV and movie roles for just 19 years old, has showed off her comedic prowess in movies like (500) Days of Summer and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, her drama chops in films like If I Stay and her fighting abilities in her memorable role as Mindy McCready, aka Hit Girl, in the Kick-Ass films. With her quick wit, heart and killer right hook, Moretz would be a great fit to play the slayer.