Rachel M. Johnson is a lover of all things pop culture. She's been writing about music and entertainment online for over two years.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer first aired on March 10, 1997 and follows Buffy Summers as she balances life in high school, family, and friends. Oh, and she's also the chosen one who must fight the forces of darkness in the small town of Sunnydale. With the guidance of her watcher Giles, and the aid of the Scooby Gang, Buffy goes up against vampires, monsters, and demons alike. Since the show's debut more than twenty years ago, the series has become a cult classic and is often regarded as one of the greatest television shows of all time.
Let's take a look at some interesting facts about the beloved show.
1. The concept for Buffy originated from a screenplay by Joss Whedon entitled “Rhonda the Immortal Waitress.”
2. Sarah Michelle Gellar was initially cast in the role of Cordelia Chase, but continuously pushed to be given the character Buffy Summers. Her perseverance paid off and she would ultimately become the titular character.
3. Selma Blair and Katie Holmes were also up for the role of Buffy.
4. At the time of casting, Sarah Michelle Gellar was also up for the lead in Sabrina, The Teenage Witch before she ultimately accepted the role of Buffy.
5. Giles, Faith, and Spike were all in consideration to have spin-off shows from the series. Only Angel’s would actually come to fruition.
6. The high school used as Sunnydale High in the first 3 seasons Is Torrance High School, California. It has been famously used in Beverly Hills 90210, She’s All That, Not Another Teen Movie, and Bruce Almighty.
7. Danny Strong (Jonathan) won the fan vote for favorite extra, and his role as Jonathan was therefore expanded upon. He was featured in season 3 and 4 and heavily in season 6.
8. The role of Willow was actually recast after the pilot was filmed. Riff Regan initially portrayed Buffy’s best friend, but producers felt she wasn’t quite right. Alyson Hannigan’s plucky portrayal of the character won her the role.
9. Throughout the course of the whole series, Buffy wracked up a total of 215 onscreen kills. These include: 133 vampires, 62 demons, 11 humans, 6 monsters, 1 spirit warrior and 1 robot.
10. Whedon had specifically wanted the vampires faces to be scary. He had said: “I didn’t think I really wanted to put a show on the air about a high-school girl who was stabbing normal-looking people in the heart. I thought somehow that might send the wrong message, but when they are clearly monsters, it takes it to a level of fantasy that is safer.”
11. Creator Joss Whedon knew he wanted either Willow or Xander to be gay, and took awhile to finally decide upon Willow.
12. Anthony Stewart Head was the first character to be cast in the show. Producers knew he was the perfect fit for Giles from the beginning.
13. Britney Spears almost made a guest-star appearance: she was set to play robot April in season 5. Unfortunately, scheduling conflicts got in the way.
14. Whedon had a special nickname for Gellar, due to how much pain she had to deal with on the show. He had said: “We used to call her Jimmy Stewart, because he was the Greatest American in pain in the history of film.”
15. Nicholas Brendon (Xander) had a stuttering problem growing up and found acting helped him overcome it.
16. James Marsters (Spike) initially auditioned for the character with a Texas accent. Producers preferred the vampire to be a Londoner, and throughout the show Head would help Marsters with his dialect.
17. Ryan Reynolds was offered the role of sidekick Xander, but ended up turning it down.
18. Charisma Carpenter was 27 years old when the show first aired, making her one of the oldest actors to ever at a teenager.
19. Gellar and Nicholas Brendon had proposed a romance between their characters to Whedon before season 7. However, Whedon wanted to keep their friendship platonic.
20. Most cast members involved with the show learned the series was coming to an end from Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Entertainment Weekly story. She told the publication she would be leaving the show.
Who was your favorite character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Let me know in the comments below!
© 2018 Rachel M Johnson