Nicholas Brendon Q&A at Pop Con
Nicholas Brendon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Criminal Minds) was a guest at Indy Pop Con, and we got the chance to hear some of his thoughts about Buffy, and other things.
One thing we learned very quickly is that Nicholas is a wiseass, in a good way. He was funny, flirty, and simply adorable. Of course this opinion happens to be coming from a girl who has had a crush on him for a long time, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
What were some of the craziest, weirdest, things that happened while filming Buffy?
Probably all the abortions. Actually, on the set we were always so behind in work, there were not a lot of elaborate pranks, or anything of that nature. There’s some stuff I won’t talk about because they don’t just include me. If it involves someone else I won’t talk about it if they’re not here. But in terms of shooting it, it was a lot of fun, but it was a lot of work.
Joss Whedon likes to pull people back into the fold for other projects, so the question on some fans minds is; Are we going to see you in the Avengers?
The closest I’ve come so far is Agents of SHIELD. There was a part that was written, me and J. August Richards auditioned for it, and J got it. When I got the call the night before they were like, “Hey, Joss wants to see you tomorrow for SHIELD.” That was the closest I got for Joss outside of Buffy. Well, I was supposed to be the Captain in Firefly, he wrote it for me. In season six I came to work and was told Joss wanted to talk to me, and I was like, “Fuck. What did I do?” I got there, and he says, “I want you to know I’m writing a show for you. It’s a western in outer space.” I’m like, “Cool. Thank you.”. Then in season seven Joss said, “FOX wants the show now, so we have to do it.” So then Nathan Fillion takes out my eye, and takes my job.
How does being an occasional guest/in a supporting role, on Criminal Minds, compare to being a series regular on Buffy?
It’s so much different. I love the show, and I have a great relationship with everybody on Criminal Minds. But when you’re a series regular you’re a family, and there is a nucleus. Like when people were reoccurring on Buffy it was, ‘Yeah, we know you, we love you.’, but we’ve (series regulars) been through this thing together. It’s a much different relationship. Buffy was one of the best things that ever happened to me, if not the best thing that has ever happened to me.
The thing I love about Kevin (Criminal Minds) is that he has a lot of Xander in him. He rambles a lot, he’ll trip, and say stuff like ‘moobs’.
Would you have come back to Buffy if there was a season eight?
Oh yeah. Absolutely. Allison, James, and myself were already signed up for another season, but Sarah was tired, she was in every scene. I would get to go home and have somewhat of a life, she would still be working, and I would feel so bad. I think she needed a break, just needed to stop being Buffy.
Once More With Feeling was one of your favorite episodes to film, was everyone as into it as you were?
No. And I was just in Huston with James, he was talking about how when he heard Joss was writing a musical he was thinking, ‘Oh this guy has lost it. Is he crazy?’ I love James but, I was like, as an actor you’re questioning Joss? And I was all, “No. We’re doing a musical, and it’s going to be awesome. How dare you question this guy?” I was for it 100%, and I wasn’t hired to be a singer or dancer, so if I sucked, who cares? I wanted to be there for the team, and one of the first numbers we did was mine and Anya’s. When Joss cut it together and showed it to people James was like, “Oh wow. We do have something here.” and I said, “Of course we do! Joss is doing it.” Why would you ever question? Especially with a script that said, ‘written by Joss Whedon’, and ‘directed by Joss Whedon’. Whenever it said written by and directed by Joss, there was nothing to worry about.
The song I least enjoyed was, “Under Your Spell”. It’s a little hippy for me.
On writing for season 10 of the Buffy comics:
Xander is having sex with Dawn…In a relationship. It did weird me out at first, until I saw a spread in FHM of Michelle Trachtenberg, and I was like, “Ooh yeah!”. It’s been great revisiting the character (Xander), and a little sad. I really miss him.
I talk with Christos, who I’m writing with. We get into how Xander talks, ‘what would Xander say here?’ Well, Xander, he repeat himself a lot. “Sex? Are we gonna have to have sex now? Sex now?”, “Cool as a cucumber. I like cucumbers.” As we’re writing it I’m actually saying lines as Xander, but I’m also improvising lines as Xander.
It would probably be entertaining for you guys to see, because we write at a coffee shop in Santa Monica, and I’m improvising as Xander. Christos would be like, “What would he say here?”, and I come up with these lines, and we’ll write it down.
I know where Xander is now, because of the comics, but Joss has said if there is ever a movie it will have nothing to do with where the comics are at.
Random Nicholas Antics & Tidbits:
He blurts out “Green” (his favorite color). He is single, and he goes on to clarify, “There’s a reason for that. I’m craaazy.”. At one point he sees a woman holding a baby and said to her, “We’ve never met before. Correct?”. He thought the hottest girl on Buffy was Eliza (Dushku, who played Faith). He playfully said, “I like boobs. Love ’em.”. At one point he wiggled his butt for the audience, and started doing lunges. Because…Why not?
If you ever have the chance to meet Nicholas make sure you grab the opportunity. He’s really quite charming, and funny. He also gives the very best hugs.