Herald Sun, Edition 1 - FIRSTWED 01 MAY 2002, Page H07
By: Neala Johnson
Buffy star Nicholas Brendon comes to terms with the show's demise, with Neala Johnson
NICHOLAS Brendon has spent the past six years of his life playing the endearingly goofy Xander Harris in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
As one of Buffy's best friends, Xander been captured by a man-eating praying mantis, and done Dracula's bidding after the vampire forced the teen to become, in Xander-speak, his ``butt monkey''.
But now, Brendon is preparing himself for the inevitable. When Buffy's cast and crew reconvene to shoot the seventh season in July, they will be doing so for the last time.
After season seven, Buffy will not be coming back from the dead.
``It sucks, because with how this year ended, and with what's gonna happen next year, it's gonna go out on top,'' says Brendon from Sydney, where he visited a sci-fi convention.
``We're having a lot of fun doing it. This last year was my most fun year doing the show. But that's life in showbiz, and I'll just do something else.''
The reasons for Buffy ending are many -- the stars, including Buffy herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar, will be out of contract at the end of season seven -- but the final blow has really been dealt by the man Buffy fans consider to be something of a god, series creator Joss Whedon.
Since turning his critically lambasted Buffy the Vampire Slayer feature film into a cult TV hit, Whedon has become increasingly busy.
He created the Buffy spin ff, Angel, and is now working on another sci-fi action series, Firefly, reportedly the most expensive pilot ever made for US TV.
``Joss always wanted to be attached to it, and as his schedule's becoming thinner, it's harder for him to be a part of the show,'' Brendon says.
``It was his baby, so if he can't be a part of it like he wants to, then it's just not gonna run.''
``It's gonna be really sad for me,'' the 31-year ld actor says, ``144 episodes and it's my first job. I went through a lot of changes personally in that time, so it's gonna be a teary goodbye.''
For Brendon, life after Buffy may include ``some films and probably a sitcom''.
Still, Brendon will have some fantastic memories. His favourite Buffy adventures include the recent musical episode, and the time Xander was split in two, with one half played by Brendon's identical twin brother Kelly Donovan.
Donovan (the brothers use their middle names instead of their surname professionally) is now Brendon's stunt-double.
``His first day of doing stunts, he dislocated his shoulder,'' Brendon recalls. ``So then he got fired, I pleaded for them to rehire him, and now he's been doing great.''
For this Gene Kelly fan, the musical episode where he delivered an old-fashioned dance routine, was also a blast.
As for the season currently showing on Australian TV, Brendon remains tight-lipped.
How will they top last season's cliffhanger, when Buffy was dead?
``Just wait and see. This year's exciting, I can tell you that. People die!''