Mars Bombshell Is Still Wonder-ing
Matt Webb Mitovich
September 6, 2006
Earlier this week, Charisma Carpenter weighed in on one Buffy reunion accomplished (ABC Family’s Relative Chaos, costarring Nicholas Brendon) and another perhaps to come (on David Boreanaz’s Bones). Here in Part 2 of her TVGuide.com Q&A, the brunette beauty talks about where we definitely will see her next – Veronica Mars, home of Kendall’s mysterious briefcase – and updates us on how she is still Wonder-ing about donning a certain superheroine’s bullet-deflecting bracelets.
TVGuide.com: How busy is Veronica Mars going to keep you this season?
Charisma Carpenter: I don’t think I’m allowed to say…. I do suggest that people watch the first episode, though!
TVGuide.com: Will we find out what’s in the briefcase that Kendall showed Keith? The thing that made him stand up Veronica at the airport?
TVGuide.com: Did you know what was in it when you shot last season’s finale?
Carpenter: No. It was empty.
TVGuide.com: Did you take any guesses on what was inside?
Carpenter: We all guessed, of course! We were saying [to the writers/producers], “You guys don’t really know, do you? You’re not sure, are you?” [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Does Kendall get in Veronica’s face at all in the season premiere?
Carpenter: No. No face-off.
TVGuide.com: What fellas might Kendall “play with” this season?
TVGuide.com: No, not Veronica’s dad….
Carpenter: But that would be so funny, such an “oddball” combo.
TVGuide.com: A lot of fans are dreading that possibility, though.
Carpenter: Are they really?! I love Enrico [Colantoni]. He’s so amazing as an actor and so fun to be around. No, there’s a new guy in town, a new character [involved] with Kendall, and Keith…. There’s a whole story line there.
TVGuide.com: Did you go after any series-regular gigs for this fall?
Carpenter: Of course. I go out every pilot season.
TVGuide.com: You’re just too much woman for the small screen to handle?
Carpenter: Is that what it is? Ooh, I really like that line. It really works for me! But I do have an interesting audition coming up soon, so I’m hopeful.
TVGuide.com: Is it for TV? A movie?
Carpenter: Movie, movie, movie… I’m excited.
TVGuide.com: Is it with Joss Whedon, and you’re holding a golden lasso? [Carpenter's name often comes up in discussions about the Buffy creator's in-the-works Wonder Woman feature film.]
Carpenter: We’re working on that [Carpenter possibly playing Wonder Woman]. I’m working on it, I’m working on it….
TVGuide.com: You did very well in a TVGuide.com poll that ran last spring. [Asked who of three candidates they'd like to see play Wonder Woman, 52.1 percent voted for Carpenter.]
Carpenter: Yeah, your poll was generous. But in some other poll – with me, Jessica Biel and Sarah Michelle Gellar – I came in last. Of course, the picture they chose showed me when I was at, like, a children’s benefit covered in [conservative clothing]. I should have been wearing something more Wonder Woman-y!
TVGuide.com: Well, TVGuide.com’s poll showed you love – and I didn’t even tamper with it.
Carpenter: I’m so grateful for that. I’m dying to kick butt as Wonder Woman. Itching to kick butt! In my last year of Angel, I was really pregnant and I couldn’t do any butt-kicking, so I would really like this opportunity to work with Joss and take it to a new level.
Charisma Carpenter Gets a Buffy Reunion
Matt Webb Mitovich
September 4, 2006
Just as I was packing my bags to fly out to Los Angeles for the Primetime Emmys, the call came: “Can you interview Charisma Carpenter tomorrow?” As in, the moment I touched down at LAX. It was asking a lot, but, hey, we’re talking about the great-to-gab-with gal otherwise known as Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel‘s crafty Cordelia and Veronica Mars’ man-eater Kendall, who maybe, just maybe, might channel her inner Wonder Woman to play a big-screen superheroine. I said yes and, charmingly, she seemed to have as many questions for me as I had for her. Here in Part 1 of the Q&A, we discuss a pair of Buffy reunions: ABC Family’s Relative Chaos (premiering tonight at 8 pm/ET and teaming her with Nicholas Brendon) and the Bones she might have to pick.
TVGuide.com: So I’m in L.A., you’re in L.A… Why are we doing this interview over the phone?
Charisma Carpenter: I’m on my way to my friend’s pool.
TVGuide.com: Your friend’s pool? Why is it that we picture you lounging around your own pool all day long?
Carpenter: Because you saw me do that on Veronica Mars. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Did you feel my offer to “meet at the hotel for drinks” was untoward? Because I’m married, you’re married, I’m rather resistible…. What could have happened?
Carpenter: [Laughs] It was very, very tempting, but I am meeting my husband, my brother’s in town, and I have a 3-year-old to think of…. I would have loved to go otherwise!
TVGuide.com: I watched Relative Chaos on my DVD player on the flight out here….
Carpenter: So when you laughed out loud, was it all at Nicky Brendon?
TVGuide.com: Yes, he was very funny. How was that little Buffy reunion?
Carpenter: It was lovely. My last interviewer pointed out that it had been seven years since we last worked together. I thought that seemed rather odd, and off, and wrong, and not possible.
TVGuide.com: Your “last interviewer”? You’re interviewing with other people?
Carpenter: [Sheepishly] I am…. Hey, what do you think of Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ new show [The New Adventures of Old Christine]?
TVGuide.com: It’s cool. I loved her on Seinfeld, of course, so I’m definitely giving the show a shot.
Carpenter: I think Elaine influenced Cordelia a lot. I found myself subconsciously doing things [and] going, “Oh, my god, that was so Elaine!”
TVGuide.com: Now that you mention it, I can see that – even with the occasional shove/”Get out!”
Carpenter: Yes! In a cemetery [on Buffy] I did that with Nicky once, and that is specifically what I thought of. Seinfeld was such a landmark show.
TVGuide.com: I was thinking on the plane ride that if Julia Louis-Dreyfus wants to do a film, she could do “Snakes on Elaine.”
Carpenter: That would be so good! She can try to shake them off and everything. What’s the deal with Snakes on a Plane, anyway?
TVGuide.com: Define “What’s the deal?”.
Carpenter: Is it purposefully tongue-in-cheek? Is it funny…?
TVGuide.com: It doesn’t take itself entirely seriously, it’s just summer escapist fare. [I explain further, and tell her about my related interview with Samuel L. Jackson.]
Carpenter: Oh, wow. Interesting. Is it fun to be an interviewer?
TVGuide.com: Well, of course I could talk to you forever.
Carpenter: Have you interviewed David Boreanaz?
TVGuide.com: Actually, I usually generously hand off David to one of my female counterparts. Was reuniting with Nicky a factor in deciding to do Relative Chaos?
Carpenter: It wasn’t a deciding factor, but it was a plus, like, “Oh, wow….” It’s hard to say because between Alyson [Hannigan, who once shared a scene with Carpenter on Veronica Mars] and Nicky now, I have often been linked [to Buffy], and it’s always a “marketing coup” when we get that to happen. I don’t think any of us purposely seeks that out, it’s not an angle we want to be living with for the rest of our lives as actors, but in [Brendon's] case, I was excited to do it.
TVGuide.com: What about you popping by David’s show, Bones?
Carpenter: Interesting… I actually just saw David today. If I did another little Buffy coup, it would be with David.
TVGuide.com: I am so sad to see that in Relative Chaos, yet again, you’re not playing the nicest girl in world.
Carpenter: That’s funny because the feedback was that I was too nice. Nobody said, “You need to be meaner!”
TVGuide.com: Why aren’t you getting the nice-girl roles? Do you go into auditions wearing fishnets and stilettos, dragging on a cigarette?
Carpenter: That’s an interesting concept, maybe I should try that! No, I do nice-girl roles, they’re just not as fun. I like being “psychotic.” And in the last ABC Family movie I did, I was nice! I have flashes of niceness.
TVGuide.com: Is the Carpenter clan competitive like the family featured in Chaos? Any sibling rivalries?
Carpenter: No, we’re not really competitive with one another, because I think our ages are so spread out. But with others, when the chips are down…. My favorite metaphor is from tennis: Do you have the courage to win? Do you have the courage to serve an ace? It’s sort of like that.
TVGuide.com: I was going to say that to stay as busy as you do, you must have some “eye of the tiger” in you.
Carpenter: People say that, but I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like a big pussycat. I do pound the pavement, but it hasn’t been a very fruitful experience, so I’m contemplating not doing that anymore.
TVGuide.com: Whoa, what’s that mean? You want to be a stay-at-home mom?
Carpenter: No, no, no! Let’s get this clear: I want to act for the rest of my life. I love what I do. I love, love, love going to work. I love being on the set, I love the camaraderie, I love meeting new people and going to new locations. I love the working part. I don’t like the getting-the-job part. [Laughs] That’s the hard part! It wears me down, and it’s hard to keep the momentum going.
‘Buffy’ alums reunite for ‘Chaos’
September 3, 2006
There’s something nostalgic about running into your high-school flame.
Now imagine it happening on the small screen. Charisma Carpenter and Nicholas Brendon, who played sweethearts Cordelia and Xander on the hit series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” reunite for the first time in the ABC Family movie “Relative Chaos” (premiering tomorrow at 8 p.m.).
“It’s fun because we’ve both grown, and it’s so fun to see each other as grownups,” Carpenter said during a recent interview. “And to actually just let loose and have fun and be on a set – that’s just such a joy.”
“It was just really great,” Brendon added. “It really harkened back to a time. I felt like I was back in high school.”
“Buffy” was the big break for both of them when the series became a pop-culture phenomenon in 1997.
“We were just so green,” Carpenter said. “I didn’t even know where my light was or how to find a mark and not fidget.”
“We’re definitely not as stressed now,” Brendon said.
In “Relative Chaos,” Carpenter plays the girlfriend of Dil Gilbert (Christopher Gorham). Brendon plays Dil’s obnoxious brother Gil.
“We talked about, on-set, how hard it was for him to have me on-set with another boyfriend,” Carpenter said. “He said, ‘Next time you have to be my girlfriend.’ I said, ‘Of course.’ ”
The reunion with Brendon wasn’t the first Carpenter has had with a former “Buffy” castmate. Last season she played gold-digger Kendall Casablancas on “Veronica Mars.” Alyson Hannigan (Willow on “Buffy”) played the sister of Kendall’s much-younger boy toy. The two met up in a hilarious scene of biting one-liners.
“I adore Alyson,” Carpenter said. “Her character was really, really bitchy, and it was really funny.”
For years on “Buffy,” Cordelia picked on Willow. Now Carpenter thinks Hannigan was able to get her revenge. “I figured I had that coming for a long time,” she said and then laughed.
The part on “Veronica Mars” was an adjustment for Carpenter.
“It was fun. It was ballsy. It was brave. It was hard because there was a lot of sexuality. It was a big adjustment I think emotionally and physically. I had to get somewhat comfortable with my body. I think it’s a great show. I’ve had the opportunity to be a big part of a story line that was eager to be told by the people who write it and eager to be watched by the fans who enjoy it.”
Carpenter said her part will be smaller this season on “Veronica Mars.”
“I think you’ve got to tune in right away – catch the first episode or you’re going to miss the whole season.”
Brendon just finished his first play, “Lobster Alice,” opposite Noah Wyle with the Blank Theatre Company in Los Angeles.
“When I first started, I thought, ‘Wow, I don’t know if I can do this.’ But it’s such a beautiful medium.”
Carpenter and Brendon hope to have more opportunities to work with the former residents of Sunnydale.
“The hardest part of ‘Buffy’ ending was saying goodbye to Xander,” Brendon said. “It was like saying goodbye to a good friend of mine.”
IGN Interview: Charisma Carpenter
August 31, 2006
An exclusive chat with the Buffy and Angel alum about her new TV movie Relative Chaos, Veronica Mars, and her time as Cordelia Chase.
For seven years, Charisma Carpenter played the brutally honest and ultimately heroic Cordelia Chase, first introduced on Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where she was a regular for three seasons. Carpenter then made the move to the spinoff series Angel, where she had an even more integral role, as a lead character for four years. Carpenter made a final appearance as Cordelia during Angel’s fifth and final season, and this past year she played an important recurring role as the manipulative Kendall Casablancas on the acclaimed series Veronica Mars. Kendall in fact figured into Veronica Mars’s cliffhanger, begging the question of what’s next on the show and what was so important that her character brought to Keith Mars (Enrico Colantoni) in a briefcase.
Carpenter’s latest project is Relative Chaos, an ABC Family comedic telefilm in which she plays Katherine, a woman who accompanies her boyfriend Dil Gilbert (Christopher Gorham) on a trip to see his family. Soon Katherine gets caught up in the excitement surrounding a unique tradition in Dil’s family of having the kids compete against each other in an annual competition called The Gilbert Cup, which is the subject of great enthusiasm from Dil’s parents, played by Terry Bradshaw and Fiona Reid. Also notable among the cast is Nicholas Brendon, as Gorham’s brother – On Buffy, Brendon’s character Xander Harris was a love interest of Cordelia’s, and Relative Chaos marks the first onscreen reunion for the two actors since Carpenter
Recently I spoke to Carpenter to discuss Relative Chaos and what it was like to work with Brendon again, along with her experience on Veronica Mars and the enduring popularity
of Buffy and Angel.
IGN TV: There’s been a lot of humor in some of your earlier projects, but this is still one of the more overall lighthearted things you’ve been involved in. Was that fun for you?
Charisma Carpenter: Yeah, it was very fun.
IGN TV: How would you describe Katherine?
Carpenter: Clear. Very clear. A go getter. She knows what she wants.
IGN TV: I was surprised when I realized it’s been seven years since you last worked with Nicholas Brendon. What was it like reuniting with him?
Carpenter: What? Seven years? Nuh-uh! Was it really?
IGN TV: Yeah, since the end of Buffy season 3.
Carpenter: Wow, it really doesn’t feel like that. Not at all. I mean it’s like riding a bike. You just get back on. Smooth sailing. You know each other, you know each others work. It was really hard to work with him in the sense that he’s probably the most organic, funny person I’ve ever met. He’s just so gifted. And it’s really hard to keep it together when you’re around someone like that. It’s really hard to not blow it. And when you have a scene with like seven people in it, and you’re going around the table shooting it, and then it’s his turn to shoot, you’re doing the off-camera and you’re trying not to laugh. You can not break up, because there’s just too much work that needs to be done. And you’re just dying, you know? I mean it was difficult for everyone, not only me, but like crew members would just have to snicker and would look away, or not look, or walk out. Whatever it took to just not ruin the takes.
IGN TV: Are you a little better at it because you’re more practiced at it with him? Could you hold it together a little better than some of the people?
Carpenter: No. None of us could really do it. But you know, Terry Bradshaw too is just another natural I think.
IGN TV: I was going to ask about him, because he seems like such a character. What was he like to work with?
Carpenter: He’s incredibly hard working. It’s funny, because people know him as a personality or, “He’s an athlete, and he’s not an actor,” and it’s like, I’m sorry, I don’t agree with that. The minute you get a paycheck to be in a movie, you’re an actor. He’s a paid actor. He is a member of SAG; he’s an actor now. And I think he excels at whatever he puts his mind to. I think it’s amazing how whatever he’s done… He’s won Emmy’s, he’s been MVP of the Super Bowl, he’s a Hall of Famer, he’s a motivational speaker for corporations. He’s a really, really fascinating person, and he’s got so much going on all of the time. It’s amazing that he can even sit down and focus long enough. And so we worked together pretty closely, and I think that he channels his energy really, really well, and when it comes time to do work, he’s not afraid to dig in and do it. And he did it and he did it really well. And for me, I don’t know if I was in his position, that I’d be so adaptable. I know when I first started out, I couldn’t adapt like that. The director’s going, “Say that speech, that’s like five minutes long, faster.” He just takes a deep breath, and he goes for it and he does it and it’s word perfect, and it’s like, “How did you do that?” He’s really a remarkable human being.
IGN TV: In the movie there are all these fun tasks and games that the characters play. Your character gets involved near the end, but in the earlier scenes is more of an observer. I’m curious if in-between takes, especially with those big bouncing balls used in one scene, if people were having fun with that?
Carpenter: Oh yeah. There was fun to be had. This was a really functioning set and it was very fun all the time and wise cracks all the time. It was just a really… You know, we enjoyed being together and we would sing in-between — we would stay on set, because base camp was kind of far away — so we had sort of like a green room that we would all go to and it was so hard for them to pull us out of the green room to go back to work, like when they had a lighting sequence. We’d be in the room and Terry would start singing and then Fiona would start singing. All the actresses… Everyone can sing but me, and it was just so fun, just to be with a group of people that just enjoyed being together. But then it was also so interesting to see everyone’s other talents. Acting is just not what some people are best at; you think they’re a really good actor and then you’re surprised at, “Wow, you are an amazing singer!” Or, “You’re really well read,” or recite poetry, and you know, I just shrink in awe. I’m like, “Wow… Um… I can act!”
IGN TV: You must have had something else too!
Carpenter: I can dance. It’s fun. But Terry, it was great, he would throw the football with us, and it was just a real strong camaraderie and we were all in this small town in Canada, in Nova Scotia, and the weather was not agreeable to the schedule that we needed. We needed to do a lot of outdoor stuff and it would be really raining, or it would be really, really hot and bugs everywhere. It was just really, super unpredictable. Or the fog would roll in and it was chilly to the bone. But we were just all in it together and it was just fun.
IGN TV: There’s a scene involving you and a bear…
Carpenter: Oh yeah!
IGN TV: I’m curious if you had any actual interaction with it, or was it all movie magic?
Carpenter: I think it’s really important to know that is all movie magic. I was actually really bummed out that I didn’t get to work with the bear. I didn’t get to meet the bear! I mean I could have, if I wanted to drive like two and a half hours outside of town on a day off and go be there when they shot it, but I didn’t want to do that – My hours are long enough. But I really thought that we were going to be with the bear. You know, a la Legends of the Fall or something.
IGN TV: Will you be returning to Veronica Mars this fall?
Carpenter: I do return to Veronica Mars this fall.
IGN TV: Can you talk at all about what role your character might be playing this season?
Carpenter: A little more of the same, with a really, really interesting twist. And it starts the first episode; you’ve got to watch it. You miss the first episode, you’re out of the loop. Gotta tune in right away.
IGN TV: When you had that scene at the end of last season when you give Keith the case, did you have any idea what was in it at the time?
Carpenter: No. I was really annoyed at that, and I think the writers didn’t know what was in the case either.
IGN TV: I talked to Enrico this summer and he told me how he had no idea, but was coming up with all these crazy theories.
Carpenter: Yeah, yeah. And I just kept pushing to have Enrico be my love interest. You know, I just thought, “Can we start… Can she…?” Because on Angel, the person that’s literally the bad person, that’s the bitch or hard to get along with or superficial or just makes your life miserable type person, always ends up being a redeeming person in the end. They get remolded somehow or they have some life experience that they realize, “Oh, you’re not so bad!” And I just thought it would be really funny if Enrico’s character and myself got together and then I was Veronica’s stepmom. I really, really wanted to do that, but, yeah…
IGN TV: That would be a very interesting dynamic with Veronica!
Carpenter: I pitched it, but it’s not going that way.
IGN TV: They gave you quite an entrance last year at the pool…
IGN TV: What was your reaction when you read the script and learned that’s how you’d first be seen on the show?
Carpenter: My reaction: Into action. Immediately in the gym. [Carpenter makes breathing/work out noises] Just working out!
IGN TV: Many of your scenes were with Jason Dohring last season. How was it working with him?
Carpenter: Oh yeah, he’s a brilliant actor. I’m telling you, these guys… Kristen and Jason and all these people are profusely talented and extremely together for such a young age. Sometimes when you get a lead actor, like Sarah [Michelle Gellar] on Buffy, [she] was just so acutely intelligent. You know, it makes sense; you’re somewhat of a prodigy. But on this show, everyone is a prodigy. Everyone is super together on every level. At that age, it’s really remarkable. It’s like wow, if I had my head halfway that well screwed on when I was that age I’d probably be in a lot different place. It’s really impressive to be in their company. And they’re spiritual and they’re solid and they’re in committed relationships, and they’re committed to their work, and they’re prepared and they’re on time and there’s no drama. And it’s just like, “Wow… You guys are way beyond your years!”
IGN TV: Last year, did you ever think Kendall might be the one behind the bus crash?
Carpenter: …Was I?! …Just kidding. No, I had no idea.
IGN TV: So have you heard what they’re airing on the last night The WB is on the air [September 17th]?
Carpenter: No… I have no idea.
IGN TV: Well, you’re on three of the five hours…
IGN TV: Because they’re showing the pilots to Dawson and Felicity, and Buffy and Angel.
Carpenter: Oh wow! So David Boreanaz and myself are in the pilots for Buffy and Angel… I saw him today at the gym. That’s so funny.
IGN TV: Oh, do you see him much at the gym?
Carpenter: I don’t see him much at the gym, but we’ll bump into each other at the Grove or we’ll see each other periodically and I’ll call Jamie, his wife, and we’ll compare notes for our kids and stuff. Not often – I don’t mean to make it sound like we’re best buds – but we’re very civil and love each other.
IGN TV: Is it gratifying for you to hear that when they’re sending the WB off, those two shows are such a spotlight of their programming?
Carpenter: What about 7th Heaven?
IGN TV: I think they said that because it was moving to The CW, that was their reasoning for not including it.
Carpenter: Ooooh. That’s bizarre. Well, it’s interesting. Because when we first got on that show, supposedly at the time, WB was like, “Buffy is the landmark show that made our network.” And then it was like, 7th Heaven was the number one show every year on The WB. So then WB… Buffy just sort of fell to the wayside, and I kind of got bummed, because it kind of felt like, “Gosh, you used to be loyal to us!” [Laughs] “You used to love us!” But you know, it’s okay. I think it’s appropriate and I think it’s lovely to be recognized that way and I’m honored and grateful and The WB was always good to me. I’m really affectionate with [and] I have an affinity for [WB heads] Garth Ancier and Jamie Kellner, so it’s all good.
IGN TV: I guess they’re going to show a bunch of old promos and commercials on that final night too.
Carpenter: Oh, rad! That should be really interesting.
IGN TV: What do you think is the reason for the enduring popularity and fandom for Buffy and Angel?
Carpenter: You know, I’m sure if it was figured out it would be bottled. I don’t know what it is. I just feel like apparently, people really connected and identified with the show and its themes and the characters were identifiable, which is both kudos to the writer and their ability to flesh out a character, and then to the actor, for that to be translated and performed in a way that was also attractive to fans, in a universal way. The quality of fans we have blows my mind. The kind of fan that we have is really smart and very attentive and quick to pick up on the innuendos, and you know, spoiler driven… conspiracy driven. And I just marvel at the fact that appeal’s there.
It’s almost weird that it’s over. It’s kind of like… It’s funny, ’cause I met someone the other day… I was at the nail shop and I have a good relationship with the lady that does my nails, and so she was like, “Go ask them what they would like. Do they want a pedicure?” So I was just acting like the host of the nail shop and [the customer] asks, “Aren’t you Charisma Carpenter?” And I say, “Yeah,” and she goes, “I was a big Buffy fan,” or something like a has been sort of phrasing, and I said, “Was?” [Laughs] She goes, “Well, it’s not on the air anymore.” I was like man, is this how it’s going to be the next 20 years? Is it going to be like, “was”? “I was a big Buffy fan.” – You know, I’m going to be sitting in a diner in 20 years [hearing that].
IGN TV: Well, I’m sure you’re aware that there’s plenty of fans who it’s still very present tense for.
Carpenter: It’s interesting. It’s all a process! And it’s funny to witness it and observe it.
IGN TV: There’s still so much Buffy and Angel merchandise coming out, and this fall I believe, there’s several new Cordelia action figures.
Carpenter: Finally! I totally got pushed to the side. You know, I wonder if they’re doing a pregnant one…
IGN TV: I don’t think they are, but I saw pictures of the ones that are coming.
Carpenter: [Laughs] No, I did [too]. They’re coming out with three dolls. I had to approve them.
IGN TV: Is it fun for you to see those? It must be sort of strange.
Carpenter: You know what’s weird? It’s kind of not. I guess because I started when I was really young, and what shouldn’t feel normal is kind of normal. Like I wouldn’t know what’s normal or not, but like when a family member comes over or when my brother is in from Chicago, he says to me, “Isn’t it weird to have a Barbie doll?”, or something like that. I’m like, “Yeah, I guess…” I never really thought about it and it’s weird to look at your image and I don’t think of it as me. I think of it as like, it’s almost as if I’m at Mattel and I’m looking at a doll and I’m going, “Yeah, this needs tweaking. Yeah,” and this and that and I write it down and submit it. It’s not even like it’s me. It’s not real. None of this is real, so it’s just sort of like a product. Remember in the 80′s how Cindy Crawford would kind of refer to herself as Cindy Crawford: The Product and then there’s Cindy? It’s kind of what it feels like.
IGN TV: Is it odd for your son? “Here’s mom’s action figures!”
Carpenter: He doesn’t get it yet. I try to tell him what I do, because I think it’s very hard for him to understand at his age why I go away for awhile. He’ll look at magazines sometimes and go, “Mommy!” It’ll be someone else and not me, and then other times it is me. So I think he’s just not clear. I think he’s used to, “My mommy’s on magazines, my mom has dolls, my mom’s on TV.” But I don’t think he thinks that’s cool or anything, I just think it’s like, “Oh. Mom’s on TV.”
IGN TV: Looking back on your time as Cordelia, are there any particular storylines or episodes that stand out as your favorite?
Carpenter: It’s funny, because I have Angel Tivoed, and I love to look at the early ones. Like the first and second seasons or my favorite seasons. I love watching the Doyle episodes, and I love the one where we kiss goodbye and I get the power ["Hero"]. I think that’s a great episode. I love every scene I’ve ever done with him. And I think the goodbye episode, “You’re Welcome”, for the 100th episode… I loved doing that episode so much, because it was so poignant. It was such a… It was really where art and life were sort of intertwined and it was very meaningful and very spiritual and very healing to be back on that set and to have that.
Anyway, I was Tivoing and I went through Angel episodes last night. I had two Tivoed. I don’t know why it worked out that way, but I was like, “I haven’t seen that! What year was that? Oh, was I pregnant that year?” And then there’s always me in the back [thinking], “How pregnant was I? God, my hair looks horrible like that! Oh, how awful!” And there was this scene where, it’s told through Lorne’s eyes – who I love, love his character. When he came along, it was awesome – when he’s telling the story about the Beast and I end up being the Beast and we’re discovering it. Lorne kind of gives me something on my tongue and then I kind of have a drug [inducement] and run away. And then Angel goes after me and he goes, “Do you remember?” And I say, “Yes, I do.” And he goes, “Were we in love?” And I say, “Yes, we were.”
I forget how complicated our relationship was. You know, when you’re doing the work, it’s a little hard when you’re in it to sort of… In retrospect, I look back and I can be more of a viewer and more of an observer about it, then when you’re in it. And I can just go, “God, that was sweet.” We just really had a special relationship. I think that it’s very touching, and I just thought, “That’s so sweet!”, and no wonder people loved watching the show! It was just real and loving. And what was that like? And did we love each other? And we care about each other. It’s just so different.
You know, there’s always the Buffy and Angel love; that first love. And then there’s this kind of love that was just history and friendship and coming to each others rescue and total, utter trust and sincerity and honesty. And accepting of each others bad faults, like, you know, “You’re a vampire… Oops!” [Laughs] And me like, “You’re selfish and self-centered… Oops. But I still love you.” Totally accepting each other for each others character defects and loving each other.
I look back and I reminisce and go, “Oh, that’s so sweet,” and I wish I could have not been so fast paced in it, you know? In the sense that you’re just chugging away and you’re rolling them out and I just look back and I go, “At least I get to enjoy it now.” It’s a little bit more enjoyable. It’s just sweet. I don’t know what to say. It was just so sweet and endearing to see that little snippet. And then my Tivo, because it’s sensitive, starts to scramble and I’m like, “Ugh, f**k this!” I erase it and move on to the next thing. [Laughs] “Oh, Angelina Jolie, True Hollywood Story! Let’s watch that!”
IGN TV: I loved the 100th episode and it was great having you back. Do you think that was good closure for the character? Were you happy with the send off she got?
Carpenter: Bittersweet-happy. I was really sad that she died, and I didn’t want to come back for the 100th episode if she was going to die. And I kind of got a little hoodwinked into that. Because then, after I agreed to do it, they were like, “Yeah, we’re gonna kill her.” And I started to cry. I was like, “No! I specifically did not want to come back for her to be killed!” I didn’t know what they were going to do or what they had in mind and then I was really resentful. I was like, “What?!” Not resentful, not angry, as much as hurt and sad, like, “No!” I don’t know, it’s such a big part of my life and it was just so awful to think about her dying. And it was shocking and I was sad and I grieved, and then I’m like, “I’m not doing this!”
And then David Fury told me what Joss’s idea was. And he said, “But wait! Just hear this…” And I go, “Wow… That does sound really good. That does sound like a pretty cool, sentimental…” I mean it’s just so beautifully written. “Well… I guess I could die. If you’re gonna put it that way!” It was really, really sweet. It was hard to do those scenes. That scene in the office right before the phone rings and he picks it up and then he realizes she’s not there… Those scenes…
If anybody gets the Angel DVDs, then you get the bonus [footage] where we’re all interviewed. Then I saw the episode “You’re Welcome” and I listened to the commentary. And it kind of bummed me out that the people that are on it with David Fury are Christian Kane and Sarah Thompson. They’re talking with David Fury through that and I was kind of bummed. I wish they would have had David [Boreanaz] and I talking about it with David Fury or Joss, because it was a really big send off and it kind of just didn’t feel like that was the episode they would put [Christian and Sarah on], because it was so about Angel and Cordelia.
But I loved what David Fury said about it. I’m paraphrasing of course, but David was often kind of marveling at the fact that Joss would watch something that he’d written being performed and he would get really emotional; Like he’d tear up, and he [David Fury] had never had that experience. And he said that when he was shooting those scenes with David [Boreanaz] and I, that it was very difficult for anybody to not be touched, in video village as they call it, watching the monitors while we’re shooting it. And then he was talking about what he observed on set between the two of us, which I thought was pretty accurate. And it was very cool…
IGN TV: Well thank you so much Charisma.
Carpenter: You’re welcome so much. Great talking to you. Thank you for taking me down memory lane! And I hope everybody enjoys Relative Chaos, because it’s very light and bright. Definitely not as dark as Angel. Not as heavy, not as emotionally trying. It’s a good alternative if you don’t want to go there!
20 Questions With Charisma Carpenter
K9 Magazine, Issue 16
Charisma Carpenter is well known all over the world for playing Cordelia in the hit tv series Buffy The Vampire Slayer. She has legions of devoted fans, many of whom discovered her talents through the popular show. Nowadays Charisma is in high demand and can be seen taking on more diverse roles. See her next in the critically acclaimed UPN show ‘Veronica Mars’ and the Lifetime Movie ‘Flirting With Danger.’ She spoke to K9 Magazine about her remarkable life with dogs as well as letting us in on some industry secrets. .
Hello Charisma, thank you for taking our 20 questions.
1) Tell us about your pets. Names, breeds and ages, I know you’re a huge animal lover.
Well I have four dogs, I have two Golden Retrievers, Sydney who’s 13 years old and Hurley who’s 9 months, and I have another two dogs – I was at the South Central Shelter encouraging people to adopt and walked out with two dogs myself, one I’m fostering and the other, Lucy, she’s around a year old.
2) When did your interest in pets/animals begin and how long have you been a pet owner?
All my life, we’ve always had dogs- I did have a cat called Big Red once, she scratched my eye, we also had dogs called Buffy, Liquorice a black Poodle – she ran away, we also had two Maltese Terriers – one we rescued and the other we had as a puppy. My Grandma and my dad were always huge lovers of pets.
3) What films and projects are you currently working on?
Right now, I’ve been working on a show called “Veronica Mars” and “Flirting With Danger”, it was released on February 13th which is a very interesting choice, because its not a love film. It’s also pilot season just now – which is terrifying, trying to get a full time job.
4) You famously played “Cordelia Chase” in Buffy The Vampire Slayer & Angel, what was your most memorable moment behind the scenes on set?
It’s hard to sum up seven years in one go! In retrospect, it was all a moment, it was so perfect. The scripts were so well written, it was a cult show which started on a small network and then really took off! When we were in it I didn’t realise how special it was. To sum it up in one moment would be too difficult and wouldn’t be right to all of the friends I made.
5) When you were growing up you entered quite a lot of beauty pageants and you went on to model for magazine spreads. What are the two essential beauty items you would always recommend as “must-haves” to anyone?
Well if you’re talking about pageants, then hairspray (that’s a joke by the way), Vaseline for the teeth and hairspray – the bigger the hair the better! Well, I’ve spent ten years with a professional make-up artist, I’d have to say a good foundation is key, always strive to find one.
I don’t like to wear foundation through the day, I find it claustrophobic. Through the day if I’m just running errands, I’ll just wear a lip gloss. If like today, I’m going to an audition, I’ll put all of my own make-up on, it’s always dicey, checking the neck so there’s no colour difference – I don’t want to look like a ‘pancake monkey’.
I’d have to go with a good lip gloss for second, a subtle lip gloss, which gives colour and lots of shine. I still wear the same make-up like I did in high school!
6) In which one way do you believe dogs to be a superior life form to humans?
I’m sure if they could talk they’d give us an earful! I have a fridge magnet which says “Try to be the person your dog thinks you are”. They’re the perfect example of unconditional love. I do feel as though I fail her (Sydney), she’s been with me through it all, including some tough times, from when we were in a matchbox apartment which I used to share with a friend, we had two beds next to each other, Sydney used to like looking out the window and I’d say to her, one day we’ll have a house with a backyard. Now I say one day we’ll have a house with a backyard and a pool. I hope I get it, she’s 13 years old and I always try to do right by her, she never disappoints me.
Sydney is perfect, she’s very in-tune with me, if I’m watching a saga on TV and I get emotional, she’ll look at me just like she’s checking in, she’s always been there, like my right arm. There’s going to be a day in the near future when she won’t be there.
We had a dog called Hobey, we had him at the same time as we had Hurley, he was a rescue and he was the same age as Sydney when he passed away, we got him when he was 6 years old so we had him for seven years. My husband and Hobey had such a connection, my husband even has a tattoo of Hobie’s paw on his leg. He was very sick for a year, it was the same time as my son was born when he started to decline, and we got him all sorts of treatments.
At the time I was working with my friend Holly Marie Combs (who plays Piper in the hit show Charmed), on a project for ABC, she was going through the same and she gave me a book called “Goodbye Friend”, it helps you determine what time is good, the humane time – it’s a wonderful book, a great comfort.
7) It was said some time ago on a well known British sit com that the perfect woman would have Kylie Minogue’s bum, Claudia Schiffer’s legs and Cindy Crawford’s face. Using this logic, can you please create your own perfect fantasy dog?
I actually had a dream last night about a medium sized dog, a Wheaten Terrier, this is a difficult question to answer, I would have to say Sydney is what I would think one is. I can speak to her without even speaking, I don’t know if she picks up on keywords but who knows… She’s very physical, very sensitive and a great watch dog. I didn’t know that Golden Retrievers had a mean streak, but she once jumped out of a window at someone, a school teenager was cutting through an alley outside and she must have picked up on something in my voice and she leapt and ran, the window was open so she jumped out and I thought she was going to bite him. She’s the perfect combination, very sensitive, she’s it!
I have to say, I’m kind of offended, I’ve heard the British ask before if I’ve had bum implants and the answer is no, and then you have Kylie’s bum in the question. My bum is real, I laughed so much when I heard that – what’s that saying? My sides were splitting – I have seen someone have it done though on Nip/Tuck – what are some people thinking!
8 ) You’re from Las Vegas, if you were a tour guide for Las Vegas – what would you say to encourage people to visit, what’s the one hook you think people wouldn’t be able to resist?
Growing up it was a very different time to what it is now, I would say it’s a family place – not like back in the day. It’s a playground for both adults and children. Through the day you have the water parks, Circus Circus, the IMax centre. For the women, it’s great shopping and for the men, they can lay pool side and drink cocktails, gamble and watch the bikini-clad women.
9) For this question, we ask our celebs to match up the following people’s personality to a breed of dog, for example, Winston Churchill = Bulldog or J.Lo = Afghan Hound, Frank Bruno = Boxer.
Ozzy Osbourne – St Bernard, just slippery and slow. But a genius!
Howard Stern – Erm, a Poodle. A standard, black Poodle.
Anthony Head - Let me think, very dignified, but kind of wacky. He has a wild side, he’s a little punch and roll, he’s difficult to pin down. I’m thinking of a Boxer, not because of the face but because they’re distinctive, regal looking but the face doesn’t track.
Alicia Silverstone – She represents all dogs of the world, she’s all heart. She once brought one of her dogs who was called Samson on set (while filming “Miss Match”), I asked her why she’d brought him because she has a few dogs, and she said she’d brought him because he was older and she wasn’t sure how much time she had left with him and wanted to spend as much time as possible with him. She’s very conscientious.
Holly Marie Combes – I think she doesn’t fit as a canine, she has amazing, thick, beautiful straight hair. It’s amazing hair, I think she’d be more like a stallion horse if she was an animal. She’s intelligent, very aware, very, like conserved, responsible and dependable. But loyal like a dog, physically like a horse.
10) Which do you prefer and why?
Big dogs or little dogs – Oh I’ve had both and it really doesn’t matter to me, but I’ve never had a medium sized dog, I’m now looking to have a medium sized dog. Both have their good points, but I’m now leaning towards a medium to large because I have a young son, Donovan, who’s 3 years old.
Pedigree dogs or x breeds – That’s just a non question. Sydney’s my everything, she’s so clever. My mix-breed, Lucy, is so naughty she’s seriously intelligent. I have a dog trainer come every week, so I can walk them properly on the leash. They know how to walk on a leash, its so I can walk them to heel and also stop them jumping. Lucy’s a very bad influence on Hurley, all they do is wrestle together but they’re happy.
Days off or days at work – I couldn’t imagine not doing both. If I didn’t, I don’t feel I could bring much to my son and family, I love being a mother but I love working – being paid to act, it’s the greatest gig in the world, I bet musicians feel the same too. It’s the discipline of acting, I don’t enjoy the audition time really – its hard, I really try to fight it and resist it and I do it anyway. I do love working.
The quickest route or the scenic route - Oh I’d probably say because of my personality it is the quickest route, I like to get to the meat of the matter.
Lead and collar or dog running free – Oh of course running free, but in California your dog has to wear a leash at all times, maybe one day I’ll buy acres and acres of land in somewhere like Texas for the dogs to just run around.
11) Here’s where we go for our scoop, tell us something no one, or very few people know about you.
That’s a good one, I’m a positive person, I’m very disciplined, I’m very clear with things and I’m vocal and when I want something I’m relentless, whether it’s to lose weight or to memorise, I will do it.
I also love words! I don’t know if there’s a word for that, I love to increase my vocabulary, like I love it if I’m somewhere and someone says something I don’t know the meaning of the word, I run home to my dictionary and check on it. I’ve never told anyone that!
12) What has been your favourite project you have worked on to date and who have you enjoyed working with most. Do you have any actors you’ve worked with you speak with on a weekly basis?
I don’t speak to anyone like that, I have a really full life and I don’t speak to my industry friends weekly, when you’re married and you have a child, that’s a very active part of life and I’m trying to start a foundation and something I’ve found is when you’re working on a project you’re really close and when that project is over -it’s onto the next project. My favourite project was probably a pilot we did called Like Cats & Dogs, it was me and my brother and it was a half hour show and it was ideal and was with animals too. UPN never aired it but it was a lot of fun.
13) Describe the last time you…
Had to shout at your pet – I shout at my dogs every day, like “Lucy don’t jump on that” or “dig holes” or “chew on the bushes” – I’m always shouting. Like now I can see outside and I can see the bushes moving and Sydney is just watching, I sometimes have to make her go outside for some fresh air, she’d be quite happy to lay next to me all day.
Had to go to the vet – The last time was when my dog Sydney had an ear infection and it was not getting any better. The time before that was when we were in a park in an area I call a slice of heaven in California and we were shooting “Veronica Mars”. Sydney was with me and someone was throwing the ball for her, and she’s the kind of dog you know who’ll just keep going and run herself into some kind of fit. Anyway she was running and there was some kind of a hole and she took a very nasty tumble and came out holding her leg high. I took her to a vet up there to give her something for the pain, she saw the vet and nothing was broken, she had some swollen tissue. I took her to our vet back home, I’ve had the same vet for 13 years, I love him.
Were nervous - Well probably every time I go to an audition so that was two days ago.
Laughed out loud because of your pet – Right now we’re doing a photo shoot for your magazine and we’re trying to get Sydney to co-operate and all she wants to do is lie on her back, ha, ha!
Trained your pet to do something new -Sydney’s an old bird! I trained Lucy not to hold onto my leg while I’m trying to walk in the door! Oh, and also to sit.
14) Robert Benchley famously said “A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance and to turn around three times before lying down.” What have you learned from your dog?
Ha, ha, patience. My dog Sydney’s so patient, and to love unconditionally. I do love her unconditionally. To wash my hair only every couple of days and to also eat like a lady.
Lucy, well she teaches me to be fun, spontaneous, out of control. Hurley is so cute, like an old man in a young body.
15) Apart from writing poetry, what do you do in your spare time to relax?
Hmm, I go through bad magazines. I’m trying to pick up more literature, I like In Touch and People, they’re my favourites. I also love books – right now I’m reading “Drinking A Love Story” by Caroline Knapp. I’m trying to get into more books, this one is the fourth one I’ve read in a row.
I also go to my bed, my bed is my favourite place in the whole world. I’ll turn my reading light on and read a book. I haven’t seen a good movie in a long time, but oh my god I love a good movie – all in the comfort of my own home.
16) What is your dog’s current favourite…?
Toy - For Lucy, it’s Hurley’s collar – it’s a real point of interest, she knaws it off and plays with it in front of Hurley just to tease him.
Bad habit - She jumps on things, for example, she’ll stand on the BBQ and look over the fence. She should have been a circus dog with all of her tricks, she’s really agile! She loves to jump on things and its like “oh my god, she’s on the table!”
Activity / Game – Tug of war!
17) Finish the following sentence: My dog is….
Sydney is the light of my eye.
18) What is your current favourite…?
TV show – CSI, the original one
CD - Right now, either (L.A heavy metallers) System Of A Down or (British cartoon combo) Gorillaz
Restaurant – Hmm, Nobu in Malibu
19) Each year we run a competition to find the UK’s Coolest Canine. Last year’s winner was a Cocker Spaniel named Tangle who has been trained to detect bladder cancer in humans, if you were to nominate your dog, how would you sell him/her to us, what would you tell us that makes him/her unique?
Well, she’s very intuitive, she’s very sensitive. She would feel out people’s emotions, like if someone was depressed she would pick it up.
20) This is always a tough question and often requires a fair degree of thinking time but…
If your dog(s) had the ability to speak and answer one question and one question only, what would you ask them and what do you think that they would say?
I would just ask her, what could I do to make her have the best day ever and I think she would probably want to play fetch for a few hours, then swim in the ocean and chase the seagulls.
Eat any people food I have and well, not have any other dogs. It would just be her. And well, just hold her and cuddle all day and night and then she’d sleep at the foot of the bed.
Many Thanks Charisma – Charisma was talking to Kim Bruce