Charisma Carpenter is best known for battling evil forces in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off, Angel. Now, the 40-year-old actress is starring alongside some of the biggest action stars of all time in her first feature film, The Expendables.
Carpenter told Parade.com that she didn’t mind being one of the only women on set. Plus, how the director and star of the film, Sylvester Stallone, helped her win the role.
On the film’s success.
“We’re stoked. I assumed nothing but I kinda had a sense that it would be successful only because every person in my family and my friends were so psyched to see all of these huge action stars in one destination — two hours of all of them together. So I think it was meant to be big.”
Do you ever wonder what the world’s biggest box-office musclemen like Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, and Dolph Lundgren are like when the cameras aren’t rolling? According to Charisma Carpenter, who co-starred with Stallone’s in his latest directorial effort The Expendables, you couldn’t meet a sweeter, kinder group of men…who just happen to be able to bench-press you if necessarily.
Crushable: We’re huge Buffy and Angel fans, so what was it like switching to working with all these big box-office movie stars in The Expendables.
Charisma: It was awesome. It was a fantastic experience…they are really joyful, loving human beings stuck in these really big bodies. They seem life-threatening, but they are all mushy and sweet. They are the perfect example of the cover not matching the contents.
Crushable: You play Jason Statham’s girlfriend…did you guys have a lot of on-screen chemistry?
Charisma: I hope so…it wasn’t that hard. I’ve always thought Jason was cute.
Crushable: With all that testosterone on set, what was the shooting like?
Charisma: Well, I think it’s been well-publicized what an animal Sly is, and how focused he is. And he was always in the hospital after work. I don’t think he slept. He was writing after the day’s work was done, watching the dailies, directing, in the emergency room, acting. To be honest, I think he thrives and does well – and not a lot of people can do well – under these circumstances.
He’s got a bit of the eye of the tiger in him, and he appreciates that in other people. He made everyone in the cast bring their best, and I think he pushed everyone to bring their best. It’s interesting, audiences have never seen Jason in a role like this, wounded and vulnerable, and I think Sly really helped flesh out his character. He has great range, and he’s never had the opportunity to show that. He’s beautiful with that, and with Stone Cold and Terry Crews and those guys, he knew where their specialties were and really brought them out. Sly is really good at that: He knows how to write a good movie, and please audiences and they come out in droves, and I hope they do it again for this one. And again and again….
Crushable: So an Expendables 2 and 3?
Charisma: You know, I was just reading about that, how he wants The Expendables to be like Rambo and continue on…which he was very coy about before.
Crushable: How so?
Charisma: Well, it seemed to me in the promoting that they were saying, like “For one time only, see all these guys in one place in a shoot-em-up, blood and guts explosion.” But I think now it’s been pretty clear that people are really psyched about it, and now we’re reading about how he always saw it as a trilogy.
Crushable: So what’s next for you? You had a great role in this film, but would you consider being the action star yourself?
Charisma: Well, I’m not working on another movie right now, but with The Expendables opening, the calls are coming in. It’s exactly what you’d hope would happen. It’s been a wonderful experience. Of course I’d like to take a butt-kicking role in my own right, that would be divine. But I loved working with those guys, and when there is going to be The Expendables 2, I hope to be a part of it and have more screen-time…maybe learn to give some black eyes myself, instead of getting them.
• x02 – Photoshoots & Publications > Magazine Scans > In Touch Weekly
Charisma’s Serious Screen Charisma
Charisma Carpenter is adored by audiences for her work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Veronica Mars. Carpenter gets to flex her movie muscles alongside an action movie all-star team from the last several decades in The Expendables.
Charisma Carpenter appreciated the opportunity that The Expendables mastermind Sylvester Stallone gave her resulting in Carpenter’s first big budget film experience and she talks to SheKnows exclusively about wanting to make Sly proud. The mother of seven-year-old Donovan also shares insight into her time bonding with the only actor in The Expendables with whom she shared screen time: The action hero with a heart, Jason Statham.
Name: Charisma Carpenter
Birthday: July 23, 1970
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Where You’ve Seen Her: As bitchy high schooler-turned-conflicted adult Cordelia Chase on the Joss Whedon-crafted Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel, and as sultry stepmom Kendall Casablancas on the criminally short-lived Veronica Mars. The lovely Vegas-born, San Diego-raised Charisma was also once a Chargers cheerleader. Next up, she finally gets her share of big screen action as part of The Expendables, where she plays Jason Statham’s long-suffering girlfriend.
On being The Expendables softer side: “You get to see a different side to Jason [Statham], who is obviously a very handsome man, very charming, has an accent, can kick ass, but you get to see him in love. So you know, the big moment was when I had to pretend I didn’t want to be kissed, ‘Wait, don’t kiss me…oh, no I need another take.’ [laughs] Maybe The Expendables 2 will have that. You know, I said to Sly, ‘Every kid asks me if there’s going to be The Expendables 2,’ and then I said, ‘Well if there is and I just so happen to be lucky enough to be a part of it, is there any way I can have a gun and kick some ass?’ He said, ‘Be careful what you wish for.’”
On Having the Eye of the Tiger: “It was really funny ’cause in our auditions, you know, [Stallone] really wants to hear you say ‘Give me this chance,’ he really wants to hear you say that you’re better than everybody else. He really wants you to have the eye of the tiger. He hates false modesty and he’s like ‘just give it to me straight,’ and I really, really related to that. Sly is the guy that you can say ‘Give me this shot. I won’t disappoint you.’ So afterwards Sly calls me into his office and he’s like, ‘So how do you think you did?’ And I just said, ‘I think I nailed it.’ I never talk like that! [laughs] And he was like ‘I think you did, too. Welcome to the cast of The Expendables.’ Now, I’m in an 80 million dollar blockbuster summer action movie. I mean, I couldn’t be more grateful.”
On the Testosterone-heavy Set: “Can I tell you how many men have come out of the woodwork that are now like my best friends and are like, ‘What was it like working with like all these people?’ I work really well with men, it was great. On the set of Angel it was all men—I think the only other woman on set was the screenwriter, and the wardrobe person but she wasn’t even on set all the time. So I’m really comfortable in that environment. It was great. It was really great, just a knockdown, drag out, die happy moment.”
On a Possible Avengers Appearance: “I have not gotten a call from Joss. [Whedon]. Would I like a call from Joss? Abso-frickin-lutely. I don’t know if I should call him. Do you think I should? [laughs] I wonder if he’d take my call! He’s kind of a big deal now. His muse is kind of Eliza [Dusku], though. But Eliza and I are good friends, maybe she’d step aside, ‘You go, Charisma. It’s your turn.’ [laughs] Do you think that would happen? But I’m ready. I’m ready to kick some ass.”
Charisma attended the Las Vegas premiere of ‘The Expendables’ at Planet Hollywood, looking gorgeous in a flowing dark green empire-waisted gown.
• x59 – Public Appearances > 2010 > ‘The Expendables’ Las Vegas Premiere