Actor Nicholas Brendon says UPN won his heart with a designer watch

By Liane Bonin
Updated May 16, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
Nicholas Brendon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Credit: Nicolas Brendan: Greg Gorman

As resident wiseacre Xander on ”Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Nicholas Brendon spent this season cracking jokes on the sidelines while the rest of the gang cast spells and slaughtered bad guys. But Xander’s lounging days may be over. Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) will need all the help she can get to fend off the evil god Glory (Clare Kramer) as this season concludes with a deadly showdown (airing Tues., May 22, 8 p.m, on the WB). talked to Brendon, 30, about what may be in store for the series as it jumps networks next fall to the UPN.

Xander’s been kinda quiet lately. What’s going on?
He’s really been in the background for the last three years. Last year he was finding himself, and this year he became more of a man. He got a job, got out of the basement, and he’s fallen in love. I don’t know what’ll happen. The only thing I might hope for Xander is that he gets sent to a tropical island for a couple months. That would be cool.

”Buffy”’s been dealing with death and loss. Has that been tough on the cast?
It’s actually rather interesting. After reading the episode where Buffy’s mother dies, I thought that show was going to be a really heavy set. But it was exactly the opposite. It was a light mood, and people were laughing. It opened up a topic that we wouldn’t have talked about before, because it’s kind of a weird question, like, ”Have you ever dealt with death before?” Because if you ask that, then you become that weird morbid guy. People start saying, ”Yeah, Nick’s real Goth, what’s THAT about?”

How do you feel about ”Buffy” switching to a new network?
We had relationships at the WB, so it’s kind of weird to leave. But we did get a lovely gift basket from UPN with a Cartier watch and Champagne and Beluga caviar. We didn’t get much respect from the WB because they saw the show not as an ensemble, but as Sarah’s show. When we had our 100th episode celebration, they thanked Sarah, and then 10 minutes later they thanked the rest of the cast, too.

What are your plans for the summer?
Well, I’m NOT doing a movie. I like my sanity, and I’m getting married this September, so I’d rather not sit in a trailer for three months during my time off. This summer my fiancée [actress Tressa DiFiglia] and I are going to Europe for five weeks, and for the honeymoon we want to go somewhere tropical.

Are you planning a big Hollywood wedding?
Oh, yeah. We’re getting married September 1, so we’ve got our rings all ready and we’re doing the invitations now. And we’ve got material for the bridesmaids, because we’re going to make them sew their own dresses. And there’s going to be a cover charge. Ten dollars at the door. But seriously, Tressa and I are getting married at her parents’ ranch in Carlsbad. In Style is going to come and take pictures of the ceremony. One of the stipulations is that we don’t want to know they’re there. I want them to wear camouflage, with little hats with real branches coming out of them.

Your real life identical twin, Kelly, appeared with you in an episode of ”Buffy” earlier this year. Any plans to work together again?
If something good comes up, but I don’t want to be the adult equivalent of the Olsen twins. Or maybe we could do a TV movie with the Olsen twins and they could play our romantic interests! It would be very David Lynch-y. I’ll talk to my people and get right on it. Kelly has blond hair right now, so it’s pretty easy to tell us apart. At least Tressa can. Except for that one time when she and Kelly had sex, but she apologized for that.

Is it strange for Kelly that you share the same face but have very different careers?
Everything takes some getting used to, both the good and the bad. ”Buffy” is pretty much my first acting role except for a part on ”Dave’s World,” so I got lucky getting this role when I had no tape or résumé to speak of. So I think I’ve spent the last five years proving that the part was mine. But it’s tough because Kelly’s in between jobs a lot and sometimes he has a rough time paying his rent, and here I am looking like I’m swimming in money.

Xander’s getting an action figure. Have you seen it yet?
I haven’t. I just found out I was the very last action figure they made. I guess it’s because my character is just a normal guy, not a witch or a werewolf or a Watcher. It makes sense, but it still hurt! It’s going to come out in about a month, and I have a feeling they’re going to sell out on day one. There’s going to be a back order, I’m telling you.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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