How do you properly describe Buffy the Vampire Slayer? On the one hand, it's a teen horror series about a girl who has supernatural abilities; on the other, it's an intense exploration of the existential crises of growing up. It's a cult classic that has touched millions of lives. Buffy and its Joss Whedon-created sister series, Angel, have fans around the world who'll take a stake to the chest for these shows.
However, many people are unaware of all the internal drama that occurred behind the scenes of each series. Not only was there in-fighting, but there were alleged affairs, crew members posting on fan sites, and longtime characters written off on a whim.
It's hard to make a TV show - let alone seven seasons of a program - with the same people day in and out. During the height of Buffy and Angel, Whedon and company were making two shows at the same time, and though they were creatively flourishing, everyone was at odds. The following stories prove that you don't have to be friends with your team members to make great art - and really, you don't even have to be a good person.
Without a doubt, the most controversial scene in Buffy occurs in Season 6. A heartbroken Spike (James Marsters) tries to force Buffy back into his life; he goes after her while she's at home. Marsters later spoke to the AV Club about that day on set, describing it as "the hardest day" of his professional life.
He explained, "I was curled up in a fetal position in between takes. I can't watch scenes like that. I choose not to. I won't go to a movie that has something like that. It's a specific hot button for me. It just really makes me crazy. It was really hard. It was just unbelievably hard."
When Entertainment Weekly got the cast of Buffy back together for a 20-year reunion, news leaked that Nicholas Brendon - who played Xander - had to be Photoshopped into the cover because David Boreanaz - who played Angel - didn't want him to be a part of the shoot. There's speculation that Brendon's substance abuse problems were the reason why, but there's no clear answer.
Brendon addressed the incident during the Buffy the Vampire Slayer panel at the Wales Comic-Con, saying, "David Boreanaz didn't want me at the photoshoot. I had a much later call time because he didn't want me there, but I don't know why."
In an article for The Wrap in 2017, Joss Whedon's ex-wife Kai Cole alleged that the creator and driving force behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer had "multiple affairs" on the set of the show. Cole explained:
When he was done with our marriage and finally ready to tell the truth, he wrote [to] me, "When I was running Buffy I was surrounded by beautiful, needy, aggressive young women. It felt like I had a disease, like something from a Greek myth. Suddenly I am a powerful producer and the world is laid out at my feet and I can't touch it." But he did touch it.
Whedon has never spoken out formally against Cole, and none of the alleged women have come forward to confirm or deny the accusations.
Working on a television show - especially one as cool and interesting as Buffy the Vampire Slayer - should be fun. Sure, it's work, but you're pretending to be a vampire or werewolf - it's not exactly digging ditches. However, James Marsters said that the experience of making the show was harsh.
He told a crowd at New York Comic-Con in 2010, "I've never been to war... But the enemy is time, and time always wins." Aside from this tongue-in-cheek observation, Marsters reportedly said he had to bleach his hair every 10 days, which made his scalp bleed constantly.