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From out of the Ether Comes a New Dawn

When Buffy the Vampire Slayer returns this season, the mysterious arrival of her younger sister, Dawn, may leave you scratching your head--and wondering if series creator Joss Whedon has lost his own. With the same mom, house and last name as Buffy, it's as if Dawn has always been part of the family--and the Scooby Gang.

Sounds goofy, right? Well, not to Michelle Trachtenberg, the 14-year-old firecracker who scored the much-coveted role of Dawn on the WB vamp hit.  As Buffy's psychic sidekick, Trachtenberg will be sniffing out evil; she's had plenty of practice in Harriet the Spy and Inspector Gadget. She's also a longtime Buffy buff and pal of Sarah Michelle Gellar (they were costars on Another World [Anna's comment: God! Don't people do any research?  It was All My Children, not Another World]), so she's not just excited about her new role, she's bursting at the seams.

It sounds like getting the Buffy role was a dream come true.
Oh my gosh, yes! I've been a big fan of Buffy for a long time. The show has such a great cast and crew. And I love Joss, he's really fun. When they called up to ask me if I wanted the part, it was like, of course! It was a no-brainer.

Have you been watching the show since the first episode?
Yes. Totally. On my first day on the set, I was saying to myself, Oh, right, this is the Initiative. I knew every set, where everything is, where it goes. It was like, I know what's behind this door. I knew the whole thing. And, like, if you ask me a Buffy trivia question, I'll not only give you an answer, I'll give you some of the history.

Can you tell us anything juicy about your role?
I develop a sisterly relationship with Buffy.

So we've heard. How do you show up?
I develop a sisterly relationship with Buffy.

C'mon, we won't tell anyone. What happens?
I develop a sisterly relationship with Buffy.

Okay, change the subject. Did knowing Sarah help you get the part?
She was very supportive. I'd been on the set a few times to visit her--and I met Joss and everything. So, when I heard about the part, I jumped on it. Sarah was definitely helpful.

Sounds like you guys have stayed close.
Yes, we're good friends. We like a lot of the same things, like Harry Potter books. Sarah turned me on to them.

Speaking of turn-ons, we hear you've got a crush on Nicholas Brendon, who plays Xander.
I develop a sisterly relationship with Buffy.

Right. But what do you think about Nicholas in real life?
Oh my gosh! He's a cutie pie. He's just so cute. I met him on the set, and he was like, "Hi, how ya doing?" And I was, like, dying. He's really tall. And did I mention he's a cutie?

Now that you're being tutored instead of going to school, do you feel like you're missing out on the high school experience?
Definitely not. I still see my friends. We go to the mall, the movies, we do the email thing, listen to music. I'm just like any other 14-year-old.

Last question. If Buffy and Inspector Gadget got into a fight, who would win?
Inspector Gadget has all kinds of cool doodads and stuff, but Buffy's got her strong sidekicks. She'd beat his butt any day.

--Kristin Veitch

The Usual
The Usual

Random Quotage:

No, it doesn't stop! It never stops! Do-do you think I chose to be like this? Do you have any idea how lonely it is, how dangerous? I would love to be upstairs watching TV or gossiping about boys or... God, even studying! But I have to save the world... again.
-Buffy (Becoming (Part 2))

Where to Watch:
  Amazon Instant Video


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