'Buffy' and 'Angel' Stars Enjoy Hiatus
by Kate O'Hare
Last year, Alyson Hannigan and Alexis Denisof traveled the world.
"Last summer, we took, like, 17 flights or something," says Denisof. "We went to Papua New Guinea and Fiji, London and New York, you name it. This year, we kept it kind of simple."
The two actors met on the set of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," but didn't start dating until Denisof's character, pompous British "Watcher" Wesley Wyndham-Price, moved to spin-off series "Angel," while Hannigan continued as witch Willow Rosenberg on "Buffy."
Denisof, an American, spent several years working and living in Britain, but this past summer, Hannigan had as much reason to visit there as he did.
After losing her lover, Tara (Amber Benson), to a stray gunshot, Willow turned to dark magic. Under its influence, she killed Tara's attacker, Warren (Adam Busch), and nearly destroyed the world.
After the intervention of Buffy's (Sarah Michelle Gellar) Watcher, Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), who teleported back from England to help, and childhood friend Xander (Nicholas Brendon), Willow was still in need of some intensive therapy.
Apparently, this entails a trip to Giles' hometown of Bath, a Roman-founded city in the southwest of England.
"She already finished that," says Denisof. "It rained buckets. They probably could have been on a green backdrop in Ventura County for the amount of England we got to see -- no, that's not true. They got lots of great shots of Bath and the surrounding areas."
"It looked really beautiful. I was there for the days of shooting. They got wonderful stuff."
This marks the first time that "Buffy" filmed in the U.K., where series creator Joss Whedon spent his high-school years, and where the show is extremely popular.
Asked if a road trip for the darker-themed "Angel" might be in the offing, Denisof says, "I shudder at the thought of where they would send people from 'Angel.' It would be like the wrong side of Detroit or something."
Interestingly, both Willow and Wesley took trips to the dark side at the end of the season, with Wesley becoming estranged from his co-workers and winding up in bed with Lilah (Stephanie Romanov), a lawyer from the evil firm of Wolfram & Hart.
"We mirrored each other a little bit in that," Denisof says. "Thank God we didn't take too much of that home, but I loved that storyline for her."
Although both he and Hannigan co-star in as-yet-unreleased film "Beyond the City Limits," Denisof didn't feel the need to take on another project during his hiatus.
"No work, thank God, just life," he says. "I mean, if there were something exciting I'd love to do ... but it's so nice to see your friends and family and take care of all the things that don't get to get done during the nine to 10 months that we shoot."
"I'm very good at being unemployed. I really need to develop a better work ethic, because I just find there are a million and one things to do the minute I walk off the set. Several months later, I think, 'I've got to go back to work -- how inconvenient.'"