“It fills our hearts with love, and we’re just so grateful,” said Charisma Carpenter to the fans who turned out for the “Angel” cast reunion at New York Comic Con on the show’s 20th anniversary. She joined her fellow cast members Alexis Denisof, J. August Richards, Amy Acker and James Marsters to reminisce about the show and what it meant to them. Watch their entire convo above.
“Angel” premiered in 1999 on the WB, where it was spun-off from another pop culture phenomenon, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” The series took the title character (played by David Boreanaz) from Sunnydale to Los Angeles, where he grappled with existential crises in-between solving supernatural mysteries. But while the show was about a vampire private eye on the surface, Richards felt the heart of the show was in showing “how you find family sometimes in places where you’re not expecting to … The beauty of the show is that here we are 20 years later, with all of you, and I consider you guys to be a part of that family too.”
But while the show is still remembered long after it went off the air, its fate was always uncertain while it was on the air. Denisof remembered that they were always “on the bubble” from year to year. “We never knew if we were coming back.” Indeed, the show was cancelled in 2004 after five seasons. And while “Buffy” ended the year earlier on its own terms, “Angel” ended on a cliffhanger with the unlikely family of heroes at risk of being wiped out in an apocalyptic battle — though the series continued a few years later in comic books that extended the show’s canonical story.
The show wasn’t always glamorous either, despite its Los Angeles setting. Acker recounted “shooting in dark alleys in downtown LA before downtown LA was cool. One particular evening we were all recalling was when, from the second story window, a cup of pee got dropped on all of us.”
Okay, so Acker wasn’t exactly sure what kind of container the urine came from, be it a cup, a bowl, a flask or what have you, but Carpenter understood why someone might have wanted to douse them with bodily fluids: “We were loud, and there were big blaring lights, and we were disrupting their sleep at four in the morning shooting our vampire show. They felt a certain kind of way about it.”
“Buffy” and “Angel” were also somewhat ahead of their time, arriving well before the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Game of Thrones,” “Stranger Things” and more made science-fiction and fantasy the dominant pop culture. And that was also before “Twilight” began another big cultural moment for vampire stories. But Marsters thinks the “Angel” vamps could beat the “Twilight” vamps in a fight: “We’d demoralize them with superior dialogue first,” he taunted.
Sick burn! Maybe for New York Comic Con 2020 the casts of “Angel” and “Twilight” could have it out once and for all.
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