Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Melanie Lynskey looks back at her brush with playing Willow

Yellowjackets star Melanie Lynskey confirmed that she was up for the role of Willow in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series

Alyson Hannigan was brilliant in the role of Willow Rosenberg on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series, which ran for a total of seven seasons and 144 episodes, beginning in 1997 and wrapping up in 2003… But she didn’t join the show until the pilot was reshot, replacing the previously cast Riff Regan as Willow. And during an interview with Shut Up Evan, Melanie Lynskey confirmed that she was also a potential Willow.

Interviewer Evan Ross Katz had been told by Buffy star Sarah Michelle Gellar that the show’s creator Joss Whedon had envisioned Lynskey (only known from Heavenly Creatures at the time) as Willow when he was writing the pilot script, but Lynskey, who is from New Zealand, couldn’t audition because there was an issue with her visa. Katz asked Lynskey about that and she replied, “It is basically true. It was kind of a visa issue, but not really; I also was not sure about doing television at that time. It was very early in my career. I had a very old-school agent who was like, ‘TV? That’s for has-beens!’ and I was like, ‘I don’t think it is anymore.’ Certainly now things have really changed, but I just wasn’t super into it at the time. I had a dinner with Joss and I don’t remember if it was an offer or if it was like, ‘Would you come read for it?’ or what it was, but we stayed in touch after that. And then I guess they were replacing the person from the pilot at a certain point and I had stayed in touch with [Joss], and he said, ‘Now do you think you would want to do it?’ And I had seen the pilot and I was like, ‘Oh, this is good,’ and I kind of took my agent into it. And then, it became this whole thing of, ‘Well, now you have to audition.’ So I auditioned. Then: ‘Oh, they didn’t like what you were wearing.’ It was a whole process. And then I didn’t get it! Alyson Hannigan got it, who was absolutely wonderful and all was [cast] as it should have been. That was the actual story.

It would have been interesting to see Lynskey as Willow, but as she said, it all worked out the way it should have. Lynskey is now one of the stars of the Showtime series Yellowjackets.

Buffy.Fandom provides the following description of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer show:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is in serialized format, with each episode involving a self-contained story while contributing to a larger storyline, broken down into season-long narratives marked by the rise and defeat of a powerful antagonist, commonly referred to as the Big Bad. While the show is mainly a drama with frequent comic relief, most episodes are a blend of different genres, including horror, martial arts, romance, melodrama, farce, science fiction, comedy, and even, in one episode, musical comedy.

The series’ narrative revolves around Buffy and her friends, the Scooby Gang, who struggle to balance the fight against supernatural evils with their complex social lives in the fictional city of Sunnydale. The show mixes complex, season-long storylines with a villain-of-the-week format; a typical episode contains one or more villains, or supernatural phenomena, that are thwarted or defeated by the end of the episode. Though elements and relationships are explored and ongoing subplots are included, the show focuses primarily on Buffy and her role as an archetypal heroine of the Slayer.

Gellar and Hannigan were joined in the cast by Nicholas Brendon, Charisma Carpenter, Anthony Stewart Head, David Boreanaz, Seth Green, James Marsters, Marc Blucas, Emma Caulfield, Michelle Trachtenberg, Amber Benson, Eliza Dushku, Kristine Sutherland, Robia LaMorte, Bianca Lawson, Juliet Landau, and Tom Lenk.

What do you think of the idea of Melanie Lynskey playing Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Heavenly Creatures Melanie Lynskey

Source: Shut Up Evan

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.