Melanie Lynskey initially passed on Buffy the Vampire Slayer because she wasn’t sure about making a TV show.
The Yellowjackets actress revealed in an interview for Shut Up Evan: The Newsletter that she met with show creator Joss Whedon to discuss the role of Buffy’s best friend Willow Rosenberg but she wasn’t convinced about committing to a series in the ’90s.
“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,” she explained. “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.”
For the pilot of the show, Willow was played by Riff Reagan. However, the role was recast when it got picked for a series and Lynskey decided to audition for it that time around.
“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,” she recalled. “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!”
The New Zealand-born actress lost the role to Alyson Hannigan, who she described as “absolutely wonderful” and perfect for Willow.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar in the title role, ran from 1997 until 2003.
– Cover Media