The cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer recently came together to stage a reunion for the show’s 20th anniversary, but one featured player was noticeably left in the dark when it came to a group shot.
Actor Nicholas Brendon, who portrayed the titular slayer’s wisecracking BFF, Alexander “Xander” Harris, throughout the series’ 7-season run from 1997 to 2003, was nowhere to be seen in the video preview offered by Entertainment Weekly for an upcoming issue based around the iconic, supernaturally-themed show.
— Bridget Liszewski (@BridgetOnTV) March 29, 2017
In the footage, lead star Sarah Michelle Gellar is seen posing in a makeshift graveyard to emulate the demon-killing heroine’s usual stomping grounds, while being flanked by her fellow Buffy acting brethren of both the male and female variety; (from L-R) Amber Benson (Tara), Alyson Hannigan-Denisof (Willow), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Alexis Denisof (Wesley), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia), Seth Green (Oz), David Boreanaz (Angel), James Marsters (Spike), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn), and Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers), as well as the show’s creator, director Joss Whedon.
Brendon does, however, appear in a separate reunion shot with Whedon, which Hollywood Life shared. Also, by his own allusion on Twitter, he was at least interviewed by EW for their cover story (he was also noticeably missing from a joint conversation with People that was meant to promote the special Buffy get-together).
— Shane King (@Shangel1) March 29, 2017
Despite the glaring reunion shot omission, Nicholas recently relayed to The Observer that he still holds Buffy very close to his heart.
“I have the same reaction that [most] people have [when it comes to the show],” Brendon warmly expressed. “I love hearing stories of how the show got them through difficult times in their life, and how it does not get old and they watch it over and over again. It’s people’s show that they go to if they need [some kind of] comfort.”
Incidentally, Brendon’s post-Buffy life may hold the key as to why he wasn’t seen in the group reunion picture.
Between March 2010 and October 2015, Nicholas was arrested four times for crimes related to alcohol addiction, including a domestic violence incident that purportedly occurred during a Sarasota Springs-based Comic-Con-like convention, as CNN Entertainment explained.
“According to the police report, Brendon’s current or former girlfriend arrived at his hotel,” the report reads, “and when he asked her to stay, she refused. The girlfriend [then alleged] that he took her car keys, threw her cell phone, breaking it, and returned to his room, where she says he choked her while she was pinned against a wall.”
Following the latter arrest, reps for Nicholas relayed to his fans that the actor had voluntarily checked himself into rehab.
“I’m going to be going into a 90 day treatment program to fix myself and to understand the traumas of my mind,” the actor expressed on his official Facebook fan profile, as Us Weekly transcribed.
“If I can help just one person by sharing my struggles and how I’m battling them,” he continued, “then it’s all completely worth it. It’s been bad for me the last three years, and I’ve had failed attempts at suicide. I really just want to live and love and be filled with joy.”
As dire as the matter ultimately was, the lighthearted Brendon couldn’t help but to make a light quip about his known troubles during his Observer sit down.
“I have a reoccurring dream that we are going for season 8 [of Buffy], but I’m not invited,” he joked.
“That was during my [string] of multiple arrests too, so I probably had some guilt there [but] in my dreams, I’m speaking on set and having security escort me out. [And I’m] like. ‘c’mon, I’m Xander!'”
EW‘s Buffy reunion issue is scheduled to hit newsstands in the coming days.
Update (3/29/16): A new image from the Buffy reunion shoot featuring actor Nicholas Brendon with the entire cast has since been shared by EW. The publication has not expressed a reason for the delay.
[Featured Image by Getty Images]