She met many fans who know her from her many TV and movie roles, but mostly for Buffy. She signed pictures, posters and even stakes.
She hasn’t changed much since the movie, and could probably take down a few vampires today, or teach a Potential how to do just that. I showed her my “Hemery High School yearbook” from the movie press packet, and she was surprised when she saw it.
Swanson said she was asked to come to Witchapalooza, and she agreed to do that. “They thought that Buffy would be a really good fit for Witchapalooza,” she says. “Some of the fans would enjoy me being there, so I said ‘sure, I’ll come up.'” She said she has been in Sacramento a few times because she’s friends with the Maloofs, who own the Sacramento Kings.
She also says she’s “a big Halloween freak. I love Halloween. We would decorate the house, and we really get into it. If they had a Witchapalooza in L.A., near me, then I would go for sure and bring my son.”
She was first seen as Buffy in August of 1992, and she said she got the part with the help of her co-star. “I auditioned for it, but I also had Luke Perry, who was in my corner, rooting for me,” she recalled, “and letting them know that he really wanted me to play the part. They seemed to like me, just thought I was perfect for it, and I got the part.”
She’s recognized for movies like Flowers in the Attic, Dude, Where’s My Car?, The Phantom, and Deadly Friend, and in several TV roles, but she’s often recognized as the Slayer. “It happens a lot. A lot of people say, “you’re my favorite Buffy’,” she says. “It’s kind of funny. It’s very sweet and flattering, and it makes me feel good.”
What interested Swanson about the role was Buffy’s sense of humor. “I just thought it was something that I could do and do well and be funny and have a good time,” she says, “I like how she was such a teenager, but yet had all this responsibility, and had to be sort of a kick-ass kind of grown-up.”
While many recognize Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy, Swanson says the show and the movie are different in many ways. “Buffy the movie is very lightweight and bubbly, and bubble-gummy and kind of fluffy” she says. “The TV series is much darker and different. So, it’s like two different worlds.”
She also wanted the right accent to reall bring her character to life. “It was written on the page,” she says, “but I also sort of, I based it off my sister-in-law Jill and my friend Julie, ans the way they talk is very Valley.”
Swanson recently visited DragonCon in Atlanta, where she was part of two panels that included Charisma Carpenter, Felicia Day, Julie Benz and James Marsters. She says she attends a couple of cons a year. “It’s nice to come out, and there’s really a lot of Buffy fans”, she said…as she also noticed a few fans waiting to get her autograph.
At Dragoncon, Swanson was asked about the rumors of a possible remake of the original movie. If it does come to pass, she says she’d like to be part of it. “I think that would be a lot of fun,” she says. “I think a lot of the Buffy fans out there would be upset if I didn’t participate. Whatever they’re doing, they probably should ask me to do something, even if it’s a cameo, just for fun.”
Swanson has another title these days: Warrior Ambassador for Iraq Star, Inc., an organization that helps provide reconstructive surgery for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. She says one of the surgeries was filmed for American Chopper, and will be shown next month. More information is available at http://www.iraqstar.org
Swanson will soon be seen in the movie What if… which will feature two other familiar faces, Kevin Sorbo of Hercules and John Ratzenberger of Cheers.