The cast of Buffy season 6 were not
simply the performers of Once More, With Feeling; they actually
shaped the musical. Joss Whedon tailored the musical to each actor's
talents, preferences and vocal range. The cast spent months leading
up to the filming learning the songs and dances, squeezing in time between
filming the earlier episodes of season 6.
SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR
Best known as Buffy, Sarah has actually been acting
since she was discovered in a restaurant at the age of 4, even
winning an Emmy for her role in the TV series All My Children.
Her movies include I Know What You Did Last Summer, Cruel
Intentions and Scoobie Doo.
Sarah had never sung before, and initially wanted
a voice double to sing her songs for the episode, but after hearing
the demo of the songs she changed her mind: "I basically
started to cry and said, 'You mean someone else is going to do
my big emotional turning point for the season?'''
Nicholas's hope of a pro baseball career was cut short by an arm
injury and, partly to help overcome a stuttering problem, he tried
his hand at acting. He appeared in commercials and guest-starred
on TV series including Married... with Children and Dave's
World before taking a long break from acting. Soon after coming back to it, he landed the role of Xander.
Nicholas had also never sung before, but had no hesitation jumping
in head first. He told Joss: "Well, I've never sung a note,
but I'll do whatever you like."
Emma studied drama extensively from the time she was in high school,
winning the honor of "Excellence in Theater Arts" at the
renowned Old Globe Theatre. Her big TV break came when she landed
a role on Beverly Hills, 90210 in 1995.
Anya's explosion into Bunnies was actually inspired by Emma.
"Emma herself occasionally breaks into heavy metal screaming
for no reason," explained Joss, "She'd just do this on
stage sometimes to crack me up. So I knew I was going to write her
a little heavy metal rock opera moment..."
Michelle has been acting since the age of 3, appearing in commercials,
TV shows and movies including Harriet the Spy and Inspector
Gadget. She appeared alongside Sarah Michelle Gellar in All
My Children, and it was Sarah who later suggested her for the
part of Dawn Summers.
Michelle's initial reaction to the musical was "Oh my God
I cant sing to save my life", but she was more than happy
to dance. "Michelle Trachtenberg wanted to dance but was not
that comfortable singing," said Joss, "so I put in the
ballet for her..."
Having performed on stage in school, and later studying at Juilliard,
James performed professionally in regional theatre and co-founded
the New Mercury Theatre company. He made his television debut in
Northern Exposure and soon after landed the role of Spike.
The musical was not a problem for James, as he is also the lead
singer and guitarist in his band Ghost
of the Robot. James' musical tastes influenced Joss' choice
for Spike: "I know the kind of things James sings. He's like
kind of a rockabilly so I knew the kind of sound I wanted him to
have, and that sort of meshes with Spike. It's Bad Boy noise."
has been acting since she was 4 years old, appearing in commercials
for companies such as McDonalds and Oreos, and guest starring
on TV shows including Roseanne, Touched by an Angel
and Picket Fences. Her movies include My Stepmother is
an Alien, American Pie and American Pie 2.
Alyson was so scared of singing that she tried to talk Joss out
of doing the musical, hence Willow ended up with only a few lines
of singing, one being the self-mocking "I think this line's
Special Guest Star:
ANTHONY STEWART HEAD
Anthony began his performing career in his home country of England.
Coming from a show business family, he studied at the London Academy
of Music and Dramatic Arts and went on to perform in West End theater
productions such as Godspell, The Rocky Horror Show
and Chess. He has appeared on TV series such as VR5,
Highlander and NYPD Blue.
Aside from Joss, Tony was probably the person most keen to do a
Buffy musical:"Every season I would ask, Are we going
to do the musical episode?'' With his musical background, Tony's
singing credentials were well established, and Joss chose him as
"my ballad guy."
Hinton Battle is the definition of "multi talented",
being a dancer, singer, actor, choreographer, writer, producer and
fashion model. He is the only living male performer to have won
3 Tony Awards, having won for Broadway productions of Sophisticated
Ladies, The Tap Dance Kid, and Miss Saigon. He
has guest-starred in TV series such as Touched by an Angel,
Early Edition and Quantum Leap.
As a young girl, Amber studied singing, dancing and acting, later
performing in local community theatre. Since then she has appeared
on TV in series including Promised Land and Cracker,
and movies including King of the Hill, The Prime Gig
and Don's Plum. In 2001 she wrote, directed, produced and
starred in her movie Chance.
Joss knew the quality of Amber's voice from hearing her sing songs
she had written herself, and chose her for the "breakaway pop
hit" song: "Amber has a very lyrical, heavenly quality
to her voice. I knew she was gonna get the big love song."