The new Audible Original “Slayers: A Buffyverse Story” has been released and takes fans back to the Buffyverse. The series is set ten years after the events that unfolded in the “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” television series finale.
The Audible Original features many characters returning to their roles from the original series, but in a completely different universe. During New York Comic Con we had a chance to set down with two Buffyverse veterans, Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia in both “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” and “Angel” and Emma Caulfield Ford who played Xander’s love interest Anya/Anyaka in the television series who just so happened to be a demon.
Both Carpenter and Caufield Ford shared with us some insights into the new Audible series, what it was like to revisit their characters twenty years later, the recording process and the Buffyverse fandom!
When asked about what it was like to comeback and revisit these characters some twenty years later, Carpenter tells us, “It was surreal. In some ways it was familiar and in other ways it was completely different. Definitely due to the time gap and the fact that the character is completely different. There’s been all this time and now she’s a Slayer, but she also has to hold on to all the stuff we know and love about Cordelia that made her unique to her. It took a minute to get the rhythm and it was like putting on familiar shoes, but I had to break them in!
Talking about the way in which she was able to remake the character of Cordelia, while still keeping things such a her approach to things and sense of humor the same, Carpenter reveals, “I’m an actor, which, you know, you’re always sort of second guessing it or doing the Monday morning quarterback, you know, oh, I should have done it like this. And oh, that’s what that line sounded like. But I think it was Just really relying on the directors, Christopher Golden and Casey Wayland and Amber Benson to really like, how is this coming across? How am I occurring? Is it correct? Is it in line with what’s on the page? And your vision? Am I okay, so there’s a bit of neuroses involved. And I think just having an incredibly trustworthy support group of fellow actors and directors to sort of, you know, I like this, this works keeps going in that direction. I was able to kind of find it.”
We feel that in the Audible series Cordelia is just as snarky, but even more badass. Carpenter says, “I feel at fifty-three that’s about where I’m at. You know, I’m just kind of chilling that Kim Cattrell. I don’t want to be anywhere for more than two minutes where I don’t want to be whatever the phrase is. Just sort of, I kind of was thinking of that, like her like we’ve got a job to do business to take care of there’s a mission to be done. Yes, no, yeah, you know, just sort of, I feel like personally, I’m a bit of a I’m a natural leader, but I feel you know, how to put that in… Cordelia terms is maybe not the way that I would do it. So, it’s a process!”
Speaking about the approach to voice-acting versus television acting and being able to all record together at the same place, Caufield Ford tells us, “I don’t know how I would have done it. I don’t think we could have done it in isolation. We feed off each other! It’s a brand-new skill set and it’s a new medium. I’m appreciative of it and I feel it increases our range. ”
Caulfield Ford goes on to say, “It’s definitely a skill set as soon as we were done well every day, but I left there with like, I can’t wait to get back into the studio and do this and also really refreshing to have it not be about my face. Like it’s not about what I look like right now. I don’t have to like I can it’s just it’s just this it’s just the voice is just knowing why I’m just being able to convey an emotion and that’s it.”
Revealing how she was able to convey the duality of Anya/Anyaka using only her voice, Caufield Ford reveals, “Well, I mean, I Have you had some experience obviously with the first two? Yeah, it’s just like, keep keeping your voice warm. You know, drinking seems like keep keeping your throat open. Sounds really perverted but it is. Yeah, it’s so that and then the third one…oh, that was completely spontaneous. Like I had I had heard it differently. I prepared something different for when we got to it. And then I was like, oh, actually, I have, I just wait, can I just try this really quick? And it was ridiculous and wild and very hard on my voice especially for, you know, on Anyaka. And this character, to put them together and then come back up to the high you know, like it was a lot I don’t know how I did it. It was exhausting. And were amazing. And I’m sweating like hot yoga. And I’m dying to hear it honestly. I’m so I’m so pumped to your what those crazy moments sound like!”
When asked if there was anything they were surprised to learn about themselves as actors entering this new medium of voice-acting versus the screen, Carpenter tells us, “I’m flexible and adaptable. And I can do when I’m being trusted to with my expertise and given the freedom to perform. I can deliver and that was very reassuring.”
When looking at the differences between Slayer Cordelia and Cordelia of the past, Carpenter says, “She’s darker, heavier, the weight of the worlds, embattled, emotionally worn and torn, and yet hopeful and strategic, and thoughtful about knowing that she needs help, which I think maybe the former version was less inclined to do or lean into this goofy game or friends’ aspect. I think after trying to do this for so long. She realizes, yeah, I’m going to need a team. I’m going to need help. And I think that’s a metaphor for life.”
Slayers: A Buffyverse Story is now available on Audible! Check it out!