Melanie Lynskey is opening up about why she initially turned down auditioning for Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
During a recent interview with Shut Up Evan: The Newsletter, conducted before the SAG-AFTRA strike, the actress explained why she didn’t feel like she was ready to make the jump from film to television at the time.
“It was kind of a visa issue, but not really,” she said. “I also was not sure about doing television at that time. 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 (TV) at the time.”
Before the Sarah Michelle Gellar-led series made its debut in 1997, Lynskey made her acting debut in Peter Jackson’s 1994 film Heavenly Creatures, alongside Kate Winslet. After, when auditions began for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lynskey recalled meeting up with show creator Joss Whedon regarding the role of Willow Rosenberg.
“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,” she said of their initial meeting. “And then I guess they were replacing the person from the pilot at a certain point and 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. And then, it became this whole thing of, ‘Well, now you have to audition.’ So I auditioned.”
Although Lynskey ultimately decided to take the leap into TV and audition for Buffy, she said it ended up being a “whole process” and didn’t get the role. But she couldn’t be more excited for the actress who landed the role of Willow in the series that ran for seven seasons.
“Alyson Hannigan got it, who was absolutely wonderful,” she said. “All was [cast] as it should have been.”
Following the Buffy audition, Lynskey went on to star in several other movies, including Coyote Ugly, Shooters and Snakeskin. But it wasn’t until 2002 that she made her television debut. Ever since, she has proved to be a force in both mediums, including scoring Emmy nominations for her roles in The Last of Us and Yellowjackets.