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Comparing the Age of the Buffy Cast to Their Respective Characters

by Lidia Lucovic

The television series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” revolved around the life of a teenager, Buffy Summers, as she undergoes rigorous training to fulfill her destiny as the Vampire Slayer, engaging in battles against supernatural threats throughout the show’s seven-season duration. Airing from 1997 to 2003, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” has solidified its position as one of the most renowned fantasy television shows to date. The storyline primarily focuses on Buffy and her companions during their high school years, presenting a narrative enriched with a diverse array of supernatural allies and adversaries.

Seth Green (23) as Oz (17)

Seth Green made his debut as Oz in the season two episode “Inca Mummy Girl,” eventually becoming the boyfriend of Willow despite his werewolf condition. At the time of casting, Green was 23 years old, portraying the character of a high school junior, with only a five-year age difference from the character Oz. Oz remained a central figure in the show until season four, amicably ending his relationship with Willow and departing to Tibet to learn how to control his werewolf transformations. While making a brief appearance in the spin-off Angel, where he introduced a gem that bestowed invincibility upon vampires in Los Angeles, Oz’s character was not revisited thereafter.

Anthony Stewart Head (43) as Rupert Giles (43)

Anthony Stewart Head portrayed Rupert Giles, Buffy’s voice of reason and the school librarian. Remarkably, Head was the only actor in the show cast at the same age as their character, both being 43 years old. Giles played a paternal role in Buffy’s life, guiding her through her responsibilities as the Slayer. Additionally, he contributed to the rehabilitation of Willow after her actions nearly led to global catastrophe. Even after Buffy completed her training, Giles remained an integral part of her life. Following the conclusion of the show, rumors circulated about a potential spin-off centered around Giles; however, this concept never materialized.

Charisma Carpenter (27) as Cordelia Chase (16)

The role of Cordelia Chase, a popular high school student, was portrayed by Charisma Carpenter, who was eleven years older than the character when she began her role in the show. Initially viewed unfavorably by Willow due to her aloof demeanor, Cordelia’s character evolved, fostering closer relationships with both Willow and Buffy over the course of the series. At the age of 27, Carpenter had the most significant age disparity from her human character, being eleven years older than Cordelia Chase at the show’s commencement. Cordelia subsequently transitioned to the spin-off series Angel, playing a prominent titular role, before meeting her demise in the one-hundredth episode titled “You’re Welcome,” which aired in 2004.

David Boreanaz (28) as Angel (270)

David Boreanaz assumed the role of Angel, Buffy’s vampire friend-turned-lover, despite being two hundred and forty-two years younger than the character. Angel’s character exhibited the most substantial age contrast between the actor and the character, encompassing both human and supernatural aspects. His presence on the show endured until its third season, after which he left Buffy, recognizing the limitations of their relationship. Following his exit, Boreanaz took on a leading role in the Angel spin-off, spanning five seasons from 1999 to 2004. Notably, this series witnessed several original cast members from Buffy the Vampire Slayer reprising their roles for guest appearances.

James Marsters (35) as Spike (117)

James Marsters took on the role of Spike, a vampire known for causing the demise of two prior Slayers, making him a widely-feared antagonist. Introduced in the season two episode “School Hard,” Spike’s character was portrayed by Marsters, who was thirty-five years old at the time of casting, a striking eighty-two years younger than the age of the supernatural menace he portrayed. Despite Spike’s multifaceted persona as an anti-hero, he gradually transitioned into an ally for Buffy, eventually falling in love with the Slayer. Spike met his demise in the final season but was later resurrected off-screen. He subsequently joined the cast of Angel, where the character regressed to his former malevolent ways.

Nicholas Brendon (26) as Xander Harris (16)

The character of Xander, portrayed as one of Buffy’s closest friends from the first season, was brought to life by Nicholas Brendon. Brendon was a whole decade older than the character he played when the show premiered. Xander remained a central character throughout all seven seasons, appearing in nearly every episode except one. At the conclusion of the series in 2003, Brendon was portraying a 23-year-old, even though he was 33 years old himself.

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