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Alyson Hannigan’s terrible Buffy audition reminds us a “failed” interview isn’t always a disaster

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Jessica Rapana
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Sometimes a botched job interview can feel like the end of the world – but, as Alyson Hannigan reveals, it might not be as disastrous as it first seems.

Alyson Hannigan is a “terrible” auditioner – her words, not ours.

According to the Buffy The Vampire Slayer actor, she even “messed up” her audition for the part of Willow Rosenberg in the iconic series, becoming convinced, at the time, she had botched the audition and blown her chances. 

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“I walked into a door and I forgot all my lines,” she told People. “I had done the same scene over and over and over again. And then finally, it was like my eighth audition and they did a chemistry read with me, Sarah [Michelle Gellar] and Nick [Brendon].”

However, series creator Joss Whedon then decided she wanted “to hear something new” and wrote a brand new scene for the audition, Hannigan said.

Hannigan forgot her lines while auditioning for Buffy

“My character is very computer-savvy, so it was all this computer jargon… and it didn’t make sense to me,” she said. “So I got to that part and the words just started swimming and I don’t think I was speaking English at one point. And then finally, I was just like, I’m just gonna stop talking now.”

Fortunately, while Hannigan might not have been fluent in tech lingo, she still managed to impress. “Joss later said, ‘You couldn’t say the words to save your life, but I knew right then and there, because the chemistry was right there.” Hannigan played Willow during all six seasons of Buffy until 2003.

The cast of buffy

Hannigan starred in Buffy for all six seasons

When asked about the moment she knew she was going to get the part, Hannigan said it was after the first audition, when her grandmother asked her when she was going to give up on her “childhood acting” dreams.

She remembered thinking, “She just totally clinched this, I’m gonna get this part. Like, because that’s the thing you always hear people say: ‘As soon as they told me to give up, that’s when I struck gold’. So I was like, ‘She just did it – that’s it.’ 

“And then I wound up getting it.”

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Jessica Rapana

Jessica Rapana is a journalist based in London, and enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content. She is especially fond of news, health, entertainment and travel content, and drinks coffee like a Gilmore Girl.

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