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The cast of Buffy headed to NYCC 2023 to talk about Slayers: A Buffyverse Story

Last weekend I was at New York Comic Con 2023 to discuss lots of amazing projects. One of which is the new Slayers: A Buffyverse Story which is now out exclusively on Audible.

I got to speak with writer, director and original cast member Amber Benson, writer and director Christopher Golden, and original cast members including Charisma Carpenter, Emma Caulfield Ford, James Charles Leary, Juliet Landau, James Marsters, along with newcomer Laya DeLeon Hayes about the new scripted audio original.

Slayers: A Buffyverse Story picks up in the Buffyverse 10 years after the events of the final episode. Since then, Spike (James Marsters) has gone deep undercover in LA, convincing the forces of darkness that he’s back to his evil ways. When his cover is compromised by sixteen-year-old Indira Nunnally (Laya DeLeon Hayes), Spike finds himself on baby-slayer-sitting duty once more. While he attempts to track down a watcher for his eager new protégé, their paths collide with the veteran Slayer of a parallel reality where Buffy Summers never existed…a reality where Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter) is the one-and-only Slayer. She needs Spike’s help with a classic big bad terrorizing her world…his old flame, Drusilla (Juliet Landau).

Check out our New York Comic Con coverage

James Marsters, James Charles Leary and Live for Films’ Phil Edwards

“I think at the very beginning, the audience is going to be very concerned about where Spike is,” said James Marsters. “We left him a while ago, and is he going to choose the light or the dark? He seems like he’s gone to the dark side at the very beginning, and then we find out that he hasn’t. He’s just as ornery and frustrating as he’s ever been, but he has a soul and he’s been using it properly. And now we see him try to help out a new slayer.”

Marsters also spoke about the differences in doing voice acting compared to TV and how his background in theatre helped. “With theatre, all the information is conveyed by the voice, and the body a little bit, but mostly voice. So going to a medium where it’s all voice is not that far of an adjustment. The thing is that I spent years getting a toolbox for theatre, which is how to do voice and you get down to Los Angeles like, ‘oh, you put that one away, none of those are gonna work.’ And so film acting is really about taking information out of the voice and putting it into the eyes. The eyes convey everything and you pretty much are underselling all the language. You’re just kind of mumbling it out and your face is gonna be the rest. So it was just really wonderful to come back to Spike and use the old tools, the theater tools on the character and still keep it and not make it stagey. I mean, it’s for a microphone, it’s intimate, it’s subtle, but you’re putting all of the character information into it.”

Laya DeLean Hayes is playing a new Slayer in the audiobook which features a multiverse of characters. “We’ve got Laya coming in just crushing it from the get-go. It was like, oh man! We really gotta step it up,” said James Charles Leary who plays Clem. “I was like, oh, Laya’s a little young; I hope she can keep up with us, and then we start, and it was like WOAH, I gotta get ready,” Marsters remembers. “She has more experience as a voice actor than any of us. She just brought the level up. It was great to watch everyone get really physical when you have to do fight scenes and all kinds of crazy stuff for audio. It’s kind of like being a little kid again. That was my favourite part – just getting to work with everybody.”

Amber Benson

“It was of course very nerve-wracking because I’m coming into a world that I’m not aware of,” said Hayes. “And also every cast member already had their character down. And each one is so distinct. I wanted to make sure that what I was bringing, one, was an addition, and, two, that it fit the tone that was already there. But what’s so great about Indira is she does add, like, this fresh perspective. And I think it was nice to kind of lean into my lack of knowledge on some things and kind of embrace that as something that was going to set Indira apart from the other slayers.

“It was so much fun. When you’re in a booth with other actors, you’re just able to bounce off of each other. And also, you get that feeling of actually being able to bond with the people that you’re working with, which is one of my favorite parts of being a part of this industry. Hopefully it translates, the magic that you get in your ear vis-a-vis audio podcast because there was a lot of magic in our booth.”

Christopher Golden and Amber Benson spoke about how the new project came together.

Charisma Carpenter and Emma Caulfield

“So Chris had been talking to our exec, Lydia, over at Audible and found out that they got the license to do this,” explained Amber Benson. “And he was like, well, I want to do it, but if we really want this to, like, sing, we gotta bring in Amber Benson, my close, personal friend.”

”I said there’s no way to bring the cast back, any cast back, without her because the only way anybody is coming back in this scenario is with the trust and the respect that they all have for one another,” Golden said. ““If you were in the recording studio with the cast watching them work, you would be ten times more impressed and more astonished by the gifts that they have and how incredibly talented they are. They made each other cry, they made me cry, they made the people in the booth cry. It was an extraordinary experience and so when you’re listening, listen for all of that emotion because it was all really there.”

“Ten years after the end of that other show, we’re in a metaverse, so there’s multiple universes,” said Charisma Carpenter, who is back as Cordelia. “Cordelia comes from a universe where she is the one true slayer and there was no Buffy Summers. I think we are an incredible team and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m so grateful that we were able to make this come alive and that Audible trusted us and that you [the fans] supported that.”

Emma Caulfield continued and revealed she is playing both Anya, Anyanka and also a version of her character who has been transformed into a dog. “I just go from one to — back and forth — talking to you then talk to myself. It was very hard, but fun. Juliet was right next to me and I would literally just get immersed in what she was doing…Oh my god, she is lovable, and I was just in awe.”

Juliet Landau

Juliet Landau returns as Drusilla and is the villain, or Big Bad, of this adventure. “I have a really strong theatre background, and I feel like if you’ve been around a lot of either series television or a small run of a play where you inhabit a character for a long time, there’s something where it’s still in you,” Landau said. “Obviously, I don’t walk around like Drusilla — a bit scary — but she is surprisingly easy to access. And so it is like slipping into a comfortable, old shoe. What’s interesting about the material is she is not subservient. She has autonomy, and she isn’t an appendage to somebody else. She does drive a lot of the action.”

The cast were about to speak about the new project as SAG-AFTRA have clear guidelines that audiobooks and podcasts are not impacted by the current strike.

Listen to Slayers: A Buffyverse Story exclusively on Audible, beginning October 12, 2023. In addition, Slayers: A Buffyverse Story will join Audible’s growing catalog of Originals that can be listened to in immersive spatial audio with Dolby Atmos from the Audible app. For more information, visit

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