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Alyson Hannigan

Alyson Hannigan may have won sitcom role thanks to Buffy fan

By Rick Porter

Thursday 21 July 2005, by Webmaster

’Buffy’ Fandom Leads to ’Mother’ Lode for Hannigan

LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) The character Alyson Hannigan plays in the new CBS comedy "How I Met Your Mother" is based on co-creator Craig Thomas’ wife — who, on some level, may be responsible for her husband casting the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" alum.

In the show, Hannigan plays Lily, a close friend of the main character, Ted (Josh Radnor) and the new fiancee of Ted’s best friend Marshall (Jason Segel, "Freaks and Geeks"). Thomas describes her as "very self-assured ... more in control" than Marshall, who’s based on himself.

"[She] kind of wants the Marshall character to kind of step up and be more aggressive and confident, but also secretly, I think, kind of likes wearing the pants in the relationship a little bit," Thomas says, implying things are not that different between him and his wife, Rebecca. Hannigan says she didn’t meet Rebecca until after she started work on "How I Met Your Mother’s" pilot, "so I didn’t steal too much from her. But I will."

Rebecca is also an "enormous ’Buffy’ fan," says Carter Bays, who created "How I Met ..." with Thomas and on whom Radnor’s character is based. "And she got both of us into it, and ..."

"Yeah, arguably that’s why we cast Alyson," Thomas adds. "None of us knew about ’Buffy,’ and my wife said, ’Watch "Buffy."’ And we became almost embarrassingly huge ’Buffy’ dorks to the point where I think Alyson is uncomfortable around us sometimes."

"Extremely," Hannigan deadpans.

For her part, Hannigan says her real-life counterpart is "awesome," and she’s looking forward to playing the TV version of her in the coming season ("How I Met Your Mother" will air at 8:30 p.m. ET Mondays in the fall).

"It’s really cool to be playing somebody who’s alive, I think," Hannigan says. "Until she hates it. And then you’re like, ’Oh, I don’t know. Sorry.’"