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From Bostonherald.com


See Charisma act: But not on `Angel’

By Amy Amatangelo

Tuesday 19 August 2003, by Webmaster

Fans were shocked when they learned that Charisma Carpenter, who stars in this weekend’s ABC Family movie ``See Jane Date,’’ would not be returning to the WB’s ``Angel’’ for the show’s fifth season.

The actress - who played the hilariously frank Cordelia Chase for three seasons on ``Buffy the Vampire Slayer’’ and for four on ``Angel’’ - was equally stunned.

``I was not prepared,’’ Carpenter said in a phone interview. ``I don’t think you’re ever prepared for that kind of situation. Seven years, that’s a long time. I started that show. To not be finishing it is a pretty big deal for me. They went back to work on July 24 . . . On that day I thought, `Oh, today is officially my first day of unemployment.’ ’’

Last spring, Carpenter returned to ``Angel’’ just 10 days after giving birth to her son, Donovan, and spent two long days on the set, wrapping up the season. She said she is absolutely willing to return to the series to provide closure to her character’s story arc and bring the beloved Cordy out of the coma in which she remained during last season’s finale.

``I think it would be incomplete if it wasn’t addressed but I don’t know what’s being planned,’’ she said. ``I haven’t heard anything. As we speak today, there are no plans for me to come back.’’

She has not talked with series co-creator and executive producer Joss Whedon why Cordelia will not be working at Wolfram & Hart with the rest of the gang in the fall. ``I haven’t had that discussion with Joss. It’s really none of my business, actually. I’m sure as far as storytelling goes, he will not disappoint. He wants what’s best for his fans.

``It’s obviously going to take adjusting,’’ she said. ``It’s sad in some aspects and very exciting in others. Working with the same people for so long, you feel safe in your exploration of a character, but it’s really exciting to work with a different group of people and wonder, `What’s my next assignment?’ `Angel’ and `Buffy’ are so special to me. None of the things that happen to me from now on would be possible without the experience on `Buffy’ and `Angel.’ I’d never be able to carry my own show.’’

As the delightful title character in ``See Jane Date’’ (premiering tomorrow night at 8 on ABC Family), Carpenter does indeed carry the show.

``The No. 1 reason I wanted to do this movie was that I was very drawn to the character and the genre itself. I’ve always wanted to do a romantic comedy,’’ Carpenter said. ``I did not expect to work so soon. I saw the material and I fell in love. I thought, `Oh my God, I’ve definitely got to do this.’ ’’

So Carpenter, her husband and their 2-month-old son set off for Montreal. ``As a new mother, it was so confidence-inspiring,’’ she said. ``If I can carry a show and be breast-feeding every three hours, I can pretty much do anything. The producers were very, very accommodating. There was nothing but support.’’

Carpenter especially loved the opportunity to do comedy once again. ``Cordelia was always kind of the light on `Angel,’ and then that kind of changed in the last two seasons. It got kind of darker.’’

Carpenter said her dream would be to do a sitcom - ``Sitcoms are conducive to being a mom’’ - and any fan of ``Buffy’’ or ``Angel’’ knows Carpenter is very, very funny. It’s a talent she credits ``Angel’’ executive producer David Greenwalt with cultivating. ``He really made an effort. I didn’t know I could do comedy. David said, `You know, you’re funny.’ He continually developed quality work.’’

Next up for Carpenter is a guest starring role on NBC’s new series ``Miss Match,’’ starring Alicia Silverstone and Ryan O’Neal. At the table read, she heard a familiar voice, turned around and saw O’Neal. ``He’s an icon in so many ways - to work with him on a peer level, it’s kind of spectacular.’’

As the now-4-month-old Donovan cooed in the background, Carpenter said simply, ``It’s good times right now.’’