Now, fans are more likely to see her in a fashion magazine or doing a random blog interview than they are to see her on the silver screen. Well, this one time, at Hollywood camp… Movies were never her strong suit Getty Images Quick—think of an Alyson Hannigan movie not named after a patriotic dessert.
Yeah … we couldn't think of one either. While many people were introduced to her as the notorious "this one time, at band camp" girl in American Pie, she's mostly known for being one of the main cast in two highly popular television shows , Buffy The Vampire Slayer and How I Met Your Mother. In Buffy, she played the role of Willow Rosenberg, a shy teenage computer geek who grows to become a confident witch with great powers and not always great responsibility. Because of just how long she was in the spotlight as part of two highly prominent television shows, it may be hard to re-sell Hannigan to moviegoers as a movie star rather than as someone who shines best on television.
Her public image has completely changed Like many of her Buffy and American Pie castmates, Hannigan was packaged as something of a sex symbol during her initial rise to fame. But while she gamely posed for a handful of cheesecake photo spreads, that really wasn't an aspect of her personality she ever appeared all that enthusiastic about playing up in public—something that likely played into the way she overhauled her image after becoming a real-life mom.
No one lounges in lingerie in front of the cameras forever, of course, but for fans who remember Hannigan for her geeky sex appeal in those early hits, her more grown-up image might be a bit of a tough sell.
She hasn't showed off much of her range While the characters she played on Buffy and How I Met Your Mother are quite different, they both serve as the amusing comic relief. As Willow Rosenberg, Hannigan often offered wry commentary on everything from the state of Buffy's latest relationship to the gender norms that she and girlfriend Tara helped redefine. As Lily Aldrin, she eventually came to embody the humorous voice of a veteran spouse who could poke fun at the often too-serious Ted's quest to find the future mother of his children.
Her most prominent Hollywood role in American Pie is also comedic. But she hasn't played any popular serious roles. Most people have never seen whether she's capable of any range at all.
She spoke out against the How I Met Your Mother series finale Getty Images While the How I Met Your Mother series finale was by no means a Dexter-level disaster, fans were left scratching their heads at the perplexing decision to make perpetual bachelor bro Barney get married to Robin, only to divorce three years later so she and Ted could finally, inevitably get together. Apparently, the confusion was shared by Alyson Hannigan, who even as a cast member questioned the creative choice.
In an interview with news. But is that enough for future employers to overlook her highly critical remarks? In fact, it happens every season; people just move on to the next project.
But in the case of the sitcom More Time with Family, it was apparent that Hannigan really wanted it to happen. It was too good to be true, like by page nine I was like, 'All right, you know, so the break was shorter than I thought. This time around, Hannigan was a bit more tempered in her public enthusiasm for the project.
In an interview with Wet Paint , she said, "I'm more excited about what would happen should the show continue for years. And in case you're thinking, "Huh? The review in The L. Times fell under the headline "Do You Take This Man is not the gay wedding drama you've been waiting for," and the criticism of the film was summed up as "this sluggish talkfest feel like even more of a missed opportunity; something livelier and more compelling was in order.
Certainly not, but it doesn't really help her either. She's still milking her old roles Getty Images Another reason Hannigan is still associated with those old roles is because of the timeless quality of fandom. While Buffy the Vampire Slayer went off the air in , fans have kept the show alive with fan fiction and comic conventions throughout the world. Both Hannigan and her husband are very popular stars on the sci-fi convention circuit, appearing at events such as the Phoenix Comicon to fans eager to get autographs and pictures with their favorite Buffy characters.
This further cements Hannigan with her genre roots, making it harder to sell her as a character in other roles, like a traditional drama or other non-genre films. She's too old and too young at the same time Getty Images One of the unfortunate truths about Hollywood is that it primarily casts actors by archetype.
Age can determine if an actor plays the hapless young victim, the plucky young hero, the grizzled mentor, and so on. As of , Alyson Hannigan is 43 years old, which puts her at a kind of intermediate age.
She's no longer young enough to be the teen sidekick she once was with Buffy or to be the newlywed yuppie she popularized on How I Met Your Mother. But she isn't really old enough to play a mentor to younger castmates, which ultimately makes her very hard to put into a movie.
Similarly, Maggie Gyllenhaal reported that, at 37 years old, she was turned down for a role because she was considered too old to be the love interest for the male protagonist … a man who was 55! Hannigan has to navigate a weird matrix of sexism, ageism, and fan expectation. She's too busy buying, selling and renting houses Getty Images Why spend all that time learning lines and going on auditions when you can make a killing with real estate?
Nothing against any of her best-known characters, but it sounds like Hannigan may have found the role of a lifetime. It's hard to picture her in a mother role Getty Images To see why Hollywood is hesitant to cast Alyson Hannigan as a mother, one need look no further than Winona Ryder. They both started young but have aged like typical humans. Some fans reacted quite strongly to Winona Ryder playing a mother , first to a young Spock in the Star Trek reboot and again when she played the frantic mother in 's Stranger Things.
At the age of 45, Ryder was the perfect age for the role, but many fans freaked out at the tangible reminder that they and Ryder were getting older.
Seeing the plucky teenage witch instead chasing down rambunctious teenagers might remind her fans of a certain monster that neither witch nor slayer can conquer: She's too busy with her real-life family Getty Images One of the happier reasons Hollywood is hesitant to cast Hannigan is that she's keeping very busy as a mother.
Since then, Alyson has given birth to two daughters. Hannigan is known for being very active and engaged with her family and has understandably felt the pressure of balancing family life and life as an actor. Knowing that she's actively balancing those two lives more than other actors may make Hollywood reticent to hire her for the requisite late nights and reshoots that are part of a major motion picture.
This seems to suit her just fine; Hannigan is positively beaming in nearly every photo she takes with her family. Her other TV shows ran way too long Buffy lasted for seven seasons and spanned two networks, while How I Met Your Mother lasted for a staggering nine seasons.
Both shows probably would have benefited by wrapping up about two seasons earlier than they did. But because the same two characters got shoved down our throats for a combined 16 years, she may have worn out her welcome. No one wants to be typecast except maybe Steven Seagal , but she will forever be associated with those roles. Hopefully, Hannigan will receive and take an opportunity to reinvent herself on the silver screen sometime very soon.
She doesn't seem to be trying in Hollywood Alyson Hannigan seems pretty content to take her career away from Hollywood.
In , she took over from Jonathan Ross as the host of the magic competition show Penn and Teller: Fool Us, which involves aspiring magicians trying to fool veteran magicians Penn and Teller.
The stars expressed their enthusiasm for Hannigan's humor and talent, and Hannigan shared her own admiration for the famous duo and for magic itself. The show has since been renewed, and Hannigan's continued success in this role may signal that her career is shifting into the kinds of non-scripted evening entertainment that eventually culminates with a role such as her own late night show.
She even told Entertainment Weekly that she's "always wanted to play Vegas. Not the end; a new beginning Getty Images Several possible paths could lead Alyson Hannigan back to the big screen.
One method would be for her to star in a critically successful independent film that showcases something her mostly comedic television shows only occasionally touched on: If she offers the kind of powerhouse performance we know she's capable of, then positive critical reviews and fan word-of-mouth would soon have Hollywood rumbling.
Alternately, some of her older work can be introduced to a new generation. For instance, Buffy the Vampire Slayer recently received a high-definition upgrade for broadcasting and streaming, and many fans are hoping that Buffy Blu-rays are around the corner. Considering that Buffy went off the air in , this would legitimately be a chance for an entirely new audience to fall in love with Hannigan, leading to her triumphant Hollywood return.
A final path back to Hollywood would be for Hannigan to direct her own movie. Hannigan could very well direct her own Hollywood return, be it indie drama or raunchy comedy, and instantly revive her Hollywood career, just like … well … magic!