Melanie Lynskey Talks Being First Choice to Play Willow on 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' Before Alyson Hannigan

Star Sarah Michelle Gellar previously claimed that creator Joss Whedon wanted the 'Yellowjackets' star in the role.

Sunnydale's favorite nerd-turn-uber witch almost looked a little different. In a recent interview with Evan Ross Katz's Shut Up Evan: The Newsletter, New Zealand actress Melanie Lynskey spoke about Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar's claims that the show's creator, Joss Whedon, originally wanted Lynskey for the role of Buffy's best friend, Willow Rosenberg. 

Gellar previously said that there was an issue with Lynskey's visa that prevented her from auditioning for the part, which ultimately went to Alyson Hannigan

"It is basically true. It was kind of a visa issue, but not really," Lynskey shared of the missed moment. "I also was not sure about doing television at that time. It was very early in my career. I had a very old-school agent who was like, 'TV? That’s for has-beens!' and I was like, 'I don't think it is anymore.'"

The Yellowjackets star admitted that she "just wasn't super into" the part at the time and had dinner with Whedon who tried to convince her to either join the show or read for the part. 

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Lynskey said that after they filmed the pilot, Whedon and company decided to replace the actress who played Willow, and she decided to audition. 

"So I auditioned. Then: 'Oh, they didn't like what you were wearing,'" she recalled. "It was a whole process. And then I didn't get it! Alyson Hannigan got it, who was absolutely wonderful and all was [cast] as it should have been. That was the actual story."

Hannigan played Willow on all seven seasons of the hit fantasy drama alongside Gellar as the Chosen One herself. Meanwhile, Nicholas Brendon was Xander Harris, Anthony Head played Rupert Giles, and David Boreanaz portrayed vampire Angel. 

All seasons of the show are currently streaming on Hulu.