Amidst the slayers, the vampires, the witches, and demons that filled the world of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, there was one skeptical human that us mere mortals could all relate to. Yes, Xander Harris, the friend who was willing to put his life on the line for the ones he loved. Risking life and limbs, not to mention an eye, to make sure the Hellmouth didn't swallow us all. While Xander never got much glory, the actor who played him, Nicholas Brendon, still won fans over by showing through his character that a hero didn't always need superpowers. So, what is Buffy's Nicholas Brendon up to now? During the 20th anniversary of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, it's worth taking a look at what he's done since the show ended.
Brendon nailed the role of lovable nerd on his first television series, and he spent some time perfecting that role on Criminal Minds. For eight years, Brendon played the recurring character Kevin Lynch, a former hacker who starts working for the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) after the team's resident technical analyst, Penelope Garcia, is suspended. Of course, these two quirky techies end up bonding — the fact that he helped catch her murderer probably helps — and strike up a sweet romance.
"Sweet" could also be the word used to describe his role on the short-lived series Kitchen Confidential, starring Bradley Cooper. Based on Anthony Bourdain's memoir of the same name, Brendon played Seth Richman, a pastry chef with a jealousy problem on the 2005 show that lasted only one season.
Brendon has worked steadily in television with recurring roles on the animated Disney Channel series American Dragon: Jake Long and the Grey's Anatomy spin-off, Private Practice. He's also appeared in TV movies like the 2004 ABC Family rom-com Celeste in the City, which had him teaming up with Roswell star Majandra Delfino and is really worth a rewatch.
Meanwhile, in movies, Brendon seemingly had a passion for horror. He starred in the 2007 indie Unholy, which has him getting mixed up in the occult. The following year, he appeared in the horror-comedy Blood On The Highway, before starring in the 2009 Lifetime flick My Neighbor's Secret, where he plays a man obsessed with his next-door neighbor. He also returned to the world of Buffy in print, co-writing the Buffy Season 10 comic books.
Unfortunately, you may not have heard much about Brendon's acting gigs, since it's his personal life that has made the most headlines post-Buffy. Between 2014 and 2015, Brendon was arrested multiple times for reasons including alleged public intoxication. The actor had gone to rehab nearly a decade before for alcohol addiction. In June 2015, Brendon entered a rehab facility for depression, alcoholism, and substance abuse issues. Two months later, he appeared on an episode of Dr. Phil, in which the host accused him of smelling like alcohol. Brendon cut the taping short, telling fans on Facebook:
"When I was in that seat, I felt that Dr. Phil went for the jugular, talking about some of my recent mistakes, with no build up/I felt that he wanted me to lay the darkest parts of myself on national TV right from the start, and I'm not willing to do that.”
Another arrest happened in October 2015 when his then-girlfriend reportedly accused Brendon of stealing her keys and allegedly trying to choke her. (At the time, the actor publicist had “no comment" when Bustle reached out for a statement.) After that, he returned to Dr. Phil and agreed to go to a rehab program.
Since then, Brendon admitted that he's had a drink, but is working on getting better. "It’s minute by minute, day by day, and I’ve unfortunately stumbled,” he told Us Weekly in a June 2016 statement. "I’m very happy to say that nothing like the events of last year have occurred, and I am committed to making sure that they never do again.”
For now, the actor is getting back to work with two movies already slated for 2017, the sci-fi film The Nanny and the horror movie Redwood. He's also enjoying some quality time with his Buffy castmates. On March 29, Brendon tweeted out a photo of the cast with the message: "Old friends, way past due reunion. We look pretty damn good." I couldn't agree more.