Actress Alyson Hannigan has graced both the big and small screen for some time now. She made her first appearance way back in 1986 and since that time has worked steadily. Not only has she starred in some of the biggest, raunchiest feature comedies but she has been on a number of highly-rated TV shows. So where has the 46-year old actress been hiding lately?
ALYSON HANNIGAN’S BIG START
Alyson Hannigan got her big start in Hollywood when she starred in the feature film My Stepmother Is An Alien alongside Dan Aykroyd and Kim Basinger. She turned that role into a stint on a short-lived TV series Free Spirit. That series lasted 14 episodes, but it kept the door open for her as she found herself a part guest starring on many TV shows or TV movies.
In fact, throughout the ‘90s, Hannigan kept herself quite busy on shows such as Roseanne, Almost Home, Touched By An Angel, and Picket Fences. She was also seen on TV movies like The Stranger Beside Me, For My Daughter’s Honor, and Friends For Life. It wasn’t until 1999 and a certain beloved series that people truly began to know her name.
Before 1999 jumped her into the main spotlight, Alyson Hannigan was part of a TV show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This remains one of her most well-known roles as she portrayed the title characters sidekick, Willow Rosenberg.
Willow started off as the shy, introverted sort but as the series grew, so did her character. As the series progressed, Willow’s ability to learn and perform witchcraft increases and eventually leads to her character takes a turn to the dark side in what becomes season six’s main story arc, her threat to destroy the world. Alyson Hannigan was part of the series entire seven-season run, and also appeared on a few episodes of the Buffy spin-off, Angel.
THIS ONE TIME AT BAND CAMP
1999 saw Alyson Hannigan take on her most famous feature film role when she appeared in the raunchy teenage comedy American Pie. The movie was centered around a group of four graduating teenage boys who make a pact to lose their virginity by prom night.
It starred Jason Biggs, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Chris Klein, and Eddie Kaye Thomas as the four, but Hannigan turned in one of the movie’s most memorable role as Biggs’ girlfriend-to-be Michelle Flaherty. In a movie that was filled with quotable lines, Hannigan pulled off two of the films most quotables that continue to live to this day. Those would be: “This one time at band camp” and “What’s my name? Say my name, b*tch!”
MORE PIE FOR ALYSON HANNIGAN
It was obvious from the fan reaction to the first American Pie that more pie was going to be ordered. And it was. Alyson Hannigan not only gave us an extra serving but two more after that.
She first returned in the sequel, American Pie 2 as the now girlfriend of Biggs’ Jim Levenstein. Two short years after that, she returned as Jim Levenstein’s betrothed in American Wedding. Then came the big break before the group reunited in the hit American Reunion. All in all, the four films have grossed close to $1 billion in total and thanks to the cast (and definitely Alyson Hannigan) there are quotable lines that will live in infamy.
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COMEDY IS IN ALYSON HANNIGAN’S GENES
Throughout her career, Alyson Hannigan gravitated toward comedy. Her personality always seemed like the right fit for the genre. So, after Buffy ended its run, Hannigan moved on to another huge hit TV show, How I Met Your Mother.
In it, Alyson played Lily Aldrin, a friend of the Ted Mosby, who is telling his children the story of how he met their mother. It was a great ensemble comedy that lasted nine seasons and 208 episodes, all of which Hannigan starred in.
ALYSON HANNIGAN NOW
Even though How I Met Your Mother ended in 2014, Alyson Hannigan has continued to get work in Hollywood. She continues to follow the same pattern that has kept her a very successful actress: guest-starring on TV shows, appearing in TV movies, and the occasional feature film.
Alyson Hannigan was also recently seen in the new TV comedy Outmatched, where she was reunited with her American Pie partner Jason Biggs (who is the star of the TV show).
When she is not working, Hannigan spends most of her time with her two daughters ….
…and her husband Alexis Denisof, who just so happens to be her former Buffy and Angel co-star.
ALYSON’S A TWEENER
Sometimes actors find themselves in a tough spot of growing out of certain roles. When Alyson Hannigan was big around Hollywood circles, it was during her American Pie days. She was still filming How I Met Your Mother, which lasted from 2005 to 2014 when she filmed her last American Pie film (American Reunion) in 2012. Most of her roles revolved around either being the teen sidekick which she played so well in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the high school turned college student turned young mom in the American Pie franchise, or the young newlywed in How I Met Your Mother. While Hannigan still has that youthful exuberance, she is now 48 years old and finds herself, professionally, sort of stuck.
It is not to say Hannigan isn’t continuing to work, because she is. But ever since her time on How I Met Your Mother came to a conclusion; her roles have been further apart and a few of them have been voice roles. She has lent her voice to Robot Chicken and Disney’s Fancy Nancy.
As far as live-action films go, she had a small part in the Kim Possible movie and Disney’s Flora & Ulysses. She was seen in the TV series Pure and the previously mentioned Outmatched. In 2016, Hannigan was announced as the new host for the series Penn & Teller: Fool Us. She held the role for six seasons.
SUPPORTIVE WIFE, HAPPY MOM
Alyson Hannigan may have stepped back a bit from Hollywood to let her husband, Alexis Denisof, shine. The pair met on the set of Buffy, but his career has been more miss than hit until recently. He slowly built his resume and in 2017, starred in the TV series I Love Bekka & Lucy, for which he earned an Emmy nomination. Since that time, Denisof has been seen in the series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and most recently, Legacies. He also starred in the film Under My Skin. Hannigan has also been playing mom to her two daughters, Satyana (13), and Keeva (10), and loving it.
Hannigan does have a project in the works starring opposite Mira Sorvino. It is called Dodie & Cheryl Get Hitched and is an off-beat comedy about two middle-aged lesbians who decide to get married. There is plenty of fallout in the small town where they live and the pair have to figure out how to deal with it all.