It’s been 20 years since the first episode of “Angel” premiered and now Entertainment Weekly has brought the show’s cast back together.

In the new cover story, the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” spin-off’s creators Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt, along with stars David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, J. August Richards and James Masters open up about the influential vampire drama.

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“We thought, ‘let’s do a noir thing that’s about addiction and redemption and we’ll put them in LA,’” says Greenwalt of the inspiration behind the spin-off. “The stories will be darker and more important, he’ll be darker.”

“We started talking in terms of redemption,” Whedon adds. “We realized while ‘Buffy’ is about the hero’s journey – that ‘becoming the person you are’ that happens in adolescence – Angel is about dealing with the person you’ve been.”

Boreanaz remembers being called to meet about the spin-off, but thinking at first that he was about to be fired.

“I think we started talking about the Grateful Dead,” Boreanaz recalls of the meeting with Whedon. “Then he’s like, ‘Yeah, we’re thinking about spinning your character off.’ And I’m like, ‘Alright.’”

Photo: Matthias Clamer for EW
Photo: Matthias Clamer for EW

Carpenter’s character was also brought along from “Buffy” to “Angel” in order to add a bit of brightness to all the gloom.

“When you bring a big, bright smile to this dismal, dark thing, it provides a conflict or contrast that makes it interesting,” Carpenter says.

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Whedon also looks back fondly on the series finale, which split audiences by leaving the fate of its characters up in the air.

“I understand why people would want closure, but for me, that would be like adding a cliff note to the end. What I always wanted to say is trying to become worthy of the life that you have, is a life’s work. The fight is for always,” Whedon says.

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