You know her as Cordelia on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the drop-dead gorgeous cheerleader who leaves the ickier aspects of slaying up to Buffy. But if you think that half-heartedly battling the undead is scary, imagine growing up (in Las Vegas, no less) with a name like Charisma.
"My mother named me after a perfume," says Carpenter. "It was like a cross I had to carry around. Other kids would say, "Charisma? What’s that - a disease?"
After a misguided attempt to form a nightclub act with her cousins ("We headlined the TravelLodge"), she was discovered while hostessing at a Sunset Strip eatery. Soon, Charisma was cranking out commercials, causing some confusion back home.
"My family would hear my voice on TV in the other room and call me in for dinner," she laughs.
Next fall - when Charisma debuts in her own series, Angel, a Buffy spinoff - we’ll be eating in front of the set.