In 1997, Carpenter auditioned for the title role (something that Julie Benz, Elizabeth Anne Allen, Julia Lee, and Mercedes McNab also did) in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer but instead was cast as Cordelia Chase, a snobby and popular high school student. After three seasons on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Carpenter was offered an even larger role as the same character on the spin-off series Angel along with David Boreanaz (Angel), playing her Cordelia Chase character for four seasons on Angel. Although her character leaves the series during the fourth season of Angel, Carpenter returned for the 100th episode in the fifth and final season because she felt that Cordelia's fans deserved closure after the controversy of her unexplained removal from the show.
On March 20, 2008, Paley Fest hosted a Buffy the Vampire Slayer reunion. Carpenter attended the event alongside creator Joss Whedon, producers Marti Noxon and David Greenwalt , and other alumni including Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), James Marsters (Spike), Emma Caulfield (Anya Jenkins), Amber Benson (Tara Maclay), Seth Green (Oz), and Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn Summers).
In 2010, she portrayed Lacy in the action film The Expendables. In 2011, she guest starred in an episode of the CW hit, Supernatural along side James Marsters. The episode titled "Shut Up, Doctor Phil" featured Carpenter and Marsters as witches whose marital dispute put a small town's citizens at risk.
She is one of the only cast members from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel who refuses to charge for her autograph at fan conventions.
Behind the Scenes
- She has a large scar on her belly from a childhood accident. While five years old, and playing around a swimming pool that was still under construction, she fell onto a piece of rebar. The scar was incorporated into "Lovers Walk" when her character fell onto an exposed piece of rebar.
- Charisma has four tattoos; a tribal sun on her lower back that represents life, a rosary on her left wrist as a reminder to stay centered, D2 on the inside of her right wrist to represent the names of her husband and son, and the infinity symbol on her left ring finger beneath her wedding band.