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Splash News

Alyson Hannigan with daughter Satyana.

I know what you’re thinking, because we’re thinking it too: forty? Seriously? When did that happen? After all, it seems like only yesterday when we were rooting for Alyson Hannigan’s unforgettable witchy character Willow during the last episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) as she battled for survival at Sunnydale High.

Not that she was exactly a teenager then (in fact, she was 23 when the supernatural high school series started), but the Buffy series ended eleven years ago and none of us have gotten any younger. Now Hannigan’s other insanely popular – and totally different – series, How I Met Your Mother (2005 -) is only one episode away from its grand finale, with both episodes (entitled ‘Last Forever: Part One’ and ‘Part Two’) scheduled to air next week on 31st March.

The American Pie (1999) star, who began her acting career in commercials at age 4 and was no stranger to TV appearances pre-Willow Rosenburg, shares her birthday with her eldest daughter Satyana who turned five alongside Alyson’s big 4-0 on Monday.

Hannigan left her husband, actor Alexis Denisof (who was once considered for the role of Bond in Casino Royale ()) and her younger daughter, 22-month-old Keeva, back at home for a strictly birthday-girls-only Disneyland trip. Celebrating together a day early, Satyana was treated to something all Willow fans constantly craved back in the day: some one-to-one bonding time with the comedy star.

Alyson and Satyana indulged themselves with a trip to the famous Disneyland amusement park, where the How I Met Your Mother actress was clearly enjoying herself just as much as her little girl. By that big smile, you can tell the star is “young at heart” – and when she expressed her disbelief on Twitter the next day (“HOLY BLEEP I’M 40!!!”) we were frankly just as surprised as she was.

Richard Cartwright / CBS Broadcasting, Inc

Richard Cartwright / CBS Broadcasting, Inc

Alyson Hannigan and Jason Segel in How I Met Your Mother Series 9: Episode 22 ‘The End of the Aisle’.

Commenting on the CBS finale of the long-running How I Met Your Mother sitcom – in which husband Denisof, who played character Sandy Rivers in ten episodes of the series, also appears – Hannigan expressed her feelings about the “finality” of the ninth season, which was a “weird season” thanks to cast members having “many different schedules”.

She explained that she got her “grieving” out of the way during filming although she’d still likely be crying when the finale aired, and then teased that the “happy and sad” final episode of two parts could conclude any way. Remaining Sphinx-like about the rumour that the mother in the series name is actually dead, she enigmatically stated: “We could all be dead. Who knows?”

In terms of what might be said when daughters Keeva and Satyana ask Denisof the question of how he met their mother, the answer couldn’t be sweeter. After meeting each other on the set of Buffy (where he played clueless British ‘Watcher’ Wesley), Hannigan asked Alexis out but he declined thanks to a “no coworkers” rule, then regretted it enough to become very close friends with her instead.

For a while they were so close that they were actually assumed to be dating, and they finally took the romantic plunge feeling anxious that it might ruin a long friendship…finally being rewarded with love, marriage and two gorgeous girls. Aw!

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