With the WB's Angel already facing some stiff competition from Fox's similarly appealing Dark Angel this season, it would seem the last thing the dark drama needs is to lose its potent lead-in, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But David Boreanaz doesn't feel Buffy's possible switch to another network next fall will slay his spin-off series.

"We're confident Angel can stand on its own," he insists. "In the beginning, you need the love and support from where you came from. For the first six episodes, [the Buffy/Angel crossovers were] a needed correspondence; it was a nice dance to have. We're a young show, but Buffy didn't get going until its third season."

With negotiations between 20th Century Fox (the studio behind Buffy) and the WB said to be tense, Boreanaz is being careful not to follow in the footsteps of Buffy star Sarah Michelle Gellar and make any bold statements he'll regret. (Gellar was recently quoted as saying she'd bolt the series if it left the WB, only to issue a retraction a day later.)

"As far as the Buffy talks are concerned, that's not my job," adds Boreanaz, who appears in the Warner Bros. pic Valentine, opening today. "That's like pis---- in the wind, man. It's not for me to talk about."

Boreanaz was not so reluctant, however, to discuss his personal life, admitting that he's just now starting to recover from his late-1999 split with his wife Ingrid. "Divorce is like a death," he sighs. "I think I'm finding myself going through the defrost period. I have to really examine myself [and ask] what made me decide to do that, and what was my struggle?"

Ironically, that's a question with which Boreanaz's TV alter ego is also grappling as Angel battles the evil within him — a war he currently is losing. But the actor reveals that the art-imitates-life aspect of the plot is hardly a coincidence. "I am a firm believer that [Angel's creators] Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt have chips that they implant into the actors [so] their lives go right along with the plot," he jokes, adding that, "Angel's definitely on a path to destruction... He's going to come to an epiphany about that."