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Feature: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Summers Here

Don't look back: Sarah Michelle Gellar shows off Buffy's Season 6 hair...It's not of course; the weather's way too cold. However, Buffy Summers is here, in her real life guise of Sarah Michelle Gellar, to discuss marriage, babies, Scooby-Doo and, of course, slaying vampires

To say it's been a year of change for Sarah Michelle Gellar is an understatement. First, Buffy The Vampire Slayer was dropped by one American TV network (The WB) and picked up by another (UPN) which created more than a little concern as to the show's future. Secondly, boyfriend Freddie Prinze Jr proposed to her, thus putting her in the midst of not only returning to an uncertain work environment but also planning a wedding.

For all of Buffy's success, the actress admits there was trepidation about the show's sixth season that's evolved into renewed dedication. "There was so much pressure coming back this year," she admits. "Obviously, there was a lot of drama about where the show is going and all that stuff, but that was behind the scenes and it didn't really affect us. We, the cast and crew, we came in the first day and you knew something was different, but then again nothing was different except we had a much better coffee machine." She laughs before adding, "We were just really excited. I think a lot of times when shows go into their sixth season people are going, ‘Okay, this is now just a means to an end and we'll see how bad the show gets.' But by moving to UPN and by kind of starting new, it was almost like getting a second chance. It was almost like people were waiting to see a new show and it was that same excitement of a first season, of a series première versus, ‘Oh well, here's the start of the sixth season'."

Along with renewed interest in the show thanks to UPN, Gellar entered the new season as an engaged woman after a stay in Australia starring opposite Prinze in the film Scooby-Doo.

The obvious question that must be asked is who was cast first in the film, herself or Freddie? She responds with a giggle. "You know, it was really funny, that was played out really well. I went in on a Friday and there had always been interest in Freddie all along and I think they had reservations about me because Daphne is the character, obviously, that always gets kidnapped. She's always in trouble and everyone has to rescue her.

"The concern was, is the audience going to buy that I'm not going to kick butt, you know?" she explains. "Are they going to buy it that I am not going to turn around and beat up the bad guys? So I went in and I really had to sell myself. I went in and said, ‘You know, I'm an actress and you have to remember that I'm certainly not Buffy. I can't take care of myself that way. I'm lucky if I can cross the street!'"

by Jean Cummings

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Thursdays, 20.00, Sky One, continuing
Also on BBC2, VHS and DVD: see magazine for details

Sarah talks about the different virtues of TV and film roles, Buffy's surprising longevity and how September 11 affected her as a native New Yorker in this issue...

Get the full five-page interview in Cult Times #77.

Images © 20th-Century Fox TV, UPN
Feature © Visual Imagination 2001. Not for reproduction

Taken from
Cult Times Special #20, see below for ordering options
Cult Times #77
February 2002
ships from Jan 23

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