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Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar - "Scooby-Doo 2" Movie - Joblo.com Interview

Monday 25 August 2003, by Webmaster

Sarah Michelle came in with high energy, a good sense of humor and a big Crest smile on her face. The one thing that stood out for me was just how tiny she was— man, I could fit her into my pocket! All in all, she was very pleasant, professional and obviously used to this PR jive by now.

Can you tell us what was different this turn around? Last time, Daphne got a lot stronger than she was in the cartoon.

I think the first story sort of revolved around Daphne finding her place, that thing in between I think a lot teenagers and young adults all go through. Where do I fit in, what’s my place, what’s my purpose, what am I good at? Everything to her was that she was the pretty one, she never really fit in and in this one, it’s more about public image. In the beginning, you find Daphne and she’s confident because she’s deriving her strength from what other people think; the press and the fans and it’s all about public image. What she soon realizes is that the public image can change, it’s fickle and that you’ve got to find your strength from within, before you worry about how everyone else perceives you.

Did you find it easier to play Daphne in this second film?

First of all, I was happy not having to commune between Australia and Los Angeles. From the get-go, everything with this sequel was easier. I remember when doing SCREAM 2, the whole topic was how sequels suck and how sequels are never better than the first one, but I think what we’re doing here is kind of moving away from that and what’s happening, especially with movies based on already established material, is that you spend the first 45 minutes to an hour of the movie setting everything up, whether it’s SCOOBY or X-MEN or any of these movies. SPIDER-MAN, there’s so much to get to the place where you think most people already know the story, but you just don’t know.

That’s what happening with sequels again, specifically in the genre of material based on previous material. Now you can just jump right in, you know where your story is, it’s less complicated. Also, we didn’t know exactly what we wanted the first time. Did we want a movie for kids, were we going to be a little esoteric and go for a little bit older satirical audience? We had everything both ways and it was really put together in the edit as a family film. Now we’re coming in to make a family film, we know our characters, the story is set and that makes it much easier to jump into the story. For me specifically, coming in to having just done 8 years of an experience and having to one day just come here, it was like "oh home, easy, family, familiar".

Was it a little weird for you to be working with Seth Green again, since you worked with him every day for years? (on Buffy)

It was great. If I had my way, I’d work with Seth on every project. I think the world of him. I think I’ve known him since I was like 7 years old or so. It’s how grounded he is, he’s an amazingly gifted comedian and he’s also a very giving comedian. A lot of times you get people that are so incredibly, amazingly funny, it’s all about them, they’re funny and what Seth does is try to make everything funny. So I’d like one day do a movie where we can work off each other. On this movie, he’s a little bit more inclined towards Velva than myself, but I’d like to really work with him someday.

You’re working with your husband on this film (Freddie Prinze Jr.). Do you often take things home with you, do you talk about it...?

We often play cartoon at home... yes. (We all laugh) No, I wouldn’t recommend it. I think working with your partner is incredibly difficult no matter what industry you’re in. It’s difficult to come to work and live with that same someone. I wouldn’t recommend it except for a situation like this one. I mean, we’re doing a big action fun cartoon movie, we’re not at home at night— at least I’m not at home at night saying "How will I say my one line tomorrow?" It’s a little bit easier and it’s been a very positive experience. I don’t think you’ll be hearing about a big drama story between the two of us.

Do you get to kick more butt in this sequel than you did in the first one?

I wish. When asking about the fights in this one I was saying "I want to do another big wire routine". I had never done wirework before the first movie. The original cut of the fight scene in the first one was like 10 minutes and we all know children— we can’t keep their attention for 10 minutes— so that got cut down. I was so ready for this fight but I don’t have a big wire fight in this one. This one is equestrian, but it’s much more Daphne than it was in the first one. I don’t win the fight, it’s a defense fight. It was fun and different for me. Instead of being the aggressor, I was the defender and I never worked with two swords at one and you’re also fighting this Black Knight ghost who is probably like 10 feet tall and he can barely walk and wielding an 8 foot sword.

How was it working with the monsters, Alicia Silverstone and Peter Doyle?

The monsters never show up, they never come out of their trailers, they’re difficult. The monsters are great. They add a real feel of the cartoon and you’re like "I remember in this episode whether the Cotton Candy Gobbler and whatever". Alicia was great. We hit it off right away. She’s terrified about going into a series in television and she’s asking me about it. She’s a really easy-going person. And Peter was great because...come on, he’s Peter Boyle! He unfortunately hasn’t been here that much and I’ve only shot a couple of days with him.

What advice did you give Alicia about working in television?

Get some sleep while you can.

Are you looking forward to doing more film work? More romantic comedies?

What I’m looking forward to doing more than anything else is just to figure out what it is I want to do. I really worked for 12 years— doing movies during my hiatus and never had a vacation except for Christmas vacations. I think the most exciting thing for me now is getting the chance to play different characters. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to make movies on my hiatus, but my hiatus had a status of 2 and half months and if the project didn’t fit in with that exact time, there was nothing that I could do. So for me, the exciting thing now is that I can sit back and say "now I want to make it happen" and be able to look at those opportunities that I haven’t been able to grasp.

Has it been an adjustment for you regarding the pace of film versus the pace of TV?

It’s so slow, especially coming from a TV show with the pace that we had to a big action movie with CGI and plates. It’s great, I’ve caught up with all my soap operas, I’ve read probably 2 books a week, I’ve caught up on all my Vanity Fairs that I had to read, all my movies. I’m doing pretty well...it’s nice. For me, it feels like a mini-vacation where people are like "Oh my God, this was a 15-hour day" and I’m like "I can’t believe it was just 15 hours!"

What is the gamut of the Daphne’s costumes in this sequel?

It started off with more costume changes than in the first one but now it’s a little bit less. I have more pants in this one. Shooting in Vancouver is also a different experience than the shoot from the first one. When we went to Australia, it was summer going into the winter and the winters there are like the winters in Los Angeles. I just had to wear a sweater. When we came to Vancouver it was bone chilling cold. We were shooting in the mountains, so on a costume level, it was tricky where you want to keep the actors warm without having them look bundled. We haven’t really won on this shoot; we’re either freezing on one location or boiling on the other. She does get to wear a gown at a nice event though.

I heard somewhere that you were considering playing "Jennifer Lynch" (rescued US Soldier) in a biopic? Is that true?

I think that was a rumor that actually started on my show. It was a joke that one of our executives said to me one day and then I read about it in like Newsweek and it’s absolutely not true. A desert movie...that would be like my worst nightmare. Shooting a movie in like Lancaster Los Angeles, in the dirt and the sand...I’m not cut out for that.