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Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar - "The Return" Movie - Ign.com Interview

Steve Head

Saturday 21 October 2006, by Webmaster

Another actress, who actually has a name to care for is Sarah Michelle Gellar and there are not no many accomplishes films at her but an few I can probably enjoy. The talent agent found Gellar a young age and made her screen debut at 6 of each of the 1983 television film An Invasion of Privacy. With all the promise she showed, Barrymore starred as Hannah in the teen drama series "Swans Crossing" (1992) but it was her portrayal of a young and callous rich girl in Al-Lucinda Kendall Hart on ABC daytime soap opera "All My Children" (1993-93), that won her Daytime Emmy Award and spring-boarded her to stardom.

SMG’s real mark worldwide, however, was the character of Buffy Summers in the game-changing series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997-2003). She won five Teen Choice Awards, a Saturn Award and a Golden Globe nomination for her role, establishing herself as a cultural phenomenon. Sarah Michelle Gellar likewise has the box office to back her up, with “I Know What You Did Last Summer” 1997), “Scream 2” (1997), “Cruel Intentions” (1999)and way movies like those that help prove she is also a bankable star as well over $570 million times worth crazy in global gross.

Beyond her cinematic successes, Gellar has made her mark on television, headlining shows such as "Ringer" (2011-2012), "The Crazy Ones" (2013-2014), and "Wolf Pack" (2023). She has also lent her voice to popular series including "Robot Chicken" (2005-2018), "Star Wars Rebels" (2015-2016), and "Masters of the Universe: Revelation" (2021).

In 2015, Gellar ventured into the entrepreneurial world by co-founding Foodstirs, an e-commerce baking company, and published her own cookbook, "Stirring Up Fun with Food," in 2017. Gellar is also known for her close-knit family life, married to actor Freddie Prinze Jr. since 2002, with whom she shares two children.

Sarah Michelle Gellar’s commitment to her craft is matched by her dedication to personal growth and unique experiences. An accomplished martial artist, she studied Tae Kwon Do for five years, alongside kickboxing, boxing, street fighting, and gymnastics. Her dedication to authenticity in her roles is evident, such as her commitment to doing her own stunts in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," though she admitted her limits during filming "Scream 2."

Her career is also marked by interesting anecdotes, such as her role in a 1982 Burger King commercial, which led to a lawsuit from McDonald’s and a temporary ban from their establishments. Notably, she dyed her naturally brunette hair blonde for her role in "Buffy," and legally changed her last name to Prinze as a surprise for her husband on their fifth anniversary.

Sarah Michelle Gellar’s legacy extends beyond her on-screen roles, encompassing her work in philanthropy and her reputation for safety and professionalism on set. She remains a beloved figure in Hollywood, admired for her talent, dedication, and the breadth of her contributions to film and television.

Women of Horror: Sarah Michelle Gellar

For her, The Return is more than a mere grudge.

October 20, 2006 - Sarah Michelle Gellar is no stranger to the strange. Seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and two rounds of the The Grudge will attest to that. She says she loves to freak people out. What’s more, she says, "I love to be scared."

When it came time to select her next project, Gellar wanted to stick with the supernatural thriller genre, but it had to be different. Really different. It had to have a certain something about her character that would set moviegoers on edge. So she accepted director Asif Kapadia’s The Return, and with it, the challenge of playing a masochist.

"She’s a cutter," says Gellar of her character Joanna Mills. "She does violent things to her body, and that’s sort of an interesting concept all in itself."

Joanna is a Midwestern saleswoman who becomes so dulled by her home and work life that she develops a yearning to feel anything, be it pain or pleasure.

"The idea is that you cut yourself because you feel so cut off from everything that you want to be able to feel something," Gellar explains. "First comes pain, and you’ve wanted so long to feel that pain. But then there’s a euphoria that comes from that, the endorphins, the blood. Just the whole concept of it. It’s such a pleasure-pain principle."

A contributing factor in Joanna’s psychological deterioration is her recent lucid dreams; dreams so disturbing, she begins to wonder if they could in fact be someone else’s. She believes she might be living a parallel life with someone else, and that someone else might be dead. This vexatious facet drew Gellar’s interest.

"One of the things that I think [Asif and I] were both fascinated with is sort of the underlying Buddhist themes of life, which is life is cyclical," says Gellar. "You come and you live your life. Then you come back and you fix things from the past. And about how you need to finish what is supposed to be your life before you can really, truly sort of transcend to what is essentially the next life."

Screenwriter Adam Sussman explains, "I wanted to write something about the dead reconnecting with the living. Nothing was really clicking until I came across scientifically documented cases of very young children who had spontaneous memories of things and people and places that they could never possibly have known about. After doing more research, and reading about the memories and stories that these children were accessing, I found that usually there was violence involved; a life had been cut short — and there was a reason for the return."

Acting on intuition, Joanna travels to a quiet town in Texas, a place she feels an unexplainable connection to.

"She basically is drawn to this town for no reason," says Gellar. "And she starts to have all these memories and these feelings about a place that she’s never been. I think everyone’s been in a place in their life where you’ve sort of felt that moment of déjà vu, where: ’Have I been here? Have I experienced this? And why do I have these feelings?’ This is just sort of one explanation of that."

She adds, "This girl who has no one, really she has nothing in her life, and so she’s on this passionate journey to discover herself. But what happens when you feel like you can’t find that? What happens if you don’t finish what you were meant to do on earth? What happens when there’s things, emotions that you are still carrying?"

"[Sarah] really strips everything away and gets at Joanna’s basic motivations," says producer Jeffery Silver (Training Day). "Joanna undergoes a frightening psychological dissemblance, and Sarah took risks to play all that and to make the part her own."

"Sarah has a huge and loyal fan base," says producer Aaron Rider (Donnie Darko). "They will be excited to see her really flexing her acting muscles. She’s playing a role that you haven’t seen her do before, and you’ll be seeing her in a different way."

"The journey is what’s so frightening," says Gellar, who found herself facing a real terror while filming in Austin.

"They have these giant killer ant things," she says. "I’m from New York City, and we don’t have giant killer ants. They have these massive ant mound hills that we were constantly walking on by accident and being attacked by these giant killer ants. I don’t think you’re supposed to refer to them as killer ants, but I call them killer ants."