Homepage > Joss Whedon Cast > Sarah Michelle Gellar > Interviews > Sarah Michelle Gellar - "The Return" Movie - Asif Kapadia Ign.com (...)
« Previous : Ronny Yu Bitten By Blood Vampire (buffy mention)
     Next : Julie Benz - "Dexter" Tv Series - Showtime Gives ’Dexter’ Another Stab »


Sarah Michelle Gellar

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

Tuesday 7 November 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.

This coming weekend’s cinematic turn of events is as follows: Director Asif Kapadia delivers The Return, a nightmarishly beautiful thriller about a young woman (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar) who dreams the dreams of another woman. Unfortunately, and most disturbingly, the other woman was violently murdered.

The Return is Kapadia’s second feature, his first being the critically praised The Warrior, which was released in 2001. These five years later, he’s eager to see how moviegoers will respond to "a Sarah Michelle Gellar as you’ve never seen her before."

We recently spoke with the director about working on The Return, the movie’s visual style, and the interplay of its spiritual elements.

IGN: You’ve produced something rather unique here with The Return. How would you describe The Return for a reader who’s hearing of it for the first time?

Asif Kapadia: I finished the movie quite some time ago, and I’m already well into my next film. I’m so full of the new film, so please allow me a moment to reflect upon this. To try to sum it up... that’s a tall order, though I’d say with [The Return] I’ve fashioned something that invites you to pay close attention. In the general sense I’d say it’s identified as a psychological thriller, but it’s not so typical. It’s quite different, and the audience I’d say is in for quite a ride because, as one follows the film, they’re really not quite so sure as to where things are going to go. There are twists and turns and thrills, and at times it’s tense and quite scary. But first to being with, I should say it requires one to pay close attention because there are discrete clues that will offer a sense as to how this might unravel.

IGN: The set-up is most intriguing. Sarah [Michelle Gellar] plays a woman who for some reason finds herself drawn to a far away town in Texas. And the thing that draws her is her dreams — these sort of abnormal, violent dreams — which she comes to believe are someone else’s dreams; dreams of a woman who was murdered. So in a sense she’s acting on her intuition to go to this town from her dreams.

Kapadia: It’s a disturbing scenario, but essentially what’s playing out is one woman’s quest for redemption. She’s seeking answers to things she’s seeing and impelled to take risks to investigate. The structure isn’t so classic, it’s quite different. And we actually use very little dialogue. It’s more a story that’s being told visually.

IGN: I haven’t seen your prior film, The Warrior, but when I’d mention it to a few friends, the first thing they’d recalled about the movie was how visually impressive it was. Would you consider yourself a more visual filmmaker; in other words, you’re inclined to leave some elements of the story up for personal interpretation?

Kapadia: I love telling stories with images. But I think there’s more to just saying a movie is great visually. What I’ve done with The Return is I’ve paced it precisely as I could. As much as I love creating entertaining visuals, I love toying with the pace of a movie and trying to perfect that. It’s imperative to the impact; faster cuts, cuts at the right moments that meld with the tenor of a scene. Creating and maintaining that feeling. It’s fascinating when you’re able to keep within the moment and carry a feeling. But yes, I’m very visual, that’s certainly the style of filmmaking I love.

IGN: In composing the movie, would you say you’re one of those directors who spends a lot of time sitting in front of a bank of video monitors?

Kapadia: Actually, I don’t really rely on watching video monitors. They put you at a certain distance from your actors and it makes me feel less a part of what’s really happening in the scene. So, I don’t really rely on video monitors. And I must say, for an effects movie, we’re actually quite low-tech with effects. I try to do as many of them "in camera" as I can. There are simple things you can do that’ll really add something to a scene, even merely a matter of pulling focus or using the right lens for a particular perspective.

IGN: And of course you have the incredibly photogenic Sarah Michelle Gellar as your lead.

Kapadia: I was so happy to have Sarah do this film. She’s such a fan of the genre and she’s just an all around wonderful person. And she was so enthusiastic about what this is about. In a sense, she plays herself, but there’s something very different about it. I think a lot of people are going to see a side of her they’ve never seen before. This is a film role wherein she matures. It’s not a quick take. It’s something that evolves and Sarah will surprise a lot of people.

IGN: She’s on screen for most of the movie, but she does get to share it with Sam Shepard, who is such a presence.

Kapadia: He is. He brings a wonderful presence, and he does it with such small gestures.

IGN: Steve McQueen was a master of that. Very intent to have his character say something not so much with words but with the slightest of gestures; even just shifting his eyes.

Kapadia: That’s what Sam does. Everything means something and he has it down to an art. It’s an awareness that some actors have. He has really a natural ability for it. It’s delicate. But you know, Sam’s a tough guy, too. He gives the impression of no nonsense. He can get into a scene and straighten it out by being so aware and subtlety reactive.

IGN: The Return brings up some very interesting ideas about people living parallel lives, about people being connected to one another. It’s as if there’s some sort of kinetic energy out there, and if the vibe is strong enough, people can be drawn to one another. Do you believe there is this sort of positive and negative energy of attraction and repulsion in real life? Is there something to this?

Kapadia: I believe there is something. My background is Indian, so I believe in a spiritual idea that there is another level, another layer or layers, if you will, above us. I believe that there are elements that allow things to be drawn together, a sort of energy. The idea of people living parallel lives and that there is some sort of connection is most intriguing. And the idea that if one of those lives falters, there’s a chance that an act or acts of redemption may be put into play by someone else is fascinating. Perhaps as we move forward with our lives there’s a cosmic balance.