After taking a lengthy hiatus from the spotlight to focus on raising her family, early-aughts icon Sarah Michelle Gellar is diving back into onscreen roles headfirst. She’ll follow up a recent cameo in Netflix’s Do Revenge—which paid homage to her iconic Cruel Intentions character—with Wolf Pack, a new CW series heralded as a descendant of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
For Gellar, returning to roles that “speak to the fan base” is key to her next chapter. But even though Gellar feels ready to revisit a role in a show about fighting big bads, she’s not interested in revisiting her experience on the Buffy set—an environment that multiple cast members have since described as taxing, troubling, and abusive thanks to alleged behavior by showrunner Joss Whedon.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Gellar doesn’t mention Whedon or her experience working with him, but she shares that she’s come to a “good place with it... where it’s easier to talk about.”
Allegations against Whedon arose in 2021 when actor Charisma Carpenter shared a lengthy statement on social media accusing Whedon of emotional abuse on both the BTVS and Angel sets. Multiple c0-stars spoke out in support of Carpenter, and some detailed their own experiences with his alleged behavior. Michelle Trachtenberg, who was under 18 while filming BTVS, stated on social media that there was “a rule” on set that Whedon was “not allowed in a room alone” with her.
In her own statement of support at the time, Gellar kept things short and simple, writing: “While I am proud to have my name associated with Buffy Summers, I don’t want to be forever associated with the name Joss Whedon.”
Nearly two years later, Gellar still isn’t interested in any kind of tell-all about Whedon or Buffy. “I’ll never tell my full story because I don’t get anything out of it,” she says. “I’ve said all I’m going to say because nobody wins. Everybody loses.”
Where Gellar chooses to stay silent, her long-time husband and Scooby Doo costar Freddie Prinze Jr. has plenty to say. The actor tells THR that Gellar dealt with “a lot of bullshit on that show for all seven years it was on.”
“The stuff they pressed upon her, without any credit or real salary, while she was often the only one doing 15-hour days … yet she was still able to get the message of that character out every single week and do it with pride and do it professionally,” Prinze says.
Echoing Prinze’s comments, Gellar’s former BTVS costar Emma Caulfield also recalls a set environment where Gellar “lacked the support to be the leader she needed and wanted to be.”
“There was a tremendous amount of resentment and animosity [toward her] from a certain someone — and I suppose now we can all guess who,” Caulfield states.
As she tells it, Gellar’s eyes are now turned toward the future. Working as a producer and star on Wolf Pack, Gellar says she tries to use the smarts and mettle she’s gained after 30-plus years in the business to support her young, up-and-coming co-stars.
“I hope that I’ve set up an infrastructure, a safety net for these actors that I didn’t have,” she says. “My generation just didn’t have that.”