Into every generation a slayer is born, but we only have one Sarah Michelle Gellar, who’s staked her claim ― pun very much intended ― in the history books as an enduring pop culture icon.
While she hasn’t appeared on-screen in a regular role for years, brace yourselves, because we’re on the verge of a Gellar-sance.
The “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” alum is set to return to TV screens in “Sometimes I Lie,” a twisty new limited series about the “toxicity of female friendships” that she’ll produce alongside Ellen DeGeneres, and “Other People’s Houses,” a Fox suburban dramedy that’s been described as a cross “between ‘Big Little Lies’ and ‘Catastrophe.’”
“I felt like I had a little bit more storytelling to do,” Gellar recently told HuffPost while promoting Colgate Optic White. “I took a break for a while, but now my company, Foodstirs, is up and running and my kids are in school full-time. It was time.”
Starring on the short-lived series “Ringer” and “The Crazy Ones” in 2012 and 2013 led Gellar to “take a break, reassess and try a different things.” Pressing pause on acting allowed her to flex some entrepreneurial muscles like launching her food crafting company, Foodstirs, while she kept busy raising two children with fellow ’90s teen idol Freddie Prinze Jr.
But the shadow of her performances in projects like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Cruel Intentions” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” still looms large over Gellar’s career, which she considers to be the ultimate compliment.
“As an actor, all you ever want to do is have a legacy,” she explained. “You want to do something that resonates, means something and holds up to the test of time. I’ve had that more than once and that’s the greatest gift. I could retire tomorrow and be super happy because I have Buffy, Katherine and all of these stories.”
The beloved WB series was recently invoked by former Democratic candidate for Georgia governor and diehard fan Stacey Abrams, who said the show can be seen as metaphor to understanding political activism in the age of Donald Trump.
“I was shocked. That’s where I get the fangirl moment,” Gellar said of her reaction to Abrams’ comments. “I sent [the video] to Freddie and I was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s Stacey Abrams. Did you see?’”
While the Emmy winner never reached out to Abrams personally (“Stacey’s a little busy”), she did have a message for her, from one fan to another.
“Thank you,” Gellar said she would tell Abrams. “Thank you for standing up for what’s right and things you believe in and never backing down.”
“At the end of the day, fighting for what’s right is all we can do,” she continued. “It’s an honor that ‘Buffy’ still holds that same relevance, importance and passion today. I hope in this world that Buffy always wins because I hope that good will always triumphs over evil.”
Gellar, however, is reluctant to dive too deep when it comes to politics, preferring to keep her beliefs to herself as a public figure who, as she puts it, doesn’t have the “qualifications.”
“I try to stay out of the political fray in the sense that everyone is entitled to their political opinion,” she said. “I have my own, but because I’m a celebrity I don’t want people to base their opinions on something that I feel, which is why I usually stay fairly quiet unless it’s something I can’t watch one more second of.”
And while “Buffy” continues to be summoned as a rebuke against the forces of evil, both real and imagined ― a reboot of the series is currently in development ― Gellar says that she’s hung up her leather fighting pants for good.
“My story with Buffy about representing horrors of adolescence has been told,” she said. “If there’s another story to tell, I think that’s awesome and will only eventually trace back to the original and people will probably realize that [Whispers] it’s not as good.”
“If there’s more story to tell, then tell it,” she added. “But it just won’t be told with me.”