BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
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Goodbye Buffy!

SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR AND MARTI NOXON

Q:
How are you doing?

GELLAR:
Good, good thank you, Table Four. We feel like we’re at a Bar Mitzvah. I feel like it’s a wedding. I hope this is the fun table.

Q:
How do you feel about it after six seasons?

GELLAR:

Goodbye Buffy!
Goodbye Buffy!

I feel old. I feel like I finally got to the place where I look around, and crew members are younger than me. I don’t understand why that happened.

NOXON:
Yeah. Don’t talk to me about feeling old. (laughs) It’s unacceptable.

GELLAR:
That’s, that’s what it is. It certainly went up. I think that WB’s demographic was much more young female. You know, wrestling—it brings in the men.

NOXON:
More female. Yeah.

Q:
How aware are you of the cultural impact of “BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER”? It’s become a pop culture phenomenon in so many ways. Did you ever imagine this on Day one?

NOXON:
You wanna take that? (laughs)

GELLAR:
I think that we were all aware that we were doing something incredibly special. I think that we were aware that we were doing something different. I don’t think you ever have any understanding of any impact that it makes. Especially because I think we live in our own little world here. We come at 6 in the morning and leave at night. And all of a sudden, it hits you when you go into a store and there will be all this Buffy merchandise. Or you’ll be in another city, and there are taxicabs.

NOXON:
Or Buffy Fruit Rolls. (laughs)

GELLAR:
Or Buffy chew---the lollipop.

NOXON:
Yeah.

GELLAR:
So I think it sort of happens very shockingly. Does that make sense?

NOXON:
When I first got this job, which was after the first 13, I called my Mom to tell her. This is my first paying writer gig. I had done small thing, but this was my first big paying gig. I called my Mom and there’s this long pause, and she said, “Oh, Honey, next year you’ll do better.” (Laughter)

GELLAR:
What’s so amazing is the same thing happened to me. In fact, Kiefer Sutherland told me, “Oh, don’t worry, you’ll get another pilot next year.” (laughs)

NOXON:
Everybody thought it was a—


Q:
What’s been your favorite moments?

GELLAR:
You have to take this one—I always bomb on this question. What’s your favorite episode? I always bomb on this one.

NOXON:
Well, Sarah’s favorite moment

GELLAR:
Yeah, thank you.

NOXON:
Was something I wrote, coincidentally.

GELLAR:
Yeah, that one.

NOXON:
Yeah, let me thing.

Q:
The musical.

GELLAR:
She didn’t write that one.

Q:
Oops.

NOXON:
I didn’t write that one.

GELLAR:
She didn’t write that one.

NOXON:
No.

GELLAR:
No.

Q:
Was the musical a fun thing to do? A scary thing?

GELLAR:
Daunting, intimidating. I’m a perfectionist, I come from a long line of lots of preparation, and certainly that was not the case with this. If I had my druthers, we would have gotten it about two years ago and been in classes for a year and a half, maybe six weeks of rehearsals? It’s not too much to ask, instead of four days. That’s the beauty of the show, that we have the ability to try different things, and to test them out, and hopefully we succeed.

Q:
What about the Spike thing?

GELLAR:
That hasn’t changed.

NOXON:
She kicks him the head. That’s right.

GELLAR:
Foreplay.

NOXON:
She kicks and then she kisses.

GELLAR:
Basically, I look at it, you know when you’re little, like my Goddaughter came to me the other day and she was crying because the little boy pulled her pigtails. I said, “But that means he has a crush on you.” So it’s sort of the same thing, just as an adult, you just beep. Please don’t, right as she says that jokingly. Let me just clarify that one.

Q:
Growing up, your Mom took you to dance classes (ballet, jazz, modern), but you also took karate.

GELLAR:
Yes!

Q:
How did that come about?

GELLAR:
There are no boys in jazz and ballet! Well, at least not the ones that I wanted to play with at that age!

Q:
How far did you get with the karate?

GELLAR:
I got to my brown belt. I was also ice skating, and going to school and working professionally. Something had to give, and for some reason my mother wouldn’t let it be school.

NOXON:
That’s weird.

GELLAR:
So go figure.

Q:
Joss Whedon is obviously a major part of “BUFFY.” How’s the relationship with him evolved over these six seasons?

GELLAR:
I’m still trying to figure out what some of these words mean. From the day I started, I went to my audition, and I had the line, “What’s this stench?” I had no idea what that meant. To this day, I’m all, “Is this some word that I don’t know?” You understand Joss speak a lot better than me.

NOXON:
Right, right.

GELLAR:
That’s writer’s shorthand.

NOXON:
It’s mostly made up. I mean, it really is. We make up a lot of stuff, yeah.

Q:
How do you keep it fresh?

GELLAR:
I think the storylines are always moving. We try something, and once it’s done, we move on. Sometimes we try external villains and sometimes there are internal villains, and this time it happens to be our demons. The nice thing, it’s sort of the movie in that sense that our seasons really do have a beginning, a middle, and an end. It starts again. It’s almost like telling a new story every year. Specifically, this year we’ve all felt that there’s been all different. I mean, hey, we finally got a new (Bronx). Five years, we finally got a new set.

NOXON:
That looks on camera exactly like the old (Bronx). But at least it’s different.

GELLAR:
But it’s different for us.

NOXON:
I would say to that also the fact that Joss created a world that has so many different layers. Most shows after six years, if they’re just straight melodrama, have kind of played out the possibilities. If they’re just straight science fiction or fantasy, they’ve sort of played out those possibilities. We’re able to toggle back and forth from one episode, which is about a giant troll to an episode which is more about the melodrama. In terms of the franchise, that just gives it so much life as a writer. You have a lot more to play with.

GELLAR:
I think they’ve let us grow. They certainly haven’t tried—every other show, I talk to my friends and they’re like, “Yeah, we’re still in our sophomore year again of high school or college.” But we have progressively every year gotten older and moved forward. I think that’s really important. Most shows, it’s like, they’ll bring on the young ones, and then that’s it, and it goes to them. But instead, they’ve let all of us progress. We’ve seen Buffy go from being a teenager and not knowing what her job was, to trying college, to basically she’s a single mother right now. I think that’s one thing, we’ve all gotten to grow.

Q:
How are you to new people when they join the cast? Like Michelle when she first arrived.

GELLAR:
Well, I’m very protective of Michelle. This is a girl I’ve known since she was 8 years old, so I’ve always been incredibly protective. That doesn’t change. I’m still like, “Don’t curse around her!” Then I have to remember that she goes to high school, she knows every word better than I do.

Q:
What do you think will be the lasting impact of “BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER”?

GELLAR:
Me!

NOXON:
(laughs)

Q:
As she said jokingly.

GELLAR:
Right. I have an answer to that one.

NOXON:
Okay, go for it.

GELLAR:
I think we kicked the mold. We were really one of the first shows that showed a female kicking butt, and I think we paved the way for young heroines, for shows that can revolve around a three-dimensional female character. If you look at how the trends have gone since then, I really feel like we started that.

NOXON:
I got a question from a journalist who was writing about all the new female heroines on television. She was asking, “Where do you think this started?” I oh, so modestly was like, “I think it started with Joss Whedon wrote ‘BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER’.” There have been other shows like Xena and other shows that had strong women, but not someone who wasn’t out of the fantasy. Even if Sarah plays a supernatural character, she is in fact a real girl. She has all the concerns of a real girl, she gets boy crazy; all the stuff you weren’t able to reconcile before. You either had to be idealized like Wonder Woman, or Ally McBeal who was a ditz, a lawyer ditz on a highly rated show that I respect very much.

GELLAR:
Loveable, don’t forget loveable.

NOXON:
But we sort of said, “ You can be both human and fallible, and you can be the star and the hero.” So that’s definitely what he did.

Q:
It’s a great achievement. You should be really proud.



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