Michelle Trachtenberg Reflects on 'Harriet the Spy,' 'Buffy' and More (Exclusive)

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Michelle Trachtenberg had a lot of strong emotions when looking back on some of her most famous roles. 

"Don't you f**king make me cry! Oh!" she exclaimed to ET's Leanne Aguilera when asked about her breakout role in the 1996 film Harriet the Spy. "Don't you effing make me cry!"

It's been 25 years since Harriet and her notebook inspired kids around the world to investigate, and Trachtenberg, who turns 36 next week, still has fond memories of the experience. 

"I turned 10 years old on the first day of principal photography of Harriet this Spy. Rosie [O'Donnell] was my biggest supporter," she said of her famous co-star. "There was a lot required of me. I'm extremely grateful for the experience."

'Harriet the Spy'
Getty Images/Handout

Trachtenberg also appreciates how fans continue to reach out to her about the film's impact. 

"When I do look at social media, which is challenging, [I see] them coming in with, 'You inspired my life. You made me become a writer,'" she added. "All of those, just beautiful things."

As for her turn as Dawn Summers, Buffy's younger sister on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Trachtenberg has one regret. 

"I wish I stole more things from the magic shop," she said of the Scoobies' favorite hangout. "Actually, I was texting with Sarah [Michelle Gellar] the other day. And I was like, 'Oh, man. I should have taken a whole bunch of stuff.' She was like, 'You don't leave your house.' Which is arguably accurate via the COVID." 

Buffy cast
Getty Images / Stringer

Trachtenberg noted that she has an interesting way to see how time has passed since her projects. 

"I've known Sarah for, oh my god, 30 years. Something to that effect, just shy. And I rubbed her belly at her baby shower when Miss Charlotte was in there," she recalled of Gellar's now 12-year-old daughter. "And now she could practically be in college right now. I don't know."

Trachtenberg jokingly added that she measures the timespan of her career by the age of co-stars' kids and noted that she and her Buffy co-star, Seth Green, also "measure it in how many cats we're going to adopt." 

As for her favorite role of all time, that character is one HBIC. 

"Georgina is actually my favorite character that I've played because she's such an evil B-I-T-C-H," she said of the Gossip Girl villain. "That was fun."

As for whether she'd make a cameo on the reboot, Trachtenberg simply answered, "I'll never tell."  

Penn Badgley and Michelle Trachtenberg
James Devaney/WireImage

These days she's focused on her new Tubi series, Meet, Marry, Murder, which is sure to excite true crime fans. 

"Meet, Marry, Murder is something I am really proud of because, yes, I am an executive producer. I host, I narrated it. We filmed it during the COVID," she shared. "And basically, what I want people to know is that we are honoring the memories and lives of the people lost. And I would absolutely love people to be watching it on Tubi. Because I, myself, am an extreme true crime fan."

Meet, Marry, Murder, debuted Wednesday, Oct. 6 on Tubi. 

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