Sarah Michelle Gellar Says 'Buffy' Co-Stars Were 'Pitted' Against Each Other, Talks Rumored Cast Feuds
By Rachel McRady
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While Buffy Summers and the Scoobies were out slaying vampires and demons, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast had their own real-life issues to work through. In the new book Into Every Generation a Slayer Is Born: How Buffy Staked Our Hearts, several members of the cast are interviewed by Evan Ross Katz about their time on the cult classic series, which ran for seven seasons from 1997 to 2003.
Sarah Michelle Gellar, who played the titular role, is extremely candid in the book about the on-set tension and the rumored feuds between her and other castmates.
“I think that unfortunately, the set we were on and the world we were in was pitting us against each other,” Gellar says of the Joss Whedon-run show. “I think it would have been different if it was today. It would have been a very different relationship. But we have a great relationship now.”
She also specifically touches on feud rumors surrounding her Alyson Hannigan, who played nerd-turned-witch Willow Rosenberg on Buffy, as well as David Boreanaz, who played her character's longtime vampire love interest, Angel.
“Look, we worked really hard hours. We were young, we had ups and downs. Everybody had arguments,” she says. “There were times where David could be a handful. He never really was to me, but I’m sure [he was]. And I’m sure I was the same way to people also, right? It wasn’t rosy. Nobody gets along all the time. And Alyson and I had moments. There’s no question. But you’re young.”
Gellar also takes responsibility for her own actions on the set, saying, “There are times where I wish I could have done things differently, but I didn’t know how to handle the stress that I was under. I was really young, and I didn’t have any outside life. I was the one that was always working and sometimes I would be resentful of the fact that they didn’t have to work all the time. It ebbs and flows, and anyone that tells you they get along with everyone all the time, it’s just not true.”
Feud rumors surrounding Gellar and the rest of the fantasy show's cast have been circulating for years. In a 2013 interview on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, Hannigan said that Gellar was "annoyed" while filming the show.
“It wasn’t a diss!" Hannigan insists of the comment in the new book. "She said that herself! She did an interview saying that is why the show was ending! No diss, just fact.”
This isn't the first time a Buffy star has spoken out about the environment on the Buffy set. In 2021, Charisma Carpenter, who played popular girl Cordelia Chase on both Buffy and the spin-off Angel,spoke out against the series' creator, Whedon. "Joss has a history of being casually cruel. He has created hostile and toxic work environments since his early career," she tweeted. "I know because I experienced it first-hand. Repeatedly... He was mean and biting, disparaging about others openly, and often played favorites, pitting people against one another to compete and vie for his attention and approval."
Gellar defended Carpenter's comments at the time in her own statement, 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. I am more focused on raising my family and surviving a pandemic currently, so I will not be making any further statements at this time. But I stand with all survivors of abuse and am proud of them for speaking out."