Sarah Michelle Gellar, 25 has been working in television, theatre and cinema since she was five, when she appeared in a Burger King commercial. She is best known for playing the title role in the cult horror comedy series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination in 2001. She has starred in the films I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scream 2 and Cruel Intentions. Scooby Doo, in which she plays Daphne alongside her fiancé Freddie Prinze Jr, will be released this July.
Buffy has been around for six years now. Do you ever go back and watch the old episodes?
I love anything from the first season. I watch it and shout "Look at my hair! What was I thinking?" That was the season of the push-up bra too, so I looked pretty different.
Can you see yourself being in the show for another six years?
No, I'd be in a mental institution by then.
In Buffy your character is shown growing up and progressing. How do you feel about the more adult direction the show is taking?
The one really special thing about Buffy is that all of us grow up and grow into our characters. I think this is very important for keeping the show alive and our audience has grown with us. I'm very pleased that Buffy's progression is so clearly charted on the show. The things she is doing now, at 25, are the things most people do in their mid-20s – finding yourself and confronting your inner demons. As I've matured, so Buffy has gone into really quite uncharted territory. We've seen her go from a high school student, to her first love, to college, and now she's a single mother who has to get a job. I don't envy her at all.
How has it been filming Buffy and Scooby Doo simultaneously?
I've really enjoyed it. As a creative person it is important always to be sharpening all your tools by taking on new challenges. It gets my creative juices flowing. Being able to work outside Buffy is what has made it so easy for me to continue with the show, because I continue to be challenged and fulfilled. I'd be coming off the Scooby set reading the script for Buffy and thinking "that's great" or "let me try this" and I'd be here filming Buffy and get this great idea for Scooby. And, of course, it was wonderful working with Freddie. I met him first as an actor and I respected his work – and then it went from there.
Celebrity couples, such as Freddie and yourself, get more attention than individual actors and actresses. Does that bother you?
I don't feel like we get followed by the paparazzi too much. Here, in the US, I'm not a novelty: I'm kind of old news. The other day I was doing a cover for a "Young Hollywood" issue of a magazine, and someone said to me, "Well, you're not really young Hollywood any more. You're kind of on the old side." I think the paparazzi feel the same. They don't want me.
But still, you have been voted sexiest woman on the planet ...
Oh my God! Obviously those people don't know me.
Is that a pressure on you, along with the fact that you're seen as something of a role model for young women?
Everyone says it's such a burden to be a role model. But they're looking at it the wrong way. It's an honour. I know when I was growing up how important certain teen icons were to me. The only thing is it's important that there's a certain line of separation where I'm seen as Sarah and not Buffy.
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Buffy has had several beaux along the way. How have you found doing love scenes?
Love scenes are never the most comfortable things in the world. The best thing about it is I have been with the same crew for six years so they are like my family. It is a lot easier doing things you feel silly or uncomfortable about if you are around people who are that close to you – although you wouldn't want your real family to see you doing things like that!
To be honest it is truly the unsexiest thing in the world. David Boreanez, who was one of my first boyfriends in the show, and I were the worst. We would do horrible things to each other. Like eat tuna fish and pickle before we kissed. If he had to unbutton my shirt or my trousers I would pin them or sew them together to make it as hard as I could. Once I even dropped ice cream on him.
What does Freddie think?
He doesn't watch my love scenes. Although he was very into some Scooby Doo scenes with the bad guy – he watched them over and over again. And oddly enough he liked my girl-on-girl scenes from Cruel Intentions.
How do you cope with watching his love scenes?
I know what it's like – it's a job. I know how incredibly unsexy it is. I don't worry.
Season four of 'Buffy' is out now on DVD
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