While Buffy the Vampire Slayer was an ensemble show, Sarah Michelle Gellar has always been the face of the series. And because she was “the star” of the WB/UPN drama, she was often named in rumors about on-set feuds and more. In Evan Ross Katz’s new book, Into Every Generation a Slayer Is Born: How Buffy Staked Our Hearts, Sarah spoke about the tension that arose on set over the years and how she looks back on it now.
Sarah said she and her co-stars could have handled themselves better when the show was filming between 1997 and 2003, but she also acknowledged that higher-ups — including show creator Joss Whedon — fostered a toxic work environment.
“I think that unfortunately the set we were on and the world we were in was pitting us against each other,” Sarah said in the book when asked about feuds between co-stars. “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.”
“Look, we worked really hard hours. We were young, we had ups and downs. Everybody had arguments,” she continued. “There were times where David [Boreanaz] 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 [Hannigan] and I had moments. There’s no question. But you’re young.”
Alyson and David declined to be interviewed for the book, which is a must-read for any Buffy fan, but Sarah had no issues with discussing the rumors about tension that went on behind the scenes. She admitted she “had a lot on my shoulders” at the time. “And I’m not excusing myself either,” she added. “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 that they get along with everyone all the time, it’s just not true.”
And while many reports pointed the finger at Sarah in the late 90s, a lot of her co-stars, including Emma Caulfield, Julie Benz, and Danny Strong, defended her in the book. Many actually named Joss Whedon as the more accurate source of tension on set. Charisma Carpenter actually spoke out in great detail about his alleged abuse in February 2021.
“Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working together on the sets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel,” Charisma began, in a lengthy Twitter post, at the time. “While he found his misconduct amusing, it only served to intensify my performance anxiety, disempower me, and alienate me from my peers.”
Joss later responded — almost two years later — to Charisma and many other claims in a January 2022 interview with New York Magazine. You can read his response here.Click to Subscribe to Get Our Free HollywoodLife Daily Newsletter to get the hottest celeb news.