Life & Style Weekly




s the title character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sarah Michelle Gellar kicked some serious butt on- screen. She was no pushover offscreen, either. “Whenever a pretty actress joined the set, [Sarah] would usually criticize her acting,” series stunt coordinato­r Jeff Pruitt tells Life & Style. “She looked at every actress as competitio­n.”

Turns out the set of Buffy was a minefield of drama. Twenty years after the show debuted on the WB in 1997, crew members spoke to Life & Style exclusivel­y about the rivalries and tantrums long hidden from fans. And they didn’t hold back. Sarah, now 39, “was a born pro,” raves Buffy executive producer and show- runner David Greenwalt. “It was like driving a topof-the-line Ferrari to direct her.” But she knew it. “She told me the show only existed because she was a movie star,” says Jeff. “I’m not going to pretend everything was perfect behind the scenes. Things got out of whack!”


Casting drama hit early. To keep the peace, creator Joss Whedon instituted a rule that cast members (including Sarah and James Marsters as Spike) couldn’t ever hit each other (even softly) during a fight scene. After the original pilot was shot, Alyson Hannigan, now 43, was hired to replace the actress who played Buffy’s witchy BFF Willow. Though they went on to become friends, “Sarah gave her hell [at first] because she was cute and replaced a girl who was frumpier,” Jeff claims. The future Mrs. Freddie Prinze Jr. also wasn’t a fan of her own stunt double, Sophia Crawford (now Jeff’s wife). “She had producers tell the crew not to clap for Sophia after stunts because it upset Sarah,” Jeff says.

Jeff says there was also tension between Sarah and Charisma Carpenter (who played snobby Cordelia), now 46. There would’ve been good reason for that: “Charisma

“All shows are crazy and hectic, but Buffy was more than most.” makeup artist Todd Mcintosh

Insiders dish on the show’s secret feuds and casting shockers

was originally reading for Buffy, and Sarah was reading for the Cordelia part,” reveals showrunner David. “[The producer] just flopped them.”

Still, David says everyone got along fine. And though makeup artist Todd Mcintosh tells Life & Style Sarah “was not very patient in the chair,” he says she took actress Michelle Trachtenbe­rg, now 31, under her wing when she arrived to play Buffy’s younger sister Dawn in Season 5. “Michelle was very young when she started the show,” says Todd. “Sarah tried to coach her.”


Filming the seven- season drama was grueling, with shoots sometimes stretching for 24 hours and through Saturdays. “We jokingly called it Buffy the Weekend Slayer,” says Todd. But there were bright spots: Alyson met her future husband, actor Alexis Denisof, now 51, on set. And everyone was charmed by David Boreanaz, now 47. “He walked in and we said, ‘ That’s Angel,’ ” reveals showrunner David. The infatuatio­n continued once the cameras were rolling. On days that actor David shot semi-nude scenes, “It seemed like a lot of people showed up that didn’t have to be there,” shares the showrunner. “He wasn’t shy!”

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