Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans have always loved the close friendship between the titular Chosen One and her best pal Willow Rosenberg on the iconic series, but it turns out that things were a little more “heated” for stars Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alyson Hannigan behind the scenes.
In Into Every Generation a Slayer Is Born: How Buffy Staked Our Hearts, a fascinating new retrospective on the show, Gellar opened up to author Evan Ross Katz about how the stressful production schedule raised tensions between the cast. As well as hinting that David Boreanaz, who played Buffy’s immortal love Angel, could be a “handful”, Gellar admitted that she and Hannigan had their “moments” that weren’t “rosy” on set.
“Look, we worked really hard hours. We were young, we had ups and downs. Everybody had arguments,” Sarah stated. “There were times where David [Boreanaz] could be a handful. He never really was to me, but I’m sure [he was].It wasn’t rosy. Nobody gets along all the time. And Alyson and I had moments. There’s no question. But you’re young.”
The Cruel Intentions actress went on to blame the toxic on-set atmosphere for encouraging conflicts between the cast. With the benefit of hindsight, Gellar regrets any clashes she might have had with Hannigan at the time, although she made clear that they get along much better these days.
“I think that unfortunately, the set we were on and the world we were in was pitting us against each other,” she added. “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.”
What’s more, Gellar understands that she wasn’t faultless either and opened up about how the extra work she had to shoulder as the series lead caused her, at that less-experienced age, to resent her co-stars their additional freedom.
“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,” Gellar continued. “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.”
This is far from the first time that light has been shed on the unhappy times that were had while filming Buffy. Most notably, Charisma Carpenter — who stared as high school mean queen Cordelia — came clean last year about the abusive and manipulative treatment she received from creator Joss Whedon. Her allegations were corroborated by many other castmembers, with Gellar herself throwing her support behind Carpenter on social media.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which celebrated its 25th anniversary earlier this month, remains a firm fan favorite, however, with many wishing for a reboot. If that were to happen, Sarah Michelle Gellar has named Zendaya as the best choice to replace her.