Sarah Michelle Gellar talks new show 'Ringer,' returning to TV, and her 'Buffy' fans


Image Credit: lbert Michael/

 We all remember: Buffy saved the world… a lot. But in her new CW show, The Ringer, Sarah Michelle Gellar’s characters are mostly trying to save themselves. That’s right, characters. Identical twins to be exact. In the series, Gellar plays a woman, who, after witnessing a murder, goes on the run and hides out by assuming the life of her wealthy identical twin sister — only to learn that her sister’s seemingly idyllic life is just as complicated and dangerous as the one she’s trying to leave behind, according to the logline released by the network.

For Gellar, who has largely been absent from the television landscape since Buffy the Vampire Slayer went off the air in 2003, playing two characters was just about the only thing she hadn’t done in her seven seasons on the UPN/WB show. “With Buffy, I got to do so much,” the actress told EW this morning at the CW Upfront presentation. “So what do you do next? What do you do that an audience hasn’t seen you do? But bringing to life two characters and making them different, but at the same time interesting, and [showing] the similarities is definitely a challenge I’ve never done.”

Gellar admits that her long time away from television was largely due to her judiciousness. “I have the greatest fans in the world, and I loved my show. I think sometimes, too, you need that time to understand that it was a cultural phenomenon, a legacy,” she said. “I want to honor those people who were so good to me and show them something worthy of their time and worthy of them. I think it was worth the wait.”

The real judge of the show’s success will likely come when residents of the Whedon-verse get a chance to weigh in. Gellar’s confident they’ll be on board. She says, “[Buffy] was a world. And the CW is very good at creating a world and a universe.”

Her favorite part of the Ringer‘s world? The surprises. “This is the person who in the middle of The Sixth Sense yelled out, ‘Oh my, God! He’s dead!'” Gellar says about herself. “Usually I see it coming, and I didn’t see [Ringer‘s plot twists] coming.”

EW’s 2011 Upfronts Coverage
Official: Sarah Michelle Gellar returning to TV as The CW picks up ‘Ringer’
Sarah Michelle Gellar’s new CBS thriller pilot ‘Ringer‘: The producer spills details

Comments (79 total) Add your comment
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  • KEW

    Doesn’t she remember playing Buffybot? Okay, so that character wasn’t really alive, but still, it was a second character with differences and similarities!

    • Clayton

      There was also the episode when she played Faith. So she has some experience

      • wsugar

        Thanks for ruining the sixth sense buffy!

      • Neil

        Yeah, she got to play a lot of characters on Buffy – Buffybot, Faith as Buffy, The First, the male half of a couple in season two (I Only Have Eyes For You), and then other stuff as well – love spell Buffy in Something Blue, and there might have been a few more.

        But, I’m just glad to see her working in television again because she is an amazing actress (huge Buffy fan).

      • J

        If you witness a murder, does hiding as someone who is identical really help things? The person who saw you witness the murder is still going to recognize you?

      • el

        @wsugar Hilarious. Thanks for the SPOILER ALERT, EW!

      • tina

        lmao @ J. I agree entirely. How are you hiding exactly and if the murderers are serious the first thing they do is come after your family so hiding as an identical twin doesn’t solve any problems. Hope that the writer’s are good at coming up with great episodes. BTVS started out as being about vampires and they managed to eke almost a decade out of it so it all comes down to the writers. We know SMG can deliver anything

    • Amber

      Exactly what I thought. She played BuffyBot and she played FaithinBuffy. She also ranged from HappyPerky Buffy in the early days to Depressed/General Buffy in the later seasons, who were vastly different emotionally. Silly Sarah.

      • Dal

        She also played The First in multiple episodes in season 7.

    • Monty

      I know I’ve tried to forget BuffyBot…

    • Aymen

      Welcome back Sarah! We’ve missed you so much on primetime tv!

      KEW, the Buffybot was a variation of Buffy–not another compeletly different character. The Buffybot represented actually the pure and innocent essence of the Buffy character.

      So excited about “Ringer”! Sounds like an intriguing concept!

      • sammantha

        I think Sarah is the best actor in the entire world you rock Sarah.

    • haley

      Finally she’s coming back! She’s a great actress and i can’t wait to watch the show.

      • sammantha

        meeee tooo

  • mh

    so excited she’s returning to television. Can’t wait to see this!

  • Jason

    And she got to play the bad Faith transported into Buffy’s body for a couple episodes.

  • Brenda Barrett

    I admit…I’ll watch.

  • bhm1304

    What happened to her show “The Wonderful Maladys” that was going to have her and Molly Parker in it on HBO?

    • Amber

      It didn’t get picked up.

  • Axed84

    …AND she played The First Evil in Season 7, a character who was vastly different from Buffy herself.

  • Chris

    Maybe the Scooby Doo movies have made her dumber.

    • Matt

      Alright, though I love SMG, I will allow criticism of merit. This, however, is nerdy nitpicking worthy of Comic Book Guy. Playing a BuffyBot, or Faith, or The First for a fraction of a zany episode (or, a fraction of 2 episodes, NERDS) is not the same of portraying the subtle nuances of two twin sisters living different lives. I believe that all of you complainers understand that, but you’re legally obligated to look like tools.

      • Buffybot

        AHAHAHAHAHAHA! Thank you!

      • ashley

        THANK YOU i was having a moment about stupidity for a second!

    • sammantha

      nooo they did noot im sure cause she rocks

    • sammantha

      what are you talking about shes the smartest actor in the whole world Ithink shes even tooo smart to be an actor

      • sammantha

        oh both of these comments go to Chris

  • Fabe

    Can’t wait to watch. Hope it is great!

  • Buffy Freak

    Definitely looking forward to this…

  • Flip

    I am glad Sarah is returning to her WB/UPN roots on the CW!

    • Steph

      Buffy did not originally air on the CW; it was picked up from the WB. Before Buffy, Gellar starred in a soap opera. Thanks for playing though.

      • Nana

        Steph, that’s exactly what Flip said. Thanks for playing YOURSELF!

      • Shadowlands

        Read more closely, Steph. Flip is suggesting she’s rooting to her WB roots on the current CW. They’re not suggesting that she started her career there, or that it was the CW back then.

      • Shadowlands

        or “returning” to her WB roots – damn my hasty typing!

  • Jason

    This is big, big stuff for The CW. Sarah’s stature and legion of fans, alone, creates an entirely new energy and feel for the network…something that’s been missing. The show being really good is an added bonus.

  • HD


  • Gregory

    Guys, we all know how versatile Sarah got to be on Buffy with playing different variations of her character (The first, alternate universe etc.) and I’m sure she remembers that, too. But, she probably just wanted to say that “Ringer” is some kind of evolution for her with regards to her acting.

    • Matt

      Thank you.



    • sammantha

      horrrrrraaayyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i knew shed finally be back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Safonda Cox

    Another bomb for SMG. Her career has hit the skids, honey!

    • jo bob


    • Bird

      I wouldn’t say her career has hit the skids… lol. She did do some crap movies, but she also chose to take time off in general after she was done with BTVS. She wanted to enjoy her married life and start a family. If anything, this could be a comeback (in a way) for her. I hope the show is good as it sounds interesting. Glad to see SMG back on the small network.

    • Mandy

      Have you ever read any of her interviews? She only does roles that challenge her as an actress. All the movies she has been in are amazing, because they are varying. Unlike “famous” stars like Katherine Heigl, who play Katherine Heigl in every romcom they are in.
      SMG is a brilliant actress, and I cannot wait for this new show to display more of her versatility.

      • Taryn

        Katherine Heigl definitely hasnt impressed me since she became a big star after greys anatomy. I first knew her from the WB/CW show ROSWELL and i think she had so much more depth on that show than anything she has done after that. i have no clue what happened to her after that but like i said, doesnt impress me. :/

  • Rebekah

    Reading about the concept of the show got me excited–it actually sounds pretty intriguing. But watching the clip/promo made me skeptical. It was sort of lame. Here’s to hoping the show is better than that terribly acted and edited promo clip.

    • kat

      completely agree with you, Rebekah.

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