Seth Green Reveals The Real Hero Of Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Seth Green says Sarah Michelle Gellar was a hero in front of and behind the camera on the set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, always advocating for her castmates and crew.

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

sarah michelle gellar
Sarah Michelle Gellar as the titular hero of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

You probably grew up hearing “never meet your heroes” for the simple reason that people like famous Hollywood stars are often nothing like their most iconic roles. One exception to this seems to be Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar, who apparently acted as a hero even when the camera wasn’t rolling in order to protect her fellow actors on this Joss Whedon show. Seth Green recently revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that amid unsafe working conditions, Sarah Michelle Gellar “was always the first one to say, ‘We agreed this was a 13-hour day and it’s hour 15 — we’ve got to wrap,’ or, ‘Hey, this shot doesn’t seem safe,’ when nobody else would stick up for the cast and crew.”

The idea of the title star going out of her way to stick up for everyone else is already impressive enough. However, what makes Seth Green’s story of Sarah Michelle Gellar even more impressive is that she was the youngest member of the cast. In fact, Gellar had only turned 18 during the filming of the show’s pilot, but she still didn’t hesitate to, as Green put it, take “the mantle of saying and doing the right thing.”

While Seth Green and the rest of the cast appreciated what Sarah Michelle Gellar did for them, her actions didn’t win her many other friends. According to Green, he “saw her get called a bitch, a diva, all these things that she’s not” just because she was willing to stick up for others. Meanwhile, Gellar herself seemed amused by the anecdote, replying that “If people think you’re a bitch, it’s almost better” simply because “there’s less expectation that way.”

If you grew up a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Seth Green’s tale of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s offscreen heroics is nothing short of inspiring. However, she shouldn’t have had to go out of her way in the first place to simply have fair and safe working conditions for her, the cast, and the crew. These days, showrunners are often wary of working their cast this way for fear of social media blowback, but the expectations were much looser in the ‘90s.

sarah michelle gellar
Sarah Michelle Gellar in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Speaking of showrunners, Seth Green’s tale of Sarah Michelle Gellar standing up for herself and others inevitably has people discussing Buffy creator and showrunner Joss Whedon. Whedon was once lauded as a feminist hero until a series of allegations effectively destroyed that reputation for good, including allegations that Whedon cheated on his ex-wife by having affairs with unnamed Buffy actors, that he verbally abused Charisma Carpenter, and that he got physical with James Marsters. Further allegations include that he was abusive towards Justice League stars Ray Fisher and Gal Gadot, and (most creepily) that he wasn’t allowed to be alone in a room on set with Michelle Trachtenberg, who was only 14 when she joined Buffy.

If the set really was unsafe and the actors were getting pushed too hard, it seems only logical to place the blame at the feet of showrunner Joss Whedon. However, Seth Green’s story about Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Slayer-like heroism did not name Whedon as the culprit. And as for Gellar, she has never explicitly commented on the Whedon allegations, though she supported Carpenter when she described what Whedon allegedly did, and she previously wrote that she did not want her name to always be associated with Whedon’s and later mentioned what a toxic set the show had (implicitly because of Whedon).

After hearing Seth Green’s moving story, those who want more Sarah Michelle Gellar content should check out her new show Wolf Pack when it premieres January 26 on Paramount+. She is both the star and executive producer, and the show focuses on high school characters dealing with horrific monsters that symbolize their adolescent struggles. The premise likely sounds familiar to any fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and this looks like it is one show fans will really want to sink their teeth into.