“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” star Sarah Michelle Gellar has been away from television for nearly eight years, but she’s diving back in headfirst on “Ringer,” where she plays identical twin sisters who reunite after years of estrangement only to ind that they’ve both been caught up over their heads in a dangerous plot.
Gellar says that she’s been looking for the perfect window of opportunity to return to TV for quite some time, but knowing that her loyal “Buffy” fans would follow her anywhere, she wanted to make sure she didn’t lead them astray.
“When you do a show like ‘Buffy’ and it’s so encompassing, both physically, mentally, time-wise, and just an incredible show, it’s not like you can just go back tomorrow and do something again,” she told Zap2it at The CW Upfronts in NYC. “The fans were so loyal, and they were just great fans, that you have to honor that and you have to respect that. So again, it can’t be just anything. This was the first show that I read and I thought, ‘Okay, I would watch this. This is the audience, and they deserve it.”
The show was initially developed for CBS, but has been passed on to The CW this season. Gellar is confident that it’s a better fit — and, she tells us, she wasn’t sure that it was ever right for CBS. “I initially had said to them, ‘Really? This doesn’t really seem like a CBS show.’ ‘No, it doesn’t, but we love the show and we believe in it.'” Les Moonves pitched the CW idea to her only a week ago.
“Someone said something down the line – ‘CW is the cable of network television,'” Gellar says. “And I thought, yeah, they are the network that takes chances and does something different. And in terms of pushing the envelope, they really push the envelope more than another broadcast network would. The more I thought about it, I thought ‘God, this is a better place for us.’ Except for all the young impossibly good-looking people.”
She spends significant time in the pilot in scenes with both sisters, where she’s acting opposite herself. “Let me tell you, she was a great co-star!” Gellar laughs. The protagonist of the series, Bridget, is a former addict on the run from the mob who goes to stay with her identical twin sister, Siobhan… who suddenly disappears. Bridget makes an impulsive decision to pose as Siobhan — but Siobhan’s life turns out not to be the fairy-tale Bridget expected.
“They’ve both had difficult lives,” Gellar says of the sisters. “They’ve both had tragedy, but one has gotten in a little bit deeper than the other — or so you think. It’s about how each of them deals with that situation.”
Gellar, who has spent the last few years focused on her nearly two-year-old daughter, says she’s “petrified” of the balancing act – between work and motherhood – that she’s now facing. “My daughter is my entire world! She is the air I breathe and the reason I get up in the morning. That was one of the assurances for me, that we would make it workable. We’re building a playroom for not just my daughter, but for all of [the cast’s children]. They say it takes a village [to raise a child], and we are a village in that sense.”
If you were a fan of “Buffy” but you’re hesitant to watch “Ringer,” Gellar feels confident that you’ll find something you can relate to in this world, too. “It’s smart. ‘Buffy’ fans are smart. They want to be challenged, they want to be able to think. They want evocative. This delivers it. Yet, at the same time, it’s not trying to be ‘Buffy.’ Because nothing’s going to be ‘Buffy’.”