“Look, we worked really hard hours,” the Cruel Intentions actress, 44, said about her camaraderie with her castmates. “We were young, we had ups and downs. Everybody had arguments.”
Gellar was interviewed for Evan Ross Katz’s book, Into Every Generation a Slayer Is Born: How Buffy Staked Our Hearts, published by Hachette Books on Tuesday, March 15. In the pop culture tome, which was released on the cult series’ 25th anniversary, she spoke candidly about her time on the Buffy set — an environment helmed by showrunner Joss Whedon, who was later accused of misconduct by several cast and crew members.
The Buffy Summers actress specifically named costars David Boreanaz and Alyson Hannigan — both of whom she was rumored to have feuds with — as people that she had tension with but admitted her own faults, too.
“There were times where David could be a handful. He never really was to me, but I’m sure [he was],” the I Know What You Did Last Summer star claimed of the actor, who played Angel, Buffy’s first love. “And I’m sure I was the same way to people also, right? It wasn’t rosy. Nobody gets along all the time. And Alyson and I had moments. There’s no question. But you’re young.”
Rumors of a feud between Gellar and Hannigan, who played Buffy’s bestie Willow Rosenberg, were reignited when the How I Met Your Mother alum, 47, told Andy Cohen in 2013 that the Scooby Doo actress was “annoyed” when filming the cult series.
Hannigan clarified to Katz, “It wasn’t a diss! She said that herself! She did an interview saying that is why the show was ending! No diss, just fact.”
For her part, Gellar elaborated on her own behavior in the book, noting, “There are times where I wish I could have done things differently.”
“I was really young, and I didn’t have any outside life,” she explained, adding that she “didn’t know how to handle” all of the pressure she was under. “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.”
She also recognized that the environment in which they were working was toxic.
“I think that unfortunately, the set we were on and the world we were in was pitting us against each other,” the Long Island native said. “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.”
Gellar and Hannigan have displayed their friendship on social media. The Ring actress even attended a December 2020 birthday party for her former costar’s daughter, Keeva.
The Scream 2 star is not the first to discuss Buffy’s toxic environment. Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia Chase on both Buffy and spinoff Angel, came forward with allegations of abuse against Whedon, 46 in February 2021, claiming that she experienced “certain events that still traumatize me to this day.”
“Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working on the sets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel,” she wrote via Twitter at the time. “While he found his misconduct amusing, it only served to intensify my performance anxiety, disempower me, and alienate me from my peers. The disturbing incidents triggered a chronic physical condition from which I still suffer. It is with a beating, heavy heart that I say I coped in isolation and, at times, destructively.”
The Veronica Mars alum, 51, cited several examples of alleged abuse from the Buffy creator, and she was backed up by her costar Amber Benson, who tweeted in response, “Buffy was a toxic environment and it starts at the top. @AllCharisma is speaking truth and I support her 100%. There was a lot of damage done during that time and many of us are still processing it twenty plus years later.”
Gellar, too, stood up for her costars in the wake of the allegations against Whedon.
“While I am proud to have my name associated with Buffy Summers, I associated with the name Joss Whedon,” Gellar wrote via Instagram at the time. “I am more focused on raising my family and surviving a pandemic currently so I will not be making any further statements. At this time, but I stand with all survivors of abuse and I’m proud of them for speaking out.”
Into Every Generation a Slayer Is Born: How Buffy Staked Our Hearts by Evan Ross Katz is now available wherever books are sold.