A big buzz is building around Sarah Michelle Gellar's return to television in the CW's Ringer. But what drew her back to TV after taking a break since the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 2003? Apparently, we can all thank DVDs!
During a cast and crew Q&A at the Television Critics Association press tour, she told reporters that watching shows like Damages on DVD made her realize that the best roles for women were all on television. "I definitely was very burnt out after Buffy," she admitted. "I was 18 on the pilot and 24 and married when we finished. I never had time, that show was my life."
After Buffy ended, she "needed to explore that gypsy lifestyle." But then, Gellar said, "Once I had my daughter [Charlotte], I realized I was done living the nomadic lifestyle. I want to be home and put her to bed ... and nothing offers that more than television."
"i didn't realize how much I missed it, how much I missed the excitement of getting the new episode," she continued. "If I hadn't had the time away, I would've have been able to appreciate the experience as I can now."
Gellar was joined on the panel by co-stars Kristoffer Polaha, Ioan Gruffudd, Nestor Carbonell and Mike Colter, as well as producers Pam Veasey, Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder. Here's more of what they had to say about the upcoming Ringer!
1. Questions will have answers!
Ringer is so packed with mysteries, can it ever resolve them all? "We will answer questions in each episode and we will solve bits and pieces of the mystery as we go along," Snyder promised.
Twins-on-TV technology has come a long way.
"They actually cloned me. We thought we'd take advantage of modern technology and Dolly will be playing my twin," Gellar joked when asked about the technology the show uses for scenes between Bridget and Siobhan. "Technology has come a long way," she continued. "At the end of Buffy, I did play three characters and it was just split-screen ... but there's so much more available now."
2. The past will come into the present.
There will be two or three flashbacks per episode, including one looking back at the twins as 12-year-olds, because they're "a great way to give answers to the story," Gellar said. Although most will focus on Siobhan and Bridget, occasionally they may feature other characters, "how andrew and I met, or something between Siobhan and Henry," Gellar noted.
3. There won't be cases of the week.
Ringer began as a potential show for CBS, and Gellar and the producers were worried they would have to include procedural elements. Now that the show is on the CW, which the entire panel agreed is a better fit. "[Bridget] will do a litle bit her own detective work, but she will not be working with the NYPD to solve crimes, or the FBI," Snyder assured the crowd.
4. Stunts will be performed by stunt people.
While Gellar kicked a lot of vampire butt as Buffy, she won't be doing so as Bridget or Siobhan. "There were a few stunts in the pilot, there was the crash in the wall which they would not let me do," she said. In fact, her biggest stunt on Ringer is "standing near a very tall Kriistopher Polaha nd Mike Colter and not looking like I'm 7," Gellar joked. "i do get to hold a gun a lot which is cool because Buffy never got to have a gun."
5. New York will be located in Los Angeles.
Although the show is set in New York (and the pilot was filmed there), the series has permanently moved to Los Angeles. "I've learned the secrets of creating New York in L.A.," Veasey said, noting she'd worked on CSI: NY which does the same thing. The location will make life easier for Gellar, whose family is based on the West Coast. "When I had the baby, my husband [Freddie Prinze, Jr.] was on 24 so we were out here," Gellar explained, and she wanted to put down roots.
6. The guest stars will be playing ... mysterious characters.
The creators were very tight-iipped about details on characters played by guest stars including Justin Bruening (a fellow All My Children alum). All Veasey would say about his character was that he's "someone in Siobhan's life in Paris." Gellar piped up to add, "You can give them the answer they're looking for: Yes, he does take off his shirt!" Phew, at least that mystery is solved!
7. The cast is very soapy.
Gellar is famously an All My Children alum, but she was surprised to find out that Gruffudd got his start on a Welsh soap opera. And Carbonell did a few episodes of As the World Turns as a "Latin dictator of some fictitious country."
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