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LOS ANGELES — Although Sarah Michelle Gellar has been married to actor Freddie Prinze Jr. for 11 years, the premiere of her new series, The Crazy Ones, had Gellar feeling like a bride-to-be.
“It’s like a wedding day,” the 36-year-old actress said before the show’s late-September debut. “I am so excited and so nervous about it at the same time.”
Gellar played the title character in the cult TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer from 1997 to 2003. She also starred in the series Ringer.
Her new CBS comedy from producer David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal) is about an advertising firm run by Gellar and her brilliant-yet-eccentric father, played by Robin Williams.
“He shines,” says Gellar of Williams. “This is Mrs. Doubtfire Robin.”
While making the rounds to discuss her partnership with the Sounds of Pertussis Campaign, promoting vaccinations for whooping cough, Gellar also talked about being a working mom; sheltering her children, Charlotte, 4, and Rocky, 1, from the media spotlight; and whether she’ll ever revisit her beloved Buffy.
AP: Are you nervous about ratings or what critics will say about The Crazy Ones?
Gellar: I make television for fans, so that’s what’s important to me. It’s the person at Starbucks who says to me, ‘Oh my god, I’m so excited to see your show!’ Or says, ‘Oh my god. I laughed so hard last night!’ That’s what it means to me. I mean obviously we would like good numbers so we can stay on for 10 years.
I mean that would be the ideal situation because I can’t imagine ever having a situation this good and exciting.
How was it going back to work right after giving birth to your son?
I went back to work with my first child, I waited almost two years. And my little one was like 4 months old (when she started The Crazy Ones). ... If you watch the different sizes of my shirt during the pilot from (breast)feeding my son, it’s actually kind of amusing. ... You want to have a work life and the home life and they inevitably cross over and it’s about finding what that balance is.
Do your children understand what you do for a living?
They don’t. I think my daughter thinks I get my hair and makeup done for a living. ... Ideally I’d like to keep it away from her as long as I can, but it’s hard. People take her picture, they say things to her, and I know the conversation is coming.
Does she understand the word paparazzi?
She calls them ‘privacy.’ It’s actually really sad. She says, ‘Mommy, I don’t want the privacy taking my picture,’ and it’s just sad. ... Then it gets hard to get her to take a picture at school with her friends because she doesn’t want her picture taken. So she understands the bad side of it and unfortunately doesn’t understand the good side yet.
Will you ever make a Buffy the Vampire Slayer film?
First of all, I don’t know if you know this, but I am a wee bit older now than I was when I did that show and so I think Buffy would have to like literally have a wooden walker that she stakes the vampires with. ... The thing for me and Joss (Whedon) — and we’ve talked about this — is you know Buffy was a movie and we almost spent the first season of our show apologizing for the movie that we had nothing to do with because it didn’t really work as a movie.
If there was a story to be told then maybe we would all revisit it, but we’re not sure it really works in the box of one story. And to be honest, I don’t know if I could lift my leg over my knee anymore. It literally would be like Buffy the Golden Girls. It would be like Willow and Buffy in caftans sitting in Florida somewhere.