Sarah Michelle Gellar recalls being labeled ‘difficult’ during ‘Buffy’ years

Sarah Michelle Gellar isn’t afraid to embrace the idea of a comeback, and is excited to be back playing to her strengths.

The “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” star, who largely stepped away from the spotlight in 2014 to focus on her family, is starring in and executive producing the new Paramount+ series “Wolf Pack,” which is being billed as a teen-focused supernatural thriller, much like the iconic series for which she’s most known.

Except this time around, she’s happy to be respected as a leader of this pack.

“There was a time when I had a reputation of being … difficult,” Gellar, using air quotes, told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published on Wednesday. “Anyone that knows me knows it came from the fact that I always put in 100 percent. I never understood people who don’t.”

Gellar says that now, in her position as executive producer, she feels responsible for the safety of the younger stars on set — especially because she’s been in their shoes before.

“I hope that I’ve set up an infrastructure, a safety net for these actors that I didn’t have,” she said. “My generation just didn’t have that.”

Gellar starred in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” for a total of seven seasons from 1997 to 2003. She took on the role when she was just 17.

After the show, she starred in films and took on some TV roles, including a short-lived comedy TV series on CBS alongside the late Robin Williams.

She sees “Wolf Pack” as a return to her horror roots and an “homage” to what she’s known for, she told the publication.

“If I do things that speak to the fan base,” she added, “and gather some new people along the way, maybe I branch out again. It’s not a next act for me, but it’s certainly a new chapter.”

“Buffy” has enjoyed a cult following since its time on air, but recent years have brought to light stories about the show’s behind-the-scenes turmoil. Gellar herself called the set “toxic” in an interview last year with the Los Angeles Times.

Though she now says she’ll “never tell my full story,” she remains “proud” of the show’s legacy, she told THR.

“I will always be proud of what my castmates did, what I did,” she said. “Was it an ideal working situation? Absolutely not. But it’s OK to love Buffy for what we created because I think it’s pretty spectacular.”

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