Sarah Michelle Gellar has opened up about the on-set tensions between cast members while filming Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
In a new book titled Every Generation A Slayer Is Born: How Buffy Staked Our Heart by Evan Ross Katz, the actor discusses the rumoured feuds between the cast.
“I think that unfortunately, the set we were on and the world we were in was pitting us against each other,” Gellar said in the book (via Entertainment Tonight). “I think it would have been different if it was today. It would have been a totally different relationship. But we have a great relationship now.”
Gellar addressed specifically the rumoured tensions between her and Alyson Hannigan and David Boreanaz, who played Willow Rosenberg and Angel respectively in the show.
“Look, we worked really hard hours,” Gellar said. “We were young, we had ups and downs. Everybody had arguments. There were times where David could be a handful. He never really was to me but I’m sure [he was]. 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.”
Gellar says she “didn’t know how to handle the stress” due to her young age at the time, adding that she was sometimes “resentful” towards other members of the cast who didn’t have to work on the show as much as her.
In February last year, Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia Chase in the series, tweeted a lengthy statement accusing showrunner Joss Whedon of creating a “hostile and toxic work environment” on set.
— charisma carpenter (@AllCharisma) February 10, 2021
“Joss has a history of being casually cruel,” Carpenter wrote. “He has created hostile and toxic work environments since his early career. I know because I experienced it first-hand. Repeatedly… he was mean and biting, disparaging about others openly, and often played favourites, pitting people against one another to compete and vie for his attention and approval.”
Whedon addressed some of the allegations in an interview with Vulture earlier this year. “I was young. I yelled, and sometimes you had to yell. This was a very young cast, and it was easy for everything to turn into a cocktail party… If I am upsetting somebody, it will be a problem for me.”
Discussing his relationship with Carpenter, Whedon admitted he “was not mannerly” towards her when he found out the actor was pregnant during production. He maintained, however, that they were otherwise friendly.
“Most of my experiences with Charisma were delightful and charming,” Whedon said. “She struggled sometimes with her lines, but nobody could hit a punch line harder than her.”
Following his response, Carpenter described him as a “tyrannical narcissistic boss” in a post on Instagram.