Sarah Michelle Gellar Reveals Crazy Buffy Filming Schedule Kept Her From Starring In Iconic '90s Movies

Sarah Michelle Gellar on Buffy The Vampire Slayer
(Image credit: Disney / Fox)

It’s always fun to learn about actors who could have had roles in major projects, if work didn’t get in the way. Will Smith almost played Neo in The Matrix before the part went to Keanu Reeves. Gwyneth Paltrow reportedly was up for both Rose in Titanic, and Rollergirl in Boogie Nights, both of which would have been insane. And now, thanks to Sarah Michelle Gellar making a bit of a comeback for the streaming show Wolf Pack, available to anyone with a Paramount+ subscription, we are learning a number of things about her professional acting career, including some major roles that she missed out on. 

From 1997 to 2003, Sarah Michelle Gellar starred in the beloved cable series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a show inspired by a movie that grew to become much deeper than its source material. The program kept Gellar incredibly busy, and shortly after it wrapped, the actress took an extended break from professional acting. But in a recent interview with The Guardian on behalf of Wolf Pack, Gellar opened up about the projects she missed out on because of her busy Buffy schedule. They include roles in the 1990s classics Fight Club, American Beauty, The Wedding Planner, and Gangs of New York

There are no specific roles mentioned in the piece, so we can only speculate on who Sarah Michelle Gellar might have played in these films. Cameron Diaz had a leading role opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day-Lewis in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, and it’s likely that Gellar was in consideration. Same goes for American Beauty. While it’s possible that she might have played Thora Birch’s suburban daughter, my guess is that – had Buffy the Vampire Slayer not kept her occupied – you would have seen Gellar in this scene instead of Mena Suvari:

Not that Gellar has any regrets. She loves the fact that Buffy has a legacy, and points out to The Guardian that the schedule and the hectic life was a thing back then, so she rolled with it.

Twenty-two episodes burn everybody out, not just the writers … Now we live in a world where TV can be eight to 10 episodes, and not murder you. … (But) I also made a great television show. … My mom was a single mother, working just above the poverty line, and I got to travel the world, to see and do things that would never have been afforded to me. I love what I do – which is work, work, work.

And she left behind a real legacy of excellent performances. It might not lead to the eventual production of Scooby-Doo 3. But Gellar will still be working on Wolf Pack, celebrating her cherished roles in movies like Cruel Intentions, and not worrying about what might have been in her past.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.