Sarah Michelle Gellar made her name in television — with seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer — before heading to film and then bowing out of entertainment entirely to start a family. Now she’s back on small screen with Ringer, and it’s a move she’s been considering for some time.
“I realized at a certain point that you have to dip your feet back in or it gets really scary,” she says. “The longer you wait to go back in the harder I think it gets, just emotionally to go back. I hear stories from people that go back to work when their children are younger and they think that transition’s then a little bit easier because it’s all they’ve ever known, but I have known being at home for two years — almost two years — that it gets harder when you don’t quite understand how it’s all going to work, how you manage both lives.”
Gellar explains that the idea of taking film jobs and heading off to locations was no longer an option for her. “I have a young child and I took time off when she was born, and that was the first time pretty much in my entire life that I had taken time off and I couldn’t believe how happy I was and how satisfied that I was,” says Gellar, who has a daughter with husband Freddie Prinze Jr. “Being a parent is so important to me, and I just couldn’t be the parent that goes from country to country and leaves their child or schleps their child. It just wasn’t the life that I wanted for my family.” Gellar is quick to add, though that she’s not judging or criticizing any other actress’ parenting decisions.
On Ringer, Gellar pulls double duty as twin sisters Bridget — a recovering addict and ex-stripper — and Siobhan, a wealthy socialite who goes missing after going overboard on a boat trip. Plenty of complications ensue as Bridget poses as Siobhan while on the run from the mob.
Of course, the other major draw of television brings Gellar back to being a parent. “I realized, ‘Wait a second, I can be somewhere the entire year, I can [be there] when I need to take my child for the first day of school,’” she says.
“Two weeks ago, my daughter was very sick and I got to go home and be with her and we were able to work around it so that I could be there when she needed me.
“As soon as she was getting better I could come back, and that’s just not a lifestyle that’s really offered anywhere else.”