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July 11 2003

Sarah Michelle Gellar talks about Scooby Doo 2 and says her character Daphne goes through a process of discovery similar to the one she went through.

Is there anyone actually looking forward to this sequel?

My 8 year old---he loves Scooby and Matthew Lilliard's 'Shaggy'. ;)
You know, the first one had a lot of potential. It had been years since I'd watched the cartoon, and when I saw the movie I really enjoyed all the familiar gags - like Scooby pretending to be a manicurist and filing the nails of a monster before running away. I even liked that Scrappy was the villain, since we'd all hated him so much for so long.

But after movies like Toy Story, Monsters, Inc and Shrek, I've got higher expecations as an adult watching a kids film. I wanted Scooby to have a second layer of sophisticated humor for viewers like me; instead, I got one thinly veiled pot joke and a whole lotta nothing.

SMG is taking a lot of flak for particpating in these films, but there's nothing inherently wrong with the character she's playing. Gellar is a great fit for Daphne; unfortunately the scripts just don't live up to the potential of the franchise.
Pet vampire. Pet dog. Same difference. ;-)
Judging from this article, SMG now has the maturity and sophistication of a doily or a blueberry muffin.
You mean, "blueberry scone"?

First to get this out of the way, a live-action Scooby should not be geared towards children and family. It should be a satiristic sendup with adult overtones. They've been coming out with special animated 'movies' featuring Scooby characters for years that are bent towards children and without fail they go straight to VHS/DVD. Not catering to the adult audience is a death knell for SD2, and the fact SD1 couldn't decide whether it's audience was children or adults was what destroyed it. The script was pathetic, and the talent utilized to bring the script to life was like watching Sir John Gielgud play Kermit the Frog and Sir Alec Guiness as The Cookie Monster.

Gellar as Daphne in Scooby movies is akin to Halle Berry as Storm in the X-Men franchise. If they gave her enough meat to let her claim the role as her own that would be one thing, but she basically has been given the role because metaphorically speaking, she fits the costume. She has the 'look' from the original source material.

And in a way SMG doesn't even really have the look. Gellar is cute. Daphne should be glamorous. Daphne should have the attitude of a fashion model, not a talented actress who can keep apace with most of her own stunt doubles. And I don't know what the writers of SD1 were smoking, but Daphne would NEVER ever punch anybody for fear of breaking a nail. She never did in the original source material, and just cuz you have an actress who CAN, that doesn't mean you cheapen both the actress and the character by breaking character.

I think one could also include Angelina Jolie (Lara Croft) in this category of talented actresses underappreciated because a brand name character is given far more clout than the scriptwriting deserves. Jolie's acting in Tomb Raider was excellent. The script put before her deserved to be used for pigeon droppings.

Then look at Berry. The ONE memorable line in X-Men one for Storm was a badly written line. "Do you know what happens to a toad who gets struck by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else." WTF? This is Halle Berry we're talking about! This is living goddess Ororo Storm. Both the talent and the source material deserve more respect than this.

Notice though, how Berry DELIVERS that line. It's a crap line, but she gives it everything she's got and does the best she can to sell it. This is akin to SMG's "cookie dough" speech in the last episode of Buffy. It's a terrible speech. It's intended to be bad. The actress knows it's awkward, and she understands WHY it's awkward. The difference here is that it's badly written in a good way. It gives us a glimpse into the vulnerability and humanity of Buffy herself, and SMG delivers that line with a performance so believable you forget she's acting. It feels like she's thinking the words up for the first time. THAT'S what an actress of this caliber deserves. Writing with that much thought and effort put into it.

That's not what's happening in movies like Scooby Doo. In other words, they could put in a CGI puppet of Gellar to stand in as Daphne, and the audience wouldn't be able to tell the difference. The material offered the talent is ludicrously lobotomized, to cater to a wide mainstream audience. The result is the equivalent of serving a nine course gourmet meal to a pack of wild dogs.

Berry has an Oscar. Gellar has an Emmy. Jolie has won an Oscar and a few Golden Globes as well as having been nominated for an Emmy. These women deserve more meat on the bones of a script. They're underappreciated.

I'm just hoping Cradle of Life gives Jolie an opportunity to actually act. I've completely given up on the Scooby Doo franchise. And I'm not expecting Berry to show up in X-Men 3.

[ edited by ZachsMind on 2003-07-11 23:21 ]
Uh, Zachsmind, you're not aware obviously, but Joss said in an interview years ago, they kept two of his lines in his X-Men pass, the Storm line you point out, and Wolvie's "You're a dick." In fact, Joss even went on to complain about how Berry performed the line as it was meant to be a cast off, off the cuff line, not performed like it was Lord Byron.

Oh, and I saw Monster's Ball, and of all the black women who deserve Oscars, Berry doesn't. Try Whoopi Goldberg in The Color Purple, now that was acting.
ringworm: You say tomato, I say tomato... oh, er - the song doesn't work in written form. Oh well. BTW I blame Freddie Prinze Jr for all this Scooby Doo garbage, but then I also hold him directly responsible for the French Revolution.
Oh. My. God.
SMG proves once again what a dunsky she is. "This was about Daphne's journey of finding out who she is and how she fits in...blah blah blah"
What does she think Buffy was about? That very thing! From season 1 Buffy was always trying to find out who she was, where she fit in, etc... yet she talks about this like it was some holy revelation or something.
You hear interview after interview of her blathering on about those ridiculous Scooby Doo movies. I so sick of her dissing BtVS. She either ignores it completely, or plays the prima donna about the very role that made her a star. She has never participated in any Buffy related promotion, including the DVDs or the XBox game. Like that was beneath her and stupid Scooby Doo isn't? Give me a break. No wonder none of her co-stars from BtVS went to her wedding. She makes me ill.
So bored with the "SMG IS EVIL!!!" hysteria. She has a wedding that didn't include coworkers. She did attend Nick Brendon's wedding. She was on the covers of countless magazines touting Buffy in the headlines. That's fantastic promotion.

I'll never understand why some folks are so invested in smearing her name. Most of these people I would guess have never met her, or heard "friend of a friend" reports that sound like urban legend. "My friend who has a cousin who's boyfriend was an extra and he said that SMG slipped him a mickey and he woke up in a bathtub full of ice with one kidney and a band-aid." Feh.
Allyson, I'm far from "invested" in smearing her name. and this is the first time I've stated my opinion on the matter, so you can hardly call it hysteria. That article was just the final straw to me. I had to voice my opinion. The countless magazines you speak of had little or no content from her, (except that Bye Bye Buffy EW), they just used her picture to sell more magazines. And what about the wrap party? The DVDs I spoke of? The game?
I don't know her and I wouldn't care to. She appears to be a bubble-living, self -centered ditz. So unlike our Buffy. So I guess that must mean she's a good actress? Whatever.
>She appears to be a bubble-living, self -centered ditz.

But, she's not. Not at all.
She is a superb actor, given a good role, superiour writing and great direction, which is true of just about any actress of significant note.

Her amazing range of emotion (and characters, really, when you think about it) on "Buffy" is evidence of that. So she's not a deep, she's an actor...and she does her job astonishingly well.

I'm not particularly happy that she seems to find the Scooby Doo role on a par with Buffy...can't quite understand that, frankly, but so what? We still have her performances on "Buffy" (along with the stellar work of ASH, Aly, Nick, James, Amber, Charisma and so many others)...she did good work SMG did, and I'm grateful for it.

I dunno, I guess I'm still just a little raw from knowing that there's nothing more to come. Still haven't decompressed from that knowledge. Watched more of Season 7 (including "Chosen") this last's brilliant, all the carping and moaning from the cognescenti here and on other boards notwithstanding...just brilliant. As was SMG.
One thing you'll never see me carping about is BtVS.
I just wish the star of the show realized what a stellar endeavor it was, and is.
It changed television for me. And I know I am not alone in feeling this way.
I miss it too, Chris in Virginia.
I think SMG taking on the Scooby Doo role is absolutely brilliant. Let's face it, Buffy is over. There are not a lot of empowered women roles in action films out there. Most are damsels in distress or cardboard cut outs. How many kickass three dimensional women action heros are out there in film? I can't think of too many outside of the ones you have listed.
The last one who really interested me was Ripley in the original and second installment of Alien. As much as I feel Ellen Ripley in Aliens and Sarah Conner were the archetypal female heros of the action genre; but, their creator James Cameron didn't really believe in them. Afterall James Cameron following those strong females with Jamie Lee Curtis' role in True Lies. Talk about a mysogynistic movie.

SMG doing Daphne can only help to support Buffy's viewership. The future of Buffy is in the young. The eight year old girls that Lady Pele talked about are Buffy's future. They are the people who form Buffy's future audiences. At a baseball game last week, I watched three six year old girls and a boy doing the Daphne happy dance on the side lines "...Oh Yah, all right, I did it." I think SMG is smarter than you guys give her credit for.
Smart enough to play the Hollywood game. And I think part of the Hollywood game is, 'look purdy and don't be coming over too smart'.

I'm getting a bit tired of posters here telling other posters here they are whining or carping or whatever. Everybody has opinions and they might differ from yours. It's great if you enjoyed something, but someone else might not have. They have as much right to voice their opinion. So turn it down a notch, please.
Whedon wrote that line? I'd like to see the proof. It'd be a mark against him in my book. Granted, I'd have to see the original source material. In his pass of the script it probably made sense but by the time it got on film it lost any luster, and I still don't blame that on Berry.

One of the problems with today's film industry is that most films are made by committee. Multiple writers working on the same project, and the final result is a montage of all that effort. It works on some levels, but on other levels the depth of a piece loses coherency. I recently saw on DVD another Berry involved offering - Die Another Day, the James Bond flick. Talk about a film made by committee! I'm sure the hot/cold metaphor made since early on, but the final result just seemed very pretentious and incoherent. It was like five films edited into one conglomeration. By the time you get to the end you completely forget the sacrifice made by the lead in the beginning. Again, not the fault of the actors. The writing had no consistency.

This isn't the case with the Buffy series. Though also written by committee to a degree, Whedon was still captain of the ship for the seven year run. So though sometimes it appears to go off track, like in season four or season six, Whedon's able to steer the audience back on course. Hollywood could learn a thing or two from Joss and his committee.

SMG isn't a bad person, but her dedication to Buffy off camera has often left much to be desired. Again with the Bond/Buffy comparison, Brosnan did Remington Steele on television for years, and many believe this geared him for the James Bond series. Now, whether Bond was a step up from Steele or Daphne a step up from Buffy, that is a matter of opinion. TV to film may be a step up, but if the quality of the role and artistic integrity of the effort is in question, it may be a step down.
"TV to film may be a step up, but if the quality of the role and artistic integrity of the effort is in question, it may be a step down."

-- I agree with this statement, Zachs. Depending on the role, or the film, it can either help or hinder the career. Maybe SMG will choose better next time. One can only hope. I hear she's after "Wonder Woman", although I don't know how she could pull it off. Diana Prince is from an island of Amazons. Hmmm.
Zachsmind, I took a chance and got lucky, here's the quote from his Onion interview 9/5/01:

"It was the same situation with X-Men. They said, "Come in and punch up the big climax, the third act, and if you can, make it cheaper." That was the mandate on both movies, and my response to both movies was, "The problem with the third act is the first two acts." But, again, no one was paying attention. X-Men was very interesting in that, by that time, I actually had a reputation in television. I was actually somebody. People stopped thinking I was John Sweden on the phone. And then, in X-Men, not only did they throw out my script and never tell me about it; they actually invited me to the read-through, having thrown out my entire draft without telling me. I was like, "Oh, that's right! This is the movies! The writer is shit in the movies!" I'll never understand that. I have one line left in that movie. Actually, there are a couple of lines left in that are out of context and make no sense, or are delivered so badly, so terribly... There's one line that's left the way I wrote it.

O: Which is?

JW: "'It's me.' 'Prove it.' 'You're a dick.'" Hey, it got a laugh.

O: It's funny that the only lines I really remember from that movie are that one and Storm's toad comment.

JW: Okay, which was also mine, and that's the interesting thing. Everybody remembers that as the worst line ever written, but the thing about that is, it was supposed to be delivered as completely offhand. [Adopts casual, bored tone.] "You know what happens when a toad gets hit by lightning?" Then, after he gets electrocuted, "Ahhh, pretty much the same thing that happens to anything else." But Halle Berry said it like she was Desdemona. [Strident, ringing voice.] "The same thing that happens to everything eeelse!" That's the thing that makes you go crazy. At least "You're a dick" got delivered right. The worst thing about these things is that, when the actors say it wrong, it makes the writer look stupid. People assume that the line... I listened to half the dialogue in Alien 4, and I'm like, "That's idiotic," because of the way it was said. And nobody knows that. Nobody ever gets that."

You can find the whole interview here...

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