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March 30 2004

Gellar wanted to kick ass in Kill Bill. Sarah Michelle Gellar says her ambition is to appear in a martial arts movie.

RavenU, regarding the full stops one is enough. Thank you.
that would have been cool to see her in kill bill..................
I don't know. Part of me can't see Tarantino giving her the time of day. Has he ever had any opinion of Buffy or SMG? Totally clueless in regards to that...
From the article:

"The star is an expert in gymnastics, sword-fighting and Tae Kwon Do."

And somewhere out there Jeff Pruitt's eyes start bleeding.
You have to explain that one to me prufrock.

As for Tarantino, I don't know either, except he's a big geek in every sense of the word. And I saw an interview with him in Rolling Stone where they had a big picture of him in his home. His room was filled with geek trivia stuff. He also had the TV guide with Spike and Angel on the cover relatively prominent on his table. Not exactly world-class evidence I know, but enough to positively speculate.

I didn't expect to like Kill Bill, and my wife expected to hate it. To both our surprise, we left the theater in movie-magic awe. The guy just has a way with things. But as much as I like SMG, I'm not sure she'd beat Uma in this one. Was never a big fan of hers but boy did she nail this role. Would've been great to see SMG as a villain.

Also nice to hear her say out loud she misses the show. I think that's the first time.
I'm sure starring in BtVS was a tough job with how much action was in it but now that she's had a year away from it I'm betting she really is missing it. This is good to hear too because Joss has always said he'd like to do a Buffy movie and maybe now that she's had time away from the role and realizes how much she misses it a movie will be something to look forward to in the future.

I also like that she doesn't rule out another television role. I'd like to see her succeed in movies but another weekly show would be great too considering what a great actress she is.

As for Kill Bill - my husband and I just didn't really like it. We ended up leaving before the movie ended. Might have stayed if SMG was in it. I think she would've been good as one of the people Uma went after. I don't quite see why Tarantino wouldn't give her the time of day. She's quite popular, a great actress and she really does know martial arts and Tarantino is a guy who insisted on having John Travolta in Pulp Fiction even though everyone told him no. He stood his ground and got what he wanted and John Travolta was fantastic in that movie.

[ edited by blwessels on 2004-03-31 01:23 ]
Maybe she would be up for a Buffy movie sooner than later...if she misses it.
I'm sorry, "tread the boards"? That & the expert in gymnastics, swordfighting etc. thing makes me highly doubt the reliability of this piece. EdDantes - Jeff Pruitt was one of the stunt coordinators on the show.
i dont know if SMG ever said she was an expert in swordfighting, but hey she probably is an expert compared to me :)
Tarantino is the hugest geek and I love him for it. I'm pretty certain he asked to be on Alias (more than once!), so I bet he's at least seen BtVS or Angel. Don't know if he liked it, but in my denial world where everything is how it should be, he's a big fan. Besides, it sounds like its right up his alley. As for Kill Bill, I loved it and can't wait for vol 2. But I'm a giant fan of all his movies.
Ginger why do you think that's she's not an expert in gymnastics and swordfighting - ok expert may be stretching it but she certainly is proficient in those skillsets - especially playing the part that she played for 7+ years - you are taught some of those things along the way - either by someone at the studio or you find a trainer to teach you. I would concider her advanced in all the skillsets that were listed in that article. That doesn't mean she does all those moves in the show or on film that is not a finacially viable option for a studio but she has to make some of that action look as real aspossible and since she is a professional I would not doubt that she would not add these skill to her resume.

[ edited by RavenU on 2004-03-31 02:24 ]
I wouldn't be surprised at all if she's had training in all those things. She had lessons in figure skating and they have a lot of gymnastic moves in that so it's not a stretch to believe she also took gymnastic lessons, it's a well known fact that she's had martial arts training and although I've never heard that she's had training with swords before BtVS it is quite believable she had training to use them while doing that role and it most likely was supervised by Jeff Pruit.

Oh and I love Tarantino's role on Alias. He's actually been very good in the few roles he's done over the years.
It's one thing to have enough training to fake it on's quite another to be deemed an expert.
EdDantes- I believe that what Prufrock is referring to is the fact that Jeff Pruitt (and Sophia Crawford) have been very vocal in their insistence that SMG doesn't do as much of her own stunt-work as is widely believed. Here is an older interview regarding that here that I found in an old thread at Whedonesque. I warn any who go to read it- those two are very venomous towards SMG.
Or that's what sprang to mind when I read your comments prufrock. I guess I don't know whether you were specifically referring to that or not.
on that old interview, it seems like they are very bitter, and i doubt what they say is the whole story..............(but hey, i just think that cuz i love SMG)
the martial arts movie she's refering to sounds like Chinese Director Zhang Yimou's "Hero" rather than a Korean film... I'm curious as I live in Asia and never heard of a Korean film named Hero. Hmm...
forcorreo, you nailed it. While I think Jeff Pruitt might be certifiably insane, I believe him when he claims Gellar is no expert.
norman- I agree, I think their perspective is...well, just that, their perspective. I remember being thrown for a loop when I first read all that old Jeff Pruitt stuff, but the further I get away from it the more it seems to me like they probably have difficulty in seeing things from somebody else's point-of-view.
definately forcorreo..........and i dont think i have ever read a statement from SMG saying that she was an expert, just that she had some training..........owell
I find it hard to believe, even if all those things in that link were true, that a professional stunt coordinator and stunt woman would be that verbal in complaining about an actress on a show that they used to work for when they are currently working on another show by the same creator. It just seems like a big no no in hollywood and it could effect whether or not you'd get another job. It is a well known practice to want the public to believe actors do a lot of or most of their stunts and stuntmen and women usually aren't seeking recognition in that way.

Not being there and not knowing if what these people said is true, I can't judge them but I did see SMG on the Tonight Show after the first Scooby movie in a very "tongue in cheek" manner claiming she did all the stunts herself where they then showed "her" doing the stunt and slowed it way down and you could see that it was an Asian man doing it. So could I imagine a similar situation in an interview about BtVS where she said the same thing in the same manner - yeah, I could.

And frankly, the first stunt woman they had for Buffy did not match SMG physically and you could really tell when they had the stunt woman in. She had a much stockier torso than SMG and a bigger chest and the hair always looked off. And this was so noticable without having the convenience of a DVD player where you can slow things down to see when a stunt person is in and not the actual actor. So I doubt SMG would say something that would be so easy to dispute and so noticable.
[warning = IMHO] I have a little college fencing experience and I can tell when someone has Olympics-sport fencing experience vs. the theatrical sword-fighting experience vs. the more realistic "full-contact" battling for life and limb SCA experience. Extreme examples follow:

Viggo Mortensen (a la LOTR) is a guy who keeps a sword under the passenger-side seat, in case there's an "altercation";

Catherine Zeta-Jones (a la Zorro) is afraid to eat hors dourves if they have those nasty pointy sword-shaped toothpicks in them.

SMG's on-screen style (see Becoming, part two or Grave) falls into the theatrical sword-fighting camp, albeit with a certain athletic charm, maybe from her martial arts training.

"Catherine Zeta-Jones (a la Zorro) is afraid to eat hors dourves if they have those nasty pointy sword-shaped toothpicks in them."

Hee hee - that was funny.

Yum - Viggo Mortensen!!

And as long as SMG looked good and believable, good enough for me.

Thanks for the insight Bogu_salias!
i just have never heard SMG say that she did all of her stunt work. im sure she did some here and there and did contribute and if you look at her thats something in itself. and wasnt there a commentary on season 2 dvd that mentioned how sarah did a lot of the sword work when fighting angel and she was really good at it............i believe its on one of the dvds...............
And it is of course completely impossible for her to have any lesser character traits because she was Buffy. So therefore the stunt people MUST be evil. Right?;-)

Joking, joking. Hehe. (Ducks to avoid fruit and various meats)

Well I never heard of this interview or the dislike between the stunt people and SMG, but now that I think of it, she's one of the few Buffy actors that I personally never heard give praise to the stunt people, hehe.

James Marsters certainly has. He's said numerous times that he doesn't consider the Spike stand-in 'his stuntguy', but rather that the stuntman *is* Spike too. Just like he is, or the writers are. How they all combined create the character. I always thought that was very nice to say, seeing how most actors do refer to 'their stunt double'. But then James has been pretty much unequaled in praising his coworkers on Buffy, be it actors or crew or set builders.

As for Sarah, as perfect as she was as Buffy, I've actually never been that impressed with her physical abillities. Except for her kicks. She does great kicks. Look at Giles' ballad in OMWF, when she kicks the knife in slo-mo. Beautiful kick. But her punches have always been awful to me. Incredibly girly. Same scene in OMWF when she punches the bag in slo-mo, she looks like a six year old trying to do punches. And her uppercuts just look funny.

And one thing I definitely have to agree with the stuntguy on, her running IS kinda comical too. Sorry, but the way her arms are up in the air from the elbows, swinging back and forth, she looks like little Heidi running down the mountain, hehe. I always thought it was cute. But great kicks. No problem there.
For me, the only interesting item in this piece was SMG wanting to "tread the boards in London", perhaps inspired by ASH and AH doing that same thing. As for her wishing she had been in Kill Bill, even if true, so what? She wasn't in it, and that's that. There's no story there. I'll bet that there's a score of movies over the last few years that she wished she'd starred in. The London theater ref however, strangely ignored in the comments here,is the first I've heard of that particular ambition, and unlike Kill Bill it would be a genuinely new career move.
I guess I can't make a really fair assessment of SMG's ability in a movie like Kill Bill. I always thought the fight/action scenes in Buffy were some of the worst--well, after I saw similar scenes in Angel. They must have drastically different stunt coordinators is all I have to say. Or perhaps it's just the directing, but it's just less noticeable in Angel when there's a stunt man, and actually I think they use them less, because I can sure always tell when that big ogre of a guy does Spike's scenes, and I've seen that less in Angel.

From what I've seen, SMG does fight rather girly, and beyond that, it was mostly stunt people. Let's keep in mind, just because 'Buffy' does an awesome job fighting doesn't mean 'Sarah' would do well in a Kill Bill role. There are different Buffy's.

I just can't imagine SMG in a role like Uma's. James once made a comment about how it must be hard for a girl to be rolling around in the dirt and fighting in a role and didn't think SMG liked it that much, well.....Kill Bill would have been that to the nth degree.

And saying you want to be in a movie and actually being a good candidate for it are two different things. Hey, I'd love to have Uma's role, but I gauran-damn-tee I'd have been no better than say....some Charmed girl when it comes to fighting skill.
Doing theatre is an old ambition for SMG. She did a lot of theatre in her early teens. She once did an off Broadway production of a Horton Foote play, The Widow Claire, with Matthew Brodderick as the lead. When
Broderick finished his run, Eric Stoeltz took over. Neil Simon cast her in Jake's Women at the age of thirteen. The show didn't make it to Broadway, Simon wasn't happy with the production, but she did work with him for several months prepping the show for debut. By the time the show was re-mounted, a year and a half later, she was too old for the part of her ten year old character.

SMG has also had a lot of praise for John Medlen, Buffy's second stunt co-ordinator. She has commented that Medlen has a clear understanding that the Buffy stunts help to tell the story. Gellar has also used the talents of both her stunt doubles in the films Melissa Barker (SD1) and Michelle Waitman (SD2).
"I would absolutely love to tread the boards in London."

If that ambition goes to anybody, it should be James Marsters.
"I have a little college fencing experience and I can tell when someone has Olympics-sport fencing experience vs. the theatrical sword-fighting experience vs. the more realistic "full-contact" battling for life and limb SCA experience."

Completely off-topic, but that reminds me of a story of how Guy Williams, the guy who played Zorro in the Disney TV series, was pretty good at real fencing but he had to relearn how to fence more 'theatrically.' So they actually wanted more showy, Hollywood-style fencing versus something that looked realistic.

"Gellar has also used the talents of both her stunt doubles in the films Melissa Barker (SD1) and Michelle Waitman (SD2)."

Michelle Waitman, that's her name. I knew there were two stunt doubles but I couldn't remember the second one's name. For some reason they don't mention her in the S5 DVD featurette about the stunts (I believe it was called "Action Heroes! The Stunts of Buffy").
"Guy Williams...had to relearn how to fence more 'theatrically'"

I totally get that. It's common for fencers to smack on their theatrical sibs, but not me. They are apples and, um, another fruity thing. Watching fencing in the Olympics is tough -- I can hardly follow the action because it's too fast, and too specialized. Not the sort of thing you want to appreciate at the movies.

And switching hands mid-bout is not a legitimate strategy at the Olympics, as it could be when fighting a Spanish sword master. Clearly a different skill set.
I've always thought of it being odd of saying a woman fights "girly"

Ok maybe I don't know enough about fighting but what other way would she fight?
Yeah it's the difference between fighting like a skilled woman fighter, or like a little girl. Emphasis on 'little'. Eliza doesn't punch 'girly'. Michelle Yeoh or Uma Thurman don't fight girly. They look (and in Michelle's case, IS) skilled and deadly. Still feminine, but not girly. I've always found Eliza on the whole more was a little more convincing as a tough chick that could kick our ass than SMG. Like in Angel S4 when she puts Connor in his place.

When Sarah punches it has always looked to me like there's no force behind it. Or like she's worried about her nails. I know it's not conscious, it's just her natural movements. Hence her cute running.

Oh and the first time I watched actual olympic fencing, I was so dissappointed. Each 'round' lasted about 0.6 seconds. Not quite the grand-looking duels from moviedom, hehe. I prefer the fake stuff I'm afraid to confess.
well in all fareness, buffy always wanted to be just a "girl" so at least she had the running and punching form down:)
I never noticed anything lacking in SMG's style. Not saying there isn't anything lacking, just that I never noticed - she's convincing enough for me at least.
The only time I do recall thinking she looked wimpy was the scene EdDantes mentioned in slow motion from OMWF where she punches the bag. Maybe it was because it was slow motion that made it look worse because another scene showing her beating on a bag she looks really tough and it was her and not the stunt double (that was from an episode in season five - can't remember which one but I recently watched it when the DVD set came out). And definitely when she runs she looks real funny with one exception and one of my favorite scenes when she is running down the hallway of the school towards the library where she finds Kendra dead. Loved that scene.
At least she doesn't run like Phoebe in Friends....

Well, that interview with the stunt folks is pretty harsh. I gotta say, it only confirms for me some of the rumors I've heard. That said, I don't really believe it was necessarily THIS negative, as it sounds a lot like sour grapes. But I doubt they'd make stuff up about someone if they all got along.
Just confirms for me that SMG was pretty contolling and rubbed some folks the wrong way. Even Joss said not everyone got a long on the set, and this is just case in point.
well there is always problems on sets for all shows, doesnt mean most dont get along...........and i have a feeling that SMG was not as bad as they were making her out to be

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