She may be a scream queen, but Sarah Michelle Gellar sees her screen flirtation with the supernatural another way: “This is the field where women can really rule.” Just in time for Halloween, the actress, who had a cult following as TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, stars in The Grudge, a remake of a Japanese horror film. Gellar, 27, recently talked about playing with ghosts, filming in Japan and hanging out with husband Freddie Prinze Jr.
Do you believe in ghosts?
I believe in the idea of spirits. I’ve been to houses where murders have happened and you have that feeling, that sort of eerie feeling. I get a lot of deja vu. I always feel like I’ve been here, and experienced this. Maybe I’m just crazy, but I definitely believe in the idea of something that powerful transcending.
What was the difference between doing this movie and Scream 2?
Cleavage. You could not wear a turtleneck in those movies.
Do you think you’re being set up as the next Jamie Lee Curtis – a scream queen?
No. I don’t scream at all in this movie, if you’ll notice. I yelp a lot. … (Horror) is the field where women can really rule. I’m not the girlfriend. I’m not the wife. This is where women can take a hold of a movie and have a proactive job and the guy is the boyfriend, and people want to see the women be triumphant.
Were you recognized in Tokyo?
You know, the first three months that I was there, I obviously stood out a little bit being a little blonde American girl abroad, but I (had) a little bit of anonymity … I was able to really experience something that I had desired for so long on a real level, not coming in through a back entrance and keeping my head down at a tourist attraction. How is married life these days?
It’s a lot easier when you don’t have a television show. It’s like, I can go on tour with this (press), and then I’m going to sit on a set for two weeks (where Freddie is working) and just hang and live off of his per diem.
But he didn’t make it out to Japan while you were filming. How was that?
I made sure to make him feel bad about not being in Japan because he had gone to Japan when I was on Buffy. I was pissed because I wanted to go so badly. He would call me every night and tell me, “Oh my God, I went here. I saw this. I ate this.” Luckily, I did get a lot of pearls on the way back.
How do you hold it all together with so much travel?
Marriage, friendship, anything, it’s a partnership. It’s something that you give and you take and you trust. That goes for anything. The more time that you put into anything is what you get back from it.
And what’s the secret to staying so fit?
I work out when I have time. Right now it’s five days a week, whether it’s running or whatever. I’m just a physical person. I’m a Pilates girl. I’m not so much a yoga girl.
Do you watch what you eat?
I’m careful. I mean, I don’t limit myself. A dessert tray doesn’t go untouched in front of me. I love food and I can eat. When we were in Tokyo there was this Korean barbecue place that I loved. We had a lot of meat eaters on this movie, and I just don’t get non-meat-eaters. I’m sorry if you are a non-meat-eater.
Finally, what about Buffy? Will she ever come back?
Buffy killing people with her wooden cane? I don’t know. I mean, it’s not in my immediate future. It’s not something that I’m actively pursuing at the moment, but you never know.