Last year during New York Comic Con, I had the amazing opportunity to interview a cult icon — the one and only Sarah Michelle Gellar.
While many know her as the famous slayer, she recently traded her stake in for a lightsaber. Gellar has lent her vocal talents to the Disney XD series, Star Wars Rebels, giving audible life to the season’s villain — The Seventh Sister.
In this interview, Ms. Gellar discusses how being a villain is “so bad it’s good,” how being in a sound booth has saved her some time in the makeup/hair chair, and the allure of being apart of the Star Wars Universe.
What has surprised you about playing a villain in the Star Wars series?
How much I enjoy it. (Laughs) You know it’s always fun to play the characters you least expect. The fact that she is such an intelligent, thinking bad guy. And hey, everyone loves to be the villain. (Laughs) Plus, you get the way better outfits.
How is filming in a sound booth different from being filmed on a set?
Being in a booth is the greatest thing ever. It requires absolutely no hair and makeup, you don’t even have to take a shower. It’s extremely creative, very free; they dim the lights in the room. I’m also someone who has to use their body whenever they are acting or talking something out. I actually use my own little imaginary lightsaber when recording. It’s really freeing, you aren’t as self-conscious. You know they aren’t seeing you wield around an imaginary lightsaber. Although, I know they have filmed me many times. I mean just because you are in a sound booth and not being filmed on video, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be fully in character the whole time — it just doesn’t require any makeup or hair. When I was finding her, finding that character, I would do things like moving my hands around or my body like the character, to get into that mind frame for the character, and then I would get to see the sketches and drawings of the character. So it’s all really creative and very reciprocal process as well.
How did you get into the part, and what was the recording process like for you?
I made them write it for me… (Laughs). This cast is so incredible and they all work together. I couldn’t always participate, but when I did something that struck me as really great was when they recorded, they recorded together. A lot of times with animated shows, they record alone and then you go home, but with this show they really almost film it like a live show. It makes such a difference in the performances, I feel, because they really are acting off of each other. So especially in the beginning it was really nice for me to be able to film and record with them, and get to know them essentially.
How did you prepare for your role as a villain, and do you take any previous experiences as the villain, like in Cruel Intentions, as a base for your performance. When I viewed the clip it was very familiar in a sense, yet extremely unique?
I mean its like they say, how Buffy and I look a lot a like (laughs) that in the end the characters I play essentially have different pieces of me to them. So, I think in a way that may come into play here, with the role as the Seventh Sister and the similar traits between her and my Cruel Intentions part. They actually do film my movements and add that to the character herself. However, I do hope I’m being a little more original than that (laughs). It’s probably just my voice that reminded you a lot of it.
One last question, being how you are part of so many amazing fan groups, like Buffy and now Star Wars, what do you as a person fan girl about?
I mean Star Wars! (Laughs) It’s amazing that I’m part of this and that it’s my life. I’m part of the lore; I’m part of that universe and its just amazing. I’m also looking for some street cred with the kindergarten crowd because my daughter always is saying, “My Daddy (husband Freddie Prinze Jr. who also has a voicing role on the show) is a Jedi and my mom drives carpool.” (Laughs) So yeah, really trying hard for some of that street cred with the kids.