Sarah Michelle Gellar is “grateful” that the NBC TV reboot of cruel intentions never got off the ground and shares that she believes it is better suited for streaming than a broadcast network.
In an interview with The New York Times to promote her new movie, Netflix’s take revengeGellar talked about dipping her toe into acting, how her character in the movie is an adult version of her cruel intentions character Kathryn Merteuil and why she hasn’t talked about negative experiences she had as a young woman in Hollywood.
Speaking of her time on the NBC series, which got a trial order in February 2016 before being shelved in October of that same year, Gellar said the network and concept didn’t fit well together.
“I don’t know. That was a really crazy time,” the actress and wolf pack executive producer said. “Nothing against NBC, but cruel intentions is streaming directly. On the first day I was like, ‘This isn’t working.’ It’s just not a network show. And if it’s a network show, it’s not mine cruel intentions. So I was actually grateful.”
The series would take place more than 15 years after the events of the 1999 film, which followed Kathryn as she vie for control of the family business Valmont International and Bash Casey, the soul of her stepbrother, the late Sebastian Valmont, who played by Ryan Phillippe.
During the interview, she also talked about her experiences as a younger actress in Hollywood. Gellar had been acting since the 1980s, but rose to prominence on TV as the titular character in Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. After the show’s creator faced allegations of abusive and unprofessional conduct, some of which Whedon denied, Gellar shared a statement supporting “all abuse survivors,” stating that she was “proud of them for speaking out.”
However, Gellar has remained largely silent about her own experiences. During a conversation with the Timeshe says that’s an active choice and one she’s making because talking about it in public isn’t a winning situation for her in a culture that blames and shames the victim.
“Growing up in New York, I had a bit of a street feel about it, which is helpful. But no, it wasn’t easy,” she said of her experiences as a young woman in the industry. “And I’ve had quite a few experiences, i just chose not to – i don’t win by telling my stories emotionally for me i watch people tell their story and i am so impressed but in this world where people are torn apart , and blaming and shaming victim, I just keep my stories here.”
However, Gellar notes that those experiences have influenced how she comes to the set and operates with her cast and crew for wolf packthe upcoming Paramount+ Teen Wolf spin off.
“I have these two young girls and two young boys [acting] am working on it. I’ve made it very clear from day 1 that if there are things the production wants to talk to them about, I want them to go through me. Because I’ve been there. And I want [the performers] to always have a safe place,” she said. “But I also always try to come in with a smile on my face and set a tone. We are all equal. It doesn’t matter what kind of job someone does, they are treated exactly the same.”