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By Michael Logan

First two pics are from SMG Printable Gallery and last two are from TV Guide Online

Sarah Michelle Gellar, star of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, goes for the heart and speaks out on success, romance and those rumors about a new angel in her life.

On the WB monster smash Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sarah Michelle Gellar stars as Buffy Summers, a desperate-to-be-normal teen born to terminate the undead. She is known as the Chosen One. But off-screen, itís the 22-year-old Gellar who does the choosing. Arguably the most popular young actress of recent years, sheís a TV superstar, big-screen scream queen, Maybelline pitch girl, Internet icon and teenage role model. Yet she is able to maintain a mystique most other young stars have either lost or never had. Gellar, who began acting at 4 and won an Emmy at 18 for her role as the conniving Kendall on All My Children, is notoriously tight-lipped where matters of sex and romance are concerned. She is even less forthcoming about her father, Arthur, who divorced her mother, Rosellen, a former teacher, in the mid í80s. We visited Gellar in her trailer on the Buffy set, where she decided to lay down her slayerís stake and open up her own heart for a change.

TV Guide: Your approval rating among young viewers of both sexes is awesome. Whatís your take on this? Assess your appeal.

Sarah Michelle Gellar: Assess my own appeal? Thatís an annoying question.

TVG: Whoever said this interview would be easy? Letís start with your female fans.

SMG: They respond to Buffy because for years we didnít have a character young girls could look up to. Mallory on Family Ties was an idiot. Carol on Growing Pains wasnít happy being smart; she wanted to be popular. Those were not role models. And then you have the actresses, like Nicole Eggert, who are so physically perfect you can never be like them. Buffy is not the smartest or the most beautiful. Sheís kind of awkward, but she is OK with who she is. The most important lesson we need to learn in our formative years is that itís OK to be an individual. Itís OK to be you.

TVG: And the guys?

SMG: They see Buffy as a take-charge, kick-ass girl who has never lost her femininity. The ones who are threatened by that donít watch our show.

TVG: What about your lust factor? In a recent poll, you were voted No. 1 on a list of the 100 sexiest women on the planet. Yet your sexiness isnít overt.

SMG: My sexual fantasy may not be yours, so the trick is to be sexy to the point where it gets peopleís imaginations working ó and then you let them take it from there. Thatís why the movie stars of the í40s and í50s were so sexy. They positively reeked of sex by only hinting at it. Itís one of the reasons I love [the new daytime soap] Passions. Nobody even kisses on that show, but I am obsessed with it!

TVG: What did you think when Keri Russell told Jane magazine how she lost her virginity?

SMG: [Rolling her eyes] Hereís my thing: I made a rule way back when I was on All My Children that there would be a part of me I put out to the public and a part I keep to myself. This has caused me problems. It has caused me to lose interviews. But I need a life to go home to that only my close friends know about. I am sooo proud of my house, but you will never see it in InStyle. I donít think people should know what my bedroom looks like. We give away too much information.

TVG: Címon! You donít enjoy showbiz dish? Youíre not curious about other stars?

SMG: I like to see their houses. I want to know about their jobs and their hobbies, but Iím not interested in when or how they lost their virginity. I do not want to see Cameron Diazís
 butt crack on the cover of Vanity Fair.

TVG: Is there jealousy or competition between you and the other young women of your ilk ó like Russell, Neve Campbell, Jennifer Love Hewitt?

SMG: No. Isnít that weird?

TVG: Frankly, yeah. Not even a healthy competition?

SMG: No, but then maybe Iím in my own universe. Love [Hewitt] and I are so different that if they want her, they wouldnít want me. Weíre all so different. Maybe weíre not competitive because we all have our own shows. Now, if one of us didnít have a show... [suddenly jumps up and grabs a photo taped to the wall] Did you know we shot my Maybelline commercial at the park in Beverly Hills with the George Michael bathroom? Hereís a picture of me taken by the famed photographer Herb Ritts [who directed the commercial] in the very stall George was arrested in.

TVG: Whatís with your annual Emmy snub?

SMG: Iím OK not being nominated. Honestly. I have an Emmy. When I needed acceptance back in my soap days, I could not sleep the night before the nominations. Iíd sit there waiting for my phone to ring. Now my validation comes from the public. What aggravates me is that our show is always overlooked. [The voters] see us as a kidsí show. They donít think WB is a real network. Itís hard to fight that stuff.

TVG: Letís discuss the most recent rumors about you in the Star.

SMG: Yes, my big affair with [Angel star] David Boreanaz!

TVG: Well?

SMG: Itís a complete fallacy. In fact, everyone on the Buffy set was laughing about the very idea of David and me as a couple.

TVG: The rumor doesnít bother you?

SMG: I brushed that one off. They probably didnít call me for quotes because [the article] was so horribly inaccurate. It claimed David and I were together at a Christmas party, when he was home in Philadelphia and I was in Australia, and how we were seen eating at health-food restaurants. Well, if I ever saw David put any food in his mouth that wasnít fried in a fast-food joint, Iíd drop dead. But, hey, you know what? People are talking. I made the cover of Star and it wasnít because of anything bad or true.

TVG: Letís discuss your other rumored affairs. Youíve been seen at parties and premieres with [Sliders star] Jerry OíConnell. Is or was that a romance?

SMG: No. We went to high school together.

TVG: And Freddie Prinze Jr.?

SMG: That was never a romance, either. The odds are you will not see me at one of those events with someone I am romantically interested in, which is why Iíll go with Jerry or Freddie.

TVG: But you have had romances? Ones we know nothing about?

SMG: [A bit indignantly] Well, of course.

TVG: How tough has it been to keep them private?

SMG: Very. Itís a lot of work, and unfortunately it puts a strain on relationships, but thatís the way I choose to do it. Going through a breakup is the most painful, personal experience in the world. The last thing I want to do is read about it, or have other people making judgments. I donít know how stars who have these big public relationships and breakups get through it.

TVG: Are you comfortable not being in a relationship?

SMG: To a degree. No one ever wants to be alone, but my job sometimes necessitates that. I donít think I could commit to a really serious relationship for the simple reason that I wouldnít be there. I havenít gotten off work before midnight in months. And normally I get out at three or four in the morning.

TVG: Are you scared of commitment? Do you run from it?

SMG: No, Iím not running from it. Itís no fun not having someone to snuggle up with on a rainy day. Iíd love to have the perfect boyfriend right now, but as a society we have to learn that itís OK not to be in a relationship. Also, I tend to date out of the business, which makes it that much harder. I try not to date actors, because I know how insecure and crazy we are. I canít imagine going out with another one of me.

TVG: Tabloids have claimed you are anorexic.

SMG: Everyone is anorexic! Itís like McCarthyism all over again. Iíve always been a skinny little thing. Yes, I did at one point have a little baby fat and I did lose that. But Iím a 5-foot-2, tiny-boned person. My mother is a tiny-boned person. Besides, I work like a dog on this show. Maybe some actresses do have anorexia, but I certainly donít.

TVG: Where do you stand on cosmetic surgery?

SMG: I have a big problem with putting things into your body, like with breast or lip surgery. But Iím OK with nose jobs if you get up every day and look in the mirror and your nose makes you unhappy. If you think thatís the answer, by all means do it. I just hope it is the answer.

TVG: Has anyone ó agents, managers, producers ó ever suggested you get a nose job?

SMG: No. My nose is my nose. But Iím not saying that when Iím 60 I might not want to get my eyes fixed. Some magazine said I had a boob job. [Cackles and points to her breasts] Lemme tell ya, if I paid for these, Iíd like íem to look a lot better than this.

TVG: OK, hereís the dreaded topic. Will you please say something substantial about your father?

SMG: [Long silence] There is nothing substantial to say. [Her face hardens, her eyes begin to tear ever so slightly.] He is not a person who exists in my life. Just because you donate sperm does not make you a father. I donít have a father. I would never give him the credit to acknowledge him as my father. My mother is the most amazing woman Iíve ever met. I wanted for nothing. I never felt a lack of affection. And I am, I think, a perfectly content and very well-adjusted person ó probably more so than most people I know who have two parents. One of the greatest gifts my job affords me is that my mother, who gave up her entire life for me, doesnít have to work anymore. Now I can give back. She can take it easy. She can do whatever she wants. [Flashes a wide smile] I bought her a house.

TVG: Projecting a clean image to your audience seems very important to you. Do you feel a responsibility to do that? Is it ever a drag?

SMG: I think a certain obligation comes with the job. I didnít go to clubs before I was 21. You will never find a picture of me smoking. Well, thatís because I donít smoke, [though] I did for a little bit. I hated it. It wasnít for me. But you never saw a picture of me with a glass of champagne in my hand before I was 21. And I am militant about drugs. You want to do íem? Youíre out of my life. End of story. I have to go to bed at night knowing Iím a good person, that Iíve made decisions that are good for me and make me happy. If, in the process, I can set a good example for others, great. I donít live my life for other people, but I do prove something Iím very proud of: You donít have to be a rebel to be cool.

The Usual
The Usual

Random Quotage:

I am the bug man, coo coo ka choo.
-Xander (What's My Line? (Part 2))

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