Sarah Michelle Gellar Explains What Lured Her Back to the Horror Genre for ‘Wolf Pack’

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Sarah Michelle Gellar is diving back into a teen horror flick for Paramount+’s series “Wolf Pack” as a star and executive producer. So, what exactly lured her back into the genre that launched her career?

“It was just sort of like all of the stars aligning,” the actress said during Wednesday’s Television Critics Association panel. “I actually honestly at first had no intention of saying yes. I read the script, and it was the first time where my interest was so piqued and I wasn’t sure where it was going.”

After leading “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” for seven seasons and starring in films such as “Cruel Intentions,” Gellar said she’s received more horror film and TV pitches than she can even count. But there was something about the script for “Wolf Pack” that reminded her of her roots.

“I think one of the beauties of ‘Buffy’ was the metaphorical aspect of it. We were using these real monsters as metaphors for the horror of high school and, to me, that’s what made the show. It’s so important and why it still stand the test of time,” she continued.

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Then it was a conversation with writer and executive producer Jeff Davis about the issues “Wolf Pack” would touch on (“mainly anxiety and depression among children…and the lack of connectivity that the youth has today”) that sealed the deal. Though, Davis admitted that he didn’t think it would be possible to get Gellar on board.

“When the studio came to me and said, ‘What about Sarah Michelle Gellar?’ I said, ‘We’re never gonna get Sarah Michelle Gellar,'” he said, adding that he sent over a script anyway, never thinking he’d hear back. “Then suddenly the next day, I was getting a call from her agent saying ‘Sarah wants to meet over Zoom.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, s—, really?’ So it was quite a nice surprise to find out just how real and down to earth she is.”

In addition to the script, Gellar said she was also enticed by the idea of creating a series for a streaming service in 2022, which would allow for much more creative freedom than a network show in the 90s.

“Even ‘Cruel Intentions,’ which pushed the envelope so much, can still only go so far because we were still under the guise of theatrical ratings,” she explained. “Streaming is still sort of the wild, wild West. It’s the untouched part that I haven’t had a chance to do.”

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In “Wolf Pack,” Gellar plays Kristin Ramsey, who is brought in to catch the teenage arsonist who started a massive wildfire that may have also led to the reawakening of a supernatural predator terrorizing Los Angeles. She joins a mostly teen cast, which she joked “hurts” but gave her a chance to explore more adult themes within the genre that she previously worked in as a teen herself.

“When we knew Sarah was coming on board, I went to the kids and I said, ‘We’ve got a big star coming on the show. It’s pretty exciting. I sincerely hope you know who she is,'” Davis said.

Luckily, they didn’t disappoint. “We went home and all watched ‘Cruel Intentions’ like two days after we found out you were joining the show,” series star Armani Jackson told Gellar during the panel. “So we were really excited.”

“Wolf Pack” will premiere later this year on Paramount+.

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