Saturday, April 14, 2018

Happy Birthday Sarah Michelle Gellar: Fem Film Rogue Icon Spotlight

I practically grew up alongside the talented, underrated Sarah Michelle Gellar, first watching her as the feisty, gorgeous rich girl, Sydney Rutledge on short lived teen soap, Swan’s Crossing. It was a far more wicked Saturday morning ritual than the campy sitcom Saved by the Bell, for Gellar’s compelling acting and vivacious beauty struck quite hard. she played a young conniving vixen well and carried on that torch as Kendall Hart in All My Children. From that role, at age 18, she won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Leading Actress in a Drama Series after two nominations.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer came later, giving Gellar her starring due, making her a household name. The heroine will go down as one of the most incredible television heroines of all time and it is partly because of Gellar’s abilities to create a multifaceted Slayer, the Chosen One who will defeat evil against the forces of darkness. Buffy Summers wasn’t just a short, spry teen woman with smooth blond tresses, killer outfits, and great pink lipgloss, she was also smart, brave, vulnerable, funny, sweet, loving, and generous. Gellar scored a Saturn Award, Teen Choice, Kid’s Choice Awards for her portrayal. Although nominated for a Golden Globe, she was robbed of nominations for diligently carrying emotive weight in episodes The Body and The Gift. The Emmys weren’t especially kind either, but alas it matters no longer. Gellar was the heart and soul of a complex, layered champion and the win is that she will forever taint our minds with precious sentiment.

In the meantime, Gellar had memorable bite in Cruel Intentions as Kathryn Merteuil, a devilish, spoiled drug user who played sordid revenge games and planted a steamy, seductive kiss on Selma Blair’s innocent Cecile. She won Best Sleazebag at Teen Choice Awards and Best Female Performance and Best Kiss at the MTV Movie Awards. She starred in Simply Irresistible (a corny but lovable film with soundtrack gems), I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scream 2, The Grudge, and Scooby Doo and its sequel.

She returned to television playing twins Siobhan and Bridget in Ringer, but won her first People’s Choice Award for Sydney Roberts in The Crazy Ones.

Gia Russo (left) is co-creator/creative director of Foodstirs alongside Sarah Michelle Gellar (right). Galit Laibow is the third owner.

Gellar guests on a few other things here and there, rapping as a Cinderella, voice work in Robot Chicken, Star Wars: Rebels, and The Simpsons. Nowadays, however, she is busily promoting her co-created Foodstirs, a line of organic non-GMO baking kits that offer all natural, chemical free, fair trade products from cakes and cookies to donuts and pancakes.

Still, she is a dominate force missed big time in both large and small screen. For starters, she shouldn’t be typecast in horror/thrillers. She definitely has the chomps for comedy and has always retained potential for a wonderful romance. Plus, it would be terrific if a woman director and/or writer generated something perfect for her. After all, Buffy the Vampire Slayer featured phenomenal female heavy hitters such as Marti Noxon and Jane Espenson. Perhaps someday, Gellar will receive another crucial role that lets her star shine brighter, deliver more accolades on her mantle, and grant the full fledged notoriety she has always deserved beyond cult fan status.

In television, women can really run anything. It can be a comedy, it can be a drama, it can be genre, it can be anything. But in films, women are still getting to the top.

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