For Sarah Michelle Gellar, best known for her lead role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she says her work on the soap opera All My Children — she played Kendall Hart from 1993 to 1995, returned in 2011 — was “the training ground for the rest of my career.”
“I made incredible friends at that time and I learned incredible work habits, and soap operas are an intense amount of work, and I’m incredibly grateful for that time and the people that I met,” she tells TV Insider while promoting her partnership with Lysol for the brand’s Disinfecting Wipes “Buy One, Donate One” program. “We live in a world now where my kids don’t even really know what a soap opera is, so anything I can do to continue the legacy I’m very proud of.”
Gellar also looks back fondly on her experiences with the comedies The Crazy Ones (“To have the privilege to work with Robin Williams is a dream come true to this day, and we all still speak”) and The Big Bang Theory, on which she appeared as a surprise guest star in the series finale.
“I got the phone call and, they said, ‘You’ve been such a recurring gag on the show, would you like to help us end it?’ and I thought, ‘Oh my goodness,’” Gellar recalls. “I love that cast and we had a great time. I was honored to be a part of it and be part of the legacy of such an incredible show.”
Of course, she was already a major part of quite the legacy in television as Buffy, a show and character (with a love triangle, with David Boreanaz‘s Angel and James Marsters’ Spike) that people still talk about today. “At the end of the day, as an actor, you hope to be part of something that stays relevant and that holds up past time,” she says. “And I think we’re all just honored that the show still means something to everyone and it’s still relevant.”
Now, Gellar continues to work with Lysol, something she’s been doing since 2019. “It was about keeping schools healthy and getting ready for the flu season and all of the things that we do to keep our kids and our teachers and our schools and everything healthy. In 2019, if you would’ve given me a crystal ball, I wouldn’t have foreseen what that would have meant to me in 2020,” she says. With “Buy One, Donate One,” for every pack of disinfecting wipes bought, one will be donated to a school in need.
“We live in a world right now where we need to protect our most vulnerable. And for me in my life, my most vulnerable are my young children at a time now where they’re returning to school, and it’s extremely unsure, and to have a product like Lysol that not only physically protects them, but is going that extra mile to be able to provide for the people that can’t,” she continues. “After the year of not being in school, these children need to be there, and to be able to have a product that promotes health like this, I think, is invaluable.”