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Home: Dubai Film Festival 2004: Day 5: Sarah Michelle Gellar Q&As

Adnan Khan from TEN Movies: You’re playing the lead in director Richard Kelly’s next film, “Southland Tales,” which is an unusual musical/comedy set in year 2008. Kelly did “Donnie Darko,” a mind-bending genre-defying film that is a big hit with cult audiences. Given your success with big-budget genre fare like “Scream 2,” “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” “Scooby Doo,” and now “The Grudge,” what made you accept that role and would you like to talk more about it?

Sarah Michelle Geller: Hollywood can get formulaic. Richard Kelly, as you know, is daring and risky. And I have always liked that. I wanted to be a part of the Kelly world. It’s a very special film and unfortunately I cannot talk about my role in the film because Kelly has asked me not to! In fact I don’t believe I would be able to describe it for you even if I tried because only he can truly explain his vision. It’s very exciting though, he’s passion for things. I end up getting emails from him around three in the morning and I have to reply saying “Kelly, I need to sleep!”

Press member: How do you feel about still being associated with the role of Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

Sarah: I treasure my time on the show. I am very proud of Buffy who has been a role model for women because she represents strength and courage. So if people still associate me with that particular role then I’m only too happy for it.

Press member: Buffy was a very demanding role – physically. Is that an aspect of that role you’re glad to have left – the physical exertion?

Sarah: You know... I still work out for me, and I love it! Yes, the role was demanding physically but it was a necessity to be prepared.

Press member: The image of Arabs seems to be distorted in the West. What are you comments on that? And have you seen any Arab films here at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF)?

Sarah: No, unfortunately I have been able to see any of the Arab films playing here. But I think with DIFF there is a noble effort to changing minds, bridge cultures. I have tried doing that in “The Grudge,” which is essentially Asian cinema remade in Hollywood but by the same Japanese director that made the original “Ju-on.”

Press member: Could you tell us more about your upcoming projects. Perhaps, a sneak preview of the development on the sequel to “The Grudge”?

Sarah: I wish I could! In fact, I know very little about “The Grudge 2” and learn more about in the trades because journalists seem to know more than me!

The press conference ended with Sarah assuring us that she would love to come for the next Dubai film fest if she is invited again. She thinks Dubai is a wonderful, luxurious place and will treasure the few days she has spent here. Sarah wanted to emphasise that the people here are warm and extremely friendly and she cannot wait to get back home and tell everyone about it! - by Adnan Khan

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