Sarah Michelle Gellar is leading the pack in more ways than one.
Nearly two years after allegations of misconduct and verbal abuse against Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon came to light, the series alum is making sure her younger castmates on the set of Wolf Pack have a much safer experience.
"I told them, I'm not there full time, but I'm always on my phone and I'm here if you need something, if something's bothering you," Gellar told E! News in an exclusive interview ahead of her Paramount+ series' Jan. 26 premiere. "They were really good about calling and about vocalizing, and that was something that I was never taught to do."
The actress has been working hard to ensure that her castmates like Armani Jackson, Bella Shepard, Chloe Rose Robertson, Tyler Lawrence Gray and fellow TV veteran Rodrigo Santoro know their voices are being heard.
"I think they're listened to. I think that there used to be this thing of, above the line knows all this stuff, and kids are kids," Gellar said of Wolf Pack's on-set culture. "We all bring different emotions, different experiences to a set. It's not just show up and hit your line and be quiet. Everybody has stuff that they can contribute."
That wasn't always the case for Gellar, who was 19 years old at the start of Buffy. "Making sure that people know their voice can be heard if they feel unsafe, if they feel unsure, if they have questions. There's a safe place for people to bring any of that stuff," she continued of her co-stars, who are largely between the ages of 19 and 21. "By the way, not just for actors, crew as well."
Gellar has been outspoken about her time on Buffy, which ran for seven seasons from 1997 to 2003, issuing a statement in 2021 after former co-star Charisma Carpenter levied allegations against Whedon.
"While I am proud to have my name associated with Buffy Summers, I don't want to be forever associated with the name Joss Whedon," Gellar wrote on Instagram. "I am more focused on raising my family and surviving a pandemic currently, so I will not be making any further statements at this time. But I stand with all survivors of abuse and am proud of them for speaking out."
She continues to stand with survivors to this day. "I hope that I've set up an infrastructure, a safety net for these actors that I didn't have," Gellar recently told The Hollywood Reporter. "My generation just didn't have that."
Catch Sarah Michelle Gellar in Wolf Pack, premiering Jan. 26 on Paramount+.