Gellar almost turned down an audition for “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” because the producers wanted her to play Cordelia and she was afraid of being pigeonholed as the mean girl. However, a second look at the script made her change her mind.
“But then I sat back and I read the pilot again and there was something really special about it,” Gellar continued. “And I said, you know, I don’t have a job. It’s just a pilot. If it doesn’t turn out well it won’t get picked up, I don’t have to worry about it, it’s the WB [now The CW], it was kind of an unheard of network at the time — ‘Okay I’ll go and I’ll screen test.'”
Ironically, once she was cast as “Buffy,” it was hard for other casting directors to see her as the HBIC, and she had a difficult time convincing them to give her the role of Kathryn in “Cruel Intentions.” But before all that, Gellar didn’t just audition for the role of Cordelia — she actually landed the part. Nevertheless, the casting directors were still having trouble finding their leading woman, and they offered Gellar the chance to come back and audition for Buffy.
“And that’s a very risky thing to do,” she continued, “because sometimes what happens is, they say you have this job, but then they see you as something else, but they don’t really see you as that, and you could really risk losing both roles.”
Thankfully, Gellar took that risk and ended up landing the role that would become a huge high point in her career. Still, even after she agreed to screen test for Buffy, the audition process was so grueling that Gellar almost walked away from the show altogether.