What made you choose to do this movie
When I left [Buffy the Vampire Slayer] it was the first time I could make my own decisions based on what I felt, not on a time schedule. The opportunity for me to travel abroad for three months, to be in Japan, to actually live there -- not just visit on a press tour -- and it was the first time that a Japanese film had been remade for an English speaking audience with the original Japanese director. You don't pass on that.
You kick butt in all your movies and in BTVS, but is there anything you're afraid of in real life?
I'm not really a fearful person. I like challenge; I look forward to it. But I don't like rats. I don't like roaches -- I don't like most things that New York City girls are afraid of. But I don't mind spiders or snakes.
What is it that draws you to horror films?
You know, women [still] can't open a comedy like Jim Carrey can. Women can't open a action film the way Tom Cruise can. But with this genre, women really shine. I think some actors can just be the girlfriend or the wife in a film, but I don't know, I think I would be so bored -- I'd go crazy!
How did being a TV icon affect your life?
I had a very normal upbringing, even though I was working. I don't know how these young girls, who have so much success before they're 18, do it now. You're just under a microscope. It's really difficult to win -- those are such difficult years. You’re still figuring yourself out and at the same time, everyone's watching you and judging you.
What kind of movies do you like to watch?
I like things that are innovative. I like things that are different. I like things that you haven't seen before. I like weird. I'm not a slapstick girl. I like Napoleon Dynamite and Donnie Darko. I like movies that sometime people hate, sometimes people love, but you still talk about it. To me, that's what movies are supposed to be. You know what I hate? When you go to a movie and you're like, 'Oh, that's good' and that's the end of it. I don't care if you talk about how much you hate it, at least it affected you in some way.
Catch Sara Michelle Gellar in The Grudge, in theaters October 22, 2004.