Actress Sarah Michele Gellar confirmed a rumor that country legend Dolly Parton had an important link to the late-’90s television series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. During an interview on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Gellar described the connection between Parton and the supernatural teen cult series. It proves once again that the legendary Parton really has done everything.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a long run
The series Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a TV adaptation of the 1992 film of the same name, starring Kristy Swanson. The show first aired in March 1997 and ran for a whopping seven seasons before coming to an end in May 2003. It became a cult favorite among fans and was rumored to have a reboot in the works, though that appears to have been put on pause for the time being.
The series focuses on Buffy Summers, a teenage girl who is destined to serve as a “vampire slayer,” battling demons and other dark forces. She’s supported by her friends, a group of high school students, and together they navigate love and heartbreak while protecting the world.
Parton was a secret producer
During her interview with Fallon, Gellar revealed that Parton was connected to the television series. “Little known fact, the legend Dolly was a producer,” she said. “And, you know, we never saw her. Like, we’d get Christmas gifts in the beginning that would have our name. And I would think, ‘She doesn’t even know who I am.'”
Actually, Parton did know who Gellar was, with Gellar only finding this out later. “And then one day, somebody asked her about it and she complimented the show and my performance. And I was like, ‘Oh, I can die now. Dolly Parton knows who I am and thinks I’m good,'” Gellar joked.
As it turns out, Parton co-founded the company that produced Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sandollar Productions. The other owner was her former manager, Sandy Gallin, who served as an executive producer on the series. “And they produced Buffy,” Gellar confirmed. Not only that, Sandollar Productions and Gallin also produced the 1992 film that the series was inspired by.
A workplace injustice was remedied by Parton
Back in the late 1990s, and arguably still today, Hollywood was a difficult place for women to work. Most executive, producing, and directing roles were largely dominated by men and this made for a lot of workplace inequalities. One of those imbalances is pay, something that Parton took on personally for a female executive on the series.
Gail Berman was responsible for turning the 1992 film into a television series. But when it came to her pay, she didn’t see as much as her male counterparts. When Parton discovered this, she invited Berman out to lunch.
Over some chicken caesar salads, Parton explained to Berman that once she heard that the men at the company had not given her a fair share of Buffy the Vampire Slayer royalties, it just didn’t sit right with her. To remedy the situation, Parton handed her a check.
Gellar says she’s in a ‘good place’ with her feelings toward Buffy
When reflecting on her time as Buffy, Gellar expressed that she feels she has “come to a good place.” Her feelings toward the show were quite complicated for some time. This was due to the alleged toxic work environment the show’s creator, Joss Whedon, created on set.
“I will always be proud of Buffy,” she explained. “I will always be proud of what my castmates did, what I did. Was it an ideal working situation? Absolutely not. But it’s OK to love Buffy for what we created because I think it’s pretty spectacular.”
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A new role for Gellar has her returning to the supernatural, investigating an emergence of werewolves in her town in the television series, Wolf Pack. She’s married to fellow actorFreddie Prinze Jr., and they have two children together.