Given the very nature of the series, it is undeniable that in Buffy the Vampire Slayer that of death was a key component. As we know, in fact, this series that combines the atmospheres of teen drama to those of a action from the colors horror and supernatural, has as its protagonist Buffy Summersa teenage girl hunter of demons, vampires and other forces of evilplayed by Sarah Michelle Gellar. During the seven seasons of the series, there have been so many deaths that have scarred fans, who have also seen much loved characters succumb to the forces of evil.
However, if we look at the history of Buffy the Vampire Slayerwe realize that there is a death that stands out from all the others due to its tragically “trivial” and everyday nature. As fans may have already guessed, we’re talking about death of Buffy’s mother, Joyceplayed by Christine Southerland. In the sixteenth episode of the fifth season of the series, titled The Body (rendered in Italian with A cold body), Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy returns home cheerful, eager to question her mother about her new relationship, only to find the latter lying lifeless on the sofa at home.
In this episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy is faced for the first time with the overwhelming evidence of a death that has nothing to do with supernatural and evil forcesbut it is the effect of a brain aneurysm. The scene, in a crescendo of emotion, does not show us a fearless hunter, but simply a helpless and distraught teenage girl faced with the unexpected death of a loved one. Perhaps also for this reason, The Body came praised by critics and remains, to this day, one of the most memorable episodes of the series.
Sarah Michelle Gellar reveals details behind Joyce’s death scene in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
In a recent video interview for BuzzFeed UKduring which the actress has reviewed some iconic roles of his career, just the heartbreaking was shown to Sarah Michelle Gellar scene of Joyce’s death in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The actress admitted to having a hard time rewatching this snippeteven for reasons personal:
“My mother and I are very close and she was, really— a single parent just like Joyce was – and that also meant that Kristine Sutherland would be goneand that was very difficult for me.”
However, Sarah Michelle Gellar didn’t focus only on the difficulties generated by the emotional impact of this scene. The actress explained that filming this particular scene of Buffy the Vampire Slayer it was also technically challengingsince it was filmed all in a row using a Steadicam. With this type of camera the operator can move freely around the set, but, as Sarah Michelle Gellar explained, this means that the actions of every single person present on the scene, actors and audio technicians in particular, must be perfectly studied and coordinated.
“But the hardest part of the situation…was that this entire scene was shot as a Steadicam-oner, like a stage play. So we tried a couple of times with the cameram the boom mic and, you know, because you have to walk through the various sets; it’s a take of about four and a half minutes and she had to play it all in one go and everyone had to do it correctly. So, like, even though I thought my performance was good but the mic was showing or the camera got in the way… well, we had to, like, make it all work. We could only do it a few times, then we tried it as a stage play and then just jumped into it. I really have to give credit to the whole crew, because it was, like, a real team effort“.
Seeing the final result, we can safely say that the teamwork has definitely paid off, both from a technical and emotional point of view.