There’s one thing Sarah Michelle Gellar hates about Ringer, her new drama on The CW premiering Sept. 13: The shoes. “Due to the lack of fight scenes, the fancy footwear comes out,” says the actress, who for seven star-making, comfortably shod seasons staked a legion of demonic bloodsuckers (and smooched with a couple of the nicer, more misunderstood ones) in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. In her eagerly anticipated return to series TV, the 34-year-old actress is more likely to wear designer gowns and high heels than sneakers and a hoodie. When we spent the morning with her on the set earlier this month, Gellar looked smashing in a black Versace dress (“It’s Ver-sase,” she quipped, quoting Showgirls) but was quick to kick off the matching shoes. “It’s beautiful,” she said. “But you know, fancy footwear is a pain!”

Don’t worry, readers. This week’s cover story about The Woman Who Once Was Buffy covers more ground than just wardrobe. Gellar — who has spent the past eight years making movies (most notably The Grudge) and being a mom (she and husband Freddie Prinze Jr. welcomed daughter Charlotte into the world in 2009) — talked with EW about the twists and turns her life has taken over the past eight years and how frustration with movie roles for women brought her back to TV. “That was a bit of a letdown for me after Buffy,” says Gellar. “I thought: ‘The roles are going to be just like that. You’re not going to get stuck playing “the girlfriend” or “the wife,” you’re going to get these three-dimensional characters.’ But truthfully, those roles are very rare. It’s a better time for actresses on TV than on film.” She thinks her fans will like Ringer, a smart and sudsy thriller in which she plays twins: Bridget, an ex-stripper on the run from the mob and the FBI, who takes to living as her unhappily married Manhattan socialite twin sister Siobhan after witnessing her sibling’s (apparent) death. Mastering the masquerade means unraveling Siobhan’s wealth of secrets (like an affair with her best friend’s husband) and dodging a mysterious assassin. “Ringer is the perfect balance of what audiences want to see me do,” says Gellar. “It’s Cruel Intentions meets Buffy.”

For more of our interview with Sarah Michelle Gellar, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Friday, August 26. You can also get more info about Ringer from the star herself in this video, shot during our photo shoot with actress for our story.

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