Sarah Michelle Gellar says women were afterthoughts in Masters of the Universe, but sequel has 'so much more'
The Buffy star says Masters of the Universe: Revelation has the kind of roles "you dream about playing."
"There was no way into that story for me growing up because all of the women were afterthought characters. They didn't hold the power and the storylines weren't about them," the Buffy the Vampire Slayer actress explains to EW.
Characters like Evil-Lyn, a sorceress villainess, were cool, but even she "was not always there," she explained. Teela, ally to Prince Adam, wasn't even in on the secret that her best friend was secretly the all-powerful hero of Eternia known as He-Man. "She was in every episode and not even really part of the journey story then," Gellar says. Masters of the Universe: Revelation, the new sequel series to that original cartoon coming to Netflix this Friday, is different.
"I think what's so great about this is that there are characters for everybody and you can relate to different parts of each of the characters, even Adam," she explains. "It was sort of there in the original. There was no depth to him. Now you get what it's like to be these two people and keep these secrets. There's just so much more to enjoy."
Headed by Kevin Smith and boasting an all-star voice cast, Revelation picks up directly after the events of the original when a world-shattering event threatens all of Eternia. Mark Hamill voices Skeletor, Chris Wood voices He-Man, and Lena Headey voices Evil-Lyn, but Gellar's Teela takes a prominent role in this next chapter.
"What hooked me was the story. Honestly, it was just the writing," Gellar remembers of joining the cast. "These are characters you dream about playing and emotions you dream about experiencing. Then I heard Kevin's passion. I'm a Kevin fan. I have to say, I love working with him as a director, just the way he watches his performances. I really got to know, even just on Zoom, when he was really excited about something or when something didn't work. It was almost like he had nowhere to hide when you're on Zoom because it's just his big face right here."
Gellar began recording her voice role of Teela in a studio before the pandemic. She only logged one session before COVID-19 prompted lockdowns. The actress was still able to go into the studio for a while with limited personell, but she soon had to transition to home. Luckily, her husband, Freddie Prinze Jr., who had a voice role in Star Wars Rebels and The Bad Batch, was already had a voiceover space partially built. Though, Gellar says it's still tricky when her "kids are at home studying for school" and she's off "screaming and fighting Skeletor" in the other room.
The fans from the days of Buffy will no doubt draw comparisons between the Slayer and Gellar's new warrior woman role. While "Buffy was always being told she had the power and it was about her learning what that journey of acceptance was like," the star says "nobody gave Teela any power."
"It was about her learning that she always had the power within her, which I think is something that's much more relatable to the average person because the average person is not a superhero," Gellar continues. "That journey, I think, was really exciting. She also just looks so badass. Just the haircut, the undercut, the whole vibe excited me because, let's be honest, if that was live action, nobody's looking at that character going, 'Oh, that's Sarah. That's who we need in that role.' That is the kind of role that I would never get the chance to play live."