Buffy, the Vampire Slayer began 20 years ago and was groundbreaking in it’s fight work. I recently had the opportunity to talk with Sophia Crawford, the stunt double for Sarah Michelle Gellar on Buffy. She discussed the work that goes into creating fights, and what it was like to be the slayer half of Buffy Summers, as well as breaking some ground of her own as the first person to be credited as a stunt double for a character on a television series.
Music In the Dark: How did you get into stunts, and then specifically, doing stunts on Buffy?
Sophia Crawford: I was teaching English and working as a model in Asia and had an opportunity to move to Hong Kong and work as an actress. It was there I began studying with the Hong Kong stuntmen as all of the films required me to fight. Years later I moved to Hollywood to co-star on a television pilot. I worked as an actress and stuntwoman and when they started shooting the very first episode of Buffy I was brought in to double Sarah. From then on until the end of season 4 I did all of the fighting and stunts for the Buffy character.
MItD: Did you have input on the stunt choreography on Buffy? IMDB lists you as stunts for seasons 1 & 2, but stunt double for seasons 3 & 4. What is the difference?
Sophia Crawford: I was Buffy’s stunt and fight double from season 1 till the end of season 4. That was my job. The first thirteen episodes had a different stunt coordinator and when season 2 began they hired Jeff Pruitt to choreograph all of the action scenes. I worked with him until we left the show. He and I later married and are still happily married today. Jeff and I had worked together on feature films and on The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (in which I played the Pink Ranger and Jeff directed the action scenes).
Some stunt coordinators won’t allow any input, but Jeff and I had a great relationship and he allowed me to make any changes I needed. Plus, he choreographed Buffy to fit me so it all flowed easily for us.