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April 23, 2014

Comic-Con 2011: Highlights From The CW's 'Ringer' Panel

by Laura Prudom, posted Jul 21st 2011 7:45PM
'Ringer' was one of the most anticipated new show panels at this year's Comic-Con. I mean, hello, it's the return of Buffy herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar, to TV! And she's playing twins!

But the three leading men also got squeals from the crowd as the sizzle reel played before the panel started. Nestor Carbonell ('Lost' fans in the house!), Kris Polaha and Ioan Gruffud are not too shabby themselves.

Ringer

When the cast took the stage, along with Eric Carmello and Nicole Snyder, the show's executive producers who jumped from 'Supernatural,' and fellow EP Pam Veasay, it was Gellar -- looking gorgeous -- who the crowd went nuts for.

Before the series premieres this fall (Tues., Sept. 13, 9PM ET on the CW), check out a few teases, straight from their Comic-Con panel.

Why 'Ringer'?
"It's really hard when you have a show like 'Buffy' that you love so much and was so perfect ... you're not looking for a show to top it," Gellar admitted. "We wouldn't exist without the fans. I wanted to do a show that the fans would love and that I would love. 'Ringer' encompasses all those things."

And 'Lost' alum Nestor Carbonell admits he was drawn to the show because of the moral ambiguity of the characters and the fact Gellar was on board.

Full circle
Polaha admitted that his first audition ever was for 'Buffy.' He was flown out to read with Gellar, auditioning for Riley. He didn't get the part, obviously, but 10 years later, here they are together.

Let's get it on
With two identities and two men in her life, SMG does her fair share of smooching in between running from the law. Her costar Kris Polaha doesn't seem to mind locking lips for the cameras, saying his costar has "very soft lips."

How long will it last?
When a question came up about how far ahead the producers have planned, EP Eric Carmello joked, "Nine years ... then the triplet shows up. [Laughs] We had three seasons percolating [when we pitched the show] ... when you start on a project things evolve. We're playing with time and perspective and that allows us a lot of latitude."

Watch the 'Ringer' Comic-Con promo here:

Sibling rivalry
Gellar says you really just aim to make the characters believable in whatever you do. Of her twin sister characters here: "Bridget's story is a story of redemption, which I think everyone can relate to; Siobhan's is revenge which I think a lot of us think about, too. I think you can make two really compelling characters at the same time," she said, admitting that she doesn't want to pick a favorite because then she wouldn't be able to do both roles justice. But she did joke about the dual roles: "I'm not getting paid twice as much!"

Double duty
When asked how difficult it is to switch between characters, Gellar said: "All actresses are crazy, so it helps that I'm already slightly schizophrenic. But remembering what drives each character -- as long as I keep in the back of my head, why Bridget is doing the things she's doing, it's easy to keep them separate. Why am I doing this, what's my objective?"

And double vision
"Now there's so many different options [for playing double]," Gellar admitted. "Sometimes I'm playing opposite the double, sometimes I'm wearing an earpiece and hearing [myself] in playback, and by Season 3 I figure they'll just clone me."

Who's the bad guy?
Gruffud opened up about his character, Andrew, who's married to Siobhan. Is he a villain or just misunderstood? "I think he's misunderstood. I think his relationship with Siobhan [and the dissolution of their marriage] has devastated him. He really wants the old Siobhan back." He's also devastated that his relationship with his daughter is so broken, and family is very important to him. "Their relationship has soured and I think he's trying to piece it back together. [He's] desperately holding on to what was a semblance of a blissful marriage."

Switching teams
Veasay spoke about the show's move from CBS to The CW: "The CW embraced what the show was -- the story's intriguing, and they embraced the serialized aspect of the show. We'll add a lot more youthful, hip music. It wasn't such a difficult transition, [and] now I get to write this great serialized thriller." The cast and other EPs agreed, saying it was "kind of a relief." They were afraid they might have to change to fit into CBS' procedural tone but the CW seemed to fit them better.

And upgrading wardrobes?
Gellar, who's also an EP, chimed in on the network switch as well. "Yes, I'm getting better clothing. I think we have a little more freedom, you can take more risks. We all know who CBS' audience is -- because The CW is still finding themselves [and their audience], that gives us a chance to find ourselves, too."

The what?
When someone asked Gruffud if he'd ever even heard of The CW before the show was picked up there, he stammered a bit. "Uh, uh, um ... no. But i'm naturally thrilled. I'm 37 now, and I think the median age for all other CW cast members is 22," he said with a laugh.

All in the family
Polaha talked a bit about his character, Henry, who cheats on his wife with Siobhan, her best friend, admitting that Henry genuinely loves Siobhan. "While he's being unfaithful to one, his true heart is in the other, so he's just struck in the wrong marriage."

Speaking of marriage ...
When Gellar was asked if real-life hubby, Freddie Prinze Jr, might pop up on the show, she joked: "My husband will guest star and have a love triangle with Ioan and Kris' wives."

Where's it going?
The EPs all teased that just when people think they know something about the show and the characters, "we'll throw a wrench in it." Carmello said: "We live and die by our twists and turns and secrets. At its core, it's a tale of two sisters, one is driven by redemption and one is driven by revenge. Everyone on the panel has a duplicitous nature."

But Gellar knows a bit more than the rest of the cast. "I'm not a writer and I don't fancy myself a writer, but I do know where everything's going and I can hold it over everyone's head ... It was the first time in a really long time that I'd been surprised by something -- I was really caught by surprise -- but I thought no one's going to put this show on television, no one's gonna make this show!"

From the fans
When things opened up for fans to ask questions, there was a lot they wanted to know about everyone's past roles. Like with so many stars from superhero/supernatural genre, will there be a supernatural component in 'Ringer'? "There will be no vampires, no demons, no hatch, no island ... except for Long Island," Snyder said.

Buffy vs. Bridget and Siobhan
Gellar was game to compare the two. "Buffy was a stretch because I don't generally save the world on a daily, or even weekly basis. I understand the vulnerability of Bridget and the fear of the unknown ... she doesn't always know what she's doing. At the end of the day, I hope that they're all three-dimensional characters. I'd love to shoot a gun. Buffy never got to shoot a gun!"

Baze vs. Henry
Polaha says his 'Ringer' character is nothing like his 'Life Unexpected' character, Baze. "He had a Peter Pan syndrome and didn't want to grow up. When I read 'Ringer,' what I was really attracted to was that he's mature, he's sophisticated. I don't even know where Henry is headed. ['LUX'] was a big-hearted TV show -- 'Ringer' feels like this amazing machine that's in motion. The script was like 'Twin Peaks' and was sexy and there was so much going on."

Are you excited for 'Ringer'? Check out our video interviews with the cast here.

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