Comic Con 2011: Ringer Panel

Thursday, the first official day of Comic Con was full of lots of anticipated panels, one of which being Ringer, in Ballroom 20. The return of Buffy herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar, playing twins no less, was one not to be missed. This was only her second Comic Con appearance, the first since Buffy the Vampire Slayer ended. Sarah Michelle Gellar was joined on stage by Executive Producer Pam Veasay, Leading men: Ioan Gruffudd, Nestor Carbonell, Kristoffer Polaha, and Executive Producers Nicole Snyder and Eric Carmello.

Ringer, really, is a tale of two sisters, and although Sarah Michelle Gellar is pulling double duty, everyone has two faces. The themes of identity and duplicity seem to be central themes. Gellar’s twins may share a face, but they are both very different. Siobhan is rich, successful, married to Andrew (Ioan Gruffudd) and having an affair with her firend’s husband Henry (Kristoffer Polaha). Meanwhile Bridget is a recovering addict and former stripper on the run from gangsters. The twins come together after a long ago falling out, and Siobhan goes missing. Bridget assumes her sister’s identity, but things are not as they seem. Bridget’s story is one of redemption, whereas Siobhan’s is one of revenge.
It’s a huge contrived plot, but the writers have a plan, a three year plan in fact. EP Eric Carmello joked, "Nine years ... then the triplet shows up. [Laughs] We had three seasons percolating ... when you start on a project things evolve. We're playing with time and perspective and that allows us a lot of latitude." The EPs were quick to express that while some mysteries would take longer to unfold, all would be answered. They have a plan, and thank goodness for that, the small preview they showed held lots of mysteries.

Season 1 will really focus on Bridget. The sisters will be shown together in flashbacks, and we’ll see what eventually lead the sisters on two very different paths, and what ultimately ripped them apart. There’s one incident in particular, which may or may not involve a child, that caused irreparable damage. And while Gellar knows where the story is headed, she’s not involved with the writing, or willing to spill the deets at this time. She did however talk about the how the double vision was pulled off. “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."

Of course, the question of why Ringer came up. And Gellar’s response was perfect. "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." She seems genuinely excited even if the show won’t let her do her own stunts like Buffy did. For some reason she was really obsessed with getting thrown through a wall, perhaps because they really didn’t want her to even fall on the ground.

And speaking of Buffy it seems that Polaha has a Buffy connection as well. Polaha actually auditioned for the role of Riley Finn. He was flown out, and tested with Gellar in front of Joss Whedon. But he ultimately lost the role to Marc Blucas. But there’s no hard feelings, cause after all those years, Polaha is now working with and getting the chance to smooth Gellar.

So, about that whole network change? The show was originally set for CBS, but was actually passed on. The CW jumped at the opportunity. "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."  Veasay said. And the cast echoed that sentiment, saying it seemed to fit better over at the CW. And Gellar enthused another perk, a better wardrobe. "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 panel closed with some fan Q and A, and with so many of the supernatural/superhero genres in the actors’ past of course everyone was curious if any of that would cross over to Ringer. "There will be no vampires, no demons, no hatch, no island ... except for Long Island," Snyder said.
Ringer premieres Tuesday, September 13 at 9pm on the CW.


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