As a result of her acting success, Sarah felt isolated and was left out of things by her fellow students. Life became a little easier though when Sarah changed schools and started at New York's famous Professional Children's School. She said that at that stage her acting helped pay for her education.
The Big Break
At the age of fourteen, Sarah won her first major role as the young Jacqueline Bouvier in the NBC TV Mini Series, A Woman Named Jackie (1991). From strength to strength, in 1992 Sarah won the lead role of Sydney Rutledge in the syndicated teen soap opera Swan's Crossing.
She was nominated for an Emmy in 1994, although didn't win the award. But in 1995 she was nominated again and this time went home with the Emmy award for Outstanding Younger Actress.
"At 15, my role required me to make out with Michael Nader, who was 50. I was playing older than I was. But I wasn't older and the best thing I can say about those days is that it taught me to memorize a 60 page script in two hours and to hit my technical mark without blocking the other actor's light" (from a recent Nylon interview)
Not Just Attractive & Talented, but Smart Too!
She finished High School early, graduating from the Professional Children's School two years early (when she was 15) with a 96.7 grade point average [100 is perfect]. She said "I would have had a 97 average but I got a B+ in trigonometry, which was my fault for taking it in the ninth grade." Despite her acting success her mom made sure that school came first "If I ever got below an A- on a report card I had to stop working. That was why my studies always had to come first. If I had a big test, that was more important than a commercial or a job and at any point if I wanted to stop acting that was going to be my decision. After I graduated from high school I said I'd give myself two years to really focus on my career and then if it wasn't going well I would go back to college full time."
In 1996, Sarah Michelle Gellar was chosen to play the lead role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and it was this role that was to gain her such enormous popularity.