For better or worse, Sarah Michelle Gellar will always be associated with the ass-kicking, demon-slaying TV heroine Buffy Summers.
"Back then, if you'd called me Buffy I would probably have been really annoyed," Gellar tells the spring 2012 issue of Bullett, nine years after the series wrapped. "Now, of course, I get it and I'm appreciative of it. But that's something that comes with maturity, which most people don't have when they're 24 years old."
Still, Gellar admits she was always respectful of the beloved series, which ran from 1997-2003. "I've definitely smoked cigarettes, and I've partied plenty. I just got it out of my system early. I was lucky enough to have had my experiences when I was younger -- and out of the public eye."
"When I was younger, I was very careful not to. . .I just didn't want to be seen with a drink in my hand. People looked up to [Buffy the Vampire Slayer], and she was a character that girls respected."
Now 34, married to Freddie Prinze Jr. and mom to Charlotte, 2, Gellar tells Bullett she's not looking to become a pop culture phenomenon again.
"For me, having a child was that cliched, life-altering experience where everything took on a different meaning. Things that had once been priorities had no meaning to me anymore, and things that I'd never thought about suddenly became things that were on my mind," the Ringer actress says. "If I'd known how happy having a child would make me, I probably would have had one a long time ago."