Get ready, because there’s no buffer for this Buffy revelation. It’s been exactly two decades since a television show centered on a high school student by day—vampire slayer by night—erupted and garnered a cult following of viewers.
These same loyal fans relentlessly asked one burning question even after Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s 2003 series finale: Angel or Spike? Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, who portrayed the titular main character, finally responded this week just time for the show’s 20th anniversary—and her answer will likely make some devoted viewers extremely happy while alienating others. Still, Gellar opted to speak her truth.
“People ask who I thought was Buffy’s ultimate,” the mom of two said at an Entertainment Weekly reunion event. “I get a lot of hate and a lot of death threats, seriously.”
“There was something so beautiful to me about the Buffy and Angel story,” she continued. “I think that Spike understood a different part of who Buffy was and I think she needed to understand that and discover. But for me as Buffy, I think Angel.”
David Boreanaz portrayed Angel, and ultimately starred in his own spinoff on WB. Spike, who was introduced on the series as a villain, was played by James Marsters.
Series creator Joss Whedon echoed Gellar’s sentiments, saying: “I’m split right down the middle because in terms of a long-term relationship: Spike’s kinda your guy because he actually went and got a soul because of her. But [Buffy and Angel’s romance] was the grandest love story I will ever tell,” he said. “You can’t argue with that.”
In real life, Gellar married former teen heartthrob Freddie Prinze Jr. in September 2002. The pair, who share two young kids Charlotte and Rocky, celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary last fall. It’s likely that so much of her platform wouldn’t have existed without the existence of Buffy.
“I’m so incredibly proud of what we all created,” she concluded to Entertainment Weekly in its issue. “Sometimes you need distance to really understand the gravitas of that. I appreciate everything about that job. As an actor, all you ever want to do is leave your mark — you want to do something that affects people.”