It’s common knowledge that Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar met on the set of the 1997 cult classic I Know What You Did Last Summer. But have you ever wondered how the now-husband-and-wife first bonded? Well, Prinze Jr. is opening up about those early days on set with Gellar — and the surprisingly practical reason they spent so much time together despite sharing very few scenes.
In the movie, Gellar played Helen Shivers, the best friend of Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Julie James. Prinze Jr. played Ray Bronson, Julie’s boyfriend. Naturally, most of his scenes were with Hewitt, as most of Gellar’s scenes were with her onscreen boyfriend Barry Cox (played by Ryan Phillippe). Still, despite the fact that they didn’t have a romance budding in the film, the foundation for a real-life relationship was forming behind-the-scenes. And all because Gellar needed a ride.
“She didn’t have a driver’s license. She didn’t know how to drive. And we were shooting in Southport, North Carolina, which was an hour’s drive from Wilmington, which was the biggest city that was closest to us. It was an hour drive just to get to the gym. And when we transported the film down to South Park, she had no way to get up there,” Prinze Jr. told Us Weekly in an interview published Sunday. “So, I started driving her, and that’s when her and I became friends.”
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20 years ago this week, my friend @realfreddieprinze and I were supposed to have dinner with a mutual friend from out of town. That friend missed her flight, but we decided to still meet and catch up. Now 20 years together, 17 plus married and two kids, we still go to that restaurant for dinner. So thank you @sloaney77 for not showing up for dinner.
Interestingly, if there ever was a case of opposites attracting, it was them. Prinze Jr. said, “We would just talk about life and stuff like that, and we had completely different philosophies on just about everything. ‘Cause she was a born and raised New Yorker and I was a born and raised L.A. kid, and we just looked at everything like night and day.”
Chemistry’s funny like that, though. Maybe the movie would have been cast differently if Gellar had been in the loop from the beginning, but that wasn’t the case. They didn’t find her for the character until the last minute. “She came right at the end,” Prinze Jr. revealed, adding, “We didn’t screen test together. Helen and Ray didn’t really have many scenes together.”
But between their commutes to and from the set and being on location for the duration of filming, Prinze Jr. and Gellar formed a bond. Plus, Prinze Jr. couldn’t help trying to feed her (yes, you read that right). “By the end of the movie, I just wanted to be friends with her because I thought she was too skinny and I wanted to cook for her. Because that’s what my family does,” he hilariously shared.
They started a weekly barbecue hang-out at her house that — dream scenario — included Prinze Jr. and his cousins coming over to cook food for Gellar and her friends. “And then we’d make sure everybody ate,” he said, “and that was kind of how our friendship began.”
Now, the happy couple has been married for nearly two decades and share daughter Charlotte, 10, and son Rocky, 7. So, yeah, it’s official… everything about them, starting with their origin story, is cute enough to be a Hallmark movie.
Before you go, check out other celebrity marriages that have stood the test of time.