Freddie Prinze Jr. explains why his 18-year marriage to Sarah Michelle Gellar works

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr.

One of the quietest and most interesting marriages in Hollywood is the marriage of Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. They’ve known each other since 1996. They started dating in 1997/98-ish. They got married in 2002. They have two children, Charlotte and Rocky. We rarely hear any gossip about their marriage or their kids. They keep their sh-t on lockdown, but even that’s done in a lowkey way – they’re not making a performance out of how secretive they are, they just don’t f–king talk about it. And it’s remarkable that their relationship has lasted 20-plus years IN HOLLYWOOD, the land of the three-month marriage. Anyway, with all that being said, Freddie Prinze Jr. is talking about his marriage and their home life. He chatted with Us Weekly recently. Some highlights:

On the key to a happy marriage: “There’s no keys. There’s no rules. There’s nothing like that. I don’t believe in false expectation. I just believe in knowing who you are when you start a relationship. And if you don’t, then that relationship probably isn’t going to work.”

They’re private people: “For Sarah and I, we’re very private people. We try to make each other laugh, and we both kind of knew who we were. Hollywood’s a crazy business ’cause there’s very few locals here. … And we can pick you out of a crowd. It’s like a lion seeing the weak gazelle. So, when you come out here, and you don’t know who you are, this business will define you and it will put its fingerprints all over you. It wants to do that. It needs to do that. And if you do know who you are, then you can kind of control your own destiny much more easily. The same rule applies in a relationship. If you don’t know who you are when you get in that relationship, odds are the other person is going to have a big hand in defining what kind of person you’re going to be. Or, and worse, if you pretend to be someone else, that’s a lie you’ve got to live forever if you want that relationship to work out forever. So, knowing yourself is sort of the key to doing it.”

His wife doesn’t mind that he’s a gamer: “I played video games since I was a little boy. Sarah knew I played video games. If she ever gave me a hard time about playing video games, Sarah and I would not be together. Period. There would be no us. We’d just be friends ’cause I’m not giving up something I love because you don’t think it’s cool. And conversely, Sarah likes what she likes. I don’t trash reality television. I don’t trash any. If she digs it, cool. If you love and respect someone, what brings them joy should make you happy, whether you’re involved with it or not. So, let your girls watch what they want to watch. Let your dudes watch what they want to watch. Don’t give them a hard time. And if you find yourself in one of those relationships, maybe it’s time to have a conversation.”

He cooks & cleans most of the time: “I was born here in California, so it was nice to finally learn the correct way to do things and it’s way easier [to use a dishwasher]. And it’s way less work for me. I cook and clean most of the time. Although, Sarah sometimes will do the cleaning. If I cook, she feels bad for me, takes pity on me. But most of the time I just try to do both just to knock it out and get it out of the way. And it definitely made our lives easier.”

[From Us Weekly]

So, he’s a gamer and he cooks and cleans and he’s presumably a hands-on dad, and that’s how their marriage works, basically. I actually like the basic gist of what he says: don’t get involved with someone if you’re going to try to change them, and go into relationships understanding that everything won’t be perfect all the time and that neither of you are perfect people. Oh, and know thyself. What’s remarkable about that is that – again – they were SO YOUNG when they met. Knowing yourself at that age is difficult, but they did it.

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr

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Photos courtesy of Getty, WENN.

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34 Responses to “Freddie Prinze Jr. explains why his 18-year marriage to Sarah Michelle Gellar works”

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  1. Digital Unicorn says:

    IIRC he helped her with her eating disorder early on in their relationship – she’s talked about that in the past. They both have a healthy outlook on life, which is not easy in HW.

  2. Wamamax3 says:

    The part about gaming and reality TV is straight out of my marriage. On the nights after kids’s bedtimes where we don’t watch something together, my husband games and I watch Real Housewives. It works for us.

    They seem well adjusted and happy.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Yeah, he basically described my 27-year relationship. My husband and I used to take days off and spend three-day weekends playing and beating video games in the 90s. He and our sons are lifetime gamers. It simply is. I listen to my music loudly and belt out the tunes in the car, and nobody can complain whether it’s White Zombie, Shinedown or Zeppelin. They simply sing along too lol. I can’t imagine being in a relationship where you’re trying to change something about the other person.

    • LakeMom says:

      Same with my 20+ year marriage. People think we are weird because we sometimes take separate vacations but he has his interests and I have mine. We may not have that interest in common but we still respect it because that’s part of who we are. We are pretty much together 24/7 and also go on vacations together but we were very independent people before marriage and still are to a certain extent. Freddie is right, you have to know who you are before you begin a relationship or it will never work.

    • Courtney B says:

      My 28 year marriage too. Hubby isn’t a super gamer but he does like to play, especially with our kids. But he loves sci fi shows like Doctor Who which bore me. And I love Real Housewives, the Bachelor/Bachelorette and Project Runway which bore him. Or irritate him. We give each other time and space alone to watch them.

  3. Originaltessa says:

    I want him to make a McDreamy like comeback. Teen heartthrob turned silver fox. I’d watch the show. Someone just needs to make it.

  4. Betsy says:

    These two are just adorable. I don’t think of them often but when I saw the pics it’s like, awwww look at them!

  5. Leducduswaz says:

    I still think WWE made a mistake getting rid of Freddie as their acting coach. He really did seem to be helping the lower-level performers improve in the time that he was there. The rumor is that John Cena didn’t like him much, and called him “Ashton Kutcher” for months.

    • Steff says:

      Wha?! He was their acting their acting coach? How have I never heard this?

      • Leducduswaz says:

        He was there for most of 08 and then again from 2010 – 2012. If I remember right, he was a guest host for one episode and had a small fight with Randy Orton.

  6. Jess says:

    I need to send this to my husband, he makes fun of me for watching trashy tv and doesn’t understand how I could possibly find it entertaining, yet he has no problem watching grown men chase a football for 14 hours a day, or binge watching depressing murder shows like law and order. I always tell him just let me do my thing and he can do his, nothing wrong with either but he’s not somehow better than me because he doesn’t watch reality tv!

    • Spicecake38 says:

      You guys should come over,we can watch reality TV and our husbands can sit in the other room and shout at the TV for hours on end watching football 😂
      And mine loves the dateline,20/20, American Greed all those shows too,lol.
      We don’t make a big deal of it in our house,but on Sunday my daughter and I usually leave when he’s watching the Cleveland browns bc he just always thinks….it’s gonna be their year..shock-it’s never their year.

      • Jess says:

        Poor Cleveland😂 one of these years it will happen, maybe.

        Come join me for a trashy tv fest anytime! ;) sometimes I just need mindless entertainment as a distraction from real life.

  7. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    You just can’t help but like them, can you?

  8. xdanix says:

    I LOVE that he talks about the importance of knowing yourself, and that he makes it clear that in their relationship it’s not just a one-way street, it’s give and take. It’s not that it ONLY wouldn’t have worked if she didn’t let him pursue his gaming or whatever. Even though I know they’re very happily married, I still found something in me going mmm when he said that about “we never would have worked if she ever gave me a hard time about my gaming”, because so often that’s where that ends! But then he went on to clearly state that equally, he has just as much respect for what makes her happy and will never knock her interests. Love that, so much.

    I don’t know very much about him- I think the only projects I’ve ever seen him in were the Scooby Doo movies he did with SMG!- but he sounds like a really good guy, to me. Happy for them that they’ve stayed together and happy all this time.

  9. Lucy says:

    I absolutely love them. They handle their place in the spotlight exactly how I think all celeb couples should (not that my opinion matters). I believe them when they say they’re happy. Also, they’re both just as gorgeous as they were when they were younger.

  10. Valiantly Varnished says:

    What he said about knowing yourself is spot on. And it can be applied to any relationship or situation. But I think it’s especially important in a marriage- alongside accepting the other person and not trying to change them. Which he also talked about in regards to accepting what the person you love is into and not making them feel bad about it.

  11. Veronica says:

    They’re really cute.

    In addition to privacy, I suspect part of it is that their careers have been more or less level with each other fame-wise. It’s allowed them to spend more time together and keep any issues out of the spotlight – and no big ego moments to contend with when one’s career shot past the other.

    The part about not trashing each other’s hobbies is really important, though. That’s a kind of sly contempt that can work its way into marriages and really damage it. We all pour passion into silly things and acting above it can be hurtful.

  12. La says:

    He was my huge crush in high school and I’m so happy to see he is so normal and level headed. I think I watched She’s All That about a million times.

    I follow SMG on Insta and she’s so cute and normal on there too. She never shows their kids’ faces on there but doesn’t make a big deal about it. I just love them and so happy they seem to be doing so well!

  13. Sarah says:

    This is why I have never liked the expression “I’m a better version of myself when I’m with you”. It’s why you get those fast flaming relationships where you fall in love a little with the version of yourself that the other person thinks you are but if that is not true to who you actually are it can never last.

  14. What. . .now? says:

    Aww, I love them! I saw them once in a book store when they were doing the Scooby Doo movie (the first one), because he had bleached his hair blond to play Fred in the movie. He is legit TALL, about 6’3, because he was taller than my hubs who is 6’2. Sarah is so petite! She is probably 5’1 or 5’2 at most. Both were/are so attractive in person, too. Make up doesn’t transform them into beautiful people, they just are that great looking!

  15. Onomo says:

    So I remember being shocked his dad died from depression when he was quite young. I always wondered what kind of effect that had on him, and it sounds like he has been in therapy, and has some self awareness but also relationship awareness. I wonder if that too has kept him fairly grounded despite all that he has seen.

    And yes, cooking and cleaning are basic life skills, I am always shocked by people of any gender who make it through life without knowing how to do those things and feel that it should be the standard for any parent to model those things for their kids.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      Freddie Prinze’s suicide was a shock to his fans not only because it was unthinkable that a successful celebrity would kill themselves but because he was so very young as well (he was only 22). Freddie Prinze Jr was only about 9 months old when it happened and I believe his mom remarried when he was young so at least he had stability growing up. I”m not sure if he’s ever spoken about his father/father’s legacy

      • Boxy Lady says:

        He has talked about it. He said he’s proud that his dad passed his stage name on to him. Very early in his career, he went on the Tonight Show when Jay Leno was still the host. Jay and Freddie Sr were really tight back in the day and Freddie Jr had gone to Jay early on to learn more about his dad and to get showbiz help. Jay assured him that his dad would be really proud of him.

    • Golly Gee says:

      It turns out that Freddie Prinze Sr. was under the influence of prescription medication when he took his life. His mother later successfully sued and was awarded an insurance settlement. The jury found that his death was medication-induced and accidental.

  16. susiecue says:


    They are very cute. The shoes. But also the two of them.

  17. Faye G says:

    Good for them, they were the hot couple back in the 90s and they still are now! It’s refreshing to see how normal they are.

    I could never be with a gamer, because my last relationship was with a serious gaming addict, and I still haven’t gotten over that trauma LOL. He would play 9 hours a day, ignore me, yell and scream and get mad when he lost, it was really a bad situation. But I’m sure Freddys not like that.

  18. Kimmy says:

    I always say this when you post about them, but they are my teenage dream come true!! I had the biggest crush on Freddie and I was OBSESSED with SMG/Buffy the Vampire Slayer. When they got together, I died.

  19. ClaireB says:

    He always seemed a bit douche-y to me, but I’m glad to be proven wrong. It sounds like he’s done a lot of personal and emotional work over the years and applies it to his marriage. SMG has always been a fave since Buffy, but I guess I’ll have to revise my opinion of him!

    • Lucy says:

      If you’re interested, there’s this interview he once gave Howard Stern several years ago (SMG and him were still dating). Howard was all like “but how do you know you guys will last? 10 years from now you’re gonna be a completely different man” and Freddie’s answer was something like “I don’t know it! But she’s gonna be a completely different woman too, and that’s okay.” He was very young and I was impressed by his insight.

  20. Laura says:

    My husband and I both game, and like several of the same TV shows. That said, I just CANNOT get his fascination with The 100. I just can’t with it. I tried, but I can’t. And he’s on his sixth or seventh (maybe even eighth. I can’t keep up) viewing. And we did fight about it once, but it wasn’t because he likes it and I don’t. Because he would spend his day watching it, not doing anything around the house (he works early mornings to late mornings, I work late mornings through evenings) except making messes.