Playing A Single Mom In Buffy Resonated With Kristine Sutherland In A Very Real Way

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Written By Sedoso Feb

Although Kristine Sutherland loved that “Buffy” suggested Joyce had a life outside of being a mother, she did find one thing about her character to be underdeveloped. “The only thing that I felt was missing was I wore a lot of mom clothes that I thought didn’t reflect my profession,” the actress confessed in a 2023 interview on the podcast The Rewatcher. “I thought Joyce could have been a lot more powerful in her work life […] I thought that that was an important part of the feminist story is that I would have liked to have explored more of Joyce’s work life. And had that filled out more.”

Throughout the entire run of the series, there was only one scene where Joyce was seen in her gallery — in the season 3 episode “Dead Man’s Party,” which centers around a cursed mask. However, the lack of attention to Joyce’s work life remains Sutherland’s “only regret” about the role. Overall, she commends the work that the series did to bring television into the 21st century.

“‘Buffy’ was ahead of its time in celebrating the right to be different and to be loved and valued for who you are, even if it’s outside of the mainstream,” the actress mused in conversation with The Hollywood Reporter.

Joyce might not have lived for the duration of the series, but she was a strong character who imbued her strength into the incredible daughter that she raised. A large part of what made “Buffy” so revolutionary was the way that it turned traditional female roles like the teenage bimbo or the overprotective mother on their head, and Sutherland was an instrumental force in that revolution.

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