After the screening of the new independent film Dust Up starring Amber Benson at the Somerville Theatre, Emertainment Monthly Editor-in-Chief, Shannon O’Connor and staff writer Julia Moreira caught up with Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum for a quick yet hilarious Q&A.
EMERTAINMENT MONTHLY: What drew you to your part in Dust Up?
AMBER BENSON: You know, I read it and I thought it was really funny, it made me laugh out loud and that’s so rare these days when I read something that tickles my funny bone. I thought she [her character Ella] just had such heart, she was sort of like the center. Everything spun around her, there was so much craziness and they just kept it real and I really appreciated that.
You write, you direct and you act, how do you handle all that?
You know, I just do whatever pays me and/or is creatively fulfilling that does not pay me. As a creative individual these days you are cobbling together a living, so if something is attractive I’ll go do it, if something is like “here’s some money” I’ll go do it, I am always just constantly juggling everything. I’m constantly on the move, I’m like a shark – if I stop I die. [Laughs]
Wait…sharks die if they stop moving?[Laughs] I do not know if that is actually true, but I like that idea that if they stop they die.
What are your upcoming projects?
I have the fifth book in the Calliope Reaper-Jones Series called The Golden Age of Death, and it comes out in March and Dust Up just came out on iTunes and Amazon, so you can rent that. I am on Twitter all the time and I am blogging; tell me what else I do! [Laughs]
You wrote a play?
You wrote a play? No, I wrote a play, I did but no one ever talks about that, its absurdist and weird. [Laughs]
So what got you into novel writing?
Christopher Golden, he is my mentor and he actually, while I was on Buffy, approached me about writing Buffy comics together. So, we did a bunch of Willow/Tara books and then that sort of segued into prose.
When you look for roles what do you look for?[I look for] Strong female protagonists, someone silly, someone that makes me laugh, someone scary. There are so many different things that wet my whistle; it’s just whatever grabs me.
Now for the perpetual Buffy question, what led you to the role of Tara?
I just auditioned for it, it was a fluke. I just went in and auditioned for it, I thought it would be two episodes and it ended up being three years of my life.
So were you expecting your abrupt ending?
I knew toward the end of season 5, Joss [Whedon] took me aside and said, “I’ve got great news, I can’t wait to tell you!” I said “Oh cool!”
I am sure he does that a lot.
Uh-huh he kind of does. [Laughs] He was like “you’re going to die!” I was like, “oh, that is really, wow, okay, yay…” But, he was excited about it purely from a story point-of-view, I do not think he realized the impact it was going to have, and had he, he might have changed things around a little bit, maybe.
But Dark Willow is pretty awesome.
Dark Willow is awesome, so awesome… veiny, but awesome.
What is your favorite Buffy episode?
Oh, the musical [Once More with Feeling] by far.