Hanna Lafferty ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
Media by: Tori DeYeso ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
Eliza Dushku’s Q&A session was a great time at Super Megafest. Originally from Watertown, MA, Dushku garnered fame for her role as the Boston-born slayer Faith in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff, Angel. She played starring roles in the series Tru Calling and Dollhouse, and currently is doing voice-work for the Marvel Cartoon Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. as She-Hulk.
Many of the questions during the panel were geared towards her role in Buffy. Originally, Dushku was only slated for three episodes on Buffy, but her character’s personality and shortcomings were found very relatable by the audience because as Dushku said, “you’re not defined by mistakes that you’ve made.” When it was decided that Dushku was going to have a larger role in the show, she was only seventeen years old. In order to work the “vampire hours” (pun intended) on set as a minor, she needed to get the Boston court’s approval for emancipation. Since emancipation in Boston really depends on what judge reviews the case, Dushku and her lawyer were not hopeful of their success until the judge called Dushku to approach the bench. The judge said she was a big fan of Buffy and Dushku laughingly recalled that she said if she could get a signed photo from Dushku then the judge would sign her emancipation order.
The complexity of her role as Echo in Dollhouse and the challenges she now faces in voice-acting were also discussed during the Q&A. When asked how she prepared for the range of character’s she plays in Dollhouse, Dushku stated that it wasn’t so difficult because “I have a lot of different characters ALL THE TIME!” While she wished she had more time to develop each character she played in the show, she loved the chance to move between so many different roles. Since many of her roles are so physical, Dushku said that her greatest challenge for roles like Selina Kyle in Batman: Year One and She-Hulk was portraying the physicality she showed in the studio in her voice.
Dushku also held a mini fundraiser auction during the session in honor of her Camp Hale charity. Camp Hale was previously an all-boys camp in New Hampshire that Hale’s father and brothers attended in their youth. Dushku made a girls’ program for Camp Hale targeted towards girls living in urban neighborhoods and was a camp counselor for the program this summer. She was recently named Camp Champion for 2013 by the American Camp Association for her fundraising work. Dushku also discussed her Ugandan charity, Thrive, which provides trauma healing and rehab for child soldiers in North Uganda and is working on a fundraiser for Thrive in honor of her late stepfather, James Coleman.