BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
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Goodbye Buffy!

AMBER BENSON


Q:
So no dating fans?

BENSON:
Yeah, no dating the fans. You know, I’ve gotten lots of invitations, if I’m ever in Des Moines, Iowa, I’ve got a place to stay. (laughs)

Q:
Did you know when you were first cast that it was going to be a lesbian role?

Goodbye Buffy!
Goodbye Buffy!

BENSON:
No, I didn’t. (laughs) It kind of progressed. It was interesting, because when I first got it, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be here for very long. I thought maybe it would be a couple episode. And then all of a sudden, they’re like, “You and Alyson have this chemistry, We were thinking maybe—“ I didn’t see it. I’m like, “What are you guys talking about?” Then I started watching the episodes, and I thought, “Oh my gosh, she and I look like we’re ready to go visit the bedroom!” (laughs)

Q:
Macking down with co-stars.

BENSON:
Yeah, I’m like, “I was just being adoring.” I wasn’t, you know, like, there wasn’t any sex—well, I guess there was. Someone else was playing that part, not me. So yeah, it kind of became this whole relationship that I wasn’t expecting at all. Which is really cool, ‘cause it’s a great show and I have fun, so I can’t complain.

Q:
What are your thoughts on the legacy of the show?

BENSON:
Yeah, it was kind of crazy when they had the hundredth episode party, and there’s this big cake that says, “Buffy, 100 Episodes.” I’m like, “I did one, two three. . . “ (laughs) trying to figure out how many. I didn’t do 100, I just did like a small margin, a little bit of those. I’m not the whole 100.” It’s interesting, because coming into the show, there’s this huge fan base, and they were very enamored of Seth Green, he had this great relationship with Willow, and it was this whole Oz/Willow thing, and to come into that and have people going, “We don’t like you taking Willow away from Oz.” It was weird. It was weird to have this following that had been there for three seasons and here I am kind of the newbie. It was interesting. I’ve been saying that a lot—isn’t that interesting.

Q:
Do you get letters from fans saying this stuff?

BENSON:
Yeah. “I like you, you’re okay, but I wish Willow was with Oz.” Actually, we have something called the posting board party every year, when the fans basically throw this shindig where they raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation. It’s a really good cause, and a lot of the cast and crew will go. The first year I went, I went to the bathroom. There was two women in there. One of them looks at me and goes, “Do I know you?” I’m like, “I don’t know.” She’s like, “You’re Amber Benson. You play Tara, don’t you?” I’m like, “Yeah.” She’s like, “We think that Willow should be with Spike.” I’m like, “Okay, I have to pee, so I’m just going to in the stall over there. You keep talking.” She was very adamant that she really felt that Willow and Spike needed to be, you know, that Tara should go quietly away and let Willow and Spike get it on. Yeah, people are very entrenched in this whole Buffy mystique.

Q:
Speaking of fans, the show doesn’t end once the season’s been run. It goes beyond that—DVD, VHS

BENSON:
You don’t leave their homes, do you? You’re in there forever.


Q:
Do you have any idea how long you are going to stay on the show? Is that up to you?

BENSON:
They’re so tight-lipped upstairs. Like I was telling them, I didn’t even know I was going to be a lesbian until like 3 or 4 seasons. So you never know. It’s the kind of show where people do die on the show and go away, and then they come back, and then they die again, and then they come back and have children. Anything can happen, so with “BUFFY”, I don’t think you ever die on “BUFFY”. I think there’s always you coming back in some carnation or other.

Q:
How do you keep things fresh for yourself?

BENSON:
For me, I don’t know. I eat a lot of crap at the food craft service table. That makes it exciting for me. I’m like, “What do we have today? Ooh, a little Danish. Yummy.” That’s how I keep it—I don’t know, it’s weird because I’ve never done a long term series before. I’ve done a lot of film and guest spots on TV shows, and you go in and you do your thing, and then you’re done, and then you go home and it’s nice. Here, it’s like, she is me and I am her, and we cannot escape one another when we are on the set. Like here I’m here in the bronze, and all I can think about is Willow’s driving stick, it’s over there. We shot it over there. It’s just this weird, I don’t know. I really try and like live in the moment when we’re doing the scenes. We don’t do a lot of rehearsal. We kind of come in and we’ll do a run-through to see how we’re blocked and what we’re going to do. Then we kind of just do it. I think that’s how we stay kind of fresh. Otherwise, I think if we were rehearsing things into the ground, we’d be like, “Mmmm! Can’t function!”

Q:
How did your parents react to your character being a lesbian?

BENSON:
My Dad thinks it’s really cute that I get all these letters. He’s a psychiatrist, and he’s like, “How does it make you feel to get these letters from these young women?” I’m really lucky. I have an amazing family. My Mom and my Dad and my sister are just 100% supportive of what I do. If I was playing a toxic avenger, they’d still be happy.


Q:
Do you wish you could kick more butt in the show?

BENSON:
I keep asking to kill things, but they won’t let me. I got to kill one thing, one thing—that is so not fair. Just one, with an axe. Not even magic; just an axe.

Q:
What’s your worst nightmare?

BENSON:
My worst nightmare? I’ve had unprepared nightmares, where I go to work and I’m completely unprepared; I don’t know what the hell I’m saying. I guess it’s like Christopher during “THE ACTOR’S NIGHTMARE”, you know, “We’re doing ‘HAMLET’? No, no, no, no, we’re doing ‘ANYTHING GOES’! What are we doing? Oh my gosh, well, just sing!” So that’s my worst nightmare I think. That and scary monsters that eat me.

Q:
What about demons?

BENSON:
No, not demons per se, but just like scary snakes that come after me in the middle of the night and wake me up.



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