Julie Benz graciously attended the Emerald City ComiCon held in Seattle, Washington this past weekend. Probably best known for playing the vampire Darla on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, Benz participated in a Q and A session during the event, allowing fans to personally ask her questions.
Benz started out the session tentatively, just repeating “Hi” over and over again. It was endearing that she looked so hesitant and awkward at being in the spotlight.
However, the questions came rolling in, and Benz warmed up to speaking. The first question was about singing “Ill Wind” in the Angel episode, “The Trial.” She confessed that she was deathly afraid of singing and didn’t want to sing in front of her co-stars David Boreanaz or Andy Hallett. But she was proud that she managed to get through it.
Some of the scenes or episodes that she is most proud of are “Darla,” the scene in “Dear Boy” that was filmed at the water tank, and the flashback about the anointed one in season 5.
One amusing fact that I learned was that Benz naturally has a small speech impediment, and wearing the vampire teeth corrected it. She managed to break all of her prosthetic teeth because she would keep grinding her teeth off camera.
Benz spent a lot of time talking about being a part of the most recent installment of the Rambo franchise. She had nothing but the utmost praise for Sylvester Stallone, who wrote, directed and produced the film. Acting in the film turned Julie Benz into a die-hard activist; she is now a vocal member of the U.S. Campaign for Burma. She spoke very passionately about the human rights violations occurring in that part of the world, and was proud to say that because of her involvement with the movie, she is now wanted by the Burmese military government. She is even boycotting the Olympics in Beijing, even though she is a former professional athlete.
Some attendees goaded her with questions about whether the violence in the Rambo movie was gratuitous, whether Stallone exploited the conflict in Burma to promote his movie, and about how she felt after the film received very poor reviews from critics across the board. At this point, Benz argued back strongly, saying that the film only showed a fraction of the violence that was actually occurring in Burma so it was absolutely not gratuitous at all. She also claimed that the film was adored by all the major critics. (Checking out rottentomatoes.com, Rambo only got a very poor rating of 27 percent fresh by the top critics, but it got positive reviews from The New York Times and The Chicago Sun-Times.) She ended her rant with, “Jesus! Don’t piss me off.”
But then, things got friendlier after that. She described her current work on Dexter. She joked that “[Michael C. Hall] is a raving psychotic in real life.” She described the acting process that she utilizes to portray many different types of characters, from sitcom blonds, to evil vampiress, to Dexter‘s fragile and damaged Rita Bennet, joking that she must clearly be unstable herself.
Benz has two films coming out later this year, Punisher: War Zone and Saw V. She enjoyed working on Saw V, but said that she won’t be watching it when it comes out because it is too scary for her.
-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer