An interview with Amber Benson


AE: So how did it finally happen?
It happened on an episode called "The Body." The kiss was important to the story and we filmed something that was pretty intense. We figured it would be toned down in the edit, but they were kind to it and kept it pretty much intact.

It was funny, though, because the straight characters were having these hardcore sex scenes and we were like ‘That’s not fair! They’re naked and wearing socks to cover their private parts and we can barely even hold hands. That’s not fair."

AE: Do you and Alyson Hannigan still stay in touch?
I haven’t seen her in quite a while but I definitely keep up with what’s going on with her on Twitter. She just had a kid and she’s working on her show, so I think she’s a pretty busy lady. I find that when your friends have kids, unless they live right next door to you, you don’t socialize with them as much.

AE: Have you ever felt like the Buffy character will follow you forever?
Yeah! I think anytime you do something that is sort of iconic it will always be a part of you. I know that Alyson and I both felt really honored that we got to walk in their shoes and present these characters to the world. And, yeah, I think it will always be a part of my life. It would be weird if it weren’t.

AE: Did you know how intense the reaction was going to be?
No, I worked in a bubble so I didn’t fully understand what an impact we were making until I went out in the world and realized that people were really moved by what we were doing. And not in just an "I like the TV show" kind of way, but in a ‘Hey you’re doing something really important" way. They’d say, “I live in Middle America and I see this on TV and you’re telling me it’s OK to be gay. That there’s nothing wrong with me, I’m not a bad person, I’m not dirty I’m just a normal person."

AE: Do you stay active in the community?
Yes, as much as a straight person can carry the flag. I just want people to know that it’s OK to be what you are. You are just frickin lucky if you find somebody that you click with. You know — just to find somebody that cares about you is huge. And if it happens to be somebody of the same sex, well, who gives a damn?

AE: How do you feel about the length of time that it’s taking for this message to reach people?
Well, you know there isn’t equality yet. It’s close, but it’s not quite there. When you live in a world where the government says it’s not OK for two people of the same sex to get married, that’s just not fair. I think it’s a hell of a lot better than it used to be, though. There’s The L Word and all these other shows that kinda said, "Here’s a lifestyle choice and we are putting it out there and we’re not sugar coating it."

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