An interview with Amber Benson

AE: You are directing now, have you thought about turning these into movies?
Yeah, the book is out with producers right now and I would be down for someone doing something with it.

AE: And television appeals to you more then film?
I would love to do both. I’d made a couple of little indie films before I did Drones, the film that I just co-directed with Adam Busch (Warren on Buffy and Amber’s long-term partner), but those were more like learning experiences. Drones is like a real deal movie and I’m really proud of it. We have an amazing cast. The folk singer Dan Bern wrote four original songs for us.

AE: How do you feel about the celebrities who are still in the closet?
It’s rough. I understand why they don’t come out. We still live in a society where being gay does not make you equal. So, you want to work and you don’t want to be pigeonholed or marginalized, so you just stay quiet. I think it’s a Catch-22 because it sets the example that it’s not OK to be who you are, but on the other hand, being honest can limit your ability to get a job.

AE: True I mean we are just now at the point where it is okay to play gay.
Exactly — people have a hard time with it. Like how can someone play straight if they’re gay? Well, I’m an actor I can be whatever you want me to be. I mean, I could play a dog if you want. The whole thing is just so asinine.

AE: How are you making the experiences of being an actor, director and novelist  work together?
Basically, I’m just trying to pay my bills. These days you have to sort of cobble together a career. You can’t just say, “I’m going to be and actor” and then make a living at it. I mean, you’re making like a $100 dollars a day on these indie films, and that’s if you’re lucky and get paid at all.

You can’t survive just doing one thing. You have to diversify. And everyone I know is in the same boat that I’m in. We’re all barely eeking out an existence. I guess I could get a normal job with benefits, but I choose to sit in front of my computer and write instead.

AE: Do you think that you will always be acting, are there characters that you imagine yourself playing or are you moving more towards directing and other things?
I guess I’m moving away from the acting. I’m still down to do whatever but it seems to be something that’s happening to me. It’s not really a choice. It’s so hard to get a job these days. People always ask me why I did this bad movie or that bad movie, but to me it’s just a job that pays the bills.

The only thing that I turned down — well, actually, I didn’t turn it down, I just didn’t go to the audition, was a Charles Manson biopic. I felt like there were still people whose lives are being affected by those murders and I just didn’t want to be a part of all that. I’m not judging anyone. It just wasn’t the right thing for me. To each their own. I just wasn’t feelin’ it. But if anyone has a job they want to throw my way, I’m down. I love to work!

AE: Did you ever run into fans that expressed their disappointment to you when learning that you were not in fact really gay?
Boy, I’d never want for company if I liked the ladies. I always have pretty girls bemoaning the fact I’m not gay.

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