Interview With Amber Benson

AE: How did you feel about Kennedy pushing up on your character’s woman only a couple months after she died? How rude is that?
AB:
Yeah, that bitch! Just kidding. I love Iyari [Limon, who played Kennedy], and I told her upfront how everyone hated Tara at first for usurping Oz. I told her to hang on, enjoy the ride, and people would grow to love her the way they loved Tara and Oz.

AE: In light of the recent "Buffy Is My Life" essay contest, I wonder how did working on Buffy affect your life?
AB:
I started when I was 22 and I spent a good chunk of my 20s immersed in Sunnydale. How that can’t affect someone, I don’t know. I definitely wouldn’t be able to do a lot of the things I’ve done without Buffy. And I met some very special people on the set that are still integral to my life today.

It’s funny because I saw Joss recently, and while we were standing there looking at pictures of his adorable kids, I realized that this was the guy who had changed — for good or bad — my life forever. It was a kinda crazy realization, that one person can have so much influence on another.

AE: What are your thoughts on the "Once More With Feeling" sing-alongs?
AB:
I think they’re awesome! I hope there is a lot of "in drag Tara" going on out there!

AE: Have you read any of the latest Season 8 Buffy comics?
AB:
I know that poor Warren is skinless and loving it!

AE: Do you know if Tara’s going to appear in the Season 8 Buffy comic?
AB:
I don’t have a clue. I don’t get the secret info comic book updates. They know I’m a terrible gossip!

AE: Do you keep in touch with any of your co-stars, especially from such big-name projects as Buffy or Taboo?
AB:
I see Michelle [Trachtenberg, who played Dawn] occasionally, the trio [Adam Busch, Danny Strong and Tom Lenk] and Juliet Landau [who played Drusilla], who’s awesome.

AE: Do you think that your pro-gay career opens or closes doors for you? Does it create some sort of glass-ceiling effect or do you find that many people are coming to you with projects?
AB:
I think playing a gay character on television opened a ton of doors for me, while at the same time closing a lot of doors for me. We still live in a world where a very Christian moral ethical code is implicit to our society. And sadly, some people have taken this and used it as a tool to divide.

I have been very blessed to work with a host of LGBT directors, producers, actors and writers, and let me tell you, who you sleep with has no effect whatsoever on the quality of the work. Believe me, being straight doesn’t make you a better entertainer.

AE: What drew you to work with the LGBT community on films?
AB:
I try and choose films that appeal to me on a psychological level. Some of them happen to be about straight people and some about LGBT people. I don’t make a distinction. For me, it’s all about the project itself.

AE: Are you up to playing any other lesbian roles in the future?
AB:
If the part kicks butt, then of course I’m there.

AE: You mentioned previously that your favorite movie is Antonia’s Line. If this is true, can you tell us why? Who’s your favorite character and what’s your favorite scene from the movie?
AB:
I just think it’s a lovely film about love and treating the people around you with compassion and respect. I think my favorite scene is the first, where we discover that this is Antonia’s day to die. It’s so beautiful; I can’t do it justice with my explanation. My favorite character is probably Antonia herself.

AE: When did you know you wanted to become an actress?
AB:
When I was a little kid I saw the Nutcracker Suite and desperately wanted to get on the stage. That was the beginning of the end for me!

AE: Would you ever consider doing Broadway theater over movies?
AB:
Hell yeah! Bring Broadway on! I have a friend who does Broadway [Jenna Leigh Green from Wicked], and I am so jealous of her. She has an amazing voice, and the job is well-deserved, but I’m still jealous she gets to tread the boards.

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