Amber Benson has been on AfterEllen.com’s Hot 100 every year — and she probably always will be. She is a favorite amongst the ladies and for good reason. The actress is best known for her role as Tara (Willow’s girlfriend) on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but is actually multi-talented and has since branched out from acting into writing, producing and directing.
AfterEllen.com caught up with Benson to talk about playing gay for pay when it was still taboo, why she had to fight to kiss Alyson Hannigan on screen and why she rarely turns down acting jobs.
AfterEllen.com: How much did you know about the character, Tara before you auditioned for the part on Buffy the Vampire Slayer?
Everyone else seemed to know it was going to become a lesbian relationship but I didn’t. I was totally oblivious and so was Alyson. It wasn’t until everyone on the crew was like, "You guys have a lot of chemistry” that we were like, "What do you mean ‘a lot of chemistry’?"
And then Joss [Whedon] took us aside and said, "By the way, you guys are going to be lady friends now," and we were like "OK," but it was not expected. We were not told anything in any way shape or form beforehand, so it kind of came out of left field a little bit.
AE: So you’d been acting a lot before then? What was your biggest role up until this point?
Little did I know that I was really blessed in my first experience. I guess it’s sort of like when you have sex for the first time and it’s a positive experience and then later on you find out that it can be kinda skeezy.
AE: There were a lot of big names on that film, Adrian Brody and Katherine Heigl; do you stay in touch with them?
AE: So your first acting experience was like a positive sexual experience?