An Emertainment Monthly Interview: Amber Benson

Aaron Gaffey and Amber Benson in “Dust Up.” Photo courtesy of drexelbox films.
After the screening of the new independent film Dust Up starring Amber Benson at the Somerville Theatre, Emertainment Monthly Editor-in-Chief, Shannon O’Connor and staff writer Julia Moreira caught up with Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum for a quick yet hilarious Q&A.
EMERTAINMENT MONTHLY: What drew you to your part in Dust Up?
AMBER BENSON: You know, I read it and I thought it was really funny, it made me laugh out loud and that’s so rare these days when I read something that tickles my funny bone. I thought she [her character Ella] just had such heart, she was sort of like the center. Everything spun around her, there was so much craziness and they just kept it real and I really appreciated that.
You write, you direct and you act, how do you handle all that?
You know, I just do whatever pays me and/or is creatively fulfilling that does not pay me. As a creative individual these days you are cobbling together a living, so if something is attractive I’ll go do it, if something is like “here’s some money” I’ll go do it, I am always just constantly juggling everything. I’m constantly on the move, I’m like a shark – if I stop I die. [Laughs] Wait…sharks die if they stop moving?
[Laughs] I do not know if that is actually true, but I like that idea that if they stop they die.
What are your upcoming projects?
I have the fifth book in the Calliope Reaper-Jones Series called The Golden Age of Death, and it comes out in March and Dust Up just came out on iTunes and Amazon, so you can rent that. I am on Twitter all the time and I am blogging; tell me what else I do! [Laughs] You wrote a play?
You wrote a play? No, I wrote a play, I did but no one ever talks about that, its absurdist and weird. [Laughs] So what got you into novel writing?
Christopher Golden, he is my mentor and he actually, while I was on Buffy, approached me about writing Buffy comics together. So, we did a bunch of Willow/Tara books and then that sort of segued into prose.
When you look for roles what do you look for?
[I look for] Strong female protagonists, someone silly, someone that makes me laugh, someone scary. There are so many different things that wet my whistle; it’s just whatever grabs me.
Now for the perpetual Buffy question, what led you to the role of Tara?
I just auditioned for it, it was a fluke. I just went in and auditioned for it, I thought it would be two episodes and it ended up being three years of my life.
So were you expecting your abrupt ending?
I knew toward the end of season 5, Joss [Whedon] took me aside and said, “I’ve got great news, I can’t wait to tell you!” I said “Oh cool!”
I am sure he does that a lot.
Uh-huh he kind of does. [Laughs] He was like “you’re going to die!” I was like, “oh, that is really, wow, okay, yay…” But, he was excited about it purely from a story point-of-view, I do not think he realized the impact it was going to have, and had he, he might have changed things around a little bit, maybe.
But Dark Willow is pretty awesome.
Dark Willow is awesome, so awesome… veiny, but awesome.
What is your favorite Buffy episode?
Oh, the musical [Once More with Feeling] by far.

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