Julie Benz says she likes to likes to portray complicated characters, and she certainly has: a vampire, the wife of a serial killer, and the former mayor of a post-apocalyptic town. She talked about these roles when she was one of the featured guests during Wizard World’s first convention at the Sacramento Convention Center.
In this first segment, she talks about how she was sad that Rita, Dexter’s wife, was written out of the show. She also talks about what it was like to work with Joss Whedon on Buffy and Angel.
Benz also said that the first season of Dexter was her favorite because that was when Rita was a wounded and fragile woman who tried to keep things together, and relied on Dexter for some help.
She also says she’s always happy to meet fans who like her work, but also says there are some places where it shouldn’t be done. She also admitted that she didn’t see the final episode of Dexter right away, or any other show she worked on. “It’s hard to watch because in many ways the magic’s ruined for you after working on it,” she explained.
However, she was able to catch up with the show with help from cast mates including Jennifer Carpenter, and found out how it ended. “There was always controversy about the ending of The Sopranos, and then cut two years later and you go ‘that was a brilliant ending’,” she said, “I think that’s going to be the same reaction with Dexter.”
She was attracted to the role of Amanda Rosewater on Defiance because she was “pretty bad-ass,” but also complicated. She also talked about when she knew the show was gaining a lot of fans, and gave a hint about what’s to come this summer.
It’s been revealed that although Amanda will not be the mayor of Defiance in season two, but will have a new role.
Darla, the vampire who sired Angel, may be Benz’s most recognizable role. Originally, she lasted for just a few episodes in the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She returned on Angel three years later, and became a pivotal character on that show.
Benz also admitted she never saw her final episode on Dexter, where Rita was killed in the bathtub. She was especially concerned how her parents would have reacted to seeing that bloody image.
Finally, she says she doesn’t try to ad-lib, partially due to her working with Joss Whedon. “I really respect writers,” she said, “and my job is to really try to bring their story to life.”
Defiance will return to SyFy in June.
Check out the other panels Whedonopolis attended in the playlist below!