Welcome to Julie Benz Online @ JulieBenz.Net/Julie-Benz.Com. This is a fan site dedicated to the talented & beautiful actress Julie Benz. You may also know of her from the following television shows: "Defiance," "Angel", "Dexter" or "No Ordinary Family" & many more. You may also know of her from the following: "The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day", "Punisher: Warzone", or "Jawbreaker". Julie Benz Online is the longest running Julie fansite & has been online since 2004! We hope to be your source for all things Julie Benz.
Dexter’s Julie Benz cuts loose
Posted Under: Press on September 25, 2008 • Leave a comment? / No Comments

source: ign.com

This Sunday sees the eagerly anticipated third season debut of Showtime’s Dexter. On the series, Julie Benz plays Dexter’s girlfriend, Rita, who is very unaware that her loving boyfriend is in fact a serial killer – albeit of other killers.

I had the chance to speak to Benz about Dexter‘s return, along with her other upcoming projects. It’s a busy time for the Buffy and Angel alum . Besides Dexter, she’ll be seen in two films before the year is finished – Saw V and Punisher: War Zone, and we touched upon all those projects in our conversation.

IGN: Your character on Dexter has obviously evolved from when we met her and she was so closed off. Where do you think she is now? Has she reclaimed her old self completely?

Julie Benz: I think in Season 3, you see a much more strong and confident Rita. Rita and Dexter have been through a lot and I think you see that they’re happier together.

IGN: Dexter always says he’s faking his emotions, but he seems to have genuine caring for her and her kids. Where do you think that line is for him?

Benz: I think what he feels about her and her children is real. And I truly do believe this – Rita does see the good in him and there is good in him. There’s good in him that he’s almost afraid to see and acknowledge. We all want to be with the person who sees the good in us. …I just put my hand on your shirt, sorry!

IGN: [Laughs] That’s okay.

Benz: I’m feeling you up in the interview.

IGN: That’s totally going in the transcription.

Benz: Okay, cool! [Laughs] But I think we all gravitate towards the person who sees our best, or hopefully we gravitate towards that person. And I think Rita does see the best in Dexter and she believes it, and I do believe that even if she was presented with hard facts, photos, DNA evidence – everything that would say he was who he is, she would not believe it.

IGN: I was going to ask if you thought she could possibly reconcile it, because he has been so protective of her and her family.

Benz: She would never believe it. She just wouldn’t believe it. That’s my opinion and I’m not a writer – I’m just an actor! Therefore, I’m not nearly as creative as the writers on our show, and I will say that for the record. But my opinion is she just really believes in the good in him.

IGN: Do you ask the creators a lot of questions about what’s to come, or do you just like to see it script to script?

Benz: There is a part of me that would love to ask questions, but there’s also a part of me that knows that I will tell the world! [Laughs] So I try not to ask anything, because I’m terrible at keeping secrets. When I worked on Buffy and Angel, we never knew what was going on with our characters, and it was a total rollercoaster ride that we were taken on. We were shooting episodes sometimes where we didn’t have scripts written – we were just given scenes and didn’t know. So, I’m used to that kind of excitement. I don’t ever want to tip the hand of what’s coming next, so for me, I love just being able to play a character in the moment without knowing what’s going to come out of that action or what the reaction is going to be. So, I hold back – if they tell me, great. But I don’t call up and say, “Hey, what’s going on?” I love the rollercoaster ride in the next script. Over the weekend, I just read a script on my iPhone, freaking out. I’m straining my eyes… I’m the biggest, geeky fan of the show, and I love not knowing. I love seeing how everything is going to play out.

IGN: Most of the audience seems to love Dexter, even though he does what he does. Do you understand that point of view?

Benz: I don’t know. I’ve met so many women who come up to me and are like, “Oh my god, I loooove Dexter! I wanna marry him!” I ask, “You wanna marry Michael [C. Hall] or do you want to marry Dexter?” and they go, “Look, I think Michael is hot, but I want to marry Dexter.” “Hmmm….” I think it’s appealing because, you know, every man needs a hobby. Some men play golf. Some men serial kill! Serial killing usually takes place at night; it doesn’t take as much time. You don’t have to go on vacation – like a serial killing vacation. You don’t have to be called a golf weirdo. I think that’s the worst thing in the world. I don’t know, I kind of see the appeal! I question the sanity, but at the same time, he is a serial killer with a heart of gold and I think that’s the great thing about the show. You do kind of start questioning is it right, is it wrong, is it black, is it white. There are no answers. Only you can know the answer for yourself. And that’s what makes the show so appealing. You’re not forced an opinion. They give you questions and they go, “You answer.”

IGN: Let me ask you about your two big movies this fall. First off, you’ve got Saw V.

Benz: I play Brit. She’s a real estate developer. I like to think of her as a thoroughbred race horse. She’s one of those kind of very cutthroat, corporate women.

IGN: and I assume she might find herself in a bad situation?

Benz: [Smiles] Maybe. Maybe not.

IGN: That’s a horror series with an unusually complex ongoing storyline. Were you pretty familiar with the other films?

Benz: I was familiar with them. I’d seen bits and pieces of them. I’m a big scardey cat. I’m a wimp, let’s face it, and I’d never watched one all the way through. I watched Saw IV the night before filming started and that started the nightmares. I had nightmares all the way through filming. And not your typical actor nightmares of forgetting your lines or showing up naked on set, but I had nightmares about the movie. Which for me was very interesting to have happen, because I didn’t have to do much on set – I was [already] pretty freaked out the whole time. It was just interesting to have that happen. They had a bucket on standby for me at all times.

IGN: Did you ever have to use the bucket?

Benz: Almost! It was a very intense shoot. It was an amazing group of people to live with. The crew had been together since the beginning and you walk into a well-oiled machine. And they were all laughing at me, because they were like, “Newbie! Hah!” And then they’re all like, “We were there doing the same thing on our first one.” I can watch slasher movies, but the Saw franchise is psychologically terrifying. And I knew that going into it and it was a challenge. I took on the role thinking, “I’ve done the horror genre before. I’ve done this before. No problem.” It’s a whole different genre in and of itself and it really got to me on a very deep level. It’s great and it’s exciting to have that happen. But, you know, having nightmares is not fun.

IGN: Is it funny for you that you keep doing stories set around blood and gore?

Benz: It is. When I first started in this business, I wanted to do comedy and Joss Whedon saw something else in me and kind of put me into this genre. People think of me now as a dramatic actress, something I never saw my potential in. It’s really amazing to be thought of as a dramatic actress. I love being in the genre, because I think the fans are the best. They’re just as passionate about the shows and the movies that we’re working on as we are making them. They’re nothing better than that, having that passionate fan. You don’t have that necessarily for Dawson’s Creek, you know? So I love working in genre shows. I love it, I love it. However, I would like to play a character that’s in a comedy. [Laughs] That’s not covered in blood. I would love it if when they come and say, “You can keep your wardrobe,” I go, “Oh!”, rather than, “Oh… it’s covered in blood. I don’t think I want it.” It would be nice for the girly side of me, but when you work on genre material it really challenges you as an actress. You have to deal with a lot of heightened circumstances, and for me it’s really challenging to make those believable. And I honestly think I’d be bored on something that didn’t have that challenge, because now it’s so ingrained to me. I’m so used to it.

IGN: Now you’ll also be appearing in a Marvel Comics movie too. Can you talk a bit about Punisher: War Zone?

Benz: Yes, I play Angela Donatelli. We’ll just say that Angela is the wife of a cop and she’s a mother and she’s pissed off. I went brunette for the role. It was the first time I was ever brunette, which was life changing for me. I loved it! And it was the first time I ever got to do an accent.

IGN: What kind of accent?

Benz: A slight New York, Brooklyn accent. For me, it was a great acting challenge and to work with Ray Stevenson and Dominic West and Lexi Alexander, who directed it… I had quite a few moments on set where I would look around and be like, “I’m in a comic book! This is so cool!” You really felt like you were in a comic book. It was just a really cool project to be a part of.

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