Julie Benz has quite the extensive resume – from TV to film roles, she’s worked on such projects as “Dexter,” “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Angel,” “No Ordinary Family,” “A Gifted Man,” and most recently, Showcase’s hit sci-fi drama “Defiance,” where she plays Mayor Amanda Rosewater. In addition to her current television work, Benz is also working on a number of movies.
Charming and so down-to-earth, Benz talked about her love for working on TV projects, where she gets to truly hone her character, as well as her love for filming in Canada, which she calls “Hollywood North.”
CraveOnline: So what’s going to happen on Season 2 of “Defiance” with the mayor?
Julie Benz: At the beginning of the season we see her struggling – she’s having a hard time finding herself in the town of Defiance. She doesn’t have a good support system so she’s having a hard time. Throughout the season we see her unravel very slowly.
Have you ever done any work or visited Canada?
Numerous times – I shot three movies in Montreal, quite a few in Toronto and Vancouver, and “Defiance” shoots in Toronto. Canada is Hollywood North. I love it – it’s great country. It’s beautiful with different landscapes. People are always so friendly and so nice.
You’re also working on a number of films?
I just wrapped a cool movie “Havenhurst”- it’s from the producers of “Saw” and it’s a psychological thriller/horror and it’s really scary. I read the script and got terrified and thought, “I have to be in this!” It’s so creepy and right up my alley.
Is one medium (i.e., TV, film) more challenging than the other?
Film is more challenging – there’s not as much time to develop a character. With TV you live and breathe a character over the years and get to know them very well, but with film you’re lucky if you live with that character for three months. In TV you have a lot of time to develop and establish a character, and the writers start writing to your strengths so there’s a synergy that happens between writers and their characters. It’s how characters get developed.
What role were you most proud to have played?
I’ve been very fortunate to play such amazing women. The one character that I really enjoyed was Robin on Desperate Housewives – she was such a quirky, fun, sexy character. I also got to work with these amazing women whose work has inspired me – to actually be running around on Wisteria Lane was a dream come true for me in many ways. I did that role right after “Dexter” and Rita died, and it was a great place to go and have some fun in heels.
Who inspires you?
Wow. Um, I don’t really know. That’s a hard question (laughs). I was a figure skater growing up and was raised to always work hard and do my best and I think that’s what inspires me every day, no matter what I’m doing. Whether I’m acting, cooking, or working out, I always try to do my absolute best in that moment and that’s all you can do. You can’t control the outcome of everything – all you can control is doing your best. That’s all I try to focus on.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you/?
My life is an open book with Twitter, Facebook and instagram. It’s so funny because the perception of actors is that we have a staff of people to do all our mundane chores and I don’t… and I don’t know many people who do. I actually love cleaning and doing laundry. It’s interesting the difference between the perception and reality [of celebrities]… that’s what’s great about social media – I get to show people my life and that we’re all the same. Just because I’m on a TV show doesn’t make me any different than anyone else. I’m not any better. I still have to deal with my dog when he has an accident in the house, I take out my own garbage. My life has been pretty much an open book because I embraced social media so there’s not much people don’t know about me.