Thanks to cricketclark for sending this in!
Julie Benz: Now, That’s Breakin’ into the Biz
If you’re a die-hard Buffy fan, you’d probably recognize her as Darla, the vamp who first tempted Angel into the wonderful world of darkness. Of course, if you’re otherwise occupied on Tuesday nights, you may know Benz as the embarrassingly eager receptionist who asked Jack Nicholson’s Melvin Udall how he wrote such “real women characters” in As Good As It Gets.
But long before she dreamed of being an actress, the twentysomething Pittsburgh native was a stellar ice skater. From the time she was 3, Benz competed professionally, and even ranked as high as number 13 in the States, before a leg injury, at age 16, forced her off the ice for good.
Next? Well, her father was a vascular surgeon; maybe she could follow in his footsteps. But then she sat in on a hemorrhoid surgery: “After that, I decided I didn’t want to work with a bunch of assholes,” she jokes. “But then you look at the business I’m in now, and you go, ‘Oh, really?’ ”
Now, with a couple of TV guest shots, a juicy make-out scene with Billy Crudup in 1997’s Inventing the Abbotts and a marriage to actor Jon Kassir–the voice of HBO’s Crypt Keeper–under her belt, the NYU Drama grad is currently starring on the big screen with Rebecca Gayheart and Rose McGowan in a Heathers redux titled Jawbreaker.
Benz plays Marcie “Foxy” Fox, one of a trio of popular girls who inadvertently kills their best friend with a giant (you guessed it!) jawbreaker.
Which got us to wondering:
Has She Ever Actually Eaten a Jawbreaker? “Believe it or not, yes. I used to love them as a kid. I like them better than Gobstoppers. A Gobstopper has a SweeTart at the center when you finally get past all the colors, and a jawbreaker is just pure sugar.”
That Movie Prank Is Pretty Vicious. What’s the Worst Thing She Ever Did in High School? “My senior year, there was this girl I didn’t like ’cause she was the ex-girlfriend of the guy I was dating and she was dating my ex-boyfriend. Me and two other girls were the team mascots that year–the Panther Cubbies–and we used to throw candy into the crowd at football games. Once, I took a big handful of the hardest candy I could get and threw it right in her face.”
Ow! That Must’ve Hurt. “I’m sure it did, but I wasn’t waiting around to find out.”
Were You as Much the Slave to Fashion as Foxy Is? “When I entered school my freshman year, my goal was to be voted best dressed. I worked very hard at it. I never wore the same ensemble twice. And as soon as I got it, I quit getting dressed.”
Talk About Best Dressed, Costar Rose McGowan’s Fianc�, Marilyn Manson, Is in the Movie. What’s He Like? “I met him as Rose’s boyfriend, not Marilyn Manson. He’s a cool guy, very smart. I’m not familiar with his music or his shows–just the hype. But he seems like a very normal kind of guy.”
Who’s Scarier: Marilyn or Jack Nicholson? “Jack. He has that edge. You never know what’s going to come out of his mouth.”
What Was the Coolest Thing About Being on Buffy? “The fact that Darla was supposed to die in the pilot but they gave her a whole life instead. There are Web pages dedicated to her now, and I even have a trading card! My husband has one, too. How many couples can say that?”
Surely, Buffy Brought Other Adoration? “I was having lunch one day, and this 10-year-old girl heard me talking and went, ‘Oh my God! You’re Darla from Buffy! I think you are the third most prettiest girl in the world.’ And I said, ‘Really? The third?’ And she said, ‘Sarah Michelle is first. Then Jennifer Love Hewitt, then you, then Katie Holmes.’ That blew me away. I beat out Katie Holmes! I was really happy to come in third!”
So, Where Can We Next See the Third Most Beautiful Girl in the World? On John Larroquette’s midseason replacement sitcom, Payne, playing a virginal chambermaid called, of all things, Breeze. “Like Jack, John’s scary, too, and highly intelligent. I’m always afraid I’m going to say something that’s wrong.”