Benz in the driver’s seat again
JULIE Benz ( Dexter, pictured with Graham Greene and Grant Bowler) returns to her genre roots in pay-TV SF channel’s Defiance, being fast-tracked to Australia from the US. The former star of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel plays the mayor of Defiance, which sits atop the ruins of St Louis in the near future. Benz was drawn to the Defiance script because of its strong female characters. ‘‘They’re all forces of their own,’’ she says. ‘‘You don’t see that very often.’’ She says strong female characters are more often found in fantasy and sci-fi than in mainstream drama, which is why she’s often drawn to such projects. ‘‘It gives an opportunity for women to be more bad-ass in many ways,’’ she says. ‘‘I was spoiled early working with Joss Whedon on Buffy and Angel and playing Darla. Every day I had to make some fantastical element believable.’’ Even so, Benz is relieved to play one of the humans on Defiance, if only for the relatively brief time she has to spend getting into make-up. ‘‘I’ve had my fair share of prosthetic work in my lifetime. You reach an age where you’re ‘you guys can do that’,’’ she says, gesturing to her co-stars. ‘‘I’m perfectly happy showing up for my hour hair and make-up call.’’
– ROB OWEN Defiance: Thursdays, 9.30pm, SF channel.