Club’s Buffy Week we devised a set of Buffy-themed queries to throw at the show’s cast members. AB: I think that would have to be Michelle Trachtenberg, Dawn. AVC: In all possible permutations of what that question could mean, Spike will be the answer? AVC: We talked last time about the feeling of being a grown-up, and it’s impressive you’re still answering that question by saying, “When I grow up, Spike will be the one.”AB: Someday, when I’m an adult person. If this kind of adorable little blond girl who really had no idea what she wanted to do with her life can become the vampire slayer extraordinaire, then we can all do anything we want to do.
Ten percent of that is when they know my face but they don’t know where the hell they know it from, and five percent are people that love Buffy so much that they get very emotional when they come over to say hi. He’s awesome, his writing’s incredible, and he’s like, “I loved you on Buffy,” and was really sweet about it. It was just a shame that the way it went down was so upsetting to people. I don’t really get to decide what happens.” But he was aware, and he knew there was going to be blowback. AVC: In the years since Buffy, have you had more of a heightened awareness of that going forward, realizing the ways in which these ideologies sort of play out in the different projects you choose? Benson was born in Birmingham, Alabama to psychiatrist, Edward and Diane Benson.She has a younger sister, Danielle who is an artist.Amber Benson: It’s tough because the majority of people do that thing where they look at you and they go, “I know I know her from somewhere,” and then they come up and go, “Did you date my cousin’s brother’s father’s uncle’s sister’s friend in Iowa? I think my favorite story—and I feel bad because [noted fantasy author] Pat Rothfuss is the sweetest guy, and I’m throwing him under the bus. I was in seventh heaven because I love musicals and the fact that I got to be in one and be in one that was so beautifully put together. But it was emotional and a really intense experience. He really just upped the game, and I think Spike was an amazing character on the page, but when you put James in it, it transcends. But to be honest with you, I felt like, as much as it was really painful for fans of the Tara/Willow relationship—and I feel like there was a lot of ill will toward Joss [Whedon] because of what happened. This was not something he was doing to upset people. AVC: You sort of film in a vacuum—it was months prior to anybody seeing it or having a reaction. So you don’t think of things from that perspective. ” [Laughs.] I’m like, “Uh, no.” And then you don’t want to be that weirdo who’s like, “Did you watch Buffy The Vampire Slayer? Club: Is it that thing where they come over and immediately say, “Tara? I did a book panel with him and Seanan Maguire and a bunch of other authors at Comic-Con one year. And I got to dress like a pretty princess, which was really fun, even though the corset was uncomfortable. I would have to say the musical is my favorite experience. I would say it’s one of my favorite episodes, but it was one of my least favorite to shoot: “The Body” because it was so emotional. And the fact that Kristine Sutherland was dead was very upsetting, because she is lovely and such a pleasure to work with and have around on set. AVC: Kudos to you for doing what not a lot of the other actors have been saying and picking the episode where you died as your least favorite. But I want to be James Marsters, specifically, being Spike. He truly was looking at it from a story point of view. You see this addiction storyline, and you see Willow just hit bottom after losing the most important thing in her life, which is Tara. As you were filming it, did you anticipate any sort of blowback, or did you think it was another great story that Joss was telling? And I think now, in terms of what happened with Tara and Willow, people are very aware, you know? I’m friends with Javi [Grillo-Marxuach], who was one of the writers on The 100, and he was the one who wrote the episode that was so intense.