#TalkNerdyToMeLover’s Awesome Applesauce: Charles Quevedo
If you’re a fan of the paranormal “Buffy, The Vampire Slayer” television series (like I was), then you’ll probably know who Amber Benson is. With seductive cat-like eyes, she could unintentionally mesmerize many of her male fans (and probably some of her female ones, too) with just a simple look. Among the cast members, many “Buffy” fans consider Amber one of the show’s most beloved. For 47 episodes, she graced our television screens by playing the shy and gentle witch, “Tara” (who had a romantic relationship with another of the show’s female characters… “Willow”). At the end of the sixth season, Amber’s “Tara” character was permanently killed off, leaving fans of the show shocked and grieving.
For the last several years, Amber has kept herself busy with writing/co-writing novels (“The Seven Whistlers” and “Death’s Daughter”) & comic books (“Demon Father John’s Pinwheel Blues” and “Shadowplay”) and directing/co-directing films (“Chance”, “Lovers, Liars & Lunatics” and her latest, “DRONES”). Lately, Amber has been on a non-stop book signing tour, promoting her latest novel, “Cat’s Claw”.
“Talk Nerdy To Me Lover” had the honor of interviewing Amber to reminisce about her “Buffy” days and see how life is treating her now.
Q: Where were you raised?
A: Birmingham, Alabama.
Q: What ethnicity are you?
A: A mutt Jew girl.
Q: How did you get started in acting?
A: I started doing ballet, but quickly discovered that I liked being on stage, but I hated the dancing part.
Q: What was your reaction when you got the role of “Tara” for the “Buffy, The Vampire Slayer” TV series?
A: I was excited, but it was only gonna be an episode or two, so I wasn’t thinking about anything long term.
Q: The “Tara” character turned out to be the love interest of the “Willow” character (played by actress, “Alyson Hannigan”). Were you ever hesitant to be playing a lesbian (did that fact ever bother you)?
A: Neither Alyson nor I knew we were going to be playing girlfriends at first, but once we found out, both of us were really excited to be doing something so positive fo the gay and lesbian community.
Q: Did you get hit on a lot by the lesbian community after your “Tara” character made her appearance and became more popular.
A: I didn’t get hit on a lot, but I did get a very sweet marriage proposal from an attractive young lady at the San Diego Comic-Con one year.
Q: Many of the “Buffy” fans (myself included) were heartbroken when your character was killed off. Was it just time for the “Tara” character to go?
A: I think that Tara’s death was predicated by the story line — “Willow” was an addict and losing the most important thing in her life (“Tara”) was the only way she was going to be forced to reevaluate her magic addiction. I would’ve loved to have been a regular part of the show, but it just wasn’t in the cards, I guess.
Q: What do you consider your favorite “Buffy” episode?
A: “Once More With Feeling”
Q: Do you still see any of your old “Buffy” cast mates?
A: I see the “Troika” pretty regularly… and I am always bumping into Michelle (Trachtenberg) and Emma (Caulfield).
Q: What was your personal experience working with Joss Whedon? Do you consider him a creative genius?
A: The man is truly a mad scientist! I learned so much from the three years I spent watching him run “Buffy”. It definitely makes me want to create and run my own series in the future.
Q: You write, produce & direct films. Can you tell us a little about that?
A: I basically do whatever pays the bills these days, but making movies and writing books is so much fun. I get to be God and dictate what happens to all my characters. Very thrilling!
Q: “DRONES” is an upcoming comedy film that you co-directed with former, “Buffy” cast mate, Adam Busch (who played character, “Warren”). From what I’ve heard, the story of “DRONES” is set in an office where people may… or may not… be aliens. What was that experience like?
A: We had a ball shooting, “DRONES,” in Baton Rouge (Louisiana). I got to work with Jonathan Woodward again (which was sweet). Adam and I were both big fans of his work from “Buffy” and “Angel”. It really was an amazing experience and I am super proud of the film!
Q: I understand you write novels. Please tell us about your new novel, “Cat’s Claw?”
A: “Cat’s Claw” is part of a trilogy that I’m writing for Penguin Books. It’s about a girl whose Dad is “Death” — and when he gets kidnapped, she has to come home and run the business so her family doesn’t lose their immortality.
Q: Do you find it difficult to isolate yourself to write?
A: I love hiding behind my computer for hours on end and bossing my characters around.
Q: What is your writing relationship with Christopher Golden like?
A: Christopher Golden is my mentor. He is responsible for dragging me, kicking and screaming (j/k), into the publishing world. We’ve co-written two full-length books, “The Ghosts of Albion” (“Accursed” and “Witchery”), together and we are working on some projects for the future.
Q: If you could have any super-power, which one would you choose? And why?
A: The power to be “invisible”. Oh, and I want an invisible plane like Wonder Woman’s!
Q: Are there any charities that you support and are passionate about?
A: We are actually screening our film, “DRONES,” on April 13th, 2010 at The Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles with all the proceeds to benefit the charity 826LA.
Q: Your favorite movie?
A: Today, it’s “Silences of the Lambs”.
Q: Do you consider yourself “sexy”? Why or why not?
A: I think anyone who likes themselves as they are is sexy.
Q: How would you describe yourself as a person?
A: A book whore.
Q: Do you usually stay at home… or do you go out partying with friends?
A: I’m a homebody.
Q: Being a “nerd” is now considered “sexy”. What qualifies you as a “nerd”?
A: I like Science — especially Quantum Physics — and I have a subscription to “Scientific American”.
Q: What’s your own definition of the word, “nerdy?”
A: Being smart enough to appreciate the things that fall outside of the norm.
Q: Are there any upcoming appearances you want to promote?
A: “DRONES” screening on April 13th! It’s for charity! — (please see details above)
Q: Are there any websites/links you shamelessly want to plug?
A: Come say, “hey”, on Twitter: @amber_benson