The Julie Benz Interview

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"Now I feel like a grown-up"

Mr. S: And there's a lot of stuff that seems to be pretty unspoken between the two characters, that you guys really play so well. You and Michael C. Hall really seem to share an enormous chemistry on-screen, and I've always seems to me, and I've had trouble trying to word this question before this interview, but I'm going to try to kind of wing it right now. It seems that, in order to forward the plot, in certain ways, you need to have certain reactions caught on-screen. But I can imagine it can get rather exhausting on the set, you know, doing take after take of the same scene and trying to reach the same emotional level that's required for some of these reactions. How do you stay in it after so long, especially after a long day at the set -- what are some things you do to keep yourself in the scene without exhausting yourself emotionally?

Benz: Well, I keep things pretty light in between takes. I like to joke around, and have a little bit of fun, and that, for me, helps to diffuse any type of, um, heavy emotional crap I have to dig up. I mean, it helps if I make a lot of jokes with the crew and other cast members all the way up until they yell, "Action," pretty much. And then, it's like, "Whoosh, focus." Hold on, I have a puppy and he's biting me.

Mr. S: Okay, take your time, it's fine.

Benz: So, that's pretty much how I handle it. I feel like, when you work with someone like Michael C. Hall, who really is...I mean, he's a maestro, he really is. He is just...he's so brilliant. And to have him as your scene partner...all I have to do is to be relaxed enough to really just be in the moment with him.

Mr. S: Right, and to react honestly.

Benz: Yes! And it's amazing how things just naturally happen, and the emotional shifts just kind of flow, and it's all pretty much because of his performance. He's just so present as an actor in a scene, I mean, he really connects with you, and you feel it, and it's very rare to work with an actor like that. I feel like he does ninety percent of my job. I mean, I come into it with my ideas and my thoughts and feelings, but I have no preconceived notion of how the scene's going to play out until I start working with him, and I can just let it flow the way it's naturally meant to flow.

Mr. S: Well, that's the best way to do it, it seems.

Benz: Yeah, well, no amount of preparation prepares me for when I arrive on set and get to work opposite him, because I'm constantly discovering surprises in each and every scene with him.

Mr. S: That's great!

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