Eliza Dushku, Buffyverse alum and current star of the FOX TV series Dollhouse (which returns this Friday night with all new eps), is featured on the cover and in the pages of the new issue of Complex magazine. In Eliza’s coverstory interview, she talks about Dollhouse, her new video game, her upcoming movie projects and her favorite cuss word. Oh yeah, she also features in a very sexy photospread. Here is Eliza’s Complex coverphoto and excerpts from her coverstory interview:
After all, her futuristic TV show Dollhouse (about people who are brainwashed and given new personas) was a hit with critics but a miss with the ratings—so much so that the network declined to air the season finale. Dushku even prepared to be slapped with the C-word (“cancellation,” morons). But then a funny thing happened on the way to the Internet forums: viewers, galvanized by the news, rallied around the show and fox picked up Dollhouse for a second season. And right now you’re looking at why. ¶ See, the 28-year-old Dushku is an O.G.—Original Geek—and the fans love her for it. She stole scenes in the cult fave tv show Buffy The Vampire Slayer (and later in the film Bring It On and Tru Calling) and has been kicking ass ever since. While Hollywood is busy trying to win over fanboys, Eliza has had them in her leather pants pocket for ages. of course, It doesn’t hurt that her mentor, TV impresario Joss Whedon (the guy behind Dollhouse and Buffy), is the only other person with more geek cred than her. Now Dushku gets a second season and another round of playing a killer/mom/thief/hostage negotiator/girlfriend/blind cult follower/whatever else Joss can think of. But in a show where she can be anyone, Eliza Dushku just wants to be herself. And we couldn’t appreciate it more.
You just started shooting the new season of Dollhouse. How’s it going so far?
Eliza Dushku: I got married, consummated my marriage, and had my honeymoon—all yesterday! Today me and the hubby are beating each other down and breaking things. A lot going on, a lot of brawling. Jets and exploding Tahoes and me against a hangar full of giant stunt guys.
That’s a big week.
Eliza Dushku: Only when I come into my trailer do I, in secret, peek at my bruises and bangs. [Laughs.] ’Cause while I’m out there I’m like, “I’m good, let’s do another one!”
What’s the biggest difference between last season and this one for you?
Eliza Dushku: We’re back because of the love of fans and people who found and stuck with the show. Critics and viewers saw something really special, and the fact that we’re back just confirms that it’s all real. Now we have a chance to go deeper and really look closer in the beast.
Where were you when the show got renewed?
Eliza Dushku: I was in Uganda with my mother—who is an African politics professor—and some of her students. We were learning about some of the child soldiers from the war in Uganda and looking at building a trauma center for the rehabilitation and integration of these poor child soldiers. I’ve always had a plan B in terms of my life and my career. I love acting and producing, and I love this business, but at the same time my world is live-or-die based on if I’m on the hottest show. So I live my life, travel, and see what else is out there for me to be a strong part of, you know?
Looking at some of the projects you have down the line, what’s going on with the film Valediction?
Eliza Dushku: Valediction is wrapped and gonna be coming out—it’s a really great little movie. It comes in the 2010 slate of projects. I have stuff that I’m developing and negotiating, and I’m focusing on the new Dollhouse season. We have some exciting announcements coming up. The producer element is definitely something that’s driving me a little bit harder. It has me inside the machine. This business is a crapshoot, and now with this added role, I’m getting my hands in it more.
You have the Robert Mapplethorpe biopic that you’re producing too, right?
Eliza Dushku: Yes, yes. It’s awesome.
And is that just because you want to see a lot of naked guys?
Eliza Dushku: [Laughs.] Where does your head go? No, it really is deeper than that. It’s about self-discovery and self-reflection and breaking the mold of what society and media tells us we’re supposed to be interested in and what we’re supposed to be attracted to…versus what we’re not. That’s interesting to me.
And you’ve got a video game in stores, which I have a feeling might mean more to our readers than a Mapplethorpe biopic.
Eliza Dushku: I do! It’s called WET, as in “wetworks” [a euphemism for assassination]. I play a gun for hire, like a working-class Lara Croft. She’s all padded up, a Jack Daniel’s-drinking badass. That just proves again that it’s sort of a fun and kamikaze place for me to play.
The gameplay looks crazy.
Eliza Dushku: Yeah, it’s pretty rad. It has that ’70s Tarantino vibe to it.
Does it weird you out that people are gonna be googling “Eliza Dushku Wet”?
Eliza Dushku: Why? What’s weird about that? [Laughs.] It is what it is. That’s what my grandma used to say, great words to live by.
It has a lot of swearing in it—the game, not your grandma’s saying.
Eliza Dushku: My character has a bit of a truck driver/sailor/killer mouth, no doubt.
After the jump, check out a few more excerpts from Eliza’s Complex coverstory interview and see some of the sexy pics from her accompanying photospread …
What is your favorite swear word?
Eliza Dushku: I’m pretty loyal to the F-bomb.
Yeah? It’s a classic.
Eliza Dushku: It is, and yet so modern!
I keep hearing you say that you’re a tomboy, but you certainly don’t look the part.
Eliza Dushku: Hmmm, you don’t see me on weekends. Do you want to? [Laughs.]
A thousand times yes. So do you consider yourself an outdoorsy person?
Eliza Dushku: I am, I am. We’ve [Ed.—meaning Eliza and her man Rick Fox. Seriously.] been in Malibu on the weekends this summer and I love the ocean and being outdoorsy. Football on the beach and tackle football in the grass. I love sports. Playing and watching them.
How has being in show business since you were 17 affected who you are as a person right now?
Eliza Dushku: There’s so much I’m grateful for, and in other ways it’s probably driven me a little bit loca. I mean, it’s a strange sort of phenomenon, especially in the past 10 years, the way the media and celebrity have changed. But it’s my life, and I wouldn’t try to mess with it. I mean, it’s certainly something that I can sit and think about—but now, at this point in my life, not for more than for a couple of minutes. And then I just dive back in, head first. It’s all I know.
What do you hate most about Hollywood?
Eliza Dushku: What do I hate most? Driving. Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive. Actually, it would probably be the way the media neglects to put important issues in the foreground because they put too much importance on the entertainment world. I regret sometimes that so many world headlines are generated from the celebrity world, because there are all these other things that are…
So you’re saying you hate me.
Eliza Dushku: No! I think it’s all relevant. There’s a place for everything. But when what’s happening with Jon & Kate Plus 8 is more important than women and children being slaughtered in the Congo…I mean, I know actors say that and I’m just another actor talking about it. But think about the perspective that shows.
Beautiful, smart AND deep … what more could you ask for? I am SO excited for the return of Dollhouse this Friday night. PLEASE make sure you TUNE IN or at the very least DVR the show because it really deserves to be on the air and that will require ratings. I’ve been able to preview the season 2 premiere ep and it’s really good. Jamie Bamber, from Battlestar Gallactica, guest stars and we get our first look at Alexis Denisof’s character!! This Friday night, 9PM, FOX — BE THERE … or no more sexy Eliza Dusku pictures for you.