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November 23, 2014

Julie Benz Talks 'Dexter,' 'Desperate Housewives' and 'Uncorked'

by Jane Boursaw, posted Feb 12th 2010 3:00PM
Julie BenzIt's been a wild ride for Julie Benz lately. Her character Rita Morgan was tragically killed off in the season four finale of 'Dexter,' and now she's playing a stripper taken in by Susan on 'Desperate Housewives.' Her run on that show has just been extended.

She also has a Hallmark Channel movie, 'Uncorked,' airing March 6. She plays a high-powered executive who's not looking to fall in love, but fate has a different plan when a business conference takes her to wine country.

We caught up with Benz and got the scoop on all her upcoming projects, including several feature films.Julie BenzIt's been a wild ride for Julie Benz lately. Her character, Rita Morgan, was tragically killed off in the season four finale of 'Dexter,' and now she's playing a stripper taken in by Susan on 'Desperate Housewives.' Her run on that show has just been extended.

She also has a Hallmark Channel movie, 'Uncorked,' airing March 6. She plays a high-powered executive who's not looking to fall in love, but fate has a different plan when a business conference takes her to wine country.

We caught up with Benz and got the scoop on all her upcoming projects, including several feature films.

So, let's set the record straight! Is Rita dead or not?
Rita's dead. She's long gone. I mean, when you lose that much blood, I don't think there's any hope for survival. What do you think?

Yeah, I wouldn't think so. I reviewed that last episode and, oh my gosh, I can't believe all the people still leaving comments on that post. A lot of them are saying it's a dream sequence. Are you getting that a lot from people? They're like, "Oh, it doesn't add up."
I'm getting people begging me to tell them it was dream sequence. I'm like, "I hate to tell you this, but it's true. It's real. Rita died and I'm dead." I would love it to be a dream sequence, but I'm released from my contract now. So, it wasn't a dream sequence.

Hopefully, that will appease all of the people still hoping for the dream sequence.
No. I think they're still going to hope for it. I do go on the message boards a lot and look at what people write, and it's always fun to hear their theories and philosophies. Somebody said that they thought Rita committed suicide. Then, there was a theory that Dex snuck in and killed Rita, which made me laugh. To set the record straight, Rita's dead and the Trinity Killer killed her.

OK, well, you know it's going to be one of those things that Dexter fans talk about for years, which is pretty cool.
Yes, it's very cool.

Dexter, Julie Benz as Rita MorganSo, were you sad to leave the character behind?

Well, I only found out at the last minute, and I was shocked. I found myself kind of defending Rita's life when they told me. I'm like, "You can't kill her. She still hasn't found out what's going on ..." You know? Kind of explore what would happen if she found out about Dexter. But they'd already made their decision. Yes, it was very tough for me to accept for a while. I really mourned the loss of Rita, because she's still alive in the book, and I felt like somehow I failed this character that's still alive in literature. Out of all the characters that I've played, I think she's the one I grieved for the most, just because it really came out of left field.

Oh, yeah?
I did not see it coming. But at the same time, now that I've had some time, I've realized that it's the monumental turning point in the story of Dexter and the whole folklore and bible of the show, and one of the things everybody's going to be talking about forever. It's an honor to be part of that impact. I'm a small part of it, but it's an honor.

I think you're a big part of it. I mean, it's amazing. You've had some really amazing characters. I loved Darla on 'Angel' and 'Buffy.' You've really had some good runs on some cult-favorite shows.
I've had some great runs on some cult-favorite shows. I mean, I view them as great shows. 'Buffy' and 'Angel' was really great training ground for me, and I played this amazing character that's so epic. Great storylines and a fun character to play. I miss her, too.

It must be hard to leave the characters behind, because I imagine they become part of you.

Yes, but they're all still there inside of me. I have my Darla moments.

Julie Benz as Darla on AngelAnd who knows, if they morph into movies, maybe you could resurrect them.

You know, if they do a movie, they'll recast. I'll be too old. Remember Darla doesn't age.

Oh, right.
Yes, that's the reality.

Let's talk about 'Uncorked,' the Hallmark movie coming up. I checked out the advance screener and loved it. Can you talk a little about the movie and your character?

I was very excited to do a project that my whole family could sit down and watch and enjoy, and also to do a romantic comedy, which I hadn't done for a very long time. It's my second movie I've done for Hallmark. I really love working for them because we shoot in town, and there are very few TV movies that shoot in town anymore. Everything's shot up in Canada. I do my fair share of shooting in Canada, but I love supporting a company that keeps the work at home. Also, I got to work with Elliott Gould and JoBeth Williams.

I saw that and thought, "How cool is that?"

Yes, it's my third project with JoBeth Williams; I love working with her. She's a tremendous actress and a tremendous woman. I always feel so safe when I'm working with her, no matter what we do. We did a sitcom together years ago, and then she played my mom on Dexter. So, we've done some comedy and we've done some drama, and now we have this movie together. And then, Elliott Gould ... I mean, it's Elliott Gould. I kept blushing every time he was around because I'm like, "Elliott Gould."

It must have been kind of surreal. Had you worked with him before?

I have never worked with him; never even met him before.

And Scott Elrod, too. I think this movie should be a series, that's what I think. Pass the word along.

It definitely had great heart behind it. Scott is a lot of fun to work with. That man never has a bad day. He's just got a great spirit. Gatlin, the little boy, is so polite and professional and, "Yes, ma'am, sit down here in my chair, ma'am." He does an amazing job. I think he's like 10 years old, and the most polite gentleman I've ever met.

Can you talk about the movies you have coming up? I need to get out and see 'Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day.'
It's doing really well theatrically. It's the sequel 10 years later. I play this very fun character, Eunice Bloom. She's sexy and fun and sassy; she's a southern girl. But she's also smarter than everyone else. She was a lot of fun to play.

And I see you've got another movie coming up called 'Bedrooms.'
It's a little Indie film I did. It's about four different stages of a relationship, four little vignettes put together. The vignette that I'm in is with Daniel Berkley and Jesse Garcia. It's kind of quirky and fun, but there are also very dramatic vignettes.

I've heard a rumor that you're in 'Rambo V.' What's up with that? I think that people will be shocked to know there's actually a 'Rambo V' coming up. And it looks like Mickey Rourke might be involved. That would be awesome.

I've read that they're definitely doing a 'Rambo V,' but my involvement is a rumor. I mean, no one's approached me, but I would love to work with Stallone again. I had an amazing experience on 'Rambo IV.' If they can figure out a way for my character to fit into the storyline that makes sense, I'm there.

I hope so.
Same with 'Saw VII.' I was in 'Saw V,' and I lived. Now there's a rumor that I'm in 'Saw VII,' but no one's approached me about it.

What is 'Answers to Nothing'?
That's a little Indie film I did with Dane Cook and Elizabeth Mitchell. Everyone thinks it's a comedy but it's a drama, kind of in the vein of 'Magnolia' or 'Crash.' It all centers around this girl, and I play the detective who investigates the missing girl. A very heartfelt drama.

Julie Benz as Darla on AngelI know you're working on 'Desperate Housewives, too. You play a stripper!
A stripper with a heart of gold. Susan befriends me and takes me under her wing. She basically tells me I can do whatever I want in my life, so I quit the pole and try to find a job with Susan's help. And Susan and Mike's son develops a little crush on me. It's very exciting, because I'm such a huge fan of the show, and the women are just amazing and so welcoming. It's been a great place for me to land after 'Dexter.'

And a little more light-hearted.
Yes, the writing is great, and it's got that mix of comedy and drama, which is what I really want to do.

Is there anything else that you wanted to talk about? I know you're involved with the U.S. Campaign for Burma charity.
Yes. It's a grassroots organization I got involved in while working on 'Rambo' because that's what the movie was about. I met a lot of refugees when I was working in Thailand on the film. I came back from there wanting to know how I could help the situation. Basically, it's about spreading awareness and keeping Burma at the forefront of the UN, because that's the only way we're going to make change. Burma's a military government. It's the most under-reported war in the world, with mass genocide and the largest child army in the world. It's an extremely violent country. Thousands of people are dying every day there. So it's basically about restoring their basic human rights. We are so lucky to live in the Western world where we have our basic human rights.

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anthdisa

I THINK SCOTT ELROD IS A GREAT ACTOR WHAY IS HE DOING THESE DAYS WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HIS HE MARRIED?

March 22 2011 at 3:19 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
superman1976is1

i really love you Julie Benz and will really miss you if you really left the " DEXTER " show

August 26 2010 at 11:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
superman1976is1

Lila you don't know what are you talking about you should keep your opionin to your self about Rita ( Julie Benz ) in DEXTER show.

August 26 2010 at 11:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
superman1976is1

I think it is the biggestttttttt mistake to cut Rita ( Julie Benz ) off of the "DEXTER" show, I just hope according to the producer money wasn't the issue, cause whatever she demanded, she is well worth it , I just hope it is like dream part of the show that Rita got killed ,cause I don't if I can continue and watch my favorite show DEXTER , cause afterall Rita and Dexter the only two people I liked in the show , I think they should of killed his sister off before they decided to get rid of Rita ( Julie Benz ).

August 26 2010 at 11:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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