Give Eliza Dushku credit: despite being told that she has tentacles, the actress gamely carries on with our interview.
Let’s clarify that adjective, shall we? The 32-year-old actress has a career that flexes into some fascinating nooks and crannies. Consider: her resume includes not one, not two, but three Joss Whedon series (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Dollhouse, a series they produced together); voicing characters in video games such as WET; movie roles alongside Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio (This Boy’s Life) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (True Lies); and voicing iconic characters such as Catwoman (Batman: Year One) and She-Hulk in the upcoming animated series Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.
Oh, and she also co-stars in the pilot of The Saint, a TV series currently looking for a home. The girl has reach.
“Uh, yeah. I always like to think of myself with a lot of tentacles, in a good way. You’ve given me a new way of envisioning myself,” Dushku says, playing along over the phone from L.A.
Her recently redesigned website, elizapatriciadushku.com, offers insight into facets of Dushku’s life, from her work with THRIVEGulu, a non-profit organization working in Uganda that she co-founded with her mother, to her latest glam shots (did I mention that she is ridiculously good looking?) to her adventures in dining as an avowed foodie.
If you aren’t a fan of the Boston native before speaking with her, you’ll be won over in short order. Her easy sense of humour combines with a contagious enthusiasm for what she does and the fans that support her varied career choices. She’s got 1.4 million Twitter followers and counting, and is about to jet off to Australia for a comic convention when I catch up with her.
Question: You’ve got quite the reach in terms of pop-culture. You’re in everything from The Saint to Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. to your recent appearance on The Talking Dead.
Answer: “I definitely geeked out on that. I was majorly into that. A week later, I was doing The Nerdist with (Chris) Hardwick and a bunch of his guy friends. It just honestly seems like there is so much to do and so many avenues in this time when you can synergize with different people and cross-pollenate, just buzz all around. There is never a dull moment.
“I am also someone who likes to say ‘Yes’ to a lot of things. . . Every actor, at a certain point, is taught about how to be discerning. At first you would do everything for anything, then you get a little taste of success. . . You start to be taught to say ‘No’ to a lot of things and that doesn’t necessarily serve some people in the way that their team hopes it will. . . I have a great team, and we are ‘Yes’ people if it’s a great group involved and we see the vision. . . . As far as having different tentacles, it’s a prize to be able to say ‘Yes’ to these different things.”
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At Equality Now’s twentieth anniversary dinner last night at the Asia Society, Daily Intel caught up with actress Eliza Dushku to talk Mormonism and Mitt Romney. Romney served as Dushku’s bishop when she was growing up, although she doesn’t consider herself to be “very Mormon” anymore — she started distancing herself from the church as a teenager. “My problems with the church have to do with its stance on homosexuality, and other things,” she told us.
Among those “other things”: Women’s rights, a subject which frequently pitted Dushku’s mother, Judy Dushku, against Romney. Consequently, Dushku’s history with Romney is a bit complicated. “I mean, he went from being my first crush at six years old — I named my Ken dolls ‘Mitt’ — and then when I was old enough to hear what was coming out of his mouth, it was over,” Dushku recalls. “I’m sure he’s a nice guy. I knew him to be a nice person, to those around him. He had five sons that I knew, that my brothers would play with growing up, and they were kind to others. But what they stand for I don’t find to be tolerant or just.”
It’s fair to say that Dushku probably won’t be stumping for Romney on the campaign trail this year.
For actress Eliza Dushku, the title of CES ambassador is not simply honorary. It speak to what she truly is: a tech geek.
“I have a lot of gadgets because I travel a lot. I have an iPhone, and I still use a BlackBerry,” says Dushku, best known for appearing on the TV series Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Dollhouse. “I like the (portable speaker) Jambox from Jawbone — that pumps when I am on the road.”
She has voiced characters in video-game releases such as Fight Night Champion and Wet. But these days, “I do a lot with social media,” she says.
Dushku (@ElizaDushku) uses Twitter to alert her 1.1 million followers to gadgets she is into and charities that she is involved with, including a trauma healing and reflection center for former child soldiers in Uganda.
Her interest in technology drew Dushku and her boyfriend to last year’s International Consumer Electronics Show. “We gave ourselves two days. But it is just so big, and there was so much happening.”
Show operators approached her about returning this year as ambassador, and she accepted. “I’m here to help people navigate the floor and Twitter about it and host parties and talk to people about gadgets they like.” She also did live, on-air spots for cable’s Spike TV.
Next up for Dushku is a movie she’s developing with her brother, Nate — and will star in — about her hometown of Boston. The two recently shot a documentary in Albania, and next year plan to shoot a film about photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.
About the rumor she may be cast in Ghostbusters 3? “That is an Internet Movie Database rumor,” she says. “I know (Ghostbusters writer/star Dan) Ackroyd, and I heard about. It would be fun.”
She’s battled Buffy, brought it on and made us want to play in the weirdest dollhouse ever, so it’s no wonder we can’t get enough of Eliza Dushku. But for those of you still not hip to the hotness that is Dushku, we’re happy to say that she is more than just a pretty face who can kick ass. She’s also a funny lady — as proven by tonight’s bawdy guest spot on The League (10:30/9:30c, FX) — a budding filmmaker, and a philanthropist. Here, the multi-hyphenate fan fave discusses her latest foray into the funny business of TV and what we can expect from her in the coming year.
TV Guide Magazine: So how did a nice girl like you fall in with The League?
Eliza Dushku: They called, and Rick [Fox, her beau] and I had literally just watched a bunch of episodes we had downloaded. It’s always weird how that happens. Something comes on your radar and then the phone rings. We’re huge Curb fans, so we were familiar with [executive producers] Jeff and Jackie Schaffer, plus I think everybody knows I’m a huge sports fan. [Laughs]
TV Guide Magazine: What did you think of the episodes you watched?
Dushku: I think the show is so funny. I like the part-improv, part-scripted style, which is not something I’ve ever really done.
TV Guide Magazine: That had to be a little intimidating.
Dushku: It is! And yet, when you’re doing it with people who are so good at it…they show up, have the outline of the scene ready and really deliver. The creators Jeff and Jackie are on set every second helping you with [all this]. So I think I was more intimidated before I got there and realized how much they participate. Then you get to just shoot a bunch of things and have the confidence that they’ll pick your best stuff.
TV Guide Magazine: What do they have you doing on this episode?
Dushku: Kevin, who’s played by Stephen Rannazzisi, is getting pressure from his wife, Jenny, to be more active and less of a fat ass, as she says. So she sends him to a Krav Maga class, and I play the instructor. He suspects that there is something more than just teaching going on between himself and my character, but he can’t tell at first. Is it Krav Maga or is she hitting on him? Then it sort of escalates when he takes this back to his friends to see what they think, then we find out what is really going on at the end.
TV Guide Magazine: Are you trained in Krav Maga?
Dushku: I am not. But I am trained in being physical. I can take a guy down. [Laughs]
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Former ‘Dollhouse’ star Eliza Dushku is turning 31 years old on December 30th. What does she want for presents? Nothing more than donations for her favorite charity: THARCE-Gulu
THARCE-Gulu is a trauma, healing and reflection center that works with the people of Northern Uganda who suffered during the civil war. While they work with all survivors to help them heal and rebuild their lives, they have a special focus on former child soldiers.
Dushku wrote on her fundraising page, “MY BIRTHDAY arrives on December 30, and I’ll be 18 again..! Ok, maybe not. However, I DO still have a birthday WISH: that in lieu of gifts this year, you, my beautiful & generous friends donate to THARCE-GULU, our beloved organization in Northern Uganda that provides Trauma Healing and Reflection for former child soldiers and victims of war.”
Dushku isn’t just interested in the charity from afar. She has visited the center and met the people this money will help. So far, the actress has raised almost $1000 of her $31000 goal. Check out her fundraising page to learn more and see if you want to be a part of her birthday celebration.
The documentary ‘Forks Over Knives’ is having one heck of an impact! First Russell Brand went vegan. Then, Ozzy Osbourne. Carrie Ann Inaba went vegetarian. Now, actress Eliza Dushku is jumping into the world of plant based foods.
The former Dollhouse star tweeted, “That’s it! We watched #ForksOverKnives & are going for a plant-based diet- that doc is astounding! Animal products no bien, homies #watchdoc.”
Giving farm animals and her health the gift of a veg diet this holiday season isn’t the only good deed Dushku is doing. As we reported a few days ago, the soon-to-be 31 year old star is raising funds for the organization THARCE-Gulu for her birthday.
Check out ‘Forks Over Knives’ for yourself. Can you resist the film that has turned so many stars veg?
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced today that actress Eliza Dushku will join the Entertainment Matters Program as the Entertainment Matters Ambassador at the 2012 International CES. Back for a second year, Entertainment Matters at CES is designed by and for Hollywood’s film, television and digital communities. Owned and produced by CEA, the 2012 International CES, the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow, will be held Tuesday, January 10-Friday, January 13, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. As a part of her ambassadorship, Dushku will contribute to Spike TV’s “CES All Access Live” broadcast coverage throughout CES and will also host the network’s exclusive VIP CES party at Tryst Nightclub in the Wynn Las Vegas.
Eliza Dushku rose to fame with her role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff series Angel. She is also well-known for her starring role in the network series, Tru Calling and Dollhouse, as well as roles in films including True Lies, Bring it On, This Boy’s Life, Wrong Turn and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Eliza is a prominent figure in the digital entertainment community, boasting over one million Twitter followers, appearing in a number of original digital entertainment series including The Guild, and having appeared in a number of major video games including the lead role in Bethesda Softworks’ hit game, Wet, and the most recent entry in Electronic Arts’ successful Fight Night franchise.
“I’m honored to be the first Ambassador to the Entertainment Matters program at CES and special contributor to Spike TV’s ‘CES All Access Live’ coverage programming,” said Dushku. “I’m incredibly fortunate to have great, tech savvy fans who constantly push me to stay ahead of the curve in consumer technology, which I’m very passionate about. I love going to CES, and I’m excited to now have a real platform to encourage more of my film and television industry colleagues to experience CES.”
MAYWOOD — Several celebrities were on hand at the Recreation Center here to help the Cheesecake Factory, a national restaurant chain, begin its Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month by serving lunch to some 300 community members.
Celebrities, who helped serve lunch to the group Aug. 31, included actor Wilmer Valderrama of NBC’s “Awake,” actress Ali Landry of “Hollywood Moms’ Club,” television and movie star Eliza Dushku, former Laker Rick Fox, Grammy Award-winning recording artist Monica and Los Angeles Laker Shannon Brown, a chain representative said.
Public Events > 2011 > Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month