The internet really loves Eliza Dushku. Simply Googling her name brings up a zillion gushy articles -- plus, a zillion and one pictures that cement said love. Turns out, the feeling is more than mutual.
After cutting her teeth with a cameo on The Guild, Eliza is now doing a proper guest star stint on the white hot webseries Leap Year as "hacker in heels" June Pepper. Additionally, she is drumming up support for her documentary on Albania with a Kickstarter campaign. Those are just a few of the things she discussed during our in-depth chat which revealed Eliza's penchant for red heels, her relationship with the webseries' unofficial father and how she keeps falling into pseudo Buffy reunion projects.
TheInsider.com: How did you come to star on Leap Year?
Eliza Dushku: Wilson Cleveland [Leap Year star/producer]. He is a very determined, persistent, passionate, smart and engaging man. Once I looked into the webseries, I was a fan – I've watched from start to finish. I think it's such a cool space to be exploring, so I was stoked. And I loved the role, Miss. June Pepper. I thought it could be a nice little role to slip into. And it was. I can't wait to see the whole series.
Insider.com: I can't decide what I love more, her name or her description as "hacker in heels."
Eliza: [laughs] I know! Wait until you see the heels, they're not a joke – and Wilson gifted me the red pumps.
Insider.com: Are you a big heal wearer in real life?
Eliza: I am a big heel wearer -- especially in the last few years with my vertically superior boyfriend [laughs]. I've always been a boots girl though because there's an athlete in me, so the boot is a good in-between. But I do love a pump, especially a red one!
Insider.com When you read the role, what attracted you to June?
Eliza: I loved how crazy she was. She's kind of conniving and yet not completely heartless. She's driven and I love the way she throws herself totally into this mission. She has a task at hand and is the kind of person who does what needs to be done.
Insider.com: Emma Caulfield also guest stars this season, do you share any scenes?
Eliza: No scenes here unfortunately. I think we did [on Buffy] – I may be completely wrong and 100 Buffy fans will attack me over it [laughs]. It's tough to remember because we also have spent time together over the years, so I may be thinking of that. But I'm sure we had at least one scene together in that final season. But when I got to the Leap Year set, everyone was flipping out over how much they loved her. I saw a snippet of her in the show, and she's just hilarious – just a cuckoo character.
Insider.com: I kind of feel like everyone thriving in the world of webseries owes a debt of gratitude to your friend Joss Whedon since he not only proved there was a market for this content, with Dr. Horrible, but also showed that there's money to be made.
Eliza: Absolutely. Joss is an innovator and has an uncanny way of listening to his audiences. And he has for years. Don't get me wrong, he does his own thing and makes you fall in love with characters right before killing them in front of your face [laughs]. I remember way back in the old Buffy days, it was my first experience with posting boards – Joss would have parties at his house with the computer set up in the middle of the room where we would talk to the fans online. No one else was doing that at the time. We were partying with all these fans, basically – and it was just this unbelievably interactive experience for that time. He really tapped in at such an early stage. And that's where globalization has taken us with the internet. It's on such a different scale now and it's exciting for me to be a part of.
Insider.com: You've even gotten involved with Kickstarter for a documentary on Albania you're working on. How's that going?
Eliza: It's going great so far. We've raised about 15,000 and have 19 days left. We're about to do a fundraiser in Boston and possibly NYC, where we can lead some people through the donation process because there are people who may not be as familiar with the world of online donation but want to help – so we're going to teach them! It's always been a goal of mine to connect people – this space is just the absolutely ultimate for that. You connect people from across the globe and it's a really exciting and addicting and stimulating process.
Insider.com: Having gone through the Kickstarter process already, would you consider taking this route for future films?
Eliza: Totally. In fact, my brother and I are developing a few things right now and that's one of the conversations. We're working on a Boston-set film now and not sure what space we're going to run with it in. Things are changing so fast, and the goal is to get the message out to as many people as possible. When you look at all the ways the industry is changing, who knows what that will look like in a year. It's exciting.
Insider.com: Luckily we have another Eliza movie to look forward to -- The Scribbler, which stars another Buffy co-star, Michelle Trachtenberg!
Eliza: Yep ... and we don't have a scene together there either [laughs]. We just wrapped that last week – it's a cool, independent project. Made that movie for $1 million. That's another instance of the walls coming down and creative people doing what needs to be done to get their message out there. You're seeing the pecking order changing because artists can now go where the good work is.
Insider.com: I just mentioned two projects and two Buffy connections -- but given the widespread world Joss has created, I can't imagine it's difficult to play Six Degrees of Joss Whedon with almost any co-star.
Eliza: Oh, completely. There are so many people he's worked with – I forgot that Jeremy Renner was on Angel. A couple of us were just talking about that the other week. There are six degrees of Buffy wherever you look – and that's fun!
Insider.com: Well maybe you can shrink that circle even further by starring in The Avengers sequel! I, for one, would love to see you kicking some ass again
Eliza: That would be something! Joss has been pretty generous with me thus far, and you can't expect too much from someone who has already given you so much. But I think Joss was giving me a little time off – he wanted to let me recover from Dollhouse. Plus, The Avengers was so similar to Dollhouse in some ways that I think he probably wanted to get away from me a little bit [laughs].
For more on Leap Year, click here!
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