Defiance SyFy channel star Julie Benz is part of a futuristic new series combining the worlds of television and gaming, but she hasn’t lost touch with what’s going on in the here and now. Benz took a break from her busy schedule to attend the “Bands for Beds” fundraiser hosted recently by friend Charisma Carpenter (The Lying Game) and give a little back to the global community.
The “Bands for Beds” concert helped raise funds and provide beds and shelter for underprivileged children in Uganda. The Lying Game star Allie Gonino and her band were one of the featured performers.
Wetpaint had the chance to speak to Julie in an exclusive interview at the “Bands for Beds” fundraiser at Dim Mak Studios and learned more about her relationship with The Lying Game star Charisma, her new husband, and her groundbreaking new show Defiance on the SyFy channel.
WP: So you’re a friend of Charisma. Is that what brings you out tonight — and for the cause, of course!
Julie Benz: Yes, definitely. Also, Mike Rossi is singing tonight of The Public Trust. He’s a longtime family friend as well. I mean, I’ve known Charisma for so long, since our Buffy/Angel days [laughs]. I’ve seen her grow and change with the amazing work she’s been doing in Africa. She goes every year and she’s so inspirational and the videos they came back with last trip and knowing that these kids need beds, it’s just a great fundraiser and a great opportunity to raise awareness and raise some money.
So tell me about your new show, Defiance?
It premieres April 15th and it’s the first time they’ve ever launched a video game and a show at the same time so it’s two portals into the same world and it’s kind of like an addictive experience for the die-hard fan that wants more than just an hour a week of watching television. You can play the game; you can watch the show; you can do both; you can do one or the other. You’ll still have a great experience. And things happen in the show that carry over into the game and things happen in the game that carry over into the show.
Tell me about your character.
I play Amanda Rosewater and I’m the new mayor of the town Defiance and it’s my job to keep the peace between humans and the seven races of aliens.
Do you have a love interest in all this?
You know what? Amanda is a bit of a workaholic. She has interests, but not really ever love. [Laughs] She’s a hard-working woman!
Well, what’s going on with you personally?
I spend a lot of time with my dogs. My life is my dogs [laughs] and I work out a lot. I got married this year.
Oh, you did? Tell me about your husband—how did that happen?
Well, we were introduced through friends and five years later, we got married and it’s been like eight months now we’ve been married. It’s been really good, a lot of fun.
Why do you guys click so well?
We have a lot of the same shared interests and we really enjoy each other’s company. We make each other laugh and he truly is my best friend and I couldn’t imagine my life without him. I couldn’t imagine going on this journey without him. We love to travel and we love food. We love to travel and eat. That’s pretty much all we do! [laughs]
How often do you see Charisma? Do you have girls’ days?
I see her a lot actually. [Charisma coming onto red carpet, they hug] She was a bridesmaid in my wedding. I love to keep in touch with my girlfriends and I love, at least once a week, doing a girls’ dinner for whoever’s in town. It’s hard because we both have very busy schedules—she shoots her show in Austin and I shoot my show in Toronto but we stay very much in touch. Thank God for being able to text and email and Skype these. You’re able to keep your life going when you’re away.
Terrific. What do you do in Toronto on down time?
I absolutely love Toronto. I ate my way through the whole city because they have such great restaurants and they have really fun events going on. It’s like my second home. It turns out one of my best friends, Jaime Murray, is also on the show with me so we spend a lot of time together. We do regular things. We go to spin class; we go to Pilates; we go for walks. My dogs are with me, my husband was with me, so it was a big family affair.
Defiance premieres on the SyFy channel at 9 p.m.