Many people know Eliza Dushku as Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but Faith was only the beginning. In 2009, the brunette beauty starred in the action sci-fi series Dollhouse. Since then, she’s taken on a variety of guest roles on shows such as White Collar and The Big Bang Theory.
This year, Eliza Dushku is moving from sci-fi to comic books as the voice of Catwoman in Batman: Year One and now in her own animated short, appropriately titled Catwoman.
Before the movies hit the streets, Eliza answered a few questions about Catwoman, comic books and creating cool characters.
Q: You seemed to easily groove into this character. Where did you go to discover who Selina Kyle is?
ELIZA DUSHKU: I found the attitude for this character deep down in the Eliza Dushku archive of bad girls (she laughs). They’re in there somehow, somewhere for some reason, and I tap into them when I need them. They’re characters with an edge. I grew up with three older brothers in Boston, and my mother was a single mom. So I spent my early years running the streets with the boys.
After I fell into the film and television business, I went back to public school in Boston, and kids didn’t think it was that cool. So I had to kind of fight for my street cred. I adopted this really sort-of-hard exterior, and got in a couple fights. So by the time I graduated high school and came out to make Buffy The Vampire Slayer, it was really art imitating life. I was fighting for my life.
Q: Do you have a pet cat? How do you feel about cats?
ELIZA: I had hobo cats growing up. We had cats that would climb up on the roof of the house. We would get them off the roof, then two nights later they would be meowing on the top of the roof again. They have little attitudes, too. I ended up with dogs, mainly, but if a cat could act like a dog and could play like a dog and can play rough, then those cats got along with me. I just don’t want house cats or Siamese cats – they’re a little too snooty for me.
Q: Do you enjoy voice acting?
ELIZA: I’ve had a great time doing voiceovers. It started with videogames – the first was a Buffy The Vampire Slayer videogame – and really I did it because I thought it would be cool to have my nephews be able to play me on their videogames. They won’t talk to me right now – they’re at that stage of being a teenager – so I thought maybe we could have a connection through the videogames.
I did a videogame called Wet last year that was a lot of fun. Then I have some friends over at Family Guy. And then, more and more, I’ve been sort of reaching out and peeking around to see what things are available to build my voiceover resume. It’s fun for me, and completely different from what we do in live action. Voice acting is really invigorating. It still feels like you have to bring the same amount of character and energy into the room. And then to watch it morph into the animated version is really kind of magnificent.
Q: Was there anything you wanted to personally add to the character that made the experience of voicing Catwoman that much more fun?
ELIZA: Well, I wanted to purr, and they let me purr – so that was really like getting a bit of extra credit. I wanted to get in there and really emphasize her relationship with her cats, as I think it’s very feral and very significant. And everyone was really cool about letting me play around with my ferocity.
Q: What is it you enjoy most about working in this genre?
ELIZA: I love my fanboys. Without my fanboys, so many of the projects that I’ve done wouldn’t have had the extraordinary life that they’ve enjoyed. The fanboys have been there with enthusiasm and the support, and their loyalty and their love has made this so rewarding and exciting. It makes me just want to give them more, more, more, more.
Q: The Whedonverse has provided many actors for the first 16 DC Universe Animated Original Movies. What do you think makes Joss Whedon’s casts fit so nicely in the DC Universe?
ELIZA: Joss is such a die-hard comic book fan himself that there’s a natural connection. And when you play in his worlds – worlds that are fantasy-related with all this metaphorical, deep magic going on, it sort of preps you to think the unthinkable and go places with your character that most projects don’t give you the opportunity to do.
Warner Brothers will be releasing both installments of the popular DC series on Blu-ray, DVD, On Demand and Download on October 18, 2011. Batman: Year One is also now available in a special download-for-purchase early window through iTunes, Xbox Live, Zune, VUDU HD Movies and Video Unlimited on the PlayStation Network & Sony Entertainment Network.
Photo and Interview provided by Warner Home Video.