Alias meets Charlie' Angels as Eliza Dushku takes on multiple identities in Buffy and Angel creator Joss Whedon's futuristic new drama Dollhouse
The last time Eliza Dushku and writer Joss Whedon teamed up, the result was two of TV's biggest cult hits, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its equally addictive spin-off Angel.
Now, six years after Dushku hung up her stake as rogue slayer Faith, she's has joined forces with Whedon once again for the much-anticipated new fantasy drama Dollhouse (Sci-Fi, Tuesdays, 9pm).
Dushku plays a young woman, Echo, who is recruited by a mysterious organisation called the Rossum Corporation. Living in a futuristic building called the Dollhouse, Echo and the other 'Dolls' have their memories wiped and are implanted with artificial personalities and physical abilities then hired out to rich clients to fulfil their needs and fantasies.
We asked Dushku to tell us more...
So, what's Dollhouse about?
"The first time we meet Echo, she is broken down and in a real jam. She doesn't really have any other option but to join this organisation for five years. So she signs on the dotted line, and next thing you know, she's living in The Dollhouse."
What is The Dollhouse?
"It's run by a corporation which imprints people with different personalities. Echo has her memories erased and becomes a Doll who is hired out for various engagements."
What kind of engagements does Echo go on?
"In the first episode, she is programmed to be a hostage negotiator. In the second, she is hired to be the ultimate adventure date by this crazy guy who takes her out to the forest. Things go off the rails and there's action, adventure and ass-kicking."
What happens to the Dolls?
"Gradually, they start to have memories. They develop little flickers of self-awareness and remember things from engagements. Of course, that's considered a glitch in the Dollhouse system, and that's when all hell breaks loose."
Why did the show appeal to you?
"It's provocative and disturbing. We're dealing with altering and programming people and that's a very sensitive topic. Also, you never get bored. I'm a different person every week."
Who was your favourite character to play?
"It was awesome playing a sexy assassin."
It sounds like a pretty physical role
"I've ridden a motorcycle, Thai-boxed and jumped from a moving vehicle. There is a real James Bond element to it. That works for me. The more action, the better."
Did you need to get in shape for the series?
"I work out every day, and I've been physical since I came out of the womb. I grew up with three older brothers, and I've always been game for everything. When I first showed up on the Buffy set, I said, 'Who's that girl dressed like me? I don't need a stunt double. Just throw me off a building!"
How did you become an actress?
"When I was 10, we took my brother to an audition and I tripped and broke my nose. Blood was everywhere, and I started screaming. The casting agents were, like, 'Who's that kid?' Next thing I know, they hired me for a commercial."
Did you enjoy playing Faith in Buffy?
"It was really liberating to be completely off the wall and psychotic. I also liked getting to kiss David Boreanaz."
How does it feel to work with Joss Whedon again?
"Joss is my best friend. When we worked on Buffy, I knew that we were making something special. It's so satisfying that it was received so well."