Rick Yaeger: Everyone it’s Rick Yaeger here with “One Question Interviews,” the show where I get the golden opportunity to talk to a celebrity, and then I waste it on some random question. [sighs]
Sitting across the Internet from me today is the star of Syfy’s “Defiance,” and she’s also got a new movie coming up called “Life on the Line.” Please welcome Julie Benz.
Julie Benz: Hi.
Rick: Hi, there you go, with a round of applause, standing ovation.
Julie: I was raising the roof.
Rick: Thank you so much for doing this. It’s good to see you.
Julie: It’s good to see you. Thank you. This is the first interview I’ve ever done in sweatpants.
Rick: It’s an exclusive. Let’s get the logo. Boom. OK, before we get to the one question, of course, I like to talk to my guests and let them talk about what they are doing, what they’re up to, and of course you’ve got Defiance season three on the way.
Rick: What’s going on? I saw a script cover on Twitter.
Julie: That’s about as much as I’ve seen.
Rick: That’s as…Oh.
Julie: I don’t know what’s going to happen in season three. I’m just as excited as everyone else to find out.
Rick: In catching people up, in teasing people to get onboard for season three, what can you tell us about Defiance?
Julie: Defiance is a human drama that happens to be wrapped in science fiction. I think it appeals to everybody, whether you’re a science fiction fan or not, whether you believe in aliens or not.
My character has an amazing journey. I start out as the mayor, and I end up as the Madam.
Rick: How did that happen?
Julie: A fall from grace. In some ways, it’s a bit of a western/immigration show. It’s about the rebuilding of our planet after there’s been a massive war between humans and aliens. The aliens are stuck here, they can’t go home. Our planet has been terraformed, so it’s changed. We’re struggling for survival.
My character, Amanda, she’s the peacekeeper. She really believes that in order to survive, we all have to get along. We all have to work together. Of course, there’s all these evil powers at play, and Amanda gets caught in the crossfires.
Rick: She’s a kickass lady.
Julie: She is, and that’s why I love working in the genre, because for female characters, they’ve always been a lot stronger. You’re allowed to be louder, you’re allowed to bolder, stronger, kickass, but you’re also allowed to be vulnerable and flawed.
I find that the female characters in science fiction, they’re more well-rounded women, like we are in real life. There’s no mother-wife-victim role on the show, and that’s why I wanted to do the show in the first place, was because of how strong all the female characters were, how complex they all are, how interesting, how flawed, every female character is.
We’ve had all these really great male characters over the years that have embraced all sides of humanity, and all sides of what it means to be a man. We haven’t really seen that with women, and now we’re finally starting to see it.
My character, Amanda, was a drug addict, season two. She’s an obvious alcoholic. She has some serious issues, but she’s also the hero of the show. She’s the moral compass. She is extremely strong, but at the same time, she’s not like, “I’m not trying to be a man.” She’s not written to be strong like a man. She’s a strong woman. Does it make sense?
Rick: Yeah, she’s a real woman.
Julie: A real, exactly.
Rick: A real woman just like what you described. Those are real men, and in the past, in the early days of cinema, you had the white hat and the stereotypical puffed-chest man. He’s got nothing behind his eyes. He’s just this tough, hero guy.
We did away with him a long time ago, and now we make fun of him, [laughs] but we never get rid of his girlfriend until recently. That’s what I’m noticing. I’m glad you noticed that, too, that it’s getting real. I think that opens it up for more real stories.
Julie: I think it also allows for actresses to age in the industry. I’m 42 year old, and when I got into the business, I was 13. At the time, it had been told to me that if you didn’t make it by the time you were 25 or 30, you should just quit.
Seeing the generation of women before me who broke down those barriers and who allowed women to age and still be considered vibrant, and sexy, and funny as they get older, it’s because the characters are becoming more real. They’re allowing women to be more real, and not this kind of façade of a female.
Rick: Well said. Defiance, you film that up in Canada, up where I live…Well, not where I live, but up in Canada.
Julie: Up in Canada, In Toronto, in Scarborough, to be exact.
Rick: In Scarborough, Ontario. I hear you have been in my neck of the woods in the last little while, in Vancouver, filming with a little actor by the name of Johnny Travolta.
Rick: What’s going on there?
Julie: Wow, I was so excited to be a part of this movie. It’s directed by David Hackl. He directed “Saw V,” and he ask me to be a part of this movie.
“Life on the Line” takes place in the world of the Texas linemen, which are the men — actually men and some women — that actually go out and work on the power lines during the big electrical storms when the power goes out. It’s the fourth most dangerous job in the world.
Julie: It takes place within the world of the Texas linemen. Working with John Travolta was…I had to contain my inner fangirl. All I wanted to do was sing songs from “Grease.”
Julie: That’s it.
Rick: You didn’t though.
Julie: I didn’t, although there was a day when he did sing. I just happened not to be on set, and I was so upset it was a day I wasn’t on set. I wanted to play Olivia Newton-John. I want to play Sandy next to his Danny.
Rick: I’m going to get to the question, if you’re OK.
Julie: OK. I’m nervous. I’m sweating
Rick: We have new hat for season three, the One Question hat.
Rick: As you know the show is called One Question Interviews. I have almost a thousand different questions ranging from the profane to the profound. We will choose one at random and…
Julie: I hope I get a dirty one.
Rick: We’ll see. We’ll choose one at random, and you’ll answer it seriously or in a funny voice, if you like, and everyone goes home happy. Cool?
Julie: OK, cool.
Rick: I’ve grabbed a handful. We’re going to riffle down the side. You tell me when to stop.
Julie: Stop. [laughs]
Rick: Stop? Would you like the top or the bottom? That’s not that question.
Julie: I’ll take the top.
Rick: The top? This one here. Your question is, “What songs are in your workout playlist?”
Julie: Oh, I can answer that. Can I look at my song list?
Rick: Of course.
Julie: I’m not the best with music. I like a lot of pop music. Especially when I work out, I need stuff that’s really going to get me going.
We’ll go down the list. I have “Boom Boom Pow,” from Black Eyed Peas. [laughs]
Julie: “Good Feeling,” from Flo Rida. [laughs]
Julie: “Hips Don’t Lie,” from Shakira, “Knock You Down,” which is Keri Hilson and Kanye West. I have some Danny Kane. I admit it.
Rick: There’s no judgment here.
Julie: “We Are Young,” by Fun, “All I Need” by Awolnation, “Empire State of Mind.” I always, always play that. At least, that’s my 10-minute mark whenever I’m doing any kind of cardio, because I always say if I can make it past the first 10 minutes, then I’m in it, so I always put Empire State of Mind at the 10-minute mark because that song can usually push me past the first 10.
Rick: The big push song, yeah.
Julie: I have a lot of Pink. l love Pink.
Rick: Pink’s good.
Julie: I went to one of her concerts. I think she’s fantastic. I have some Iggy Azalea, Black Widow, and All About That Bass, a new favorite by Meghan Trainor. That’s pretty much my workout playlist. Oh, “All The Lights,” Kanye West.
Rick: Good stuff.
Julie: Yeah, that was an easy one. Wooh.
Rick: That is an easy one.
Julie: I was sweating.
Rick: Well, I’m glad you got that question. That seemed to really work with you.
Julie: Yeah. Oh yay, thank you.
Rick: Thank you so much for coming on the show. I really enjoyed talking to you.
Julie: Of course.
Rick: Everybody, of course, Defiance returns to Syfy later in 2015. Do we have a date?
Julie: We don’t have a date yet. I think it’s going to be in the summer. I think they’re planning on another summer series release.
Rick: A little June-ish?
Rick: It’s a 13-episode show, so if you haven’t been keeping up with it, or if you’ve never watched it, you’ve got time. You can…
Julie: You got plenty of time, and it’s super easy. You just sit down, and you just binge-watch it.
Rick: Yes. It’s addictive, and you won’t even notice.
Julie: Yeah. It’s 26 hours out of your life.
Rick: [puffs air] It’s nothing. Come on.
Julie: It’s nothing. Call in sick. I won’t tell.
Rick: Also, because as you say, you live tweet the show, you want to follow Julie on Twitter. She is @juliebenz.
Again, thank you so much for being my guest. I really enjoyed talking to you, and you people, thank you so much for watching. Thank you even more for subscribing to the show for free on YouTube. I appreciate that a lot.
That’s it, this is Rick Yaeger for One Question Interviews. Take care.
Julie: In Vancouver, I stayed [inaudible 10:43] , and it was free.
Rick: Yep. Oh, Siri just like… [laughs]
Siri: Hotels not far from San…
Julie: What did she say to you?
Rick: Are there any hotels in San Francisco that offer free WiFi?
Julie: Oh, how nice. Siri’s looking out for you.