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Creator / Eliza Dushku

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"I wake up and play a different person every day. Playing all these different characters and trying to figure out who your true authentic self is at the core of that as you're playing all these different roles, and man, that self-awareness starts to come into effect. And you start to see who you really are."
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Eliza Patricia Dushku (born December 30, 1980 in Watertown, Massachusetts, The United States) is a Boston-born actress of Albanian descent.

She's probably best known as rogue Slayer Faith Lehane on the Buffyverse series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Some of her other notable roles include Sissy in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Tru on Tru Calling, Missy in the original Bring It On, and Echo on Dollhouse.

She also provided the voices of Shaundi from Saints Row 2 and Rubi Malone from WET, as well as Catwoman in Batman: Year One and She-Hulk in Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.

Her father is Albanian-American, with her paternal grandparents immigrating from Albania, and Dushku identifies strongly with this heritage. She's become an Albanian citizen, visiting Albania and Kosovo. Dushku also has the Albanian Eagle tattooed onto the back of her neck. Along with her brother Nate (a fellow actor, plus director and producer), she produced a film, Dear Albania, about the visit they had to the country.

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Dushku has spoken publicly of the past molestation and sexual harassment she's suffered, including having testified before Congress, while also supporting former Buffy co-star Charisma Carpenter's statements against Joss Whedon. She's also spoken about being a recovered alcoholic and drug addict, having started using at age 14. However, she's been off them since 2008.

Dushku married businessman Peter Palandjian in 2018. In 2019, she gave birth to their son Philip. She gave birth to their second child, son Bodan, in August 2021.

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Filmography

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    Live-Action Films 

    Live-Action Series 

    Voice Acting 


Tropes

  • Action Girl: She's kicked plenty of ass onscreen in her time.
  • Actor-Shared Background: She's from Boston, like Faith in Buffy.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She's a brunette that often plays aloof and cold Action Girls.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice:invoked
    • Although Faith was a popular Buffyverse character, a lot of people remember her for the metric ton of Homoerotic Subtext between her and Buffy.
    • The New Guy is remembered entirely for the minute-long sequence of Eliza's character modelling bikinis.
    • The Alphabet Killer is remembered for Eliza's first topless scene.
  • Broken Bird: A lot of her characters tend to be emotionally damaged hard-asses.
  • Contralto of Danger: Her famously husky voice works perfectly for playing badass characters.
  • Creator Backlash:invoked She was frustrated with her time on Tru Calling. The series had been pitched to her as one about a strong empowered woman, similar to Faith. However she got increasingly annoyed by her character's stupidity in the scripts - at one point Tru needs someone else's help reading a map - and numerous stage directions mentioning her feeling frightened or out of her depth, and few where she was confident or sure of herself.
  • Dawson Casting:invoked
    • Averted in Buffy, where she was actually legally emancipated from her parents to allow her to work more hours while underage.
    • In Bring It On she was twenty playing sixteen.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Her characters are not averse to tossing off sarcastic quips, Faith and Missy being prime examples.
  • Good Bad Girl: Often typecasted as one.
  • Hostility on the Set:invoked The stunt co-ordinator on True Lies purposefully injured her after she spoke up about his sexual harassment of her (she was twelve).
  • Ms. Fanservice: She's not shy about showing off her beautiful body.
  • Playing Against Type: In the indie film Jane Wants a Boyfriend, she plays the controlling older sister to a young woman with autism.
  • Role-Ending Misdemeanor: She was fired from Bull for reporting sexual harassment from co-star Michael Weatherly. She and CBS eventually settled the matter out of court for $9.5 million.
  • Star-Making Role: Her role as Faith in the Buffyverse.
  • Typecasting:invoked She's often Action Girls and Tomboys
  • Unwanted Harem: Thanks to her role as Faith, she ended up with a large fan base of men in prisons - who would write her creepy letters.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Faith was intended as a five-episode character, but her popularity led to her being featured more across both Buffy and Angel. They even planned a spin-off, but Eliza turned it down to do Tru Calling.
    • The role of Max Guevera in Dark Angel was originally written with her in mind.
    • She auditioned for the role of Mary Jane Watson in the Spider-Man Trilogy.
    • In The Fast and the Furious (2001), the role of Mia was written with her in mind, but she turned it down.
    • Her name was floated around as one of the members of the Ghostbusters (2016) team with her name cropping up in some early credits works.


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