iF Magazine (2010)
The actress talks about the last days of the series, why Claire shot Bennett and whether the world is populated by people who worked with Joss Whedon
Amy Acker is pleased to talk about her new ABC series HAPPY TOWN, which concerns a seemingly normal small town with some very dark secrets. We’ll have a full interview with Acker on HAPPY TOWN to coincide with the series premiere, but meanwhile, iF got answers to a few questions about the last days of DOLLHOUSE and her work on the Joss Whedon series. The show’s finale airs Friday @ 8:00 p.m. and will hopefully wrap up all the loose ends.
iF: A lot of people were quite shocked by the moment in “Getting Closer” when your character Claire Saunders shot and killed Bennett, played by Summer Glau. Do we know if Claire did that because she was indeed a sleeper or if that was just her being extremely angry at Bennett’s love interest Topher, played by Fran Kranz?
AMY ACKER: You know, actually, I asked that, too, because I thought it had to do with her being so pissed at Topher, and they said “no, that wasn’t the case” – I was a sleeper. It had nothing to do with me being upset at what he had done or getting back at him or any of that stuff. I thought maybe I was trying to destroy him because he had just found love and he was happy, but they said, “No, you’re a sleeper.”
iF: You also showed a very different side of the character and yourself as a performer in your scenes with Alan Tudyk, where his character Alpha had programmed your Whiskey to be his sidekick …
ACKER: That was probably one of the scariest [acting sequences] – because I had told [writer/director] Tim [Minear], “What if a 1930s flapper was my personality?” and they come back with NATURAL BORN KILLERS [laughs]. “Thank you …” It was a little scary.
iF: By the time you came back to DOLLHOUSE to shoot your final episodes, they knew it was cancelled. How did it feel coming back in those circumstances?
ACKER: I was a little worried, because I was like, “Oh, I’m going back, and they’re all going to be so upset,” but it was sort of the whole process [of regular television work]. It was always like, “Is it going to work? We had that break at the beginning …” I think that it was just good to see everybody, and everyone felt like they were wrapping it up, but they had a good time.
iF: You said you were commuting between New York and Toronto for HAPPY TOWN?
ACKER: My husband [James Carpinello] is doing a Broadway musical, ROCK OF AGES.
iF: Isn’t Tom Lenk, who was in BUFFY and ANGEL, also in ROCK OF AGES?
iF: Do you ever feel like the universe is very small and populated entirely with people who’ve worked with Joss Whedon?
ACKER: [laughs] It does seem like everywhere that we go [there are Whedon alumni], which is good, because [Whedon] had so many great actors on the shows and there’s such a camaraderie just with being associated with Joss that when I got to work with Alan on DOLLHOUSE, we felt like we were already really good friends, just because we had been in the same circle, when in reality, we had probably [previously] spoken to each other for five minutes, so it’s nice to get to see people from that world. I think everybody who’s worked with Joss has such admiration for the material and the people [he employs].