Amber Benson's Been Up To A Lot Since 'Buffy'

20th Television

Slayers, let's huddle. If you're wondering exactly what Amber Benson's been doing since her time on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, that's a fair question. After all, if you've already seen the cast of Buffy reuniting on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, it may have triggered a tidal wave of nostalgia. And if you were a Slayer fan way back when, who could blame you for having a whole spectrum of feels related to one Tara Maclay, the character Benson played?

After all, Tara made television history when she fell in love with Willow Rosenberg, marking one of the first times U.S. TV depicted two women being in a relationship that wasn’t meant to get you hot under the collar and/or wasn't just for ratings. Besides which, Tara was a great character in her own right. She was sweet and shy, and, in a show full of strong women, she made it OK to be vulnerable too. She stuttered and could be a little awkward, which, if you were more of a Tara than a Buffy, made you feel less alone in finding social situations stressful. So what exactly does the woman behind Maclay get up to these days?

In a 2015 installment of Reddit Ask Me Anything, it sounded as if her acting days were mostly behind her, with Benson stating "I was an actor in my previous life, but now I direct and write films, and write novels."

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The not acting part is at least partly self-deprecation. Benson's appeared on TV shows like Grey's Anatomy, Husbands, and, in the last two years, she's starred in three films. It also looks like she'll be starring — and singing — in another vampire-themed property, Blood Kiss. However, it's clear why she would identify primarily as a writer. In the last two years, she's launched her The Witches Of Echo Park series, which focuses on a coven of witches living in L.A.

And these aren't her first books. She's previously penned the five-book series Calliope Reaper-Jones, about a woman working in fashion who is drawn into the realm of the after life when she wants to rescue her father. And, if you're thinking that all this sounds very Buffy, she wears her influences on her sleeve; she also co-wrote three comic books under the Willow meta series for Buffy The Vampire Slayer, including WannaBlessedBe, Wilderness, Part 1 and Wilderness, Part 2.

But, wait, it gets cooler. Benson has her fingers in all the literary pies and is also collaborating with Heroine Complex creator Sarah Kuhn on a comic book based on Clueless — you know, your favorite movie ever. Kuhn told Vanity Fair:

"I know that Amber and I both like writing female protagonists who mess up a lot, because we mess up a lot. The fact that both Cher and Emma do mess up and are flawed and messy, that’s very appealing as both a writer and a reader."

But what about the directing films part she mentioned on Reddit? Over the past few years, she's directed two shorts (Singlewood and Shevenge), as well as co-directing on 2010's Drones, which boasts an adorable premise: a man discovers his best work friend is an alien and promptly proceeds to fall for her.

It looks like Benson is being kept very, very busy these days — but, if you love vampires, witches or the '90s, you'll dig what she's doing.