Thursday, January 24, 2008

Captivating Julie Benz on "Dexter"

First off, let’s get the official character and personal bios out of the way.

Rita is Dexter's perfect mate basically because she’s got issues which includes mental and physical abuse by her imprisoned husband but mainly because the abuse has left her uninterested in sex. Her life is compounded by her having to raise two kids on her own.

Julie’s career dates back to 1990 and from then till now she has appeared in several movies and TV dramas including Step By Step, Hearts Adrift, The Single Guy, Lackawana Blues, CSI: Miami, CSI and Law & Order. She’ll be in the fourth installment of Rambo. She might however be best known for her role in Buffy The Vampire Slayer in which she played an evil vampire named Darla. She will be in the upcoming movie The Punisher: War Zone which is due out in 2008.

Personally I’m just going to ignore the whole Rambo business above (I really felt compelled to throw that in right here).

Right, so on to other things. I’m sure we all already know of Julie Benz (at least Buffy fans) and for those who don’t, then I trust that the bios above would have enlightened you.

So here’s what I have to say about Rita Bennett. I just want to take you on a journey with me from Season 1 thru Season 2. Here goes….

At a glance, it would be very easy to dismiss her as weak and pathetic, however, when one follows her on this journey, the stalk realization that this character has so much depth and complexities is the only conclusion that one can come to.

The journey begins:

  • When Rita cries you want to hold her. Then just before she gets to that point where you want to smack her and say “Ok now! Enough already! Snap out of it!” she snaps right out of it so you don’t need to.

  • She’s gone from poor little me to.. I need to stand up for myself to.. I’m not sure I’m strong enough to.. although I’ve had so much hurt in my life, I should let someone in to.. ok, I’m letting someone in to.. right then, I’ve let someone in; now what; how far should I go to.. how much of a compromise should I make to.. I’ve decided to pull myself together for myself, my relationship but most importantly for my kids to.. oh yeah, I’ve arrived; I have full balance in my life now to.. hmmm everything’s great now but there seems to be something going on with my man to.. wow, so you’re messing around on me, you gotsta go Bro to.. well I’ll show that bitch witch that she shouldn’t mess with my man to.. you know what, if that’s what he wants, so be it. I’ve got my kids, I’m strong now; I can hold my own!

And to that I say “You Go Girl!”

The thing about Julie Benz is that she gets into the role and makes you feel the pains, the struggles, the surge of confidence, the deflation, the conflict, the pleasure; every single emotion that Rita Bennett experiences. It takes true talent to be able to do that and dare I say, “By Jove! I think she’s got it!”

So now you know how I feel about the character and the actor, there’s only one “real” question left. How do you feel?

Oh one final pic just in case you need to be reminded of the cast.


  1. I have to admit that I am one of the people guilty of not being familiar with Julie Benz and her work. You helped walk me through the bio and gave me a better understanding of her character. My curiosity is now piqued regarding her work. I think I could really identify with this type of real, everyday heroine. She is physically beautiful and because of this blog I will seek out more of her work now and in the future! Keep up the excellent blogging.

  2. hmmm miss Julie Benz I remember her as Darla cas I was a BIG Buffy fan...but I have also had the pleasure of seeing her on Dexter...and I have to say she the character Rita an awesome example of a women on the verge of becoming something like Rita Mae Browne...only white and maybe a little more p.o'd she can go from crying like a baby girl to I am 2.5 seconds...the more I see her the more I love her...(she act's like most women if you think about it)'s hoping showtime doesn't mess with a great show and character.