Buffy The Vampire SlayerDushku : Faith No More
By Daniel Fienberg
Tuesday 29 July 2003, by Webmaster
LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - In late February, as the demise of UPN’s "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" began to loom, the show’s passionate fandom speculated eagerly over the possibility of a spin-off starring Eliza Dushku as one-time rogue slayer Faith. Those hopes were stymied when Dushku signed on to star in the FOX pilot "Tru Calling," opting for a new beginning, rather than reliving a past role.
"I started the character of Faith five years ago and the character kind of traveled with me as I grew up and was me in a lot of ways," Dushku tells reporters at the TV Critics Association press tour. "And I love that show and that character’s been good to me and I love the people involved and there wasn’t a doubt in my mind we could have made an interesting show, but I think that you kind of go down the road less traveled sometimes."
Dushku’s choice of divergent paths led her to the role of Tru Davies, a recent college graduate coming to terms with a great, if somewhat perplexing power. Working a medical internship in the city morgue, Davies discovers that the corpses are talking to her. As if that isn’t bad enough, she then has to relive the entire day to save the life of the body on the slab, prevent a murder.
Equal parts "Run, Lola, Run," "Groundhog Day" and "Early Edition," "Tru Calling" finds Dushku again playing a young woman chosen by unseen forces to save lives. Once again, Dushku’s character faces her newfound skills with incredulity and once again, the character is driven by unresolved psychological issues (this time from dealing with her mother’s murder). "She’s strong, but she’s not psychotic," Dushku says, comparing the characters. "I mean, let’s be real, Faith was a little over-the-top sometimes, you know."
"A lot of the characters that I’ve played have been given this opportunity to do something where it’s overwhelming and there’s enough to worry about as a 22-year-old or as a teenager in your normal life without all the drama and chaos and this whole fantasy aspect," she continues.
For Tru, the dilemmas of ordinary life include a high-strung sister with a drug problem (played by Jessica Collins) and a brother who can’t seem to stay out of trouble (Shawn Reaves). Saving lives and trying to keep your family together doesn’t leave much time for dating or work, but Tru’s biggest challenge may be protecting herself from a gang of starving, scruffy castaways and a certain sextet of buddies from Manhattan.
FOX has scheduled "Tru Calling" for 8:00 p.m., opposite the battling behemoths of "Survivor" and the final season of "Friends."
"We have a young star in a young show and what we like to believe is a really fresh concept," says the show’s creator Jon Harmon Feldman. "We really think that there’s an available audience of teens out there who have loved Eliza on ’Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ’Angel’ and in her movies and will come and find us."
"I think that there is room for the show on that night," Dushku adds confidently. "So, I am not intimidated. Thank you very much."