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Eliza Dushku
Famous Magazine - February 2002, Volume 3 Number 2.

Now Appearing in... The New Guy as love interest to DJ Qualis' (Road Trip) geeky high schooler who gets a crash course in being tough thanks to a short prison stint.

Bio bits: Think Eliza Dushku is a kick-ass, though-as-steel-toe-boots tomboy? Well, you're right. But she comes by it honestly. Shortly after Eliza was born - December 30, 1980, in Boston, Massachusetts - her parents divorced and her university professor mother had to raise Eliza and her three older brothers alone. Not realizing she was any different than the boys, Eliza grew up wearing boy's clothes and playing football.

She literally fell into acting. Simply along for the ride when her older brother went to an audition, Eliza tripped walking up the stairs and broke her nose. The big screaming fit that followed caught the attention of the casting agents, who hired her to be in a commercial.

Her first big-screen role came in the Juliette Lewis drama That Night, then she starred opposite Robert De Niro in This Boy's Life and with Arnold Schwartzenegger in True Lies. Eliza had a tough time adjusting to the limelight, though, and admits she was a total brat for awhile. She credits her brothers with keeping the size of her head in check.

She landed the role of troubled vampire slayer Faith on TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer just as she was about to head off to Suffolk University, where her mom teaches political science. Even though her dorm room was waiting and she'd already been through orientation, the part was too good to pass up. Roles as a hard-edged gymnast-turned-cheerleader in Bring It On and a bitchy jewel thief in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back further reinforced her bad girl image.

Love life: Says she avoids talking about boyfriends in interviews because by the time the story comes out the situation has usually changed. But reports are, she dated Ralph Lauren model Colby.

Sample roles: Annabel in Soul Survivors (2001), Sissy in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001), Missy in Bring it On (2000), Cindy in Race the Sun (1996), Emma in Bye, Bye Love (1995), Dana in True Lies (1994), Pearl in This Boy's Life (1993), Alice in That Night (1992)

Trivia: Dushku was legally emancipated from her mother when she was a teen to get around child labour laws that limit the hours a minor can work.

- Her Mormon grandmother called agent Mike Ovitz to complain after seeing Eliza's sex scene on an episode of Buffy.

On why she gets so many tough-girl roles:
"I think it's the dark hair. You don't see a lot of bond-haired, blue-eyed girls playing the tough edgy character roles." (TV Guide Online, August 2001)

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