Eliza Patricia Dushku portrays the lead role of Echo on Dollhouse. Additionally, Dushku served as one of the producers for the series, and her production company Boston Diva Productions produced Dollhouse alongside 20th Century Fox Television and Joss Whedon's Mutant Enemy Productions.
Dushku started her career with small film roles (This Boy's Life, True Lies). Her breakthrough as an actress came in the fall of 1998 when Joss Whedon gave her the role of Faith Lehane on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Though initially planned as a five-episode role, the character became so popular that she stayed on for the entirety of the third season and returned for a two-part appearance in season four, after which the remainder of her original story arc was played out late in the first season of the Buffy spinoff series Angel (and extending to a cameo in that show's second-season premiere). After some movie roles (Bring It On, Soul Survivors, Wrong Turn) she returned to the Buffyverse in a number of season four episodes of Angel, and in the last five episodes of Buffy, going on to become lead actress of Tru Calling, a Fox show that was canceled during its second season in the fall of 2004.
In August 2007 Dushku signed a development deal with Fox and 20th Century Fox Television, offering her "mid- to high six figures" and allowing Fox to "develop projects custom-made for the Tru Calling alum, as well as approach her with existing scripts". A few days later Dushku met with Joss Whedon for lunch, and after telling him about her new deal, they put together the premise of Dollhouse. In an interview she described the meeting: "So, we talked about life, and we were telling each other crazy stories about the things we had done in the past time since we had talked, and the Internet and download that thing, and we talked about hunting, and that person with that fetish, and that thing we were trying to do, and that woman we knew, and that fear that we had, and all of the sudden, it was locked in, and the rest was history, and we have this crazy, exciting bomb-ass new show.".
She started training for her role as Echo in October 2007, and she described the aspect that she'll be "a different Echo every week" as "great for my ADHD personality". She jokingly referred to her preparation time for the different roles she has to play during production as "maybe an hour", adding that "the day before, Joss will say, 'I'm going to throw you off a roof,' and I say, 'Cool, let's do it!'"
She described Dollhouse as "the story of my life" linking it to her job as an actress and being about "who people want to make other people into". She also stated on the website of her production company:
|To me a Boston Diva can be anyone, anyhow, anywhere. It’s a way of thinking and being not just a native necessity! In my life Boston has always represented an absolute cultural melting pot, a playground of personalities. That’s also how I describe my “Dollhouse,” as you may hear in upcoming soundbites. Somehow Echo and I ARE related!|
The personality she would most like to portray on Dollhouse would be a Grandmaster Chessplayer.
Notes & References
- Spelling, Ian (2008-05-23). Fewer Breaks Affect Dollhouse. Sci Fir Wire. scifi.com. Retrieved on 2008-12-06.
- Simon, Brent (2008-12-05). Nobel Son’s Eliza Dushku on Dollhouse, Playing Crazy, and Pasties. Vulture. nymag.com. Retrieved on 2008-12-06.
- Whedon returns to TV with 'Dollhouse'
- Cuckoo for Dushku: Fox Lands Tru Calling Star
- Best News Ever! Joss Whedon Spills Exclusive Deets on His New Series
- About Boston Diva Live. bostondivalive.com (2008-08-11). Retrieved on 2008-10-15.
- Joss Whedon & Eliza Dushku : Fox Video Interview with Spike.