Ain't It Cool News (

The WB Won

I am – Hercules!!

Many are writing to say that some creative forces engineering the WB’s midseason adaptation of Warren Ellis’ brilliant “Global Frequency” graphic novel were keen for Amber Benson to play the series’ female lead, Katrina. These same sources, however, say that the WB won’t even let Amber Benson test for the role.


Because, America? Amber Benson is perfect for Katrina. Perfect. She would rule this role.

Katrina, a character created specifically for the TV version, is essentially a first cousin to Amy Acker’s Winifred Burkle character from “Angel”: a gorgeous socially inept overeducated science nerd who finds herself battling the uncanny. (In the “Frequency” pilot Katrina finds herself unexpectedly teamed by Frequency mastermind Miranda Zero with a quick-thinking ex-cop to save millions of San Francisco residents from a bizarre, fast-emerging telekinetic disaster.)

According to at least one individual who witnessed Benson’s audition for producers, “Amber would be perfect. She gave a wonderful audition.”

But the WB, apparently, will never see it. Too many other creative influences – the network, the studio, even series producer Mark Burnett – wanted to go in other directions.

At this point one can only hope that all parties – or at least those who denied themselves the chance to discover firsthand what young Amber could do with the role of Katrina -- haul their hinders down to Blockbuster this morning to rent “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” episodes like “Hush,” “New Moon Rising,” (both season four) “Family,” “The Body” (both season five) or “Once More With Feeling” (season six). Amber Benson broke our hearts in every one of them, then made us laugh through our tears. She is one of the most gifted young actresses in Hollywood, an artist rare in her ability to convey vulnerability and intelligence. More importantly, she maintains a mammoth faculty for selling punchlines (something “Buffy” mastermind Joss Whedon apparently insists upon in anyone he casts as a series regular).

Let me go one step further. Amber Benson is really, really hot. Tara Maclay, the character she played on “Buffy,” was funny and heartbreaking, but also a timid, stuttering wiccan wallflower who finally found her way in the world with the help of Alyson Hannigan’s Willow Rosenberg. The “Buffy” costumers worked hard to camouflage Amber’s natural charisma, draping her in nerdy sweaters and floor-length skirts to make her look chubby, dowdy and geekish. It was right for the character, but did no favors for the actress.

I (and a multitude of other “Buffy” fanatics) got to meet Amber Benson in person at Ain’t It Cool’s big Buh-Bye Buffy Bash last year, and I’m here to tell you that Amber Benson elicited much boy-saliva that evening. She is one of the foxiest girls you’ll ever lay your eyes on. Clothes that show a little skin demonstrate in real life she’s all kinds of skinny, lanky and almost bird-like, and super-extra lust-worthy.

Maybe the WB will skip the test for the right reason: Amber Benson is so obviously incredible there’s no reason to bother with a test. And perhaps other showbiz decision-makers will prove more readily cognizant of her coolness.

John Rogers, who wrote the “Frequency” pilot and will serve as series showrunner, is too keenly aware of gathering online fan outrage, and wrote in to give Ain’t It Cool his take:

“I believe there's a misunderstanding, but no slur. I still love Amber; I'm the one who approached her, I'm the one who brought her in, I still think she's a helluva actress, and will always drop her into the top of the casting list for any appropriate part. Until we finalize casting on the part in GF it's inappropriate for me to comment further. It's the pilot process: it's horrendously complicated and unpleasant for all concerned. So far we've gotten insanely lucky on our casting, and I can only pray our luck continues.

“I just want the fans to know I respect their concerns, respect their affection for a fine actress, and I'm trying to make a show that speaks to them, which is why Amber would be the type of actress considered in the first place.”

I am – Hercules!!

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus