‘Desperate Housewives’ Star: Lesbian Role Was “Completely Unexpected”

by | March 7, 2010 at 9:43 AM | Desperate Housewives, TV News

Dana Delany and Julie Benz on Desperate Housewives (ABC)

Dana Delany and Julie Benz on Desperate Housewives (ABC)

Julie Benz was relieved that organizers of the annual PaleyFest decided to screen the ‘Dexter‘ Thanksgiving episode on Thursday night instead of the fourth season finale which ended with the shocking death of her character.

“I certainly hope Rita’s death doesn’t overshadow the amazing work that went on throughout the season with everybody’s characters,” the actress told Fancast before the start of the screening and panel discussion at the Paley Center for the Media event in Los Angeles.

The actress has already moved on to to a juicy role on ABC’s ‘Desperate Housewives‘ where she plays a lesbian stripper named Robin. In last Sunday’s episode, Robin spent the night with Dana Delaney’s previously straight character of Katherine who afterward appeared to be conflicted about the affair.

“I was definitely, ‘Oh, what did I just do?’” Benz said of Katherine. “She’s an older woman who’s been married and has kids and so all of a sudden for the first time she’s with a woman and it’s a little shocking for her. It’s really about Katherine’s journey and her struggling with the fact that she really connects with this woman. For the first time, she really has made a connection with someone. Should she run away from it because it’s a woman? It’s really calling into question her sexuality.”

Sexpot Robin could not be more different from Rita so Benz said she was surprised to be approached about the role.

“For me ‘Desperate Housewives’ was completely unexpected,” she said. “I remember when they called I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? Do they actually know who I am?’

Benz is not lacking for work post-’Dexter.’ She has been cast in the ABC pilot ‘No Ordinary Family’ as the sexy scientist wife of Michael Chiklis’s character. They are a super-powered family and Benz’s character has super speed.

The busy actress isn’t sure how long she’ll be on ‘Housewives.’

“I don’t even think they know yet,” she said. “It’s very week-to-week.”

Benz, also an alum of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ joked that “a lot of margaritas” is how she has dealt with the recent changes in her professional life.

“Listen, I’ve been 25 years an actress and you have your ups and you have your downs,” she said. “You just have to have perseverance and you have to have faith that you have a job coming and I’ve been very lucky and I feel very blessed and I have a great support team around me – people who sometimes believe in me more than I believe in me. It’s just been a great journey.”

See Benz heat up ‘Desperate Housewives’ below: