Time to catch up on our calendar girls a little and well worth catching up with is SF princess Eliza Dushku. She is one of those actresses who is hugely well known within her genre but almost totally unknown outside it.
She is one of those science fiction heroines that come along every now and then to hysterical acclaim within the realms of geekdom. For example, if you went into Forbidden Planet, London's huge SF shop, you could guarantee that everyone there would know who she is (especially leather clad goth chicks) but step outside onto the street and the average Londoner would have no idea.
She is one of those girls who will still have a cult following in thirty years time whatever she does in between because of her career defining role on Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire slayer, where she played bad girl slayer, Faith. Originally only scheduled to appear in five episodes it was one of those occasions whan an actor grabs hold of a role and pushes it for all its worth. Her character was so popular (a bad girl who beats people up dressed in black leather popular amonst SF fans, surely not?) that she stayed for the whole series and later took the role across to the spin-off series Angel.
Arguably, none of the actors in Buffy have really made a great success out of what was a hugely popular show. Most struggled with being identified so strongly with one character for seven series (there is a reason ambitious actors don't like long-standing roles).
Of the female regulars Sarah Michelle Gellar has had years of straight to video (at best) performances. Alyson Hannigan, a good actress handicapped by not being deemed "babe" enough, appeared in the embarrassing American Pie films and has spent most of the last ten years on TV. Charisma Carpenter, who certainly was "babe" enough, has made a reasonable career on TV but isn't exactly a household name.
Of all the actresses in regular roles on the show, you would have put money on Eliza to hit the big time but whilst she headlined two TV series (always a tough thing for an actress to do in Hollywood) both were cancelled after two seasons and she hasn't achieved the breakthrough that Roswell's, Katherine Heigl or Dark Angel's Jessica Alba managed.