Eliza Patricia Dushku (born December 30, 1980 in Watertown, Massachusetts) is an American actress who has appeared in several Hollywood movies such as Bring It On and Wrong Turn. She is also well known for her acting on television, such as her recurring appearances on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel as Faith, as well as the main character in the series Tru Calling.
Eliza was born in Watertown, Massachusetts, to an Albanian father and Danish mother, and raised in the LDS Church, the faith of her mother (though she is not actively practicing). She has three older brothers, Aaron, Ben, and Nate, the latter of whom is also an actor. Dushku lives in the Los Angeles area with Nate, the youngest of her three brothers, whom she calls her "partner in crime."
Eliza came to the attention of casting agents when she was 10. Along with her brother, she went to a commercial audition where she tripped on the stairs, bloodied her nose, and became an instant drama queen. She was chosen at the end of a five month search throughout the United States for the lead role of Alice, opposite Juliette Lewis in the film That Night. In 1993, Dushku landed a role as Pearl alongside Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio in This Boy's Life, a role that she said opened a lot of doors. Dushku says that Dicaprio taught her how to deal with bullies and other high school dangers, for which she is grateful.
The following year, she played the teenage daughter of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis in True Lies. She would also have parts as Paul Reiser's daughter in Bye Bye, Love, as Cindy Johnson with Halle Berry and Jim Belushi in Race the Sun, as well as roles in a television movie and a short film.
After completing high school, Eliza returned to acting with the role of Faith, a Slayer much more troubled than the main character Buffy. Though initially planned as a five episode role, the character became so popular that she stayed on for the entirety of the third season. She has also made guest appearances in Buffy's spin-off, Angel.
Because of her convincing role as a sociopath, she became an icon to many criminals. She was inundated with piles of fan mail from legions of prisoners. She said that:
I've been getting fan mail from maximum security penitentiaries and death row. What are the authorities thinking of in playing a show with young teenage girls to Death Row inmates? They write everything — disgusting things that you don't even want to know about. And they send me pictures — 'Oh, here's a picture of me before I was incarcerated!' — and there's some guy sat on the sofa with a bottle of beer and a moustache, and a big gut. It's so creepy. Way more creepy than Buffy.
In 2000, she starred with Kirsten Dunst in the cheerleader comedy Bring It On, which was a surprising success at the box office that spawned a sequel. Kevin Smith invited Dushku to be a part of his final adventure for his two characters, Jay and Silent Bob, in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, where Eliza co-starred with Shannon Elizabeth, Ali Larter, Ben Affleck, and others. After this, Dushku starred in Soul Survivors, opposite Ben Affleck's brother Casey, followed by a role in The New Guy.
Eliza then returned to work with Robert De Niro and director Michael Caton-Jones in City by the Sea, playing James Franco's junkie girlfriend and mother of his child. The film garnered attention from a wider adult audience and several good reviews.
2003 saw the release of Wrong Turn, a horror film in which Eliza had the starring role, and The Kiss, an independent comedy-drama. Starting that same year, she also starred in a new Fox TV series, Tru Calling, where she played the main character, Tru Davies, a medical student whose grant is pulled out from under her, forcing her to take a job at a local morgue. There, she discovers that she has the power to "re-live" the previous day over again, an ability she used to right wrongful deaths. She also attempts to help her troubled family - a drug-addicted sister and a gambling-addicted brother.
On October 1, 2005, she announced at Wizard World Boston that shooting had begun for Nobel Son (to be released in 2006), in which she will star with Alan Rickman, Danny DeVito, Bill Pullman, and Peter Boyle. Eliza also announced that she would appear in a Broadway production entitled "Dog Sees God" in December of 2005.
Eliza Dushku Foundation
Dushku has started a new project with her father to help Camp Hale, a summer camp for inner-city Boston boys open since 1900, where the Dushku family are closely involved: the Eliza Dushku Foundation. Through the sale of props and fan memorabilia, the Dushkus hope to generate increased contributions in order to pay for the maintenance of Camp Hale for generations to come.
- True Lies 2 (2007) - Dana Tasker
- Nobel Son (2006) - City Hall
- That 70's Show (2005 guest appearance, TV Series) - Sarah
- Reading Rainbow (2005 guest appearance, TV Series) - Narrator
- Tru Calling (2003-2005, TV Series) - Tru Davies
- The Kiss (2003) - Megan
- Punk'd (2003) - Herself
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds (2003, Video Game) - Faith
- Wrong Turn (2003) - Jessie Burlingame
- City By the Sea (2002) - Gina
- The New Guy (2002) - Danielle
- Soul Survivors (2001) - Annabel
- Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) - Sissy
- Bring It On (2000) - Missy Pantone
- Angel (2000, 2003 guest appearances, TV Series) - Faith
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1998-2000, 2003 guest appearances, TV Series) - Faith
- Race the Sun (1996) - Cindy Johnson
- Journey (1995, TV) - Cat
- Bye Bye, Love (1995) - Emma Carlson
- True Lies (1994) - Dana Tasker
- Fishing With George (1994)
- This Boy's Life (1993) - Pearl
- That Night (1992) - Alice Bloom