LOOK: Julie Benz Photo Shoot and Interview For Zooey Magazine

Dexter alumna Julie Benz's latest photo shoot from her kitchen for the latest issue of ZOOEY magazine. Skip the jump to view more photos, read an interview, and her delicious summer recipe.

As an actress, and considering all of the characters you’ve ever played onscreen, has there ever been a role you felt was made for you?
That’s a tough question. I’ve loved every character I’ve ever played…. however if I had to pick one that was exceptionally “magical” I would have to say it was playing Robyn on “Desperate Housewives.” She was so quirky and genuine. I got to stretch my comedy muscles and work with a great group of women whose work I’ve admired for years.

You have been on so many amazing shows with such large cult fan bases! How does this impact the relationship you may have with your fans?
It’s great being on shows where the fans are as passionate about the show as we are! There’s an amazing synergy that’s created between cult show and fan, and especially now with social media, we’re able to have an even more personal connection.

What do you like most about your profession?
Everything! All of it! I hate to admit it but I even like auditioning!

How much do you draw on your own experiences when you act?
I draw a lot on my own experiences, but I also draw a lot on my imagination! To be honest, the characters I’ve played lead much more interesting, complex lives than my own – I don’t know what it’s really like to be a 400-year-old vampire (“Buffy”/”Angel”), or an abused housewife (“Dexter”), or a lesbian stripper with a heart of gold (“Desperate Housewives”), or the mayor of Defiance in 2046 (Defiance) – but I do understand the relationships these characters have with others and I use my imagination to create the stuff I don’t know. That’s what makes acting so much fun!

Aside from acting, what do you do in your spare time to unwind and get away from the spotlight?
I work out a lot…in part to stay in shape, but mostly because it keeps me sane. I love to cook and I spend a lot of time at home puttering around the house – cooking, cleaning, playing with my dogs.

Is there a side of you at home that the public doesn’t really know about or see? If so, please share!
I’m a bit boring actually. When I’m home, I’m a homebody. I find housework soothing and I love to iron. I also love curling up on the couch with a good book.

Cooking is obviously a passion of yours; do you have any specific dishes you like to prepare for the summertime?
Salads. I make a lot of salads in the summertime. I love summers in LA. The weather is perfect and there is always something fun to do, so I try to make food that doesn’t require a lot of time in the kitchen.

What is the one summer treat you can’t live without?
Cherries. To me a bowl of cherries is the perfect representation of summertime!

Julie’s lazy summer watermelon, arugula and feta salad with balsamic glaze:

- 1 package arugula (wash and pat dry)
- 8 cups seedless watermelon cubed (I buy it already cubed because I’m lazy)
- French Feta crumbled (I prefer French feta as it’s smoother in flavor than the other fetas)
- Olive oil
- Balsamic glaze (you can reduce balsamic vinegar on the stovetop, but who wants to stand over a hot stove in the summer? I use Balsamic Glaze by Gia Russo)
- Pepper to taste
- Arrange arugula on a large platter. Scatter watermelon over the top. Crumble the feta over the watermelon. Drizzle with Olive Oil and Balsamic Glaze. Finish off with a dash of pepper.

Photographer: Vince Trupsin
Hair and Makeup: Kelsey Deenihan (Exclusive Artists)
Stylist: Self-Styled
Interview: Pauline Aguayo

Typography “In the Kitchen” by Estelle Morris

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