Tara in Buffy: How did actress Amber Benson feel about Tara’s tragic death?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy and Spike kiss
Tara (played by Amber Benson) was introduced in season four of the popular supernatural series, Buffy The Vampire Slayer. She was a quiet but talented witch who forms a romantic relationship with Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan). Actress Benson has spoken out about her character’s death scene in season six of Buffy.
How did Amber Benson feel about Tara’s death?
Tara Maclay was a shy character, but she became one of the core members of the group by the sixth season.
She plays a pivotal role in the series, with a strong moral compass, and she had a positive relationship with Willow.
They were one of the first recurring lesbian couples on a primetime network show in the US, and both characters continue to have a loyal following.
Tara was killed off in the 2002 episode called Villains, when she was hit by one of Warren’s (Adam Busch) stray bullets.
He had intended to kill Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar), but the bullet missed and instead inflicted a fatal wound on Tara.
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Tara’s death was crucial to the series as it initiated Willow’s rampage, and she eventually turned to dark magic.
Many viewers were furious when they found out Tara had died.
The series producers and Benson herself have always defended the decision, saying it was never with malice.
The show’s creator, Joss Whedon, continued to say it was necessary in order to carry Willow’s story further as she felt the deep sense of loss.
In the heartbreaking death scene, Warren attempted to shoot Buffy, but one of the shots hit Tara through the heart.
Tara took a moment to realise she had been shot, and she said “your shirt” to Willow, having noticed the blood splatters.
The bullet had come through an upstairs window, and Tara fell to the ground as it hit her chest.
Actress Benson took part in an interview with People, in which she discussed her character’s final moments.
She said: “He [Whedon] took me aside when we were shooting the finale of season five, and they were like ‘come back to the trailer, we have exciting news’.
“He was like ‘we are going to kill your character’ and I was like [sarcastically] ‘oh, yay, that’s very exciting’.”
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Sat alongside actress Hannigan, she said: “I think I can speak for both of us in this – it was never intended to be offensive to anybody.
“It was very much about Willow’s addiction storyline, and hitting bottom, and being like… she lost the most important person to her.
“That was the genesis of why Tara died, and it wasn’t in any way, shape or form meant to hurt anybody.”
Fans commented on the video-sharing their thoughts on Tara’s death scene, which remains one of the most emotional moments of the series.
One said: “Tara’s death was one of the most traumatising things I’ve seen on television. Like I was traumatised. Still not over it after all this time.”
Another said: “Tara’s death was so shocking cause it came out of NOWHERE. Then we get the awesome Dark Willow.”
Some fans noticed how Benson featured in the opening credits for the episode which included her death. They said it was thoughtful of the production team to have thanked the actress by naming her ahead of her final episode.
Another viewer said: “Her death was the most heartbreaking one of the entire show.”
After leaving the supernatural series, Benson went on to star in episodes of Supernatural, Grey’s Anatomy and Morganville: The Series.
She has also written and directed some of her own films, including Chance and Drones.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer airs on ALL 4 and Prime Video
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