Elisa Dushku is a fan favorite because of her roles on cult TV hits like Buffy, Angel, and Dollhouse. So she spoke to a full house at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014. The panel was traditional fare with her sitting on a couch taking questions from the audience. A lot of the questions dealt with her feelings on female empowerment and the strong characters that she has played. Dushku has a strong personality outside of acting, so bringing that to her characters felt important and necessary. And she credits strong women in her life for that influence, including her mother and her grandmother.
Speaking of her mother, Dushku brought her mother out on stage for about half of the panel. Dushku and her mom are both heavily involved in their charity Thrive and they work in nations like Uganda to build schools, bring resources, and educate women in those regions. In fact, there are ways that regular Joes like you and I can donate and go along with her to these countries to help out. Dushku is genuinely passionate about her charity and demonstrates it by getting her hands dirty and being involved in the actual work on the ground.
There were a few interesting moments in the panel when Dushku addressed her Mormon upbringing and influences. Although she has since followed a different path, she still has Mormon family and is respectful of the culture. She’ll even occasionally attend church with her grandma when she is visiting. It was an odd moment, but I suppose it can’t be avoided. Despite the fact that Utah is not all Mormon, there is still a strong perception and misunderstanding of the state and culture of a whole. To have the issue addressed in most celebrity panels, and so directly in this panel, is pretty unique to Salt Lake Comic Con. Maybe there will be a day when it isn’t such a sticking point with visiting celebs, but for now, I suppose it’s something we’re going to have to deal with.