MTV Sweet/Vicious Star Eliza Bennett poses for Prune Magazine
Photographer: Emilynn Rose @emilynnrose
Wardrobe: Michael St. Michael @michaelstmichael
Hair and Makeup: Francie Tomalonis @francieluxe
Interview: Dylan Rubinstein @dylanjader
Shirt - Ziztar
Prune: You landed large roles early in your career including “The Prince & Me” and “Nanny McPhee”. How did those roles shape your young career?
Eliza: Filming when you’re a kid is kind of this wonderful, non-pressurizing, surreal experience. I don’t remember ever feeling stressed, or like there was any pressure. There’s something beautiful about being fearless when you’re a child. When you’re a kid, you get taken care of so well on set. It probably didn’t prep me very well for when you’re a grown up and they don’t give you PlayStations and ice cream every day, but I had a really wonderful experience.
Prune: You currently star in MTV’s “Sweet/Vicious”. Talk to me about the show and its first season.
Eliza: We’ve been so blessed to have a great critical review of the show, and that meant the world to us, especially because the show has such an important and prominent topic of sexual assault on campus. The response was definitely something we were nervous about, so we couldn’t have been happier in the response – particularly from survivors. That community has been such a powerful voice for us, and we’re so proud to represent that community on television in a way that I don’t think has been done before.
Bracelets- Coralie Pari
Prune: “Sweet/Vicious” breaks a lot of female stereotypes. It also deals with the serious topic of sexual assault. How important is the message behind this series?
Eliza: I’ve never done a project that had a purpose greater than being entertaining, which is so important as well for people to have an outlet of something other than the stresses going on in their own lives. We speak to survivors on a daily basis now on how watching the show and watching Jules talk to her attacker about what happened gave them the strength to write down what they would say to their attacker. I will be a fighter for this cause for the rest of my life.
Prune: Your partner in crime, Ophelia, is your polar opposite. How important is the example of strong female relationship in a world where girls can often be so catty?
Eliza: The show definitely is about female friendship. It’s about empowering other women, and what that looks like. The leader of Jules’ sorority is a black feminist who is the most empowering woman. We wanted to make sure that is what it looked like, and that is what girls are being shown to treat their female friendships like. Ophelia and Jules are from different sides of life, so that is the beauty and comedy of their friendship as well.
Blazer- Amanda McIntosh
Prune: The entire creative team behind “Sweet/Vicious” was made up of women. How did that make this experience unique?
Eliza: I’d never done it before, so that was amazing. I’ve worked with very few female directors, and through our pilot we have three executive female producers. The entire production team is women and we had Rebecca Thomas as our director. We actually found out after we shot the pilot, it was the first time in TV history that all of those people and the two leads were all women. These women are powerhouses, and incredibly smart with such a unique voice.
Prune: You are from England, but play an American girl. Is disguising your accent easy or a challenge for you as an actress?
Eliza: When I first started doing American accents, I think I thought I was great and I wasn’t, I was really terrible. It’s like learning an instrument, I think. You can have an ear for it, but then its honing it and making sure you feel comfortable saying anything. Learning about American sorority culture was very new to me actually, because we don’t have sororities or fraternities in England.
Bracelets- Coralie Paris
Prune: Jules makes fighting men look easy in the show. How did you train and prepare for the action scenes?
Eliza: They gave Taylor (Ophelia) and I a month’s training of martial arts. Our stunt team is amazing and they make Jules look like she is incredible, and I do as much as I can do with the skills that I have. I love doing the fight scenes. The best thing about working is when you get to learn a new skill. I’d never done it before, I’d always been the damsel in distress, so it was fun to kick some boys ass.
Prune: MTV is a huge platform, and the show has been a big success. How has your life changed since the show premiered?
Eliza: I think whether your life changes or not depends on you and if you want it to change. I’m lucky that I kind of do have a secret home in England that I can go home to. None of my family are in the industry so I have that level of normality and a safe bubble to go home to, which I love. My life in LA is really normal, it’s not particularly glamorous. I don’t necessarily love going to parties, I do a lot of game nights with my friends, staying in and ordering pizza. That’s more like what my weekend looks like.
Top- Ngozika O'Keke
Prune: Outside of acting, what are your top interests?
Eliza: I love music, a lot. I play music and I sing, but I also go to a lot of live gigs. That is one of my favorite things about LA, you have access to such great music in small intimate venues. I love hiking and playing games. In England it’s so cold, and I grew up not being able to go and play outside until it was summer, so when I moved here I grabbed that opportunity to be outside as much as possible.
Prune: Would you consider making singing a career?
Eliza: I have thought about it recently actually, it’s funny you ask me that. I would love to make and record some music. I don’t know if I’d ever want that as my primary career, but I would love to do it just to have that interest of mine in something I can hold in my hands, something that I could physically listen to. One day I definitely will pursue that passion in some way. Luckily, some jobs you get to do both and combine the two.
MTV #RenewSweetVicious for Season 2!!!!