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The NCIS Character You Likely Forgot Dexter Star Julie Benz Played

When many people think of Julie Benz, a vampire named Darla in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" or the character of Rita Bennett from "Dexter" are probably among the most notorious roles that come to mind. While it's no secret the actor has been featured in a number of notable TV series and movies over the years, some may forget that during the early days of "NCIS," Benz briefly appeared on the CBS military police procedural.

In Season 1, Episode 22 ("A Weak Link"), Navy SEAL Lt. Rick Johnson (Tom Hughes) falls to his death during a training exercise, and the NCIS crew is brought in to find out what went wrong. While searching for answers, they interview the fallen soldier's wife, Denise Johnson, who is played by Julie Benz. The investigation uncovers evidence suggesting his gear has been tampered with, and while she is suspected of being involved, it turns out Lt. Johnson himself forged the counterfeit carabiner that led to his own tragic demise. It is also revealed the married couple was having problems, and he is discovered to have been having an affair with another man.

Benz is just one of many big-name stars who have made guest appearances on "NCIS" throughout its run, and her brief yet impactful performance as Denise Johnson is one of the many parts the actor has gotten the opportunity to play during her career. While not every credit is going to be a headlining affair, some people might be surprised to learn how she approaches each character she plays, no matter how big or small, as well as how Benz really feels about acting overall.

Julie Benz values authenticity while pursuing her passion

It's no secret that Julie Benz has had a prolific run in Hollywood, and as can be seen from her stacked resume, the driven actor has undeniably kept busy playing a multitude of roles. Shows like "On Becoming a God in Central Florida," "Defiance," "Hawaii Five-0," and "Training Day" are just a few excellent examples of her other prominent small-screen endeavors. But she has also lent her skills to several other franchises, like "Halo," "Saw," "Rambo," "Punisher," and "The Boondock Saints."

Whatever project she is set to take on or whatever character comes her way, it's pretty evident that Benz has the same attitude when taking on a new role. "I embrace the good, the bad, and the ugly, and to be honest I don't see myself as branded. I've been known to go to auditions with no makeup on and not having washed my hair in three days because that's where the character lives," the actor said to PremiumBeat. Benz is clearly not afraid to go all in when prepping for a part, which makes sense considering she is also very open about how much she loves her job. She revealed in the interview, "The truth: I love it. I love being an actor. I love being on set. If you asked me to name the most amazing place to be, I would say 'on set.' I just love it."

From "NCIS" to "Dexter," there's no denying Julie Benz has put together a solid body of work, and it's pretty evident that with each performance, the actor dominantly demonstrates a carefully cultivated mix of dedication, sincerity, and enthusiasm for her craft.