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Why J.P. From Bull Looks So Familiar

The following article includes allegations of sexual harassment.

CBS expanded the large repertoire of procedurals with "Bull" in 2016. Starring "NCIS" alum Michael Weatherly, the show centers around eponymous Jason Bull who is a trial consultant. He and his team use psychology for jury selection and assisting lawyers in winning their cases. The six season run of "Bull" was interspersed with impressive guest stars such as Eliza Dushku's J.P. Nunnelly. For three episodes at the end of Season 1, JP served as a foil for Bull. A high powered and impressive lawyer, the character had a lot of potential for the series.

Even though it seemed as though Dushku would be promoted to a series regular after the finale, it never came to pass. In several public statements and to a House Judiciary Committee, Dushku reported being the subject of graphic sexual harassment for which she was then fired after reporting to the network (via Variety). Dushku's last credit was in 2017, but she has had a long career in the entertainment industry (via IMDb). There are many notable roles the actor has portrayed that were iconic in their own ways.

She started out as a child actor

Dushku started her career as a child actor in the early 1990s, landing her first part in the Juliette Lewis film "That Night" (via IMDb). But her breakout role was in 1994's James Cameron action comedy "True Lies." Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis, the film already had impressive billing. The film centers around the marriage between Harry (Schwarzenegger) and Helen Tasker (Curtis) that has fallen into a rut. The relationship has become stagnant and Helen longs for adventure. That is what makes it so surprising when she learns that Harry has been a secret agent the entire time.

The family is pulled into a plot to take down a cell of terrorists, even including their daughter Dana (Dushku). In the climactic action sequence at the end of the film, Harry must save Dana from terrorists on a Harrier jet. The film concludes happily with the marriage being saved. With humor and heart, "True Lies" continues to be remembered and was a precursor to Dushku's future in film and television.

She was an edgy cheerleader in Bring It On

In the early 2000s, teen movies were a hot commodity. Melding music, love, and cheerleading, "Bring It On" is one of the films of the time that continues to be cherished. Kirsten Dunst added star power in the lead role as Torrance Shipman, the new head cheerleader of the high school squad, the Toros. Chipper and motivated, Torrance holds her team to the highest standard which is quickly thrown into chaos. After the arrival of edgy prospective cheerleader Missy (Dushku), Torrance learns that the squad's cheers were stolen from another team, the Clovers.

In order to make Nationals, the squad races to come up with an entirely new routine. Missy represents Torrance's opposite. She tries out for cheerleading as a "last resort" since the school has no gymnastics team. But through their adventures together, the two become close with Torrance even falling for Missy's brother Cliff (Jesse Bradford). Torrance learns to connect with people different from herself, as well as confronting her own privilege. Instead of a typical high school movie with no underlying message, the film offers a startling commentary. In a move made famous by classics such as "Rocky," the Toros don't win in the end. It is their rival school the Clovers that take home their well deserved trophy.

She was a slayer gone bad who became good again

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" made an impression on audiences and critics alike. Premiering in 1998, the series starred Sarah Michelle Gellar as the titular slayer protecting Sunnydale from the forces of evil for seven seasons. Though typically there is only "one slayer in all the world," there were times where exceptions were made. After Buffy dies in the Season 1 finale, this triggers the arrival of a new slayer. First Kendra (Bianca Lawson), who is followed by Faith (Dushku) after her untimely demise.

Faith was everything that Buffy was not. Buffy was optimistic and believed in the battle between good and evil. Faith had good intentions at first but was dragged down by a world that didn't accept her. She joined Mayor Richard Wilkins in Season 3, becoming a secondary villain of the season. But she wasn't out for good. After rehabilitation, Faith understands that she wants to be redeemed. She appeared in both "Buffy" and the spin-off "Angel" after which she helps Buffy's final battle of closing the Hellmouth.

Faith's character arc is complex as she struggles with who she wants to be as a person. She sides with the Mayor because he treats her like family, even though he ultimately turns into a big snake. But at the end of the day, Faith finds camaraderie with Buffy, the only other person that can really understand her.

She stars in a sci-fi tv show of her very own

Many may not remember the short-lived series "Tru Calling," but it was an important segue into Dushku's career as a leading lady in television. As Den of Geek posits, for some fans, this show was canceled too soon. Only airing for a season and some change, the series asks many questions about life or death. Dushku stars as Tru Davies, a medical grad student who after going to work at a morgue, learns that she has an interesting gift. Dead bodies will briefly reanimate and ask her to save them. The day then rewinds and Tru has to race against the clock to save them. She is joined by her boss Davis, who was played by Zach Galifianakis early on in his career (via IMDb).

The series appealed to many "Buffy" fans, not only because it was a show starring Dushku but the sci-fi leaning storylines. One unfortunate result of Fox canceling the series is that there is no resolution between Tru and her nemesis Jack (Jason Priestly). Where Tru attempts to save lives, Jack is convinced that saving them goes against the order of the universe. There were many interesting concepts to play with but did not impress Fox enough to keep it going.

She went back to her Buffy roots in Dollhouse

Though not exactly comparable to the quality of Joss Whedon's previous shows "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Firefly," Fox's series "Dollhouse" has its merits as well. Only lasting two seasons, the series had exemplary stars such as Dushku, Olivia Williams, and "Battlestar Galactica's" Tahmoh Penikett. The series takes place in a futuristic reality where rich people can pay for "engagements" with "actives." These engagements can vary, but the result is always the same. The actives who are put in these engagements have their memories and personalities wiped. They are essentially a blank slate so that their personalities can be altered to suit the needs of the rich clientele. The issue of consent is murky in the Joss Whedon series, whose many engagements involved sexual activities involving people who have no autonomy.

But for two seasons the series offered a harrowing journey for Echo (Dushku) who slowly reaches self-actualization. The best episodes of the series are the Season 1 and 2 finales called "Epitaph One" and "Epitaph Two" respectively. It showed a world after the Dollhouse had fallen and society had become a warzone because of the technology the Dollhouse used. These codas to the seasons allowed the audience to connect with characters who had no personhood beforehand. Fox was unimpressed by the viewership and the show was canceled (via The Hollywood Reporter). But for a time, the series demonstrated Dushku's ability to act in many different roles.