The 34-year-old actress -- who played an evil vampire on both "Buffy" and its spin-off series "Angel" -- is taking on the role of the abused girlfriend of a serial killer in the new Showtime original series "Dexter," said Us Weekly magazine.
The new series, which premiered on the cable network Oct. 1, focuses on a forensics expert who spends his nights apart from his girlfriend, played by Benz, killing other serial killers.
"Rita is a victim of domestic violence," Benz said of her newest role. "Prior to dating Dexter, she was in a 10-year relationship with her very abusive, crack addict ex-husband, and they have two small children from that marriage."
Us Weekly said Benz confessed that while her TV career has followed a sinister theme, she never actively pursues such roles -- she just finds herself presented with them after her tenure with "Buffy" and "Angel."