Eliza Dushku

The badass vampire slayer/cheerleader/bank robber lets her guard down for Maxim.

Having grown up in Boston as the only girl in a family of three roughhousing brothers, it’s not hard to see where Eliza Dushku got her tough-as-nails demeanor. But any preconceived notions you had about Eliza were eliminated thanks to her gone-too-soon show, Dollhouse, created by her old Buffy and Angel boss, geek god Joss Whedon.

You convinced Joss Whedon to come back to TV and do this show with you. How did you twist his arm?

I knew that if I went back to TV, I absolutely wanted it to be with him, so I invited him to lunch. He picked this fancy-schmancy restaurant, and we threw around ideas. Four hours later he came out of the bathroom and said, “The show’s going to be called Dollhouse.” That Gouda pizza I bought him was the best investment I ever made.

Your body looks amazing these days. Were you channeling any Hollywood icons during our shoot?

Ava Gardner, baby. And thanks, I feel good in my skin. I have two beefy trainers I work out with every day. I like working out with guys who tower over me with bulging muscles.

Watch video of Eliza’s sexy Maxim photo shoot.