Tell us a little about Dawn's development.
I was introduced to the show like, "Boom, here I am!" Take it or leave it, and I hope you take it.
Dawn was introduced as Buffy's sister, and she's just a regular teenage girl, she has her opinions on the world and all that. I never like to think ahead to the end of the season, "Oh, will I be coming back," because if you're thinking too much about the technicalities of what you do, you can't really put all the creative ingredients into what you're doing now. That was a big thing for me especially playing Dawn, because I didn't know that much about her at all.
My meeting with Joss at the beginning of the season was kind of like, "Alright, welcome to the cast, you're a teenager, you're a Key, have fun." So I had to take from areas that really weren't giving much to come up with a character.
What really helped and was very lucky was the fact that I was such a huge fan of the show that I understood how things were going to play out. Not that I knew what was going to happen during the course of the season, but I could guess.
It was really interesting to see all the hardships Dawn goes through, because even though she has this secret, she still has to play out her life like a regular teenage girl. She has to go to school, she has to do her chores and homework, she has to keep her room clean.