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Emma Caulfield Actress

Emma Caulfield

The sexy and intelligent star gained popularity in the role as the demon "Anyanka" on the action drama series "Buffy The Vampire Slayer." Caulfield's role originally started out as a guest, demon-of-the-week, appearance in a December 1998 episode which, as a result of supportive fan mail, she was called back for a few more guest spots which led to her being promoted to a full-time regular in the next season. Caulfield's humor and levity added a comedic dimension to the show, which made its final bow in May 2003. She was also a series regular on "Beverly Hills, 90210" (1990) in one season from 1995-1996 as Brandon's journalist girlfriend, Susan Keats. Born and raised in San Diego, Emma Caulfield began studying drama in high school at the La Jolla Playhouse and the Old Globe Theatre where she won the distinguished honor of "Excellence in Theatre Arts." Emma continued her education in psychology at San Francisco State and UCLA. After college, she picked up her drama studies once again at The American School in Switzerland (TASIS) in London. She recently starred as "Caitlin Green" in the Revolution Studios thriller, Darkness Falls (2003), which opened as the number one film at the box office. Caulfield starred alongside newcomer Chaney Kley as a young woman attempting to take care of her troubled 8-year old brother who is plagued by night terrors. Left to her own resources, Caitlin must tackle the legendary evil that haunts their small town in the dark. Emma is currently in pre-production with producer Steve Pink (High Fidelity) to star in and co-produce an upcoming satirical docu-drama.

Emma Caulfield the Buffy co-star

Alter-ego
Were you aware that Anya's character is apparently based on Buffy writer Jane Espenson?

I had no idea that I was partly based on Jane so I’m totally flattered that’s the case.

I love Jane and that puts a whole new spin on Anya knowing that. I have such a good time playing her, I can’t even tell you. She’s so much fun and Jane’s great.

Stand-up Anya
Considering your performance in Restless, have you ever considered doing stand-up comedy?

I’ve never considered stand-up. Luckily I’m given great lines to say. I’m not sure how great my timing would be if I actually had to come up with my own jokes. I have a whole team of writers who make Anya funny every week.

I think my worst nightmare is standing up in front of a group of people. This is not much better, because I know they’re all looking and it’s me. I don’t do well when it’s just me, but if I can be somebody else that’s fun, that’s fine.

Sticking up for bunnies
Is there one thing you feel you should be doing in life but aren't?

I’m not sure. For a while now I’ve had this feeling that there’s something that I’m supposed to be doing or something that I’m supposed to contribute.

I don’t know what that is yet, but it’s been plaguing me - like I’ve missed my calling somehow. I think it probably has something to do with animals, I’m guessing, because I’m very passionate about animals. Some sort of meaningful impact on animal rights probably.

Hair-raising stories
Who does your hair and what’s your favourite style?

It’s tough to say. There’s some stuff that we’ve done this season like this (points to hair) which is curled like I have last year, but it’s a different curl. It’s like one of those 80s perms or something – I don’t know, it’s kind of fun.

We have so much fun playing around with my hair on the show. It’s been different colours, different everything – it seems like it’s different every week. I’m not a big fan of straight, just plain straight. It doesn’t really look good on me, I don’t have the parting.

I know it sounds stupid, but I have a weird cowlick thing and it just never quite wants to sit. You can hide it when it’s curly, so you can’t tell.

Surprise
Does your role as Anya - and where the character is heading - still surprise you?

I have some information about what’s going on with my character this season, which is going to be great [but] you guys won’t see that for a while, I’m sorry.

But other than that, I’m in the dark. We really don’t know. I don’t even think, at least last year, [that] they really had an idea about what to do with certain [story] arcs. But that’s the beauty of the team of writers we have.

Joss is a wonderful director/creator. He can take an idea and it will seemingly lay dormant for a while [then] pop up and become something amazing. Anything’s an option, I guess that’s what I’m trying to say.

Behind the counter
Would you want to own and run a shop like the Magic Box?

I had so many retail jobs growing up and starting out, when I moved here to LA, [but] it wasn’t meant for me.

I worked for Nordstrom, which is a big retail chain like Bloomingdale’s or Macy’s. That was the one retail experience I had that was actually enjoyable, because the company was really cool. I remember actually being in a total state when I first started auditioning, like "Oh I don’t want to do this, I’ll just work in Nordstrom. I don’t care, I’ll just have a normally life," and then I start working again and let it go.

But Nordstrom was actually kind of fun for me. I sold of all things women’s hosiery, which is just odd, that they actually have a whole section for hosiery, strange. But to actually own any sort of clothing retail store, I don’t think so. Being in charge or something, being a boss or something, having more control, that’s appealing to me. I don’t have much control as an actor.

Customer Care
Did you ever act like Anya when you worked in a shop?

I was never rude to sales staff or to a customer. I had a bunch of different waitressing jobs too - I’ve had so many jobs it’s ridiculous - but I remember I was a horrible waitress. Worse than a saleswoman.

I remember cocktail waitressing at this local bar here in LA and they had horrible food. Just to show how bad a waitress I was, I started telling people that. When they said, "What would you recommend to eat?" I would just say "The food here is horrible, you don’t want to eat this... but, you know, our melon ball shots are great and our beer on tap is fantastic!"

And they [would] drink and drink and I end up getting big tips. It was horrible. They didn’t know that of course. Had they known I would have been fired earlier than I was. I was actually fired, it was the only time I was, but I was fired because I was so bad.

Body Beautiful (Spoilers)
What was the most challenging part of season five for you to film?

Buffy’s mother’s death [in The Body], was really hard to shoot. It was hard on all of us emotionally and it was really rewarding to do an episode about death in a way that we don’t normally handle when we kill monsters and vampires every week of the show.

We never really deal with death and that was pretty cool. It’s a great episode, it’s really different, completely stripped bare. My character was able to go some place which she hadn’t really been able to go, which was nice.

Emma Caulfield: Live with the Ex-Demon

Q: If you were a vengeance demon, what would you do to who and why?

Emma: Hmm. I probably would find one of my ex boyfriends and kick his a*** - he deserves it.

Q: You've worked on Beverly Hills 90210 and now Buffy, both huge TV programmes. How different is Buffy to Beverly Hills 90210?

Emma: The hours are a lot longer, it's just a completely different type of genre so there's a lot of expensive make up and time that is alloted for special effects and that sort of thing. Now that I've been in it for so long it all just seems very normal to me.

I have a great time working with the cast of Buffy, it's like a little family. The crew is amazing, we all hang out at work, it's all very friendly and familiar.

90210 was a little bit more rigid, but it had it's moments.

Q: Is the Buffy schedule too hectic sometimes?

Emma:It's only really difficult when we split up the week into day shoots and night shoots. To start off on a Monday at 6am, wrap at 7pm and then as the week progresses the start times get later and later as you're shooting nights.

You could be shooting at 3am in the morning and then go back for a 6am call the next morning, your body gets really confused.

I make sure I sleep as much as I can and relax in the trailer when I get a chance. On the weekends I just try to sleep in and go to the gym and drink a ton of water!

Q: Did you know you were going to become a regular on the show? Did you also want to become a regular?

Emma: I didn't know when I first started. I was only supposed to do one episode. The season (Season four) when I came back I found out about half way through that season that I would be there longer.

All the seasons are blending together now, as time elapses. I feel like I've been there forever. I was thrilled when they told me, as I wanted to stay.

Q: Do you enjoy the acidic lines that they give you?

Emma:I love the lines they give me. I really just have the best things to say all the time. Every time I go through the script I'm so honoured and pleased, just totally overjoyed at the great things my character gets to say.

We have a whole team of writers who take care of all our dialogue so I don't get much input. I just gladly do what they tell me to.

Emma:I like to have input in terms of my characters' development. Luckily, what they have given me is all right there, I don't have to really reach very far to find fulfilment. She's a very well developed character.

Q: Are you anything like Anya in real life?

Emma:I suppose I'm a little bit like her. I have an appreciation for being direct. My boyfriend recently told me I don't know how to be false. I think Anya is a lot like that.

She's pretty loyal and I'm pretty loyal but other than that, our similarities stop there.
Q: What are your feelings about the show's absence in the Emmy nominations?

Emma: I was very upset about it. I think the show is long overdue for recognition. I think it's one of the best written and well done shows on TV.

It's disheartening that the Emmy board continue to shut out Joss Whedon. I don't understand how they manage to get away with it every year. It's astonishing that after five seasons that they can't recognise the success of the show.

Q: Do you think your study of psychology helped in the development of Anya?

Emma:I suppose I should say yeah, but probably not. In general I have an analytical mind. Probably my approach to what I do would be the same if I had majored in something else.

I tend to break everything down into little pieces in general so I think one thing would affect the other but I don't think it made much difference.

I'm constantly toying with the idea of going back and getting my degree. I loved school but I can't really commit myself to one or the other. But who knows, maybe my life will take me into some direction that will allow me to finish college.

Q: What do you really think of rabbits?

Emma: I love rabbits. I don't eat them! They're just so adorable. It's such a funny thing about that character. I have no fear of them at all.
Q: Are you happy about Buffy moving network in America to UPN?

Emma: Ultimately you want to be somewhere you're appreciated and I believe we've found that on UPN.

Q: Was it hard to join a cast that had been together for almost three years when you started?

Emma: Surprisingly no, it was pretty easy. I was welcomed with open arms. We all get along, Alyson Hannigan and I are very good friends, we hang out a lot.

It's like a little family. All us sidekicks get along very well.

Q: Which has been your favourite episode so far?

Emma: I think it would have to be the finale from two seasons ago, the dream sequence. I love that one, I think that was great.

My most challenging acting scene is in The Body, which is an episode that you will be seeing in the future.

Q: Why do you think Anya fell for Xander?

Emma: I think initially it was physical, they had a physical connection but ultimately I think she's attracted to his loyalty to his friends and his inate humanism!

Plus, he's a construction worker so he's got the body!

Q: How has your life changed since you first appeared on Buffy - has it changed for the better?

Emma:My life in general has just been amazing over the last couple of years. I've had a good life. I've been lucky. The last few years a lot of things have just fallen into place. I've had a lot more peace in my life.

Emma:Appearing on Buffy is starting to open doors that otherwise would have been closed. I'm actually trying to work out a movie deal right now, I'm in the process of negotiations. Watch this space!

Q: What was the most embarrasing thing you have had to say as Anya?

Emma: It was probably what I gestured not what I said. From the episode Hush. I think anyone who saw it knows what I'm talking about.

It causes lots of laughter, always, when Anya has something to say. It's so embarassing but fun.

Q: Do you sing in the musical episode in season 6?

Emma: I do. I have a couple of numbers actually. I think everybody should be very frightened.

Joss wrote all the stuff so it's all original work. We just got a CD and the script in advance so we could work on everything. We got a vocal coach and dance coach.

I think ultimately it looks great.

Q: What have you had to wear as Anya that you wouldn't be caught dead wearing in public?

Emma: Nothing I don't think. Even the bunny costume I'd wear at Halloween!

Q: Do you like playing Human Anya more than demon Anya?

Emma: I think it's a toss up. I don't like the makeup that's required for demon Anya. I had a very tough time with that.

I felt claustrophobic. Playing a villian you get to play out certain emotions that you normally would have to keep in check.

The demon makeup took about three and a half hours to put on! It was awful.

Q: What has been the weridest thing a fan has ever given you?

Emma: I haven't really been given anything that weird. Compared to Alyson getting a horse, it's not really a comparison.

Being misquoted or being the victim of fraud which I was recently are serious downsides to being famous.

I did a signing in Australia and a magazine wanted to do a follow up piece with me to tie in their previous interview and I've done so many, I thought sure.

Then I came to find out that I had never done an interview with them and they'd gone and printed a whole false interview with someone who claimed to be me, from a crazed fan who had enough information to pass off as me.

She said she had the fax in hard copy and I asked to see them and it wasn't even my handwriting. Nobody knew anything about it. It turned out that the freak was at the convention and was hoping to see me.

That was weird. To be so delusional that falsifying a whole interview and tricking a magazine and presenting an image of me that was totally untrue. Especially as I had to explain it all at the signing.

Q: Will you be visiting the UK or doing any signings here?

Emma: I have no immediate plans but I'd love to come back and visit for a little while.

Q: Is Xander and Anya's wedding going to go well?

Emma: We haven't shot that yet, we haven't got that far in terms of the story. I know ultimately what happens but of course I can't say!

You can pretty much guarantee that anything that happens on Buffy always has consequences. It never goes smoothly.

Q: What was filming The Body like?

Emma:It was very difficult. It was time consuming and emotionally draining but ultimately the most rewarding thing that I've done so far.

There was a very sombre atmosphere on set. To maintain that level of pathos and sorrow for 12 hours a day every day wears on you.

Q: Are you really leaving the show mid-way through season six as lots of spoilers are suggesting?

Emma: No! Anya isn't going anywhere.

Q: What was your reaction to hearing about Buffy's death?

Emma: I wasn't surprised! Joss tells us a bit about what will happen in the future but he's fairly cryptic about it.

Reece Reid: I've heard about the Buffy musical. How will that work then? Will it be Grease style?

Emma: It's definitely not going to be anything like Grease. I just read the script and I have to reread it. There's a lot of stage instruction. I need to read it a few more times before I get a visual picture but I don't think it will disappoint anybody.

Q: Are we going to see more development in Anya's past?

Emma: I don't know. I really don't know. I think they're more focused on the present right now.

Q: Who's the best singer in the cast?

Emma:I haven't heard everybody sing so I don't know. People I've heard sing have been Tony, Amber and James and they can all sing but the rest of them, I don't know.

Q: Can you see Anya doing an Angel and having her own series?

Emma: No. I can't imagine that. I love doing Buffy and that's it. I don't think they have any plans for Anya to cross over.

Q: I saw you say in an FHM interview that if Elizabeth Dole runs for President, you'll help and join her campaign. She's rumoured to run as Senator in North Carolina. Will you drop everything and help her?

Emma: No, I can't drop anything, I'm bound to my show. I do remember saying that and I think she's amazing and I'm sure if anyone ever came to me and wanted my help in getting support for her I would gladly do so, but no political career.

Q: Is it true that Willow is turning evil this season?

Emma: I can't say that! I'd love to but I can't say anything, I'd get into trouble.

[Note from the Editors - Emma said this in a very arch Southern Accent, and got very nudge-nudge with us. We think Laura may have hit the nail on the head there!]

Q: I heard rumours of a Buffy cartoon. Will the original cast be voicing it? Will you?

Emma:There is a Buffy cartoon and it's starting from high school so I suppose when they catch up to my arrival I might be. It's not close to that yet so I really don't know.

Q: What do you think of all the rumours flying round about how season six will play out?

Emma: Obviously I haven't heard many of the rumours. I don't spend much time on the net so I'm sort of in the dark. I've never heard the one about me leaving and it's not true.

I'm very much in the whole season and have no plans to leave. I don't really know many rumours though. I think this speculation is fun. If nothing else people are talking about the show. It's almost always wrong.

Q: Will the Series 6 have a lighter atmosphere as it got a bit heavy with Buffy's Mum?

Emma: So far it's been a little bit heavy but I think that it won't be as heavy, no.

Q: Jane Espenson often writes brilliant Anya episodes, and says the character is partly based on her. Is it odd playing someone's alter-ego? Do you get on well with Jane?

Emma: I love Jane and I had no idea that the character was partly based on her. If that's true I'm even more flattered to play her.

Anya has a special place in my heart, she's so great to play.

Q: That is all we have time for. Here is Emma with a final word.

Emma: Thank you so much for taking the time out to ask me questions. I'm honoured and flattered that we have so many fans out there around the world. It's a popular show and it's made popular by the intensely loyal fans we have. Thank you.

Buffy's "Anya": Emma Caufield

Anya, the occasionally clueless demon girl from "Buffy", stars in her first feature film as a gal running from the tooth fairy. Okay, it's not quite that lame. Emma Caulfield plays Caitlin, a small town (human) girl whose little bro is terrified of the dark…for good reason. Darkness Falls is the town where a charming childhood myth becomes fodder for night terrors and Emma has to join forces with her fear-tortured childhood sweetheart to face and conquer one ticked off, frightening killer created by Stan Winston Studios. We chatted with the t.v.-turned-film star, learned what scares her, how she dealt with an eccentric young actor and we got the scoop from Emma and her young director Jonathan about the making of the spooky new film.

AGW: What scares you?

Emma: My fears are abstract. They're large concepts. Like never having peace of mind or not being able to fulfill a spiritual quest or something. Sounds very New Agey and ridiculous, I guess. I don't know if it's a fear so much but I can't sleep without some sort of sound. I have to have some sort of white noise. If I am lucky enough to fall asleep without it, I'm usually up every hour with dreams of people chasing me. It's horrible.

AGW: Did anything about watching the premiere with an audience surprise you?

Emma: I like the cat (which comes out of nowhere). That was my favorite thing shooting it. We almost didn't get that shot. They were going to scrap it completely. I had to go back to Buffy. We had 20 minutes to shoot it. It was great. The cat jumped at the right time at the right spot. It scared me and I knew it was coming. That was a genuine wow. I didn't expect it to be that frightening.

AGW: There was a real cat but no scary creature on set for you. What did they tell you you were looking at while you were shooting the film?

Emma: I had nothing. I had a stick with some tape and Jonathan (the director) prodding me with 'be scared'.

AGW: Aren't you used to that? (referring to Buffy)

Emma: Yeah, I guess so although we actually have creatures and people in costumes chasing us around on Buffy. I hadn't really worked with green screen much so it was interesting.

AGW: Do you think this film is just too scary? (note: Darkness Falls is rated PG-13)

Emma: There are some dead bodies, yeah but I don't see this as a slasher horror film, definitely not a Friday the 13th. You hear a lot and think you see a lot but you actually don't because it's so quickly cut and it's so dark.

AGW: What made you want to do this project?

Emma: I really wanted to work with Jonathan Liebesman (her young director). I had seen his short film (Genesis and Catastrophe) and there wasn't a script at the time but based on that short film he made, I thought I'd even get the guy coffee. I just really want to work with him. It was amazing and visually arresting. (Note: Liebesman describes his short film as: "A Roald Dahl short story about the birth of Hitler but with some light comedy for the family (laughs)".

We asked the director about shooting this very spooky, atmospheric film and learned that a lot of the scares are real and live on the movie set and not computer-generated. "There's not a lot of CG in this movie. The challenge was to really maximize production value with what we were given. The real thing is so much more believable because as soon as CG happens, you subconsciously know something is going on that can't be real and I think that's why directors are always going to push for the real thing if they can get it". The "monster" in this film was a human-sized puppet manipulated by the Stan Winston puppeteers.

The sounds in the film are really creepy too and Jonathan told us about them. "Before the studio gave us money for a great creature, we thought we were going to rely completely on sound design. We wanted to geographically show where she (the "monster") was through sound. The more you show of something the more you demystify it so the more we could keep her in the shadows or in the sound, the better. You do have to think of what your characters have to react to".

AGW: Emma, what was it like working with young first-timer Lee Cormie who played your little brother?

Emma: I had no experience with kids and I'm not sure I'm very good with them. My best Lee story…. He asked 'who is Emma?' And someone said 'she's a big t.v. star' and he's like 'no, she's not'. He decided to go online and put in my name and up came these pictures of me in my underwear and he was horrified and thought I was a porn star. And for the entire shoot he kept saying to me, 'you're disgusting, you took dirty pictures'. I was like 'Thanks, Lee, I appreciate that'.(note: the pictures didn't really reveal anything).

We asked Emma about her departure from "Buffy" and she let us know that she had asked creator Josh Whedon not to have her character die. She's not sure exactly how Anya will depart as yet but we're sure it will be with flair.



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