BBC Cult - Printer Friendly Version
Emma Caulfield - Interviewed at the Buffy soundstage August 23rd 2001
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.