The ‘Buffy’ Actress Returns as Anya With An Idea For The Character That May Be In Fans’ ‘Wildest Dreams’
When Buffy the Vampire Slayer ended its six season run twenty years ago it left many fans with mixed feelings. Sure it delivered an epic, memorable conclusion to the beloved series but to accomplish this Sunnydale was left in ruins, literally swallowed whole by the Hellmouth beneath it. Not only was that chapter of the BuffyVerse over, it appeared the book of Buffy was closed forever… or so we thought.
Earlier this year, much to the delight of Buffy fans, it was announced that there were more BuffyVerse stories to be told. To do so many series favorites would reprise their roles for the Audible Original Slayers: A BuffyVerse Story. The immersive audio drama marked the return of Spike (James Marsters), Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), Drusilla (Juliet Landau), Tara (Amber Benson who also co-wrote the series with Chris Golden), Clem (James C. Leary) and everyone’s favorite vengeance demon Anya (Emma Caulfield Ford) – joined by a younger, new slayer Indira, played by franchise newcomer. Laya DeLeon Hayes.
The death of Anya was one of the most bitter parts of the bittersweet series conclusion. Her quick and unceremonious demise felt like a betrayal to the character, the actress and the fans. It is just one reason why the revival of her character through Slayers has fans elated. For those who have not listened to the audio adventure yet there’s more good news. Not only does Caulfield Ford return as Anya, we are treated to three versions of the character – one of which has a tail, fur, and barks (more like yelps). It is all part of the fun in this new extension of the BuffyVerse.
Awards Radar spoke with Emma Caulfield Ford (full video interview below) about bringing back Anya for Slayers in a conversation that touched upon several subjects while unfortunately having to avoid others due to the restrictions she was under due to the SAG-AFTRA strike that was ongoing at the time. Still, the actress was very generous with her time and provided some thoughtful answers that will satisfy long time fans.
One revelation from our conversation was how she never intended to be an actress, at least not until fate stepped in. “It was a fluke. I’d moved up to Los Angeles for college and I was waiting tables in Westwood,” recalled Caulfield Ford. “I was stopped on the street by an agent from a very reputable agency. Who said, ‘Are you an actor? You should be an actor.’” That was where it all started. To think without that fluke Buffy fans may not have had Caulfield Ford’s wonderful bunny-phobic performance to enjoy, including her stellar and rocking vocals during the fan-favorite episode, “Once More, With Feeling.”
When asked if we will ever get to hear Anya sing again in future seasons of Slayers, she quickly responded, “I would love that” Not only was the actress open to it, she had something up her sleeve that would fulfill her fans and fellow- Swifties wildest dreams.
“I already told Amber and Christopher, I’m really pushing for there to be some kind of Anya journal like Taylor Swift, where she writes about love, lack of love, the pursuit of love, or, you know, just her thoughts about things in general,” said Caulfield Ford. “I think it’d be great for Anya to have an untapped musician’s artistry somewhere in there.” I, for one, am enchanted by the idea.
When the death of Anya during the series finale was brought up, Caulfield Ford clarified that there was no lingering pain as suffered by cast mate Charisma Carpenter, but that it did not sit right with her. “I never thought that it would be done with such callousness or an afterthought.” The actress, who clearly prefers to look ahead to the positive instead of dredging up the past, did add, “The disregarding of her was personal. I feel like there wasn’t much consideration for fan service at that point.” A sentiment many fans certainly agree with which only makes the return of Anya ever more sweet.
The actress also wants to be sure fans continue to enjoy the original Buffy series. When I brought up the idea of no longer watching the TV series because of the toxic actions of others involved, she quickly responded, “I’m so against that – you can’t. You can’t disregard, erase, cancel something because of actions of one or two or whatever – you can’t do that.” Caulfield Ford continued, “It’s a wonderful piece of work that was created by very talented people. Don’t drop the baby with the bathwater.”
One topic we could not discuss at all under the restrictions was her work as “Dottie Jones” / Sarah Proctor on Disney+’s uber popular Marvel series WandaVision and the upcoming follow-up Agatha: Darkhold Diaries. It was a real treat for fans (including me) who did not know of Caulfield Ford’s involvement in the series. Hopefully she can speak with AwardsRadar again to discuss the work closer to the series (which is now slated to premiere in late 2024 due to the strike delays).
Watch the full interview with Emma (above) where we discuss stepping back into the role, the joy of working with the cast again, and certainly hunt down Slayers: A BuffyVerse Story which is streaming exclusively on Audible.
Photos from the ‘Slayers’Audible Presents: Slayers: A Buffyverse Story’ Panel
from 2023 New York Comic Con