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Emma Caulfield

Emma Caulfield & Nicholas Brendon - Oz Comic-Con 2014 - Interview

Monday 8 September 2014, by Webmaster

It was social media buzz that got Emma Caulfield obsessed with Sharknado.

"It was just blowing up on Twitter, so I thought I’ll turn it on," said the Buffy the Vampire Slayer star, in Australia for a series of Comic-Con events.

"Of course it was just beyond awful, but in that really awesome way...it makes me so happy that it exists."

Caulfield, who played reformed vengeance demon Anya, said Buffy would have been ripe for its own social media frenzy – if only it had existed between 1997 and 2003 when the show was on air.

"I think it would have been an even larger cultural phenomenon with the presence of media like that," she said.

"Just the power alone that would give the creators and the network to keep moving forward...it probably would have pushed past the ’cult’ section."

Co-star Nicholas Brendon, who played everyman Xander, said the closest they got was checking internet fan forums after gathering at creator Joss Whedon’s house to watch each episode got to air.

"We were very cloistered...we shot in Santa Monica, so it felt just like a family, like we were doing a high school play almost, just with cameras," he said.

"It was so special to see our hard work pay off. I miss that camaraderie, the family aspect of it."

Caulfield said people were still connecting to Buffy more than 11 years after it wound up, with fans rewatching via box sets, and parents introducing their children to its themes of isolation, growing up, confronting fears and the importance of friendship.

"It has been a very strange slow burn that oddly keeps growing into a bigger and bigger flame," she said.

"It’s like a Star Trek. I think that’s what it’s becoming at this point."

Both Caulfield and Brendon said they regularly heard from fans who credited the show for getting them through dark times.

"I still am very touched and blown away by the level at which that show affected people, like ’You saved my life’," Caulfield said.

"It’s a lovely gift."

Brendon said themes from the show touched home to many – himself included.

"People who are suicidal, or help them get through the death of a loved one, or even fighting off addiction," he said.

"That’s something I’ve been struggling with for ten years, the addictiveness of drugs and alcohol, so helping people do that as well [is great]."

Brendon had given up on a career in baseball when he was cast, aged 25, to play one of Buffy’s closest friends, who unlike other characters, never developed superpowers of his own.

"I’d never acted before in my life; it was Sarah [Michelle Gellar, who played Buffy], who taught me things like how to stand on a mark, and look camera left, camera right," he said.

"I just wanted to get in there and play...I still do."

Brendon is now writing for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic series, which has carried the story through an eighth, ninth and tenth series.

He said he would happily return to film anything Buffy-related, but that depended on the workload of Whedon, its "genius" creator who is currently working on The Avengers II.

"Joss is obviously busy," Brendon said.

Caulfield had been on the verge of quitting acting when she took a role during the show’s third season to help fund her studies.

"I actually was a fan of the show, and there was a guest star spot and I thought fantastic, here we go," she said.

"Luckily they hired me and didn’t let me go...the next thing I know five years went by."

Now Caulfield would love to get cast in an Australian-based production, having fallen in love with the country since first coming here more than a decade ago.

"Could somebody, yes, I am willing to do anything," she said.

"Please bring me to Australia."

Oz Comic-Con is on at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on September 6-7. Day tickets start at $30 and are available online.