There was a near-universal flash of recognition from fans watching the second episode of Marvel’s first Disney+ series, WandaVision: “Hey, that’s Anya from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Emma Caulfield played the vengeance demon turned high school student in the beloved ’90s supernatural drama series, but in WandaVision, she plays your regular old neighbor from hell, Dottie Jones. Or so it would seem.
Having such a recognizable face from another beloved genre show set off the alarms in Marvel fans’ heads, who immediately jumped to speculate that Dottie may be more than she appeared. Popular theories suggest that she’s actually playing the extra-dimensional demon/devil Mephisto (due to the frequent “hellish” comments made about Dottie by Kathryn Hahn‘s nosy Agnes), or that she’s Arcanna Jones, a member of the alternate-universe super team Supreme Squadron. Caulfield loves all those fan theories, she told /Film in an interview over Zoom, but she obviously can’t tell us if they’re true or not.
“I can’t answer any of them! But they are good. They’re very entertaining, I love all of them,” Caulfield said.
But will she be able to tell us whether that scene with the rabbit was actually an Easter egg for Anyanka fans? “No, I think it was just purely coincidental,” Caulfield said.
Okay, how about if we’ll see her or Dottie in the Marvel universe again? In response to that question, Caulfield only glanced at the camera and took a long drink of water.
Read our interview with Emma Caulfield below.
You’ve worked with WandaVision writer Jac Schaeffer before on the 2009 feature film Timer. Is Schaeffer how you got the gig on WandaVision, or did you have to go through a big audition process for your character?
Well, she called me. We’ve been friends for some time, we’re always trying to work together again. She called me and asked if I wanted to come be a part of the show, and I said, “Yes, of course, I want to work with you. First, I love you. Two, I absolutely want to work for Marvel.” And then she said, “Great, so you’re the choice, I just need you to just be dazzling for Kevin Feige. If Kevin Feige says yes, then you can play.” So I was like, “Fantastic!” And I went to the L.A. branch, because they were shooting in Atlanta at the time. I went in and threw something on tape, I don’t remember exactly what it was. It was Dottie dialogue, but I don’t remember. And then I left, and then got the call — I think it was later that day or it was the next day. A team of people were like, “Guess who’s gonna be in WandaVision?” And I was like, Oh my god! So that was that. Thank you Jac for having my back — I did not have to go through the crazy audition process. So I’m very grateful.
We’re introduced to Dottie as the “queen of the cul-de-sac” who can make the neighborhood hell for any of the ladies on the community. From your character’s point of view, what is Westview? What is her life?
I think it’s very well-manicured, it’s very controlled. Everything appears…well, and functioning, and easy, and happy, and carefree. At least that’s how it appears. So any energy that would threaten to mix it up — in this case Wanda, you know, the newbie. Like, who are you and what do you want, why are you here? And I’m not sure if I approve you yet, I’m not I’m sure that you can be part of the fold. There’s that element of like, how are you going to impact my life?
I have to ask about some of the theories around your character.
I can’t answer any of them! But they are good. They’re very entertaining, I love all of them. Which one’s your favorite?
I like the one that people really honed in, with on your remark where you say the “devil’s in the details,” to which Agnes remarks “That’s not the only place it is.” So a lot of people are theorizing that your character may be Mephisto. And you’ve played a demon before!
That’s true. What I played before, though, has zero bearing on Marvel. I do think that one’s super fun. I like all of them. I was just saying to somebody, there have been theories about Dottie before anybody knew I was playing Dottie. Because there were paparazzi pictures that were leaked months before I was able to talk about it. I had a wig on and I had a full mask and I had my costume clothes. [According to theories] I was everyone from Scarlett Johansson to Lady Gaga. I’m forgetting who else. There were some really interesting people and I’m just laughing, going, nobody’s guessing me, that’s amazing. Like, I’m completely anonymous right now. I mean, that’s me but I still can’t talk about it. The directive was, if someone gets it right then it’s like, ooh. But okay, you still can’t say anything, but you obviously can’t deny that’s you. But no one did, so it’s really amazing thing and even now it’s not like, “Hi Dottie.” It’s “Who’s Dottie?!” And obviously things aren’t what they seem, that’s a given. So, obviously there’s more questions to be asked, and plenty of theories, but I can’t confirm or deny any of them.
You spoke about the whole Marvel secrecy process. What was it like filming a project under such a tight lid, and what were you privy to any revelations down the line?
I knew what was happening, I knew the show. It’s just a wonderful story and I was very excited to see how things were gonna get pulled off. And Jac is just such a great writer and I just love her so much, and she just never disappoints, she’s just so good. So, yeah…did I fully answer you?
Yeah, I mean as much as you can under these circumstances.
[Laughs] Yeah I mean, do I say anything? I always have to stop myself because I want to keep talking, but I can’t. I loved the whole story.
Can you tell us anything about Dottie’s arc in this story? Where does she go, what happens to her?
I can’t say anything. I think everyone watching the show can just be super entertained. Just watch it whole because it’s unique, it’s smart, and there’s so much heart, and everyone is so bloody good! I was in awe of everyone all the time.
Maybe this is one thing you can speak about. We talked a little bit about you playing a demon in the past in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And in the episode where you first appear in WandaVision, you do appear in a scene with a rabbit. So I was wondering whether this was an intentional nod to your role as Anya in Buffy the Vampire Slayer?
As far as I know, no. I mean, Jac never mentioned anything to me about it. And I did not even clock it until someone had written it [in an article] online, “WandaVision Easter egg is a bunny.” And I thought, “Oh god, that’s right!” It’s not like I was interacting with it, it was all [Elizabeth Olsen], it was all to do with the magic show. So no, I think it was just purely coincidental. I could be wrong – you’d have to ask Jac Schaeffer, I don’t know.
You posted a picture on Instagram of the makeup that you had to wear to shoot in black and white. What other unique quirks were there shooting in black and white and shooting in that unique classic sitcom arena?
Well, definitely there were all the technical aspects of it. Making sure that we all got the period right. Not just for how women carried themselves in the relationships between different people, but specifically the heightened version of female within the sitcom context. So just a lot of watching Bewitched, Dick van Dyke, and really familiarizing with each period. Just being comfortable in that space because it does very much inform how any one of us portray those characters. First you have to get all those outside technical elements down before you can go in.
So, can we expect any other appearances from Dottie, or from you potentially not related to Dottie, in the Marvel Universe or any future Marvel projects?
[Takes a long sip of water] I mean, I think Dottie’s just a really good time.
WandaVision debuts new episodes every Friday on Disney+.
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