On WandaVision, a superpowered witch appears as a ’50s housewife, with her synthezoid other half passing as her groovy sideburned hubby. Which is to say, no one is who they appear to be. Except Dottie. Emma Caulfield (who starred as Anya the vengeance demon on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) really is playing the neighbor from hell — though how literal that is remains to be seen.
Dottie is introduced in the second episode as the queen of the cul-de-sac, who finds herself unimpressed with Westview’s newest resident, Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen). Fans were quick to question whether the series would reveal Dottie to be a larger part of Marvel canon, though, theorizing she might actually be playing sorceress and Doctor Strange love interest Clea, antagonistic goddess Enchantress, or even Satan himself, the big bad Mephisto. On Zoom with ET, Caulfield reacts to all your theories and talks joining the MCU and that accidentally perfect Buffy Easter egg.
ET: Was WandaVision your first time going up for a Marvel gig?
Emma Caulfield: Yeah, I’d never been out for Marvel. I never even thought that would be something that would ever– That was totally foreign to me. Jac Schaeffer, who directed me in Timer, she created this wonderful show. She and I had stayed friends over the years and she just called out of the blue one day. She was like, “Hi, sweetheart,” and l was like, “Hi, babe, what’s going on? You’re just killing it right now. You have Black Widow and WandaVision.” And she said, “Yes, speaking of that, would you like to work on the show?” I’m like, “Are you joking? Of course. I’ll be right there.” She said, “I can’t really tell you anything about it. It’s super top secret. I’ll give you a little bit of dialogue and go to the casting office and do your magic. We just need Kevin Feige to sign off on you.” So, no pressure. [Laughs] I don’t remember what I read, and obviously, a couple of weeks later I was off to Atlanta. And then we did the table read and I looked at the whole script. I was like, “OK, I understand.” I still had a million questions, but…
So Jac sort of wrote Dottie with you in mind?
Well, I don’t know about that! She and I have always wanted to work together again. We absolutely had the best time on Timer. She’s always been this pinnacle of work experience as a director, as a writer, as a human being. She’s just a wonderful, gifted person. And it never happened. It was like, the stars will line up. Something will work, and this one was it.
When you started to figure out more of what this project actually is and what you would get to do in it, what were you most excited to dig into?
The voice, I think. Especially the really early stuff in the ’60s, getting the mid-Atlantic voice, the little hand gestures, the way she sat, all of that. It’s very period-specific, but also very sitcom-specific. So, going through all the sitcoms that they’re modeled after and knowing they’re going to recreate that look as much as they can and then how that all clicks together. The clothes. [Laughs] All of it! Just to be able to disappear like that.
On the Marvel side of it, did they task you with reading any of the comics in preparation?
No. I knew this was directly picked up from the films, so it was like, “How is this going to work exactly? I was pretty sure you died, so what’s happening?” This was also its own entity, so for Dottie, especially, there’s no reference. Also, with how information is unfolded, like, “You’re mean right now. Right now, you’re very mean.” “OK. I’m mean. I’m this mean queen bee” — not my reality whatsoever, never been a queen bee in my entire life, always been an outsider or underdog — so that was really fun. I had a really odd thrill out of being in control of so many people. I kind of liked that. Like, “You do what I say!“
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The other day you tweeted, “Who is Dottie?” Are you implying that there is more to her than meets the eye?
Well, there’s more to everything on the show. I think. I mean, it’s like we’re in black and white, then no! Now we’re not. The idea of the magic show — all these things — the idea of who are [they] and what is happening? There’s definitely more than meets the eye.
Have you been digging into any of the fan theories about Dottie?
They’re so fun, yeah! [Laughs]
Do you have a favorite?
They’re all really good. It’s hard to choose, like picking your favorite kid. Each theory has such thorough and passionate reasons why they’re right. It’s wonderful. I just think it’s really funny, before I got to say anything, before they were like, “We’re going to go public with you being on it. You can post, you can do all that,” there were pictures of me, paparazzi pictures, that were leaked on one of the sets. I was in a full mask and I had the wig and I had the clothes and I think I had flip flops or Uggs or something on, and I was everyone from Lady Gaga, I was Scarlett Johansson, I was everyone and no one guessed me, which was so funny. I literally can’t say anything, but I’m like, “That’s me!” They were like, “It’s got to be ScarJo because they have the same hands, look at the vein patterns.” And I’m like, “What are you talking about?” and I’m looking at my veins, like, “We do have similar hands!” That’s a really good theory. I’m Scarlett Johansson, reprising something. Cool!
And now that they’ve met Dottie, you’re everyone from Clea to Enchantress to Arcanna.
Yeah, I’m still other people! I’m just enjoying this no one knows who I am. I’m anonymous and not anonymous at the same time.
I’m excited to see where this goes and to see more Dottie. Before I let you go, I wanted to ask: What’s the comment or question you get the most about Buffy to this day?
Am I afraid of bunnies. Yeah. Like, “No!”
Well, people freaked out when–
When the bunnies showed up, I know! I didn’t even clock that until a fan pointed it out. I was like, “Oh yeah. Yeah, there was a bunny in the scene.” But it was, as far as I know, completely unintentional. It was not an intended Easter egg or anything like that. I was like, “Oh, that’s so clever. That’s cute. Good for you guys for noticing it.” But that was not my doing. And no, I’m definitely not afraid of little bunnies at all.
Especially not Señor Scratchy.
No, Señor Scratchy is so cute. Had a lot of stage fright, that poor guy. He did not want to play. He was like, “I need to be in a field, running for my life from a hawk, not dancing for you like a monkey, what’s happening!”
New episodes of WandaVision stream Fridays on Disney+.
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