Buffy's Emma Caulfield recalls 'nightmare' of being told she had MS on TV set

Darcy Rafter October 5, 2022
Buffy's Emma Caulfield recalls 'nightmare' of being told she had MS on TV set
Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images

Buffy The Vampire Slayer star, Emma Caulfield, has revealed in a vulnerable interview she has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In the brave discussion, she said she was told the news after calling back her doctor on set of TV show Gigantic.

In the interview, she also confirmed her character’s return to the WandaVision universe in Kathryn Hahn’s upcoming Disney+ series Agatha: Coven of Chaos.

The 49-year-old actress is well known for appearing opposite Sarah Michelle Gellar on Buffy as Anya between 1998 and 2003.

Let’s take a look inside the Buffy star’s life as we receive a health update from the famous actress…

Buffy star Emma Caulfield reveals traumatic MS diagnosis

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

The actress revealed to Vanity Fair she was diagnosed with MS. It is a neurological condition that disrupts communication between the brain and the body. This results in the immune system eating away at nerves.

Caulfield reminisced that “once upon a time, I had zero health problems.”

She went on to explain that she felt the symptoms come on in 2010, whilst she was working as an executive producer on Marti Noxon’s Gigantic. Caulfield woke up one morning with the left side of her face feeling “like there were a million ants crawling on it.”

She added: “That feeling when you’ve sat in a position too long? … The feeling’s gone and it’s coming back like a rush of blood.”

Caulfield then said the pain sort of went and although her face didn’t feel, “completely numb because I could still scratch it and feel my nails.” It was still “extremely dull.”

After going to an acupuncturist who suggested it could be Bell’s palsy (when half of the face drops due to muscle weakness) she decided to look further into this weird sensation.

Emma Caulfield’s opens up on father’s MS diagnosis

Caulfield went to a neurologist for an MRI which confirmed her MS diagnosis.

Talking of the traumatic day, Emma explained: “It was like an out-of-body experience. I’m like, ‘No, that’s not possible.’ I’m like, ‘What are you talking about?’ He was very matter-of-fact about it. ‘Well, you can get a second opinion…'”

Emma was on set at the time and found it difficult to process describing it as “literally a kind of nightmare…. It turns out it was something major. Then I was like, ‘I’ve got to go to work now.’ What do I do?”

The actress also explained her father had MS. The Buffy star went on to say: “It has been around in my sphere for a very, very long time.”

In some ways, this made the diagnosis feel even more real.

“It was terrifying to see that and to watch my dad lose mobility over the years,” she said. “He was still fine, happy, and his brain worked. But he was physically changed by it.”

Emma Caulfield kept her lifelong illness a secret

The actress worried that her illness might cost her jobs if people found out, so decided to keep her diagnosis a secret. In fact, because of this worry, she filmed WandaVision while silently suffering from the effects of MS. 

In 2017, Emma married actor Mark Leslie Ford. One of the reasons she has gone public with her diagnosis is because she doesn’t want to hide it from their six-year-old daughter.

The actress is now ready to open up about it. Especially as she is mindful of it getting worse if her co-stars and colleagues are unaware of the battles she is facing. Following the interview, Emma has been met with a ton of support, which she thanked everyone for via Instagram.

She penned: “No matter what, I’m profoundly grateful for all that have and am full of love for all of you.”

Currently, Caulfield is trying to stay strong. She continued: “Truthfully, my attitude is not crumbling under the fear of ‘what if’ or ‘what can,’ or ‘what has’ for other people. I just have to keep going.”

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Darcy is an experienced journalist passionate about celebrity culture and entertainment. After gaining a degree in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths University she has also become a social media specialist, always keeping informed on the latest trends. With almost five years of experience in media, her expertise is analysing platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. When she's not tracking the latest trending content, she’s watching films and eating lots of chocolate.