Pop Culture

Emma Caulfield Ford Is Fighting MS, but “Not Crumbling” in Fear

Does that complicate your feelings about the show?

Not at all. Everything about what worked about that show worked. It’s in the vault. You can’t go back and look at it and go, “Well, fuck that show because of Joss.” Why? I don’t want to waste my time right now talking about Joss Whedon. I have spent so long talking about that man and I do not wish to continue to talk about him.

All good. That’s totally fine.

Let him go be him somewhere else. I’ve taken everything great from that time of my life.

Thanks for answering my question. I asked because I think people aren’t sure. “Am I supposed to still like this? Can I still like this?”

Of course you’re supposed to still like it! Canceling a show because of someone’s bad behavior is an insult to everybody who worked tirelessly on it. It’s an insult to the talented people. It’s an insult to all the sacrifices that people made being away from their families for long hours, to the crew who got no sleep, to all the joy that it brings people still. New people every day are new fans of that show.

I’m sure if you held a spy glass up to, my daughter calls them spy glasses. My British husband does this as well. Sorry, that sounds super pretentious. Magnifying glass—if you put that up against really anybody at any point, you’re going to find things that are unpleasant, but that’s just human. It’s a wonderful show, it will always be a wonderful show. Enjoy it.

I think it’d be quite different if Joss was the main character on the show and now you’re like, oh, I just have a hard time watching him. I could see that. But no, though his imprint is all over that show, his imprint is on it in the most positive of ways. Things that made that show good are still good. And whatever he may be personally, his actual ability to create stories was great. It’s still good. I don’t know. That’s just my opinion.

So you’ll be returning as Dottie in Agatha: Coven of Chaos soon…

That is super fun. There’s a couple of things actually. There’s another thing which I also can’t really say.

Secret projects on the horizon.

Yes, the imminent horizon…. In regards to MS, I will be continuing to talk about this. This is not a one-time thing. It’s not like this is my full story and there is now a picture of me next to MS in the dictionary. Or, “Emma can only talk about this…” Now that I’m open about this, I can more readily promote things that the MS Society is doing instead of just giving money. This is just what speaks to me right now.

You mentioned your father, and watching how he dealt with MS. What do you hope your daughter notices or remembers about you from this time when she’s much older?

It’s been so hard as we all are living through this right now. I would say over the past few weeks— ugh, nightly—“Mommy just needs to lay down and put an ice pack on my forehead.” Sometimes without even thinking about it, she’ll go and grab me an ice pack. I’m like, “Bless you.” Mark and I have talked about that. Do we tell her what’s going on? 

Just recently, I sat and talked with her and I said, “So, babe, you know how you’re getting me ice packs to cool me down because it’s so hot? Or how mom’s back sometimes is tight and whatever? Mommy’s fine. But you should know.” Her perfect six-year-old self said: “I know just what you need.” She’s like, “You just need more candy.” [Laughs.] That’s the level of understanding—and it’s just fine with me.

I hope she just sees me as someone she can look up to…. I hope she sees that I’ve done my best and when push comes to shove, I showed up. I hope she’s just ultimately proud. That’s it. Hopefully she’s proud of me.

This interview was edited and condensed for context and clarity.

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