Kristoffer Polaha and Emma Caulfield

Life Unexpected's newest character Emma may appear to be Type A and tough, but star Emma Caulfield says she has a darker past that Baze (Kris Polaha) will bring to light. Despite their boss-employee relationship and polar-opposite personalities, the two develop a romance that she say brings up a lot about each other — good and bad. Caulfield tells TVGuide.com about why Emma is so guarded, and how she compares her to the actress' previous popular Buffy character, Anya.

TVGuide.com: Emma is tough, but Baze seems to get her to be vulnerable. Why is that?
Emma Caulfield:
There's a way about him that's extremely disarming for her. He and I have a really natural way about each other and that fuels our scenes together. When we're joking around on the set, I become very open and before you realize it you've revealed really personal things and you're like, "I can't believe I just said that to you." That translates with the characters as well.

TVGuide.com: They're extreme opposites, so what does she see in him?
Caulfield:
I think she sees his potential [and] sees what he's really capable of. There are just some people who are able to see through a lot of your garbage. They explore a lot with each other, and what they bring up with each other is ultimately really beautiful and sad and interesting — it's very real. Certain people come into your life and they stir up a lot and they remind you of things sometimes you don't want to be reminded of.

Life Unexpected's Kris Polaha on Baze: "He's going to surprise everybody"

TVGuide.com: What will we learn about Emma?
Caulfield: She's definitely Type A, has accomplished a lot, and has done so by putting up a lot of walls, and there are reasons for that which will be revealed later. There's a part of her that has been forgotten, left by the wayside a bit and [Baze] reminds her of that. She's done a lot of things she's not proud of and the need to keep that in check and keep that private is very crucial to her. She's so guarded and in a pressure cooker all the time and he lifts the lid up. So while it's still a very adult relationship, it's almost regressive in a little way for her. She gets to be light for a minute, until, of course, past things keep coming up, and jerks you out of the present a bit. She gets to laugh with him and that's not something she's been able to do in quite a long time.

TVGuide.com: Krista Allen is guest-starring in an upcoming episode. Will she throw a wrench into the relationship?
Caulfield:
She plays a potential client that Emma has been trying to snap up for a long time and has had no luck. Baze is hell-bent on signing her and I'm like, "OK, good luck, you're not going to get two feet with her," but because he's charming and disarming, he's able to work his way in there and it rubs my character the wrong way for a lot of reasons.

Exclusive behind-the-scenes photos: Life Unexpected and One Tree Hill get musical

TVGuide.com: Is it a coincidence that you often play strong, independent women.
Caulfield:
I was noticing a trend recently, I played this woman named Oona in the film TiMER earlier this year and then Anya from Buffy and now Emma. These three characters really resonate with me and I've noticed that they're all kind of looking at life from the outside looking in. Yeah, they're strong, they maybe can be borderline unlikable — I don't know what that's about — but they're ultimately really good people.

TVGuide.com: Do you still get recognized as Susan from the original Beverly Hills 90210?
Caulfield:
That's a shout-out to my past! It's weird when someone references that job — it literally feels like 10 lifetimes ago for me.  I seem to end up on these shows that have really engaged and really passionate fans that seem to capture a moment in time for people.

Life Unexpected airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on CW.