We’ve been wanting to interview Osric Chau since the first time we saw him at a convention – we literally turned to each other and said “He’s going to fit right in with this fandom!” We’d like to credit our finely honed academic research instincts for that bit of insight, but frankly the entire fandom was probably saying the same thing. Osric seems to personify the “reciprocal relationship” between Supernatural’s cast and crew and its amazing fandom, that we wrote about in Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls – or more accurately, he seems to be redefining it!
So we were excited to catch up with Osric during Creation’s Chicago con. We were signing copies of Fangasm, so Osric just came by the vendors room to meet us. This, of course, caused a major commotion, since fans were in the vendor’s room expecting to purchase SPN swag, not run into one of the main actors shopping too! That’s what makes Osric such a refreshing addition to the con circuit. He hung out with our awesome fellow fangirls from Random Acts, who had the table next to ours (and participated in E4K the following weekend). He chatted happily with fans and posed for photos until it was time to do the interview, and we headed for the hotel restaurant.
Osric: I’m so sorry for having to reschedule, I had brunch with Samantha (Smith) and Julie (McNiven).
Us: Oh no, that’s fine, that’s your SPN Family! That’s important.
Osric: It was my first time meeting them, so I just wanted to get to know them.
We love that all the actors get to know each other at the conventions, even if there are multiple seasons of SPN separating them. It’s one of the best things about the cons, and makes the cast feel as much like family as the fans do. We settled in, ordered some lunch, and then launched into the questions we couldn’t wait to ask.
Lynn: Kevin went through a lot last season, and not all of his interactions with the Winchesters were pleasant. Now that he’ll probably be spending more time with them, I wonder how he’s feeling about them. Does he blame them at all for his mother’s death? Does he look up to them? Or are they everything he doesn’t want to be?
Osric: Um, sorry, can you repeat the question?
Lynn: Sorry, I’m very verbose, it’s a psychologist thing…
Kathy: No, it’s a Lynn thing…
Osric: (proving himself a fabulous mediator) I’ll just read them off your iPad.
Us: Great idea.
Osric: No, I don’t think he blames them for her death. Especially after the last episode, he’s uncertain of whether or not she’s still there. Does Kevin look up to them? Certainly he does. Dean really has become more of a father figure to him than he’s had in a very long time.
Lynn: Because we’ve never seen Kevin’s father, have we?
Osric: Crowley mentioned, have you ever wondered who your father is? Kevin’s never really had a father, and Dean definitely fills that role for him. Sam does a little bit too, but it’s different with Sam. It’s kinda like a big brother – he’s like a mentor. Kevin is kinda going through the same thing that Sam has gone through, so he relates to Sam like that.
Kathy: Though they were friends and then Sam left him on his own for a year…
Osric: Of course, but it’s already been like a year since that year, and they’ve gone through so much together, that at this point, especially with Dean giving him that speech at the end of 9.02, it really hit home that no matter what Kevin’s feeling – sure, he might resent them at times – but at the end of the day, these two are all he has left, you know? And in that sense, they mean the world to him. He understands that they’re just trying to do good. Sometimes the end is greater than the means, and I think Kevin understands that.
Lynn: I thought Dean’s speech about Kevin being family was very heartfelt, but some fans felt Dean was being manipulative.
At this point, Osric’s lunch arrives and we motion for him to go ahead and eat.
Osric: No, that’s okay.
Lynn (who prioritizes food like Dean prioritizes pie): But it will get cold!
Osric: No no, that’s okay.
We totally could not convince him. Luckily our lunches arrived a few minutes later.
Osric: I can see how what Dean said can be viewed that way, but even if it were, I think his intentions are clear. And we see this in everyday life, a lot of the decisions we make and the way we treat people – yes, we might have those ulterior motives too, but at that point, it’s so ingrained in us, we’re not thinking like that.
Lynn: Not consciously.
Osric: (nodding) Not consciously. Subconsciously, maybe. But when Dean says that, I truly believe he means it. Whether or not all that other stuff happens, I think that’s up for discussion, but I see that a lot in people in everyday life.
Lynn: Family is so important to Dean, because his family was destroyed by the demon, I think one of his psychological motivations is sort of putting together a replacement family for him and Sam, and Kevin is part of that.
At this point, Lynn (predictably) has gone totally astray from the planned questions on the iPad, so Kathy picks it up from the table, sending Lynn a pointed look.
Lynn: Oops. Umm, Kathy will keep me on track. Because if she doesn’t, I will just talk to you and I won’t let you answer questions because I just like to talk to people…
Osric (laughing): Clearly that’s why you guys are partners.
Lynn (waving her hands at Kathy dramatically) Wait, but I have another question!
Kathy: (more stern looks)
Lynn: This wasn’t on the list though – it just happened!
Kathy: (rolls eyes) Go ahead…
Lynn: The post you made weighing in after some fans were upset after Episode 9.03, and some of the writers were too. What’s been the reaction to your post?
Osric: I think it’s been mostly positive. Some people misinterpreted a few things, but those were easily cleared up. I was a little worried about posting it – as soon as I found out, when I woke up I had all these messages from people like, have you heard what’s happening? I have a lot of friends in the fandom, my roommates in LA are all big fans. I’ve known them from before I was on the show. It was a really cool way to get introduced to the fandom, because I could say to them, “Well, tell me about yourselves, guys.”
Lynn and Kathy: (are laughing)
Osric: And they’re pretty fanatical sometimes – they control themselves pretty well, but they’re up there. But they’re great, I love them, and a lot of these things, they can help me with explaining like, this is why, and they’ll tell me exactly why. So I was a little bit worried, and the general advice was stay out of it, don’t get involved. But honestly the more I watch the show, the more invested I am. And anyone, not just the writers or the fans – if I see something happen in real life, a friend or even a stranger who’s suffering, I have to do something. It’s in my nature to reach out and try to be the peacekeeper. I have two brothers and they used to fight a lot and with my parents, and I’m the guy who goes in and tries to calm everyone down.
Lynn: That’s my instinct too, maybe because I’m a therapist (or have two younger siblings). I can’t stand to see anyone hurting, and it’s just magnified when it has to do with fandom, because we love fandom.
Osric: It becomes instinctive. And something like this, I’m not that certain, which is why I didn’t go into that much detail, but I just got to a point where I was like, I’m so invested in this show and in this fandom, I can’t just ignore this. I’m part of it, even though I’m technically not part of this stuff, but I understand why it’s important to some people. And is it all true? I don’t know, because there are so many moving pieces. I’m pretty sure most of the writers probably don’t even have a clear intention of what they wanted to do with Destiel because it could be so many things. One person says it could be fun if we do it this way, or maybe the editors say oh man, these guys are fooling around so much, let’s totally make this a thing, and they cut it that way and throw the music on. I don’t know. There are so many pieces, I don’t think it was any one person’s decision.
Lynn: There are so many pieces, which left it open to interpretation. I think it was partly that some tweets from the production side seemed to take that away.
Kathy: And there was the precedent that other shows have listened to what fans wanted – with Glee, they did that and the writers made it so — fan desire was translated into canon.
Osric: Especially in this day and age when you have that level of fan interaction, it seems more possible. With a show like Glee, they’ve already opened up those boundaries. But Chad [Kennedy] is a big fan of the show and I think he reacted like a fan.
Lynn: Which people do on twitter – they react personally, not as representing the show.
Osric: Exactly. Kripke came up with the show, but he didn’t think of that, there was no Cas at first – it was originally going to be about two journalists, wasn’t it? That was the original intention. I’m not sure who even created the Castiel character, but even if they had no intentions – it’s just like the show was supposed to be about two journalists – ideas change. Kevin was originally gonna die. There are so many things you plan out, but things change. And all that happens and then there’s fan reaction, so even though they didn’t have those intentions, things change.
Lynn: I kinda like not knowing where the show is gonna go, where it’s gonna take us. Your post seemed to be saying the same thing, like who knows what’s gonna happen?
Osric: I don’t know Chad that well, but I know he’s a fan, and that kinda sucks anytime you hear someone deleted their twitter account. I don’t think people realize – they think oh, someone speaks for the entire show. So I was kinda ready for backlash from my post, but I didn’t get it.
Lynn: You seemed to take everyone’s feelings seriously, and to respect everyone, and to want to hear everyone.
Osric: I tried.
Kathy: (doing a fine job of getting back to the planned questions) You’re in a unique position because you’re part of the show, but while a lot of the people on the show identify as fans, you really ARE a fanboy – and you have your roommates who are immersed in the fandom, so you’re in a unique position to understand both sides.
Osric: (grinning) I really like that actually. At every con, I feel like I have friends here already that aren’t part of the cast and crew.
Kathy: When Kevin first appeared, he seemed to embody a lot of stereotypes. What was your initial reaction to that? Did you know from the start that you’d be able to portray him challenging and moving away from those stereotypes over time?
Osric: Originally I did have to decline the SPN gig. It was between a JJ Abrams pilot and Supernatural, and I thought, this is a series regular and this is why I’m in acting, to get those roles. Luckily it was the same people, and they made it work, and that show didn’t end up happening. So Supernatural was a three episode arc, and it was the most stereotypical Asian character I’d ever seen. And it was just one of those things, I thought okay I’m gonna do it, but I probably won’t use it in my reel because it’s so stereotypical. Now that Kevin has had such a journey, I’m okay with that stereotype. Stereotypes are there because they come from some truth, and I definitely lived a life like that. I wasn’t as good as Kevin was because I rebelled a lot, but you have that foundation, and then you can start showing off the many layers. Yes, he is that, but he is also this. So that’s how you get away from stereotypes, and I’m really happy that we did that. And one of the things I’m really happy for is that I got that haircut in between, because – I really feel like that physical transformation just topped it off a little bit. And it gave that great line that Crowley’s a hairdresser.
Lynn: In a way that’s very powerful, to sort of acknowledge the stereotype, but then bust the stereotype by saying yeah, some things are true — stereotypes are the way humans process and categorize information — but if you look underneath the stereotype, here’s this fully rendered human being.
Osric: Exactly. But for a three episode guest star, it allowed people to relate to that Kevin that they thought they knew. Either as the stereotypical Asian kid with a tiger mom or as an AP student that’s overworked and going crazy. And I know exactly that type. Now I’m okay with that, all the layers in the arc. And this role has turned into something that I never imagined.
Lynn: Now you’re Kevin Freak’n Solo!
Osric: (cracking up) Exactly!
Lynn: It’s on so much fan art everywhere.
(Osric loves fanart so much, there’s a gallery of it on his Facebook page – how awesome is that?)
Osric: I was so happy. When I read that script, that was a good moment.
Kathy: To the extent that you can actually talk about this, what would you like to see for Kevin in S9?
Osric: When you say, what would I want – what would I want for me selfishly? Or what would I want for the story?
Kathy: Selfishly. Definitely selfishly.
Osric (laughing) I would love Kevin to eventually be a hunter, you know, because that stuff’s fun! But that’s because I love to do the stunt stuff. I love to go on location – it’s really comfortable in the studio, you know exactly what to expect. But sometimes on location you don’t know, you have crazy wind, or the weather or sometimes you’re all muddy and gross and sticky and you don’t have anywhere you can clean up.
Lynn: (deadpans) Oh that sounds great….
Osric (laughing). But I enjoy that stuff, it’s like camping!
Lynn: I get the feeling you’re in good company with Jared and Jensen on that.
Osric: I love to get full on into that stuff and so I’d love for Kevin to be — not exactly like Sam and Dean, but his own kind of a thing. I don’t know if that works in the story, but it’d be fun, and if I was gonna be selfish, let’s be a trio!
Lynn: Well, they’re definitely showing Kevin’s evolution as a hero, and I think fans now define him as a hero.
Kathy: People who get pulled into that world seem to end up that way, as hunters.
Osric: On the other hand, if I’m looking at it from a story or fan perspective, this is still the story of two brothers and I don’t want to encroach on that territory. And besides, if Kevin does, that means he’s gonna die off really quickly!
Kathy: That is definitely something you should be concerned about. Maybe Kevin should stay in the bunker.
Lynn: We were on set a few months ago and were blown away by the Men of Letters set – after we’d been in it for a while, it started to seem less and less like a set and more and more like a real place. Serge and Robbie told us that this was intentional, because it helps the actors experience it as real. Have you felt a difference, working on a set that feels so real?
Osric: Oh, this was with the extension, right? It’s big! Last season it was just the main library, but this season I can get lost in it. There’s a kitchen and everything…so even though they can move all the things around, you can easily get lost in it. That’s the difference – before when you were entering into the library, you were coming off the stage. Now we’re coming off the hallway or another room, so it’s — yeah, it’s really cool.
Lynn: Do you think Kevin will have a room?
Osric: We haven’t seen Kevin’s room yet, but I hope he has one.
(We can totally picture it, can’t you?)
Kathy: What’s your favorite part of the bunker?
Osric: Oh, the library. There’s alot of real books there! Lots of really cool books, and they keep getting new ones. Like every time I’m on set I’ll pick up a random book and be like oh, what’s this? Half the time it’s an Encyclopedia Brittanica, but other times it’s some random thing that I’ve never seen, and I’m like, what language is this?
Lynn: On film sets, it’s not unusual for the props to be very real, but it seems like on television, that’s not always the case. Except on Supernatural.
Osric: They definitely have alot of detail. The swords they bring it in every day for that, they don’t just stay there. A lot of them are antiques and stuff.
Kathy: You really do seem like a fanboy yourself. You were sitting out in the audience last night at karaoke just watching – you made the transition from being up on stage and being that Osric, and then being in the audience as a fan.
Osric: I like to see things from as many perspectives as I can. Which is why I want to see all the panels at the con. At the end of the day, I’m getting paid to do this and I want everyone to have a good time. I don’t know what a good panel is! I kinda wanna experience that.
Lynn: Yours was good! People relate to you, they say, he’s one of us.
Osric: (looking genuinely relieved) That’s good to know.
Kathy: One of the reasons the fandom has embraced you so passionately is that you are a genuine fanboy – in fact, you said that one of the reasons you wanted to do so well at the Supernatural audition was because you wanted to work with Ben Edlund, since you were a fan of ‘The Tick’. What was it like to have Ben direct your first SPN episode?
Osric: (fanboying out in the most adorable way) I LOVE BEN EDLUND! He’s such a fascinating person to watch as he’s being himself. It was only his second time directing, and so he doesn’t come up to Vancouver that often, so it sort of felt like we were both on our first days together. So just because of that, he made me feel so much better. Everyone on set is just SO comfortable with each other, and then me and Ben are like, trying to fit in. (laughs) So I had him to latch onto. Him and Sera created the character and I’ll be forever grateful for that. He was the guy in the audition room with Jim Michaels, and they made a decision that changed my life, and I’ll be forever grateful to them. He’s a great guy. I’ve seen him in LA a few times, he does the Ghost Tyger shows – if you ever get a chance, you should go check them out. I don’t know if he’s still advertising them, but I think he’s starting to, which is why I’m saying this. But he has an alter ego which is Ghost Tyger and he performs, and he’s an incredible musician. Someone was telling me this quote by Joss Whedon: They were having this discussion and Ben Edlund goes off into his office and starts playing his guitar and then he doodles this thing, and it’s the most amazing pitch ever, and then Joss is like “this is why everyone hates you”. But he is like that mad genius. He’s always thinking.
L: He’s always on a little bit of a different page from everyone else, but it’s an awesome page!
Osric: When I saw that show, I didn’t know what to expect, but it blew my mind. And I can kind of understand Ben a little bit better. Not to mention, he’s a great musician. But just the whole performance aspect, he uses his words, like a monologue that enhances the performance as he talks about Ghost Tyger. And just the fact that it’s Ben makes it all better.
Kathy: We loved your cosplay of Princess Bubblegum at Dallas Con and so did the rest of fandom. Jared and Jensen had a priceless reaction the next day to a photo of you. What was the reaction of the other actors on set or at the con? What was your own reaction to theirs?
Lynn: I just about fell off my chair, that was so awesome. So wonderful, on so many levels. Gender norm breaking wonderful, con norm breaking wonderful, fanboy wonderful, just wonderful. Then when people showed Jared and Jensen….
(Osric is laughing his head off as Lynn is talking….)
Lynn: And they were like, what???
Osric: When I came up with that idea, it didn’t even occur to me the slightest bit that it would be weird!
Osric: See, that didn’t even occur to me. I guess I have that mentality, like oh, it’s a convention, because I haven’t been to that many. I wanted to do Adventure Time because I’m a big fan of the show. I would have done Lumpy Space Princess but I can’t do that well enough yet. And as soon as I put on the costume, it occurred to me how weird this was. And then, it wasn’t even til after that, I was like, Ohmygod, every other cast member is gonna see it! I started getting these tweets and was like Ohmygod they’re gonna see this. And then I started getting these messages that this photo of you is spreading like wildfire on the set and I was like oh no, I was gonna tell them about it when I was back next week. It just didn’t even occur to me that my coworkers were gonna see it!
(Lynn and Kathy are laughing hysterically now…)
Osric: I think my manager was a little bit worried, like people are paying to take a picture with you, not with Princess Bubblegum!
Kathy: I didn’t hear any negatives from fans.
Osric: I’m glad, because I got a little worried, like, should I tone it down a bit?
Lynn: I loved it, but then I’m not a big fan of normative….
Osric (laughing hysterically now too) I thought it was great!
L It was! But I knew you’d take shit for it.
Osric: A lot!!!
Kathy: So have you been to other kinds of cons?
Osric: The only other ones were comic cons – the first year after Season 7 ended, I went to (San Diego) Comic Con. I was there for another project, Halo, which is why I shaved my head. But I did crash the SPN panel, they gave me a seat so I didn’t have to wait in line. That was the first time I saw 7000 people stuck in a dark room with like 6 people on stage [just for Supernatural]. It was amazing. I think maybe three people recognized me, because I had the short hair. Mark Sheppard was one of the three people. I’d only met him that one day. We were at that intersection in the middle where all the people cross, and I was on my own crossing, about to go to some place for food. And Mark, Jim Beaver and Misha are getting escorted and I just feel this tap on my shoulder and he’s like “Osric!” and I was like wow, even with the haircut? There were tens of thousands of people there and he still found me, which blows my mind. I love Mark. I poke fun at him a lot but I just really like the guy.
Lynn: Pretty sure people are shipping you and him.
Osric: (laughing again) I love the Crowley character and I love Mark as a person so those things are really funny to me.
Lynn: Well, people ship everyone. Matt tried to talk people into shipping him and Jensen in his panel yesterday. Now people are announcing their ship names onstage!
Osric: Okay, so I should keep on dressing up if I feel the urge to?
Osric: Okay good. Cuz there’s alot of female characters that I wanna be. It was between Princess Bubblegum and Sailor Moon…. So none of the cast knew who Princess Bubblegum was?
Lynn: Nope. They just thought you were dressed as a very pink girl.
Osric: I assumed that they would know. My mistake.
Lynn: I was sitting right in front of Jared when he saw the picture on someone’s phone.
Osric: (laughing) Did his jaw drop?
Lynn: It literally did. And then he spins around to Jensen and goes ‘ohmygod!’
Osric: I laughed so hard when I saw that picture and then I was like oh man, I’m gonna get it so hard!
It took us a few minutes to stop laughing and get back to actual, you know, interviewing. Luckily, Kathy is good at getting us back on track.
Kathy: You’ve said that Kevin may be the character that best represents the fandom – a normal person who has a lot of knowledge gleaned from his favorite genre shows and games who steps up to the plate when he has to and kicks ass. Do you think that’s why Kevin has become such a popular character?
Osric: To be honest, I don’t know. It took me a while to like Kevin. For a while, a lot of fan reaction was that he was kind of a whiny kid. But he was put into a situation that he didn’t expect and that’s also why I like him – because I feel like he represents how fans are. There are a lot of fans who are out there studying hard or are in school or trying to figure out their career and if you’re shoved into the Supernatural world, I think you’d be freaked out, at least for a bit. I would hope so, or you’re living the wrong life! But after you adjust you say, oh yeah, this is the stuff that I’m kinda into and you start embracing it. Once you learn what’s real and what’s not real, you start to put the pieces together. And I think that’s one of the reasons why he’s become “the” prophet, which is why Crowley doesn’t kill him and bring another prophet. When I saw that episode, I thought, Ohgod that means Kevin’s disposable! But yeah, I think Kevin – he reminds me of a lot of my friends and of myself. I still have to catch up on watching all the seasons of the show, but I think he’s the first person to react in a realistic way in a while.
Lynn: He’s written very real – people can see themselves as him.
Osric: Yeah, because people can identify with Kevin. Also, he’s lost his mom and his girlfriend and his life – he’s lost everything. He’s become part of the Winchesters’ journey in a very short amount of time. Like, that year, he did a lot of growing up. He’s got a long way to go, but – you know, left alone, this is reality, there are monsters and everyone is trying to kill you, and you have to go live on your own.
Lynn: All his supports were taken away. And everyone has had times of loss and trauma and transition, we all want to see a normal person go through a journey like that and come out heroically on the other side.
K: Your character really resonates with this generation, because people are in that position of trying to figure out who they are and what they’re gonna do in the face of different odds. Not supernatural beings, but that sense of I don’t know what I want to do or I know what I want to do but I can’t get there because of all these obstacles – your character really speaks to that.
Lynn: By the way, can I take some pictures? Smile.
Lynn: I’m so bossy, I know.
Kathy: (is nodding emphatically in agreement)
Lynn: Umm, why isn’t the flash going off? I have no clue how to work this camera.
(Osric patiently fixes it.)
Osric: Are you girls ever in your photos?
Us (emphatically) NO!
Osric: Okayyyyy then….
Kathy (quickly changing the subject): So tell us about the short film you’re working on now.
Osric (excitedly): I have a lot to say about this, this is about one of my fandoms.
Us: We totally get that. Fannish passion, yay!
Osric: So League of Legends is the most played game in the world. It was based off a game made from another game – Warcraft III is the original game — and there was a custom map editor so people made their own maps. This one map got really popular called DOTA, Defense of the Ancients. And I play that one pretty hardcore with a lot of my friends. It’s a team of five against a team of five and you have different heroes and fight each other, try to destroy the other one’s tower. So after a few years of this becoming as popular or even more popular than the actual game, there was a company that started making a real version of it, which was League of Legends. And I tried the beta but it wasn’t really that great, and then the guy who had made his own version made DOTA 2 and so there were all these games that kept popping up. And LoL found that balance of competitive play, decent graphics, easy to learn, and it caught on worldwide. And it astounds me that there are world championships with a $5 Million grand prize.
Us: (gaping) WHAT?
Osric: It’s crazy. So I have a lot of friends who work at the company. One of my roommates in Vancouver ended up going to LA to work there, so naturally I’d hang out there, and because I’m there all the time, he gives me his alternative account and I start playing it because I’m a gamer. Pretty much everything I play, I get into. So I play a lot and because I’m a filmmaker too, I don’t just aspire to act, I want to produce, and it just made sense for me to do the live action version of the game. So I started throwing that idea around, and now I have some of the VFX guys from Supernatural who are really keen on helping me,
Lynn: That’s awesome – and those guys are so good! (SPNFamily, y’all!)
Osric: Some of the costumers have expressed interest, prosthetics people – and again, a lot of this is the Supernatural crew, who I love them to death, and this is gonna be the most ambitious film I’ve ever done. Even though we have some visual effects people, we’ll have to hire some, it’s gonna be very visual effects heavy. It’s gonna take like 10 people 60 or 70 hours each. And they probably would do it for free, but I can’t ask them to, it’s a lot of work in a dark room. So it’s probably gonna be like a $60,000 budget for a short film. And laying that out for the first time, my jaw dropped. But it’s kinda one of my passion projects, so I’m like, if anyone’s gonna do it, I’m gonna do it.
Lynn and Kathy: (are nodding emphatically – all fans understand fannish passion, after all)
Osric: I just wanna make something for people to enjoy and for me to enjoy. So it‘s definitely something that we’re putting together right now. My partners don’t want me to front the whole thing – we might do a kickstarter for just the vfx part. But the community for League of Legends is huge. So this is kinda another fandom that I’m into, and I’m totally mixing the two. I love doing fan interaction stuff, so I was thinking of live streaming the games and playing with fans – so I get to do two in one! This will be fun and I can talk to people while I’m maybe beating them…
Lynn: All your worlds will combine in an awesome way.
Osric: I know! That would work so well for time management (laughing) I absolutely love interacting with fans. I was doing the Sunday skype sessions for awhile, then I was doing a music video, and I still wanna find the time to reach out.
Lynn: I love your live tweeting of the episodes.
Osric: Oh, so much fun! I love watching with the fans. The first time I started doing it, I was able to follow the tweets, but now I can’t watch the show and read them all.
Lynn: Most people don’t expect you to respond…
Osric: But I want to respond!! Before I used to get just a few messages and I’d respond to every single one, but now it’s like I still want to be able to reach out to people, because one of the things I love to do is encourage people to do more stuff. Because I love Misha with his charity and stuff…
At this point, the waiter appeared with the check, which Osric immediately swiped out of our reach.
Us: Wait, we’ll get it—
Osric: I got it!
Us: No fair, you’re younger and faster than us.
Osric: (is grinning)
Lynn: (admirably getting herself back on track….for once) You had said in another interview, that you wanted to encourage people to create things, to support the arts, and to support hard working people who might not have the resources to pursue a career in something they spent their entire lives loving. You seem passionate about encouraging others’ creativity, especially fans. We’ve also written about that, how fandom is often the way people discover their own creativity and find the courage/support to pursue things they were afraid to. That’s a wonderful contribution you’re making.
Osric: I really appreciate how everyone supports me, but I want to be able to do the same for them. It’s amazing – sometimes you just need that, when everyone’s telling you that you can’t do something, in order to believe that’s all you need.
Lynn: We wrote the books for that kind of encouragement of fannish creativity and passion — because we love fandom, but there’s still a lot of shame. We wanted to challenge that, to say these are the great things that come from fandom — community, support, creativity.
Osric: I love the fans and being able to interact with them one on one. I’ve heard people say, all you have to do is give like a cookie cutter response or whatever, but I can’t do that. If I were doing that, I would know. My parents brought me up with a strong sense of equity.
Lynn: I’m surprised you didn’t become a psychologist.
Not that we want Osric to leave acting and producing (or SPN!) any time soon, but he has that natural empathy that would make him a great therapist. When something goes down, he doesn’t just ask, ‘who’s right?’ he asks ‘who’s hurting?’ And then he tries to help. Fandom needs as much of that as it can get!
Check paid, we gathered up our recorders and iPads and cameras and headed out.
Lynn: Where do you want to go? Backstage? Green room?
Osric: No! I wanna go to the ballroom – I wanna watch!
You can see why we love Osric so much. And so does the rest of the SPNFamily, who can’t resist sweeping him up (or whacking his butt) at any opportunity —
We walked him to the ballroom, where we were granted admittance thanks to our wrist bands, and Osric – wasn’t! That moment seemed to symbolize everything we’d been talking about, and so much of what we’ve experienced ourselves trying to be researchers and fangirls simultaneously. The day before, Osric was the guest onstage being escorted from place to place and welcomed in the no-fans-allowed space of the green room and backstage. Today (at least briefly) he was just another fan without a wristband wanting to see the panel. (Yes, he was able to get a wristband, but the momentary delay was quite fascinating.)
If you love Osric as much as we do, leave him some comments here!
And if you’re looking for a holiday gift for your favorite fellow fan (or a well deserved gift for yourself!), or if you’re just fascinated with Supernatural like we are, you can get your copy of Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls at amazon from the link at the top of this page.
35 thoughts on “How Awesome is Kevin Freak’n Solo? A Chat with Supernatural’s Osric Chau”
Love Osric, loved the interview, you guys ROCK!
Oh, how I adore this man.
This was just lovely to read–Osric is such a genuine person…his unabashed enthusiasm during the con was such a joy to watch! Thanks for sharing your detailed interview!
Hi there! Great interview, it just made me adore him even more. Such a great and genuine guy, I love that about him. Thank you for this.
And I’m planning on buying the books, which one do you recomend me to read first?
My opinion. If you like thinking about the stories and mythology, go with the Crossroads book, but if you want to explore and celebrate fandom, choose fan girls.
Then fangirls it is! Thanks 🙂
Great interview; Osric is such a great addition to the fandom, it was great getting to know him better!
Insightful interview. I wish Osric the best of luck with his film project. Can’t wait to see what unfolds in Season 9. He’s truly one of us!
OMG, I just adore Osric, completely. He’s the sweetest guy, I want to be his friend! He’s GOTTA be at DallasCon again next year!
Now I really cannot wait to meet Osric in a mere 5 days! I was truly touched by the fact he wants to respond to all his twitter posts. He favorited one of mine and I was giddy. To me, and others, that acknowledges that he read the tweet, which its good enough for me. I can’t wait to see where this talented young man goes throughout the rest of his career. Looking forward to meeting you ladies soon as well. Time to continue packing!
I love to read his live tweets during the episodes. He is so much fun to watch as Kevin, and I would like to see his character get more air time.
I really enjoy it when the cast, crew, writers live tweet the episodes!
Love reading these interviews and can’t wait to get your book! Osric is such an inspiration to the fandom, I really can’t put into words how much he means to me and so many others 🙂
While I understand why you brought up the Destiel topic with Osric – it was relevant as he did chime in on the drama on Twitter – I kinda hate that you did. And I kinda hate that he said anything in the first place.
It is giving credence & attention to a part of fandom, that in my opinion, represents the exact opposite of what the SPNFamily is about.
The VAST majority of SPN fans I know are super pleasant & just want to squee & cry & fangirl over and love on the show that has brought us all together.
However, there is a small group of Destiel fans that are loud, demanding, accusatory & just plain mean. Simply because you don’t want what they want or see that they see. Attacking & harassing those who don’t agree with you is not OK. Accusing writers/producers/other fans of being homophobic because they don’t support your fandom ship is not OK. Attempting to force your fandom ship on everybody is not OK.
And now everyone, Osric included, seems to want to pacify these fans. I don’t get it.
Fandom is an incredibly interesting & fun & diverse place (it is also very much my happy place – my escape from my every day life), but there are certain things that absolutely need to stay in fandom. Writers just don’t need to receiving tweets from fans about wanting to see Dean and Cas kiss. Fan service, especially re: shipping, rarely ends well because not all fans want the same thing.
I don’t watch SPN for ships. I watch for Sam & Dean & ghosts & demons & angels & crazy mythology & all the quirky, incredible side characters from Crowley to Kevin to Ellen to Bobby to Cas. I watch SPN because it is truly about family. It has SO much heart. And in my opinion, all this Destiel talk as of late, truly cheapens that.
I understand why you say what you do, but it is a part of the fandom. Do I ship? No. I see them as that part of the family who expresses opinions I don’t hold. Still, they are family. Let them ship. It is a big enough discussion that ignoring them would seem like censorship.
Destiel fans are just as much a part of the fandom as the rest, and they deserve to be heard and respected just like anyone else. Also, not all Destiel fans are obnoxious and loud, just like not all Wincest shippers are either. But they’re all out there. Thing is, the Destiel portion of the fandom grows larger all the time, and many see Dean/Castiel’s romantic potential as being as blatant and obvious as the light of day. And they’re not completely wrong…people are noticing their relationship. People who don’t even ship it. What the Destiel shippers are seeing is not unfounded, and the writers are just as much to blame for this as anyone.
I don’t see any problem with these people wanting Dean and Castiel to be in a romance, because a side romance would not take away from the main storyline of the show, just as in Harry Potter, Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings, the side romances took nothing away from the main plotline. Romances CAN coexist as B or C plots, and there’s no reason why Dean and Castiel’s couldn’t, simply because they’re two males instead of the classic male/female “will-they-won’t-they” subplot.
“Also, not all Destiel fans are obnoxious and loud, just like not all Wincest shippers are either. But they’re all out there.” Well said. I ship it, but it is only ONE of many reasons I love & watch the show. The story will unfold as it will, I think there’s room for all of us.
“The VAST majority of SPN fans I know are super pleasant & just want to squee & cry & fangirl over and love on the show that has brought us all together.”
Here’s the thing: Yes, most fans (I hope) would prefer to just squee over the things that they enjoy. However, I think we are all well-aware that there are, firstly, many legitimate criticisms that can be levied toward the show that people should be allowed to express. Likewise, all the various factions of fandom–Deangirls, Samgirls, Casgirls, Destiel shippers, Wincest shippers, bibro fans, etc–have their own set of pet peeves and groups of people willing to advocate loudly and obstinately on behalf of said issues. So it bothers me when I see people try to single out any one group as The Complainers or The Problem With Fandom. Frankly, if we avoided talking about any subject that might cause an over-the-top reaction from some segment of fans, we’d never be able to talk about anything to do with this show ever, aside from how pretty the cast is….no, I take it back. Even that would cause bitching.
By the same token, as you said, the fans who are acting out in aggressive manners are small in number. The factions they belong to, though, are much larger. There are many, many Destiel shippers, for instance, who do not all share the same views or desires or have the same reactions to the same scenes or even express themselves the same way. And those people are hurt by generalizations like these. Those people, for the most part, also want to squee along with everyone else, and it isn’t fair that people like yourself come along and tell them that they can’t. That a source of enjoyment for themselves should never be mentioned or discussed, even on social media venues, because it’s unseemly and certain people may get angry or uncomfortable.
And it becomes especially unfair when people extend that mindset to not only Destiel, as a slash ship, but to anything related to Cas and Dean. Case in point, Osric’s message to the fandom after 9×03 never actually mentioned Destiel, specifically. But look how it is being framed? Look how people got upset over him speaking out and “validating the crazies” by not mentioning something, merely acknowledging that people were upset over an episode and explaining why certain narrative choices may have been made and trying to get people to focus on the positives. So, basically, people got mad that he was being *nice*.
As to the homophobia issue, I feel the need to reiterate Osric’s and Lynn’s points on stereotyping: It all comes from somewhere. I consider myself fairly neutral on the topic of Destiel, as a ship, particularly where canonizing is concerned, but I have definitely seen certain arguments against D/C that are either blatantly homophobic (using anti-gay slurs and so forth) or carry suggestions of homophobia/biphobia. Perhaps the latter group of people are not actually homophobic in their day-to-day lives. Maybe they don’t hate gays but still ascribe to certain stereotypes. Maybe they have more rigid views of sexuality (both gay and straight people can be guilty of this). Or maybe they just misspoke and don’t realize how the things they have said can sound to a bunch of strangers who don’t know them from Adam. And maybe, just maybe, they have a hard time wrapping their minds around alternate viewpoints, themselves. In any case, people see these arguments and react accordingly, misunderstanding or no, and after seeing them repeatedly, some shippers have formed the unfortunate conclusion that all non-shippers are this way. It may not be a fair judgment, anymore than the other fandom stereotypes floating around (all Cas fans ship Destiel; all Cas fans and Destiel shippers hate Sam; all Wincest shippers hate Cas, etc), but it is not without basis. And the only way to combat that stereotype is by standing up and being a counterexample of it, not by shutting down the conversation entirely.
Besides, to be totally honest, we have gotten far past the point where “keeping it in the fandom” is even possible for Destiel. The fandom, at large, is aware of it. The cast, crew, and writers are aware of it, to an extent. Even entertainment journalists and bloggers are aware of it. It’s not the Dirty Little Secret of fandom anymore, and it hasn’t been for quite some time now. Once it’s out there, it’s out there. And it is far too late to be putting that jack back in the box.
What a wise and wonderful post! Thank you for your comment. I am a non- shipper of anything canon of SPN, but I do think fandom should be a place to explore and celebrate what the show means to you. Be that Destiel, Wincest, het, bi, or gen. Ostrich Chau strikes me as a delightful human being – and so do you, wow201102. Cheers.
Osric is the kind of actor (and person, really) that I aspire to be 🙂 Much love buddy <3
I really hope the writers expand Osric’s character, Kevin, to match Osric’s own layered personality. Love to see Kevin practicing fighting techniques and even stepping in to keep the peace when Dean and Sam clash over things. I loved that Chuck was a very unlikely prophet; that he was frail and fearful made his selection all that more ‘mysterious ways’ ya know? But it would be cool if the reason Kevin was tapped in was because he has hidden strengths that we get to see be developed. Proving that he has the bravery to be relied on by the Winchesters.
Love Osric, I think he is a great part of the show. I enjoy watching him !!!!!
Osric is the cutest thing ever. And such a nice guy. I’m glad that he’s become such an important part of this fandom, as has Kevin. I think I would cry if they killed Kevin off now, which I never would have expected when his character was first introduced. He does such a good job at getting us to relate to what Kevin is feeling. I love the dynamic he’s built with our Winchester boys, as Dean’s surrogate son and Sam’s adoptive little brother. I hope he sticks around for a long, long time.
I love all your interviews but this one is among my favourits in all those years.
Osric besides the fact that you are adorable I love your character and what you bring to our family and that you encourage people to do what they love.
Thanks to Supernatural i decided to publish a story I had to come up with in 1997 for my then 5 year old son. A couple of years ago I realized that it actually is a Supernatural story for little kids. You know a frightened person, a hero, monsters and a magic weapon and to top it all of: I had to come up with a name for the kid in the story fast so I picked my other son’s middle name which happens to be Dean. So now I am looking for someone willing to draw the pictures for a childrens book. That story helped my son to get rid of his monster dreams and a few kids afterwards to.
My dream would be to give that book to kids in hospitals and orphanages.
Really disliked the Kevin character at first for most of what you mentioned (stereotypes)…but I’ve grown to like him and am now happy he’s hanging around the bunker all the time! (So much so that I get irritated when they give a lame excuse as to why he doesn’t appear in the bunker in some episodes.) Great interview. When you hear that actors can be self-centered douchebags, well, it appears NONE of those stereotypical actors work on my favorite show. I knew I loved SPN! They should definitely use those stage fighting skills that Osric has on SPN eventually; it would be rather mind blowing if Kevin’s character turned into a really skilled hunter (hand to hand combat, etc.), considering where he started.
Lastly, I love that Osric paid for lunch!!! REALLY?!?!?! How NOT entitled is he???? That’s just very classy of him.
This was a great interview! And I just love Osric’s positive view on shipping and shippers…he’s right, anything can happen, and the shows changes all the time. Way to be a great guy, Os!
I’m really, really, REALLY in love for him. He speaks about the show with such a huge passion! I read the whole interview picturing his way to talk and talking like him while I read it. I couldn’t stop to smile when he talked about the fandom and how he handled with the whole wank that happened weeks ago. He’s such a cute pie and he’s in my top 5 of extraordinary people that I want to meet someday <3
Thank you! Girls for your interview Osric has become one my favorite of the boys. You ask why? Its because he cares wants the best for the fandom seeing his posts to us are how most of us feel don’t know how to put it in to words. Just keep up your get work Osric we love you. Kevin is great your work is wonderful. I like the inside that is you Osric the person. Osric would you please tell your parents they did a great job.Can’t wait to see new project. Hopefully this isn’t to mushy for you all.
Osric and Kevin are awesome and their addition is one of the very (few and very)best things to happen on Show post-s5. I’m excited for Osric’s future ‘cos I think he’s got a great one ahead of him – he’s quickly become one of those actors that I know I’m gonna be keeping an eye on for the rest of our lives. I hope the SPN writers’ room do well by him (and Kevin!).
It really saddened me though to read the portion about the kick-ass Princess Bubblegum cosplay. Particularly Jared’s jaw-dropping and OMG-ness, and Osric ending up feeling in any measure worried about coworkers’ reactions. It’s a costume, for gods’ sake! You’d think actors and other entertainment professionals wouldn’t bat an eye about someone wearing one of those, non? Just makes me shake my head a bit.
Rock on with your good self, Os!
Such a wonderful interview. So glad you shared! Thank you thank you thank you!
I love Osric for so many reasons and I completely adore his enthusiasm and his love for the show and the fandom.
I will admit that I am a fan of Dean & Castiel’s relationship, and also a fan of that relationship becoming romantically canon. I was hurting after the 9×03 episode. I was hurting a lot. And I felt like nobody in the world cared that I was upset and I felt very much like a comment up this thread made me feel too-that I wasn’t a part of the SPNFamily and that my opinion didn’t matter and that I didn’t matter. Osric’s response to all of that was one of the only times during all of that stuff that I felt like someone cared about me, cared that I was upset, and made me feel like I mattered even as I felt like most of the fandom could have been happy if I’d have dropped dead because I care about “Destiel” and want it to be canon and was upset. Osric’s empathy and care meant more to me than he’ll ever truly realize and he’ll always be my hero for how he reached out that night even when he was advised not to get involved, and how he has continued to support all fans of the show.
Reblogged this on Dear Supernatural… and commented:
Osric is pretty awesome!
I adore Osric. You girls rock!