Behind the Scenes of The Last Season of Supernatural with Director Richard Speight, Jr.

Richard Speight, Jr. has a birthday coming up, and that has me thinking about a) how long I’ve known him and b) the incredible impact he has had on Supernatural and on the SPNFamily. In our very first conversation, close to 12 years ago, I was impressed with how smart and thoughtful he was. It wasn’t long before he talked about wanting to direct in addition to acting, and I was not a bit surprised when he added that to his repertoire – and kicked ass at it. He’s come a long way from 2014, when producer Jim Michaels posted a photo of Richard shadowing director Tom Wright on the set of Supernatural, going on to direct eleven episodes and to shape the show in significant ways.

I also knew early on that Richard was an excellent writer, because he wrote a chapter for one of my first books, Fan Phenomena Supernatural. When it came time to write my last book on the show that captured my heart as it went into its very last season, I knew I wanted Richard’s voice in that book too. His chapter in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done is, fittingly enough, a conversation between me and him. Like countless other conversations we’ve had over the past twelve years, in hotel restaurants or convention green rooms or in a taxi so he could show me where he’d filmed in San Francisco, his chapter is brimming with insights and a little bit of his trademark humor. In There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done, Richard also gets serious about this little show that has changed so many lives. The way he describes Supernatural’s legacy, and what makes it so special, makes me tear up a little every time I read it. He gets it. From Richard’s chapter in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done:

The “Supernatural” take on family ain’t the Lifetime version. It’s dark, it’s rough, it’s painful, it’s broken. It may not be a perfect family, but it’s our family. It may not be a perfect world, but it’s our world. And I think the way Sam and Dean and Castiel choose to navigate that world and how they deal with each other along the way is inspirational to a lot of people and will continue to be an inspiration for a very long time.

Richard understands why the SPNFamily is so important, and why the show and its iconic characters will always be with us, which is what that book is all about. He also gets the show itself. That’s why I couldn’t wait to talk to him about the episodes of the show he directed for Season 15, three of which have already aired. In part 2 of my conversation with Richard, he takes us behind the scenes of those three episodes with so many fascinating insights. And maybe makes me a little emotional again as he talks about the upcoming end of this incredible show.

Part 1 of my epic interview with Richard shared insights into his new film Driven, his hilarious podcast with Rob Benedict, and some behind the scenes stories of directing his first episode of Season 15, Proverbs 17:3. I had a few more questions about that episode, because so much about it was SO good, so we pick up there…

L: Switching gears again, another scene I really liked in that episode was with the actress who played Lilith, who was so good – things very quickly go from all serious and horrifying to this poor traumatized girl falling on some antlers and being impaled, to her just getting up and brushing herself off! How challenging was that kind of split second progression?

R: Let me tell you, first off, Steve Yockey wrote a great script. So clever, the miscues were great. It was like my third or fourth Steve Yockey script, so we work together well. We connect on the material, he likes what I do, I like what he does. As we go through and adjust, we’re always on the same page. But I really really think, to pull that moment off, I give massive credit to Anna Grace Barlow. Finding her was finding Nate Torrence for Sully. I cast her off tape, I never met her. She turned in an audition that she shot in the garage during a short film she was doing that was so fantastic. And she came up and just knocked the leather off the walls. She was so good at every scene, from day one. Day one, her first day of shooting, she was confronting Sam and Dean in a parking lot as Lilith and taking the gun. She was already doing heavy hitting stuff right out of the gate. I thought she was incredibly talented. And she got the character. We discussed the character, she got the beats, and she played all that drama for real. Because you don’t get the joke, you don’t enjoy that moment, if you didn’t buy into everything that has happened before that.

L: Yes, and you really did.

R: You believed that she was in distress, you believed that she was a victim in this scenario, that she was in peril and incapable of doing anything to defend herself. And she’s completely distraught by what she’s witnessed and probably damaged for life, and then she stumbles and dies on those antlers and it’s a WTF moment of massive proportion.

L: Massive! She did a great job there and Jared and Jensen did too, with Sam and Dean’s WTF just happened expressions.

R: They did, they played it like the audience should have been too. But Anna Grace did such a good job and when she makes that turn, she’s Lilith the rest of the time. We had such fun crafting that character. To really go into this episode, I started talking to Jerry Wanek about the episode two weeks before we went up there because he read it and he called me and said “Wes Anderson”.

L: Ohhhhh

R: And I said, you had me at Wes. Because he’s like, I’m trying to figure it out, tonally I don’t want you to hang your hat on the set here but if you’re into it, I’ll lean into it and let’s create that vibe of symmetrical sets and straight on angles. And I said, oh absolutely. Then Carrie at the costume center got on board and that’s why Anna Grace Barlow looks like she’s from Moonrise Kingdom.

L: Yesssss

R:  If you go back to the campsite scene, we used plaids and all these things ala that heightened style. I loved that episode so much, and every set was a meal. It was all stylized. The sheriff’s office, very stylized. We used angles that reflected that kind of style – I don’t wanna say an homage because every shot is an homage because you picked it up from somebody at some point – but nonetheless it was a consistent style thing through the whole episode and it was so fun to do. Anna Grace in her little beret and kerchief being super evil was just so phenomenal.

L: That really added to the character being memorable and full of personality.

R: Everything she does previous to that scene – when she did that hospital scene and expressed her fear to Dean and in the hotel room telling him she doesn’t know what she’ll do now because her friends are all dead? That scene rips your heart out.

L: Yes, you have no idea at the time.

R:  She was shaggin’ flies with every take. Everything was a great take by her, so she gave so many options and choices. And when she went dark, she went dark so well. She was a fantastic villainess. In many ways, I wish it was Season 5 instead of Season 15, because I think we would have seen her many more times.

L: My favorite moment was when she asks them to give her the gun, and Dean says, “the Equalizer?” and she just deadpans “I’m not gonna call it that.” I laughed out loud.

R: She was great. Literally fantastic. And from Alabama, which makes her one of my people.

L: Another point in her favor.

R: With me at least.

L: Okay, the next one you directed was ‘Our Father Who Aren’t in Heaven’ – you got to direct so many friends in that! Rob, Shoshannah, Ruth, Jake Abel. Was that your first time directing Rob on SPN?

R: Yes, the casino scene was the first time I directed Rob, though it wasn’t a huge scene. Rob and I have a shorthand, we already know each other, and those roles are not weird for us. I think he’s a great actor. I think he trusts me as a director so we just snap into that and dive in. It was a big wide tracking shot with Steadicam and a cool reveal.

L: And you got to direct another friend, Shoshannah Stern, in both a fight scene and in some humorous scenes. I think she’s really talented at that dry humor – there’s a little moment when Eileen asks if Sam is tailing her, and he asks if he’s being overprotective, and she quips back, “Little bit” and delivers it perfectly. What was that like as a director working with someone you know well but haven’t directed before, especially with those nuanced scenes?

R: I didn’t approach directing Shoshannah any differently than directing anyone else that I’ve ever worked with. A), she and I know each other, we did Jericho together, so I’ve known her for years. B), a performer is a performer and an actress is an actress. I’m gonna walk into a situation and everyone has their backstory, whatever their journey has been to this point that we’re on set. I don’t know where they came from, I don’t know their childhood, I don’t know anything about them, I just know this is the moment we’re going to try to craft this scene. They bring to that character everything that is them – that’s what makes actors interesting, regardless of how they are trying to hone that into being this one person at this moment, it’s always infused with everything that has come before that. So however Shoshannah has crafted herself as a performer, which she has done incredibly well for decades, she brings that to her portrayal of that character and all I have to do is talk to her about character moments that are going to happen before or after. Or say, here’s an option, I see you’re looking at it this way, what if it played out this way? And Shoshannah does her thing, man. She puts her stamp on it like she does all the time. I sat and watched her shoot Jericho scenes fifteen years ago, so I know she’s great. I wasn’t worried about it. The fact that Shoshannah is deaf is immaterial to how I communicate with her, know what I mean?

L: I do.

R: I do what I do, she does what she does. If she needs me to adapt something for her – if she goes, I couldn’t do this like it’s scripted x y or z, then absolutely. We adapt that. But the same could be said of someone saying Rich, put this on Jared’s head, and it’s like, with a bucket ladder? Because I can’t reach his head!

L: (laughing and picturing it)

R: So we all come in with our own parameters of this is what we are and this is what we do and we adjust to make that feasible for various differences. I think they rely on her to do that. They write for her to the best of their ability but she also comes in and makes it real. So we make adjustments accordingly so she feels like it’s honest and it’s real and it makes sense for her character. It’s a character. Just because she and the character have the same hearing impairment – actually they don’t, because she always told me that “my character hears better than I do”. She has figured out by the way they write the character that Eileen has different skills even in that area than she does, and she applies that to her portrayal and I think that’s awesome.

L: Yes, she mentioned that to me too in the past. I’m really glad she got to infuse a little comedy in there with Eileen because she’s gifted at it.

R: I don’t get to take credit for any of that, that was the choices she made in the reading. The moment that you’re referring to, that’s how it fell off the truck, and it worked for me. If I deserve credit for anything, it’s for getting out of the way. There’s other things in which I think I was helpful, but no different than how I would for any other performer or character.

L: Another striking scene was the triumphant return of Rowena as the Queen of Hell. It was such a wonderful reveal, a true shocking moment. I love the character and I love Ruth, so I was so happy with it – did you really want it to be shocking like it was?

R: I worked on the reveal, yes. Her style, that’s wardrobe. Her hair, that’s Trish. They kinda have  decided what that should be visually, with Ruth’s input, because they wanted it to have the impact you’re discussing. I had a visual and a whole tone that I wanted that scene to take. So I didn’t take liberties but I talked to Brad and Eugenie (the writers of the episode) about things I wanted to do and they were cool with it. For example, that fight that happens before you realize she’s the Queen of Hell. In the script it says the boys are attacked by armed male demons. There’s a fight, one of the demons gets killed and the boys get interrupted by the voice that turns out to be Rowena. And I pitched — and was able to successfully lobby for — I want it to be all females and I want them to be unarmed because what I wanted was to reverse the hell order. So she comes down the stairs surrounded by beefy men.

L: (laughing) Oh yes

R: Ala Marilyn Monroe, and all of her heavy lifters are women.

Hello, boys

L: I loved that

R: And all of the women are beating the living shit out of the boys!

L: Yes, that great line of Dean’s – Is anyone winning?

R: Yeah, are any of us winning? And that one female stunt performer is just flopping Misha over and over like a ragdoll. It made me laugh so hard. Doug is the name of Misha’s stunt double and I said wow, you were having your hat handed to you, man!  Bam bam bam bam!

L: (laughing)

R: It was a super fun sequence to shoot. It was so fun to watch, I wish we had feature film time or Netflix wiggle room to put more of that in there, because it was just great to watch that sequence play out. And that sets the tone for the kind of Hell that Rowena would establish.

L: It did – your instincts are so right.

R: Unarmed females who beat the tar out of the boys and only stop when Ruth comes down and says stop.  And then she’s got a bunch of dudes who are her lackeys and the one guy who comes in to say he can’t find Michael, he’s enormous – and he’s petrified. And there’s something about that dichotomy of the gender images.

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L: Yes and it all added to the impact of the reveal.

R: Mm hmm

L: I’m embarrassed to say also that I had no idea Jake Abel was that good. Not that I thought he wasn’t, I just don’t think he got to show of his skills on this show before. Adam talking to Michael – Jake talking to Jake – was so good, it was so easy to distinguish who was who, they were so delineated. How hard was that to direct?

R: Jake had done his homework. I know Jake from the convention circuit, but I’d never acted with him or directed him. I knew he was a good guy. We talked on the phone before he came to do the gig and he just came totally prepared. We hired an actor to act off of him for those scenes, but he came with clear choices made, so at that point, I’m just doing finish carpentry, like how about this, how about that, let’s try this or tweak that. But he came in with very specific characters drawn up and he had the ability to do that transition moment clearly mid-line, from Michael, to change the physicality and the body shape and be Adam. He did a great job of that and man, you know, again, I think that knowing each other – he knew I had his back. We did some challenging stuff, we did a couple of shots that were two of him in one shot, which is a very mechanical tricky piece of filmmaking, but I didn’t do a ton of that. I never wanted the episode to be about look how cool it is that we can do this crazy thing with the camera to show both these dudes. I didn’t do that when I played two characters either — maybe once or twice. Maybe two complicated shots to show wow, okay, this is cool – but then you just let the actors act. And he did such a good job with the acting, it’s a very effective way of telling the story which is to let him do his job and me to come up with an interesting way to shoot it.

L: Well, you did. And he was great, he really went there. In that fight scene between Michael and Castiel, Jake was so red in the face I thought his head was going to explode for real!

R: I’ll tell you something, we had no time to shoot that scene. That day was massive, everything that happened in that room, it was huge. I was solidifying my Speighteen Takes nickname by maybe biting off more than I could chew shot-wise…

L: (laughing)

R: And we got down to that sequence and had next to no time to do that scene. I think we got two takes per big sequence in that fight with Misha and Jake and it turned out great.

L: Wow, only two takes?

R: It didn’t need any more. Sometimes you leave going, I wish I had more time, and other times you leave going, well shit, I didn’t need any more time. Phew! It’s kinda like grabbing your hat before the rock wall closes, like you’re Indiana Jones and you just barely get it and then you’re like huh, cool.

L: It was. Okay, last thing for this episode — though I could honestly ask you a million more questions — you got to direct a very emotional scene with Misha at the chess board in the bunker which I thought came out really nice.

R: Great. One of my favorites –  no one as far as I know has ever shot that chess board.

L: No, I don’t think so. I was personally excited to see it because on one of our set visits, we sat down at the chess board for a while when Robbie Thompson was giving us a tour of the bunker. So I saw it and went ah, the chess board!

R: One of the camera guys, Peter Hunter, he and I would go up there and play chess every now and then, though I don’t think we ever finished a game. But it’s a cool little nook of the set that’s never really utilized. So I got really excited because I had this sequence with Misha by himself so I could do it anywhere, and I figured out how to do it with that cool camera move that shows the scope of the height and where it was in the landscape of the room and then we shot through the bars. I was really happy with that scene cinematically.

L: It was striking.

R: It was a scene that I started talking about way before we got there. It required bringing the dolly up there with a wench so we could shoot over on the ledge and then spin back around and then turn right side up for the opening shot. So it was not easy from a technical standpoint and required many conversations before my shoot even started. So when we got to that sequence… (laughing)  That day we were doing something else and Jensen goes hey man, long day, you might need to trim back that sequence, and I said I will cut you out of this episode before I’ll cut that sequence! I’ve been working on this for two weeks. And we got it done, and it was a great sequence.

L: (laughing) It was. And I’m glad you didn’t have to cut Jensen out. And it was cinematically beautiful and that added to the emotionality of it.

R: Robin, B Camera and Brad, A Camera — because we all talked about it — I think everyone was cool with it because we never shoot there. I think every now and then, it can become interesting and you’re like OH!

L: You have good ideas. That’s why you’re a director. Okay, the last scene in this episode I wanted to talk about was when Cas has Michael in the ring of holy fire and then Sam and Dean come walking through that curtain of plastic sheeting and it is SO dramatic. I love that so much – it’s been giffed a million times by the fandom because it’s so cool. Was that you setting that up?

R: This was an example of teamwork. Yes it’s me in that, that’s my shot set up, that’s my sequence, that’s where I had the guys come in. Everything about it is how we laid it all out. And I thought it would be cool to see the guys coming through that plastic, but never in my wildest dreams did I think it would look as cool as it did — and that’s Serge (Ladouceur, the show’s brilliant directory of photography). He takes a conversation about wouldn’t that be cool to have them come through like Western guys coming into a saloon, it’ll be all badass, and then you see the rehearsal and go holy mary mother of pete that’s incredible!

L: It was!!

R: I was thinking, this is an iconic image of these two dudes.

L: Exactly. That’s why it’s been giffed so many times.

R: And then we kept that theme going and I shot going up the dudes where they come in and drop the handcuffs, and it was just really really cool. So that’s a perfect example of me having an idea – the Misha sequence is me having an idea and then Brad and Robin and Serge went oh cool and we all do it and it’s as cool as I imagined. This is an example of me having an idea, talking to everyone about it, and the limitations of my knowledge on how to light that kind of thing put me at a wall and then Serge goes above and beyond and delivers something far cooler than I had envisioned.

L: I feel like that’s so important, the collaborative nature of the show is why it’s been on the air for fifteen years.

[Richard also put in an homage to his wife, Jaci, in case you didn’t catch it!]

R: Serge said something to me on my last day of working with him, when I was leaving. He’s worked with a lot of directors. And I was hugging him because nobody has been as good to me and as kind to me as Serge, as I discovered this job of directing. And he said to me, ‘I enjoy working with you because you have no ego’.

L: Oh, wow

R: Meaning if Serge has a better idea, then that’s the idea we go with. If Brad has a better idea, that’s the idea we go with. To me, that’s what it’s all about. It’s a team sport. If I do all my homework and bring ideas to the table and one of my ideas triggers a better idea, then that is what we’ll go with, you know?

L: Mm hmm.

R: I think that’s a high compliment from Serge, because I’m sure he runs into a lot of great people who can be stubborn. Knowing what you want and insisting on what you want is great, unless you’re insisting on something lesser because you are afraid that acquiescing to a better suggestion shows weakness.

L: Yes, so true. Collaboration helps make the show better because the best idea wins, not the biggest ego in the room. That was nice of him to say that, he didn’t have to.

R: Very sweet, it meant a lot.

L: Oh no, that’s gonna make me emotional, thinking about you hugging Serge goodbye. He wrote a chapter for our second book and I guess I’ll never get to hug him goodbye… Okay, let me pull myself together. I have a few questions about the third episode you directed this season, Galaxy Brain. I really liked that opening scene with Rob in the Radio Shed, with Louden Swain playing – awesome! And that guy who played the clerk was so good too. “Sir, this is a Radio Shed…” (laughing)

R: Good, I’m glad you liked it. I did my best to cast a shaggy looking dude so I could give him a haircut between sequences. So we shot Rob’s stuff first with him shaggy and with whiskers so we could show the passage of time. The young lady walking around shopping did a great job too, that’s a tough gig. I was really happy with that sequence.

L: I’m so glad you got to direct Rob in some meaty scenes.

R: It was a real scene, meaning when Rob came in there to do the B monologue and get angsty – we really worked on that. Rob had things prepared and I threw some ideas at him and the scene got better and the camera moves got better. It’s one of those things that really built well and I loved that last shot in the sequence of Rob walking right to the camera, walking walking walking and landing in an incredibly tight shot – and then you’ve got the title card. It was a great performance, but that’s not an easy shot to focus on if you’re the focus puller, if you’re Jose or Clayton, that’s a bitch, man. Because you’re having Rob go from 15 feet away to 8 inches away. Once he turns and starts walking, we stay on him the whole time, and land on that super tight shot and it’s just a – again, another example of a the professionalism of that crew and the teamwork.

L: The theme of this interview – and the show, I think.  You also got to direct Lisa Berry, and another shocking moment that the shock value really came through was when Death appeared and just hacked down that reaper lady mid sentence. I gasped! Lisa is so sweet in real life but her Billie is so commanding, almost mesmerizing. Is that a collaboration with you or does she just have Death down?

R: That’s a legit question because she plays that character so often and that character is who that character is. I threw a thing or two at her, I had a couple notes for her that were minor. She came in with a plan and an idea of what she wanted to do and it was very clear, and then I had a couple things to help her try variations on a theme. But for the most part, especially that sequence which is one long scene, she had a really solid game plan that worked with my shot plan and we synched up on that. Once I had put her to the paces of how I felt the movement should be, it worked barring a few minor tweaks. It was a set ‘em up and knock ‘em down kind of sequence.

L: And again, shocking. Eric Kripke was recently talking, in his writer chat with Sera Gamble, about how you set up a scene the same for a surprise whether it’s a fear shock or a comedic surprise, and I thought of that with several of the scenes we’ve talked about today.

R: I enjoy that challenge because I like that challenge as a performer. It’s fun to be in that scene where you get to do the switch. It’s fun to become Gabriel, or to have Lilith be a camping girl scout and then suddenly an evil demon. It’s fun to have one lady calmly talking and then suddenly BOOM, Billie has sliced her. So I enjoy working on those as a performer as much as a director.

L: Some of that episode took place in “the Bad Place”, which looked really cool but was basically dark and windy and looked like a truly awful place. Was that a challenge?

R: It looked awesome but it was a pain in the keister!

L: That’s what I thought (laughing)

R: The wind was blowing everybody all the time, crap blowing in your face. (laughing) I think at some point you’d look over at Chris and the sound team and they’d just be throwin’ their hands in the air going yeah, nah.

L: (laughing)

R: But you kinda lean into the idea that they’re gonna have to re-record the sound later, you need the wind blowing, the stuff flying around, it was important to the story.

L: It looked great but that was what I thought – not fun.

R: I thought it turned out visually stunning though.

L: It did! Okay, last question. You have a beautiful chapter in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done that talks about why Supernatural has been so special. It has really resonated with people, and I’ve heard from a lot of fans about how inspiring they find your words in that chapter. We’re not a perfect family, but this is our family, which fits right into the theme of the show and the SPNFamily.  I think we’re all feeling very emotional now that they are back up in Vancouver to shoot the last two episodes. What was it like directing your last episode and saying goodbye?

R: Interesting because I took the task very seriously, I felt very privileged to be doing one of the last three episodes (episode 18). It was a Bob Berens script – not that I don’t take them all very seriously, but there’s a certain amount of weight that sits on that. It was one of those things where you’re walking down the hall and you stop for a second and look at the door, and you think, oh, I won’t see that door again. You know?

L: Yeah, I really do.

R: It’s like the last day of school when you’re a senior, you’ve been down that hall a million times and you pause for a second and go, huh. Or you’re at the set going past some guys doing some painting and you stop and say hey guys, thank you, it’s been an amazing run, thank you for letting me come and play. You know, guys you maybe never really hung out with but you want to acknowledge them. Everyone is going to have a different experience – I can’t imagine what Jared, Jensen and Misha’s experience will be, or Bob Singer, guys who have been there such a long time, or Jerry. It’s crazy.

L: It is. I can’t imagine.

R: But, for me, it was incredibly intense. But then you ask, what was it like to say goodbye? That part never happened, because I never intended to say goodbye then, and then lockdown happened. So I never got to go back.

L: Oh wow, that’s so hard. We all need our goodbye rituals, which is one of the hardest things about this pandemic.

R: I left – I shot my last day of shooting, and at the time, Arrow was shut down, other shows were shutting down, and every time Craig Matheson would come down the stairs we thought, oh crap, we’re getting shut down. But we didn’t get shut down, we did the episode, and then I flew out the next day  — and all of Vancouver shut down on the heels of my departure.


R: And that was it. Now they’re going back to start again, but the town stopped and the WB universe of show stopped. So I never went around to everyone and said goodbye. I never said goodbye to the editing department, I had to do all my editing remotely, so I never went back to the production office. That was it, I left that day and that was all she wrote for my experience on the show.

L: (is emotional)

R: In a weird way, it was unceremonious in a jarring way. No wrap party, no gathering, no celebration. Because it can’t be. It’s nobody’s fault obviously, a pandemic…

L: True. But so weird not to have that after 15 years. Humans rely on our rituals and ceremonies to help us through grieving.

R: And I’ve kinda had to…  I have moments when I wrap my head around it. The fact that they’re restarting has sort of triggered in me some feelings that I had put aside because, like most people on the planet, I went right from lockdown to other duties. I was immediately, the day after I flew home, overseeing my kids being home from school. So it wasn’t like there was any let’s have a cigar and really muse about it and all sit around and contemplate, that’s not what happened.

L: I think we all went right into, do what you have to do.

R: Right, exactly. So with that in mind, the end – I don’t know – I’m not sure, part of that feels like I was ripped off because I want to go back. It’s like, I didn’t take a picture of that thing, I didn’t say anything to that person, and so in a way I feel like I got shortchanged. But the other part of me feels like well, that’s what happens when a show gets cancelled unceremoniously between seasons. My feeling is actually more normal (for television) than what Supernatural is actually getting, a much more ceremonious exit.

L: That’s true, we’re lucky in that.

R: And look, my gift was I got to do episode 18. My gift was I got to be part of the exit strategy of a 15 year phenomenon. And so I’ve felt very very blessed to have been as involved with this show as I have been. Especially this final season, to direct a fifth of the show’s final season is substantial. Appreciated. I just loved every second of it and I tried to capitalize on every second of it. There were times when I was tired but I said, I’m gonna go meet Jerry for a beer, and I’m glad I did those things. This was the time to push those things and have those moments because it was wrapping up. And then the rope got pulled and the shoot got deployed way sooner than we thought, so I didn’t get as much drift as I thought I would, but nevertheless I got some impactful moments both personally and professionally this season.

L: For sure.

R:  I feel like I am as affected by my experience as my experience affected the show. I worked hard to do my best and serve up four solid episodes this season and I’m walking away with more than I delivered. It was an impactful time for me. I’m sorry I won’t be able to hoist a cocktail in honor of the show and in honor of the cast and crew that’s been so important to me. It’s less important to me that I’d do that with the guys I already know and who I’ll see again — that’s a loss but a loss I can cover. It’s the people whose social media profile I don’t know and whose emails I don’t have, the people I respect and admire and have worked alongside and have benefitted from their expertise but have never gone over and shaken their hands and said thank you. You save those moments for the wrap party and then the wrap party goes away and you don’t get those moments.

L: (a little choked up) Yeah

R: That to me is my own personal greatest loss in the wrap up of the show.

L: I hear you. I’m so glad you got to be such a big part of the last season. Eloquently put, what you took from it and what you wish you could have that you can’t right now.

R: No I can’t, but my loss is so minor in the scheme of things right now (laughing). It’s a self serving loss, because somewhere in there we all had a great time and we all had a great experience. And they’re going to go up there and wrap it up beautifully and everyone is gonna get their due pat on the back and salute from the brass and that will all happen and it will be great.  I’m thrilled to have been a part of it and sorry I couldn’t be there to see the ship pull into port, but I’m there emotionally and I was involved substantially and that was a tremendous honor.

L: I look forward to one day when we can all come together again to celebrate this show that has been so important to all of us.

R: Yeah, it will feel really nice and it will be a welcome change. Ironically, the conventions were so normal, they were so part of the every day and now they’re this (laughing) when the hell and will we ever?

L: It will be healing just to be in the same space again, to celebrate together and to grieve the loss together. I look forward to it.

R: Absolutely.

I look forward to seeing the fourth and final episode of Supernatural directed by Richard too (episode 18) which will air in November – and to asking him more questions about it! In the meantime, you can read Richard’s emotional and moving chapter in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done.  We hope the heartfelt messages in the book will help us all get through the show ending – just reading the chapters about what the show has meant to its actors and its fans is healing. The words of Richard, Jared, Jensen, Misha and many others leave us with a lot of hope in their chapters about the legacy this incredible show leaves behind – and reminds us that SPNFamily really is forever.

Last day!

— Lynn

You can read Richard’s and all the actors’

chapters in There’ll Be Peace When You

Are Done, links at the home page or at




2 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes of The Last Season of Supernatural with Director Richard Speight, Jr.

  • The ending of Supernatural leaves me with a heavy heart. Traveling with these two young men on their many escapades has left an indelible impact on me from Season One to Season 15. The consolation is that I will have the opportunity to visit all the seasons via Netflix. Well done to every one who has been involved in presenting one of the best series.

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