The Alpha Vamp Says Goodbye to Supernatural – A Chat With Rick Worthy

It’s the second to last day that Supernatural is airing, and I woke up extra emotional and thinking, for the millionth time, about how special this show is and how much I love it (and how much I’m gonna miss it!)  So I’m going to continue celebrating my favorite show of all time today with more exclusive interviews with its cast and directors, and more original articles (if I can see clearly enough to actually finish them). I want to smile today too, remembering how much Supernatural has meant to all of us – the actors and the fans.

One of the things that makes Supernatural so unique is that even its one episode or briefly recurring characters are sometimes so memorable. That was the case with the Alpha Vamp, brought to life by the very talented Rick Worthy. I loved his character on Supernatural and I also loved him as Dean Fogg on The Magicians, so I was elated when Rick agreed to write a chapter for There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done: Actors and Fans Celebrate the Legacy of Supernatural. We wanted that book to come from all kinds of diverse perspectives and to include all sorts of characters – even scary but charismatic vampires!

As the show comes to an end, I caught up with Rick again to ask him a few questions about how he’s feeling about Supernatural and being part of the SPN Family now as he looks back.

Lynn: How are you feeling about Supernatural now that it’s coming to the end of its run?

Rick: I’m happy that they have decided to end it, and by they I mean Jared and Jensen, because I think that they were ready to say goodbye to Supernatural. I think they could’ve ended the series earlier or they could’ve chosen to keep it going to Season 20 if they wanted to — I really think it was up to them. They both have done an amazing job with handling being TV stars on an enormously successful American TV show and they are, I think, exemplary actors in terms of their handling being on a hit show with such a massive global fandom in the millions. I admire them so much. I also admire the writers and producers and directors – everyone who was involved with making the show happen. The teamsters, the craft services team, everyone who works on the show to make the show a day to day event.

Lynn: It really is a team effort.

Rick: I admire them all and from what I understand, they have pretty much kept the same people in place over a number of years. That’s always a good sign that people like the show that they’re working on, when they come back the following year. I’ve heard that about Supernatural and I think that’s indicative of the tone that Jared and Jensen set for the show. I think it sort of trickles down, you know? And that’s a wonderful thing.

Lynn: It is, and they’re proud of that. They talk about that in their chapters in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done, in fact.

Rick: It is sad for me personally because the show meant so much to me. It came at the right time in my career – it jump started my career in enormous ways and I’m incredibly grateful to God for that. But all good things come to an end, and I think if they’ve decided to end it, that’s their choice and I wish them well on their next adventures, whatever that may be, the next chapters in their lives.

Lynn: Looking back, do you have a favorite behind the scenes moment?

Rick: I remember in the episode ‘There will be Blood’, when Dean tries to attack the Alpha Vamp and they basically come to his house. And there is this big sorta long Citizen Kane table where the Alpha Vamp presides and it was just awesome. It was a beautiful set design, just perfect in every way. I couldn’t have asked for anything more, it was incredible.

Rick: And then Jensen – Dean, sorry – he attacks and comes after me and then I have to hurl him, just toss him over the table like he’s just paper! And we did the whole thing and it was just one of those really cool stunt scenes and I love to do those. It was a really cool stunt set up and I remember Jared got very excited and he came up to me and said dude, like you should totally record this! (laughing) On your iPhone. So I gave him my iPhone and he said, I’ll record it for you.

Lynn: That’s really the kind of actors they are.

Rick: So we did. When the director, Guy Bee, said ‘Action’, we do the stunt and then I just toss Dean over the table, although I believe that part was his stunt double if I remember correctly. And I think in about two takes, we had it, and it was pretty cool. And then I remember looking back at Jared and he gave me the thumbs up like, yeah that was really really cool! It was his enthusiasm about the shot that was so fun to me.  I love working with actors who enjoy what they’re doing and have a respect for the process. How many times has he done this kind of shot? Dozens and dozens and dozens of times, maybe hundreds since the pilot, you know? So I really loved that and I haven’t forgotten that.

Lynn: I love that story so much. It really does show how they never lost their enthusiasm for the show or the characters, never started dialing it in, as they say. Is there a favorite moment with fans that stands out as you look back?

Rick: Wow, so many. I always think about the cons. Last year I gate crashed, totally gate crashed, the Supernatural con in Rome. I decided to make it a vacation. I didn’t just go to Rome, I went to Ireland and London and Paris and then to see a friend in Spain. When you’re in Europe, everything is just a 2 or 3 hour flight, it’s not that hard, and really cheap to fly. So I popped in to the Rome con even though I wasn’t officially invited. I of course had friends there and we hung out and just had such a wonderful time. And just hanging out with my friends , my American friends here in the states and then seeing them in Rome and hanging out with them there, they’re like a second family with me. And us hanging out together in Italy was just wonderful. I won’t mention names because I try to give people their privacy but I had such a wonderful time and it’s memories that you’ll never forget. We had a lovely time and sadly it was a short trip for me because I had to get back to London for a few days and then back to Vancouver to go back to work. But it was amazing and I had a lovely time.

Lynn: Thank you so much, Rick. I’m so happy to have your beautiful chapter in the book. I hope we get to say hi in person again soon!

— Lynn

You can read Rick’s and the other actors’

chapters in There’ll Be Peace When You Are

Done and in Family Don’t End With Blood,

Links at the banner above or at

Peacewhenyouaredone.com

 

 

Finding Your Courage – Behind The Scenes of Supernatural with Lauren Tom

Next up in our celebration of Supernatural’s last week on the air, catching up with Mrs. Tran herself, Lauren Tom!

Supernatural has brought some wonderful people into my life, and I’m so grateful. As the show comes to an end, I caught up with some of my favorite actors from the show, many of whom wrote chapters in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done: Actors and Fans Celebrate the Legacy of Supernatural. One of those people is Lauren Tom, who wrote a beautiful chapter about playing Linda Tran on Supernatural and how her own cultural background has impacted both her personal and professional journeys. Lauren has been super busy as one of the stars of Ghosts of Tsushima, on Season 4 of Goliath, and has also been doing some political advocacy and some important work with charities like Homeboy Industries. So I’m grateful she took some time out of her busy schedule to chat!

In Ghosts of Tsushima

We did some personal catching up first — where our kids are, the joys of family facetime, how the pandemic is affecting us and our families, the importance of self care and how challenging that can be. We also discovered a shared affinity for coffee ice cream. Which, we both agreed, counts for self care.

Lauren had recently watched The Social Dilemma (which I’m trying to find time for – but I’ll have my coffee ice cream ready. Reality is the scariest kind of scary!)

Then we talked a little Supernatural (note to self: stock up on even more coffee ice cream for this week’s series finale…)

Lynn: As the show is actually winding down, how do you look back on it and what it’s meant to you?

Lauren: I really appreciate the show on so many levels. The humor and the acting is really good, you know?

Lynn: Totally, agreed.

Lauren: And the special effects and the whole way it’s put together. Humor goes a long way with me, and I think they were so smart to incorporate that. I think that’s part of why it’s been so successful too – it has everything.

Lynn: I was just saying that to Matt Cohen, who I chatted with earlier.

Lauren: He’s such a nice guy, I’m so glad he’s getting to direct. I feel like that’s why Supernatural has been one of my favorite jobs I’ve ever had, because it combines everything that I’ve actually been able to explore and participate in, as far as comedy and drama and even my days in avant garde theater, because  you kind of have suspend your imagination and really just go there (laughing).  You know, I have to look down at my body and imagine that red smoke is coming out, not a normal thing, you know?

Lynn: Let’s hope not.

Lauren: And then the sitcom work and the drama, too. It was like oh, I get to do everything in this series. So I kinda felt like I was really using myself. And of course the people I’ve met along the way. I do think it’s gonna have a life beyond this, when the last episode airs, because the fandom is so strong and I think people will keep in touch.

Read more

Celebrating Supernatural: An Inspiring Chat with Director Matt Cohen

I’ve known Matt Cohen a long time. I was there for his first Supernatural convention a decade ago – I remember turning to my friend Kathy as we watched Matt try to hug every single fan he met and saying “this guy is a keeper.” I was thrilled when his reception at the cons ensured he would be invited back, eventually becoming one of the Karaoke Kings and an integral part of the Supernatural conventions all over the world. Matt was one of the first Supernatural actors I invited to write a chapter for Family Don’t End With Blood, because I knew he would have something inspiring and moving to say. I was right. The chapter he wrote is candid, insightful and very personal – it describes the way being on Supernatural has changed his life and how his relationships with his fellow cast members has changed him as well. It’s one of the chapters that makes me smile and tear up simultaneously (like all the best Supernatural episodes).

I was thrilled when he returned to the show again to play John Winchester, and perhaps even more thrilled when he became part of the final season of the show – not as an actor this time, but as a director. By then he had already made his own short film, Mama Bear, which he had directed and proved just how talented he was behind the camera, not just in front of it. I loved that film, so I couldn’t wait to see what he did with Supernatural.

I waited until his episode, Gimme Shelter, had aired last month, then we caught up by phone.

Matt: It’s nice to hear your voice.

Lynn: It’s been a long time.

Matt: Too long as far as I’m concerned!

(I think the entire SPNFamily feels that way at this point – we all miss each other! We caught up with family stuff, and how his son Macklin is doing with online learning (great) and then dug into the episode.)

Lynn: I was super excited that you got to direct an episode before the show ends. It seems so right and so special.

Matt: It certainly was special and I feel lucky. This show has given me everything at this point, and for it to give me my first hour of prime time TV directorial debut? I agree with you, it felt right. I felt like I was at home because I knew these people were going to do everything they could to not have me fail.

Lynn: For sure. You’re family.

Matt:  And to me, that made me work harder than I’ve worked on anything my whole life, to make sure I could get them out on time and get everyone home and rested and then back to my set again and we could just knock this one out and keep on moving. And that’s exactly how it went. It was a special experience with the most remarkable crew I’ve ever worked with.  They were there for me and I was there for them and it was just beautiful. Every day was emotional for me. When I wrapped every single day, I felt that this was part of my eight day goodbye to the show. And it was difficult, you know? I tried not to cry every night.

Lynn:  I can’t even imagine how emotional it was for you, after all this time and this being such an incredible, life-changing journey. This was one of those quintessential Supernatural episodes that has a little bit of everything – humor, excitement, and emotion. All of them came together, but it was a complex episode. The emotional moments are probably my favorite things about the show – in this episode, like the scene when Castiel talks about his journey – finding a family, becoming a dad.

Lynn: It struck me that is so similar to what you wrote about in your chapter of Family Don’t End With Blood, about your own journey finding yourself and becoming a dad too. Misha [Collins] was so good in that scene. How did you feel about the episode’s story?

Read more

Three To Go – All The Supernatural Happenings of the Past Two Weeks!

The past two weeks haven’t been quite as full of constant new Supernatural content as the ones before – and many of us, especially here in the US, have a lot else on our minds — but it has still been a good time to be a Supernatural fan. I’m grateful for all the coverage we’re getting, with newly released photos and videos and articles just about every day, because we know we only have a few more weeks of the show being on the air and that happening. Most of the coverage has been about the show itself, but the Supernatural cast has also been very involved in the American elections. This is a group of people who take seriously the Supernatural mantra of ‘saving people’ and they are all  using their platforms to carry that out however they believe will be the most effective. Article and video links included below so you can check out more coverage details.

At the start of last week, the SPNFamily got some long hoped for and very welcome news — after years and years of pleading, Supernatural now has its very own Impala hashtag emoji! I will admit, I didn’t have on my 2020 bingo card sobbing with pride and joy and anticipation of loss over a Baby emoji, but here we are. I’m beside myself with pride for our little show – it may not seem significant to people outside the fandom, but it’s so significant to the SPNFamily. (It’s not a regular emoji, so it won’t appear forever, but I’m still very happy to have it for the show’s end run at least).

 

As we’re all preparing to grieve the loss of Supernatural, we’re also looking forward to the new projects that the cast and crew will be working on, which helps at least a little. TVLine kicked off last week with some good news about Jensen Ackles’ new project, The Boys.

TVLine reporated that Ackles’ Soldier Boy will play a pivotal role in Season 3.

Showrunner Eric Kripke: With him comes the big season mythology that he threads all the way through. The season is sort of about him.

Me: Yesssssssssssssssss!

They also had some news about the fate of Castiel, which many of us are trying to steel ourselves for right now as the pivotal Episode 18 airs tomorrow.

Castiel’s deal with The Empty has not been forgotten and will play into the show’s final episodes. Uh oh.

Andrew Dabb: It’s something we introduced last year, knowing to a degree where it was going. The story can always take twists and turns. But obviously, The Empty’s been a little bit more of a character this year, played by Rachel Miner, who’s done a great job. It has still got a grudge against Cas, and that will not go away.

To say we’re nervous about tomorrow’s episode is a gigantic understatement. Personally, I’m so anxious at this point, for multiple reasons, I can barely sit still long enough to type this.

https://tvline.com/2020/10/27/chicago-fire-season-9-spoilers-foster-leaving-annie-ilonzeh/

Last Tuesday, Jared started filming his new show, Walker, and the SPNFamily tweeted #GoodLuckJared to him all day to start him off with lots of love.

On Wednesday, EW had an article on Supernatural’s unofficial theme song, Kansas’ Carry On Wayward Son. I swear, everything about our show is special – what other show has a theme song like that, 100% embraced by the band itself to the extent that they came to Comic Con a few years ago to kick off the Hall H Supernatural panel??

Supernatural creator Eric Kripke explained how the song came to be used in the show.

Kripke: Those weren’t just classic rock songs, those were the songs from my collection. At the end of season 1, we were cutting the first of the ‘Road So Far’ trailers. We wanted to do a recap to remind everyone what happened all season but we really wanted to do it in a way that wasn’t the same old avalanche of exposition. [Producer] Phil [Sgriccia] and I looked at ‘Carry on Wayward Son’ and set it to this long recap and it just came to life because the lyrics seemed to fit what the brothers were going through. What people don’t remember is that in season 1, that was the second-to-last episode that ‘Carry On Wayward Son’ played. And then we tried to do another ‘road so far’ for the finale set to Triumph’s ‘Fight the Good Fight’ and it was just obvious it just didn’t take the way that ‘Carry On Wayward Son’ took. You could just tell from fan response that people were not digging it.

Luckily, Kripke was really good at going with his instincts, and it’s the Kansas song that was retained over all these years. I still can’t sing along to it at the end of convention karaoke without tearing up. And I am 100% certain it will destroy me in the finale.

https://ew.com/tv/carry-on-my-wayward-son-supernaturals-unofficial-theme-song/

TVLine also ran a story and video about what Jared and Jensen will miss about working together, which I imagine is ALOT.

Jared: Acting opposite Ackles for 15 seasons has given me the confidence that I can push myself. I don’t want to say I baby it with other actors and actresses, but I pull my game back. If you’ve been playing tennis with somebody 15 years or basketball or doing jujitsu or something, you know how hard you can push. Whereas if you just walk in onto a court with somebody you’ve never played before, it’s like, ‘OK, well, I’ve got to feel them out, because I don’t want to just start dunking on the guy, and it’s not a game.’ And so with Jensen, I know I can push as hard as I possibly can — and harder — and that he’ll push back just as hard, and we’ll bring out different aspects of a scene, different facets of what the characters are going through.

Cap stabgigi

When Jared talked about how he tried to leave “Jared out of it” and let Sam have all the emotions during the last scene, Jensen laughed – clearly neither were able to leave their own emotions out of it at that point.

gif rainbow-motors

Jensen talked about the shorthand that he and Jared have constructed over the years, which I’ve heard him mention many times before, saying that it helped them really flesh out the bond between the brothers.

Jensen: There’s a nuance, I think, that he and I are able to tap into, not only with our characters, but with the relationship that these characters have with each other in every scene. A lot of times, those nuances are not written on the page, and that is, I think, something that we pride ourselves in being able to bring to the character, to the story and to the show. And that’s something that he and I don’t really even need to talk about. It’s stuff that presents itself to us, almost in the middle of a scene. We’re so comfortable and available to each other for letting those kinds of moments happen that they happen all the time. I’m going to miss having that confidence with somebody that I can just allow those moments to happen and you can seize them.

I’m going to miss those moments too, Mr. Ackles. More than I can even put into words.

Read more

Ready for Tonight’s New Supernatural? Here’s All The News From Last Week!

Week two of Supernatural’s return was not as frenetic as the week before, but we still got some great new coverage of the show and interviews with the cast. Only one more month of Supernatural actually airing – ONE MONTH! I’m not sure I have my head around it yet, but ready or not, one month it is.

Here’s my wrap up of all the Supernatural happenings from last week, including a few favorite moments from some of the interviews the cast did this week, many of which were the second or third parts of interviews we saw last week. That included Jared and Jensen’s chat with TVLine.

Interviewer: Were there tears after the director yelled cut?

Jensen: No, we shotgunned beers! (laughing) Yes, there was crying.  The final moments on set were weighty, because we knew it was coming, and we had a long time to see it on the horizon.  And when it came, and it was there… I know I certainly broke character, I’ll tell you that much.

Jared: (softly) We both did.

I don’t know why, but that little exchange made me tear up instantly as I was watching. Knowing how much it got to them, how much finishing their time as Sam and Dean meant to them, really got to me too. I’m looking forward to that scene, but I also think it’s going to leave me in a puddle on the floor. They won’t be the only ones crying, that’s for sure.

Jensen: I felt like if you could take, like, happiness and satisfaction and being proud and just wrapped it up in emotion, then that’s the pill that we swallowed that day.

Jared: It was a good pill, though. I would take it again if I get the chance.

I so hope they do get that chance, because I cannot conceive of a world in which we never get to see the Winchesters again.

https://tvline.com/2020/10/15/supernatural-video-jensen-ackles-jared-padalecki-final-last-day-filming/

Jensen also did a wonderful video interview with Rolling Stone, which I was thrilled to see cover the show. I feel like the whole world has finally discovered just how unique and special Supernatural is – and I keep wanting to say hey, it’s been this special for fifteen years, glad you finally realized!

Jensen on the show’s premise: The long lead story was the relationship between these two brothers and how they bond together and get torn apart.

He told a story that I’ve heard before, about his very first multi-fandom convention and how he was surprised to realize that Supernatural already had a passionate fandom.

Jensen: I was the lone Supernatural representative – and I got over to London and it was me and 12 actors from various shows, and the crowd response when I came out for the show was like jaw dropping!  People were super hyped about Supernatural. I immediately called Jared and said dude, I think people are watching this!

There’s a whole chapter about that convention in one of our first books, Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls, which includes the incident of the “Flying Fangirl” too – a young woman who was overcome with excitement at seeing Ackles at that convention and leapt right onto him like a spider monkey! Clearly that con made a big impression on him.

He also reminisced about some of his favorite moments filming the show, and I teared up again (with a smile on my face this time) when Jensen talked about how much fun they had filming the brilliant Robbie Thompson episode, ‘Baby’, told entirely from the car’s perspective.

Jensen: Jared hopped in and we took off down the road…  At one moment I took a terry cloth towel and dabbed the sweat off Jared’s face. We were doing everything ourselves, out on the road, out on the highway.

It’s so clear how much he enjoyed that episode, and that those will be some of the moments he hangs onto.

Jensen: They outfitted eight cameras in and around and on the car and they just sent us off. There was no camera operator, no grips, no DP, no director, no script supervisor, no makeup, no nothin’. … Jared had the audio deck between his legs. We were doing everything ourselves. …

The Impala has always been important to him, just like it is to his character.

Jensen: One of my other favorite moments happened the other day when I drove the car — and put it in my garage.

He’s talked before about trying to stay in denial for as long as he could as the end of the show approached.

Jensen: I tried to keep my eye on the prize and keep steering us toward the finish line. So I think it was less a ‘long goodbye’ and more of the fourth quarter of a Super Bowl game. I didn’t want to put too much emotion into this final season because I didn’t want it to change what we’d been doing these past 15 years or foreshadow what was coming ahead. I wanted to keep it kinda business as usual, keep doing the work I’ve always done. I don’t know if that was my way of dealing with it, just suppressing it and sweeping it under the rug. Maybe I took a page out of Dean’s book.

Me: It was definitely his way of dealing with it – and he has been playing Dean for 15 years, after all.

Read more