I had the pleasure of chatting with one of my favorite people at the Nashville Supernatural convention last month – Supernatural actor and director Richard Speight, Jr. I’ve known Richard since his very first Creation con appearance almost a decade ago, and I always enjoy his thoughtful insights about the show. Nashville is a particularly fun place for Richard to be, since it’s also his hometown. In fact, he was busy planning a tour for a small group of lucky fans for the next day when we met up at the green room backstage. Turns out there were a bunch of very tired people catching a few minutes of much-needed sleep in the green room, so we resourcefully pulled some chairs off a stack in the hallway and made our own little interview area (the backstage area of the hotel is literally a series of hallways that thread through the kitchen and storage areas and then spill out into the main hall, which is fairly typical for convention hotels. Not exactly scenic, but you take what you can get!)
Lynn: Not my first rodeo. Look how versatile I am (balancing an audio recorder precariously on a ledge and an iPad on my backpack)
Richard: (cocks an eyebrow) Yeah, you’ve got a lot of machinery there…
Lynn: So how are you?
(The audio recorder tumbles off the ledge, followed by the iPad falling off the backpack)
Lynn: You know, I thought I was being so smart and resourceful…
Richard: (Goes to get another chair)
Another pretty pretty guest post from Kim Prior!
My Sunday morning began with the Gold Panel with Jared and Jensen. I think they were still full of giggles from their distillery tour the day before as most of the panel was full of shenanigans and laughs. I’ll talk more about that tour later.
Jared began the panel by telling us that his daughter will be born very soon, and he’s a little nervous about having a girl… Jensen immediately laughed at him.
I cannot say this plainly enough: The Saturday Night Special is Special because of Louden Swain.
Yes, I enjoy the special guests. Yes, I miss it when guests aren’t at the convention and therefore not at the concert. So, yes, I missed Gil and Briana and Kim and Ruth and Osric.
But let’s not forget that this is Louden Swain, live, on stage, pouring out their hearts and their souls for us. It is Billy Moran and Michael Borja on guitar. It is Stephen Norton on drums. It is Rob Benedict playing guitar and singing with so much passion you can actually, tangibly, feel it in the air. This is a raw, unfiltered show of energy and passion and love pouring out to us through guitars and drums and lyrics.
Nashcon was extra fun because I got to spend it with my friend Kim, who takes gorgeous photos and doesn’t mind when I drool over them over her shoulder every evening as she’s hard at work in our hotel room. If you read this blog regularly, you know I’m behind in posting con reports (Houston and Vegas are coming, honest!), but luckily Kim was willing to write the report for Nashcon, including her beautiful photos. Enjoy!
Lynn and I had a fandamntastic weekend at the Opryland Resort in Nashville for the Salute to Supernatural Convention. I have to give a shout out to the staff and volunteers from Creation Entertainment for all of their hard work in bringing to us such a wonderful experience! I continue to be impressed by their enthusiasm, even on Sunday evening, even after working crazy-long hours. If you have the chance to attend one of these cons, please make the time to thank these volunteers for their tireless efforts in giving us these incredible experiences.
I was fascinated by Ramiel on the recent Supernatural episode ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’ – in just one episode, actor Jerry Trimble, along with director Richard Speight Jr. and writer Davy Perez, created a memorable character who most fans would be happy to see more of. So I was thrilled to have a chance to ask Jerry about his experience on the show.
Lynn: Congrats again on the amazing job you did on Supernatural. As you probably read in my review on Fangasm, I’m a big fan of the original ‘Yellow Eyed Demon’ who was portrayed by Fred Lehne. I got to know Fred from interviewing him for Fangasm and for the books I’ve written on Supernatural, and was always impressed by his ability to make the character compelling as well as scary. You managed to do the same in one episode with Ramiel.
So I’ve got a few questions for you. I’ve known Richard Speight for years, and am looking forward to hearing his thoughts on directing this episode (stay tuned for that!), but I’d love to hear your thoughts on being directed by him. Were there some notes he gave you that were particularly helpful?
Richard was one of the best directors I’ve had the pleasure of working with, he’s an actor’s dream director. Probably because he’s an actor as well and a fantastic one at that. He was so helpful and pivotal in helping me to create the character of Ramiel, Prince of Hell. There were times when I was going too dark and hard, and then Richard pulls me aside and says, dude, back off and BAM Ramiel comes alive. Richard was collaborative in the coolest way. Some directors I work with are too into their comfort zone and just want to pump it out. They settle for less than the best, whereas Richard had an idea, I had an idea, we meshed them together and as you saw from the episode, it was magic. Loved working with him.
Last week’s episode of Supernatural had something that never fails to make me a very happy fan indeed: The Winchesters listening to each other and trusting each other and telling each other the truth. THANK YOU, SHOW! (And writer Davy Perez). That alone is enough to make a good episode imho. But actually there was one more thing that will always make me happy – Winchesters in glasses. Is it hot in here?
So let’s talk about what I liked first, and then I’ll get to the things that didn’t quite work for me. I really really loved that last conversation between Sam and Dean, where Sam comes clean about working with the BMoL and Dean, instead of flying off the handle and feeling threatened and betrayed and thus shutting down, instead hears Sam out and they come to an agreement. Dean isn’t anywhere near trusting them – and I don’t think Sam is either – but the brothers are on the same page about cautiously taking what they can from the BMoL while still retaining their independence as hunters. How easy that will be I’m not at all sure, but the important thing is that the brothers are together in the decision. I don’t know if I’ve ever loved Sam more than when he steeled himself and told his brother the truth.
Maybe it’s something about being in Season 12, but Supernatural has been pretty fearless this season about being controversial. Last week’s episode, written by Robert Berens, continued this season’s tradition of pushing boundaries and putting fans through a roller coaster of emotions. All in an episode that was well written and paced – and in which a helluva lot happened!
Most of what happened had to do with the ever more entangled relationship between the Winchesters and the British Men of Letters, but threaded throughout all that was the painful struggle that Sam and Dean and Mary are going through trying to figure out who they are to each other. The episode picks up where we left off, with Mary confessing her lies and Sam and Dean hurt and angry. Because they’re played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, that means their emotions are right there on their handsome faces, and mine are already spilling over as I grab for the tissues.
They are SO HURT. I can’t stand the pain I can see on their faces. Sam is trying to stay calm, but Dean is about to explode, he’s so angry. How many years did he spend wishing that he had his mom – and even more compelling for Dean, wishing that Sammy had his mom? Both of the brothers want things for each other more than for themselves, and I think this is one of those times. Dean must have desperately wished that Sam could have that, and now it’s possible – except Mary just cannot be that mom.