Behind the Scenes of Supernatural with Director Richard Speight Jr.

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!)

Richard: Sorry.

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)

Lynn: Thanks.

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Jerry Trimble Brings Ramiel to Life on Supernatural

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?

JT:
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.

With director Richard Speight Jr. and company on set

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Stuck In The Middle (With You) – Supernatural 12.12 Gets Innovative

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Say what you will about Supernatural, the show is not afraid to mess with form. Last week’s episode, written by Davy Perez and beautifully directed by fan favorite #SPNFamily member Richard Speight, Jr., brought a Tarantino-inspired aesthetic to a very Supernatural story. Together with Serge Ladouceur’s gorgeous cinematography, some kickass VFX and some superbly choreographed fight scenes, these all combined to make for an outside the box episode that still felt like the Show I love. I’m often struck by Ladouceur’s work, and his and Speight’s direction together made for a visually striking episode.

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The Tarantino touches were spot on – a slow motion montage of Team Free Will Plus Two walking toward danger, with the added bonus of Ackles’ and Padalecki’s long long legs eating up the screen (and in perfect sync because Sam and Dean).

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American Nightmare – Classic Supernatural!

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This week’s episode was like a return to old school, classic Supernatural – and I am SO on board with that! I watched the episode while at a Supernatural convention in New Jersey with a fellow fangirl, which meant a lot of shared exclamations during the ‘THEN’ opening.

Me: OMG psychic kids!

Both of us: OMG baby Sammy with bangs!

Then the episode went very dark very fast, which should surprise no one who’s ever watched Supernatural. Some poor woman gets flayed alive by an invisible force in front of a horrified priest and churchgoers and once again I’m a little queasy. Supernatural has been even more graphic than usual this season and I think I flinched every time a new gash opened up on her back. OUCH.

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