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Supernatural - Paleyfest Red Carpet!

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Supernatural celebrated 13 seasons with a panel at the annual Paleyfest in LA on March 20. I was lucky enough to be present on the very packed red carpet and got a chance to speak with a number of the attendees. Everyone was very generous with their time, but there were a lot of reporters – and we got some great pics with Jensen, Jared, and Misha with Scooby-Doo, the Impala, and the Mystery Machine – not to mention that they needed to squeeze in a showing of “ScoobyNatural” and a terrific panel for a packed theatre of enthusiastic fans! Here’s what they shared with me….

Bob Singer

Q: What keeps you excited about the show?

A: We really make an effort to keep it fresh. You see the show from year one, it’s so much a different show now in terms of mythology and where we’ve taken it. And every year after we end a particular season, we end on a cliffhanger, which we really don’t know where exactly we’re going to go next season. Which is challenging for us. We’ve always managed, I think, to keep it fresh. If we couldn’t keep it fresh, I wouldn’t be here that long. We’ve seen the guys grow into these parts, the recurring actors… there was Misha, Mark Pellegrino, Mark Sheppard for a long time. All terrific, they play these characters for the show, and it’s enjoyable. That’s the big thing. It’s still fun to do, and I feel like every year’s a new challenge.

Q: The Scooby-Doo crossover is amazing! What other out-of-the-box crossovers would you like to see in the future?

A: Crossovers? I don’t know. Each year when we take these big swings, and I think Scooby is a big swing, a writer will pitch it, and some of them we go, no, and some of them, you just hear it and that’s like, “Changing Channels,” “Monster Movie.” So we know when we hear them, but we’re always looking for them. It gives us a good kick in the ass to do something different.

Q: This year has been so much about going back and crossing t’s and dotting i’s, and really filling in some of the fan questions, and bringing back so many fan favorites. And Alexander’s just a great new direction for the show.

A: Great storylines, yeah.

Q: Is there anyone else we can plan to look for in the future?

A: I think we’ve pretty much done everybody… Osric [Chau – Kevin Tran] was back, we did that. Who else… we pretty much brought everybody back with the exception of Jeffrey Dean Morgan…

Q: He may be a little hard to get… Over the 13 seasons do you have a favorite episode?

A: One episode? Well, the “French Mistake” is one of the, I think, best episodes ever on television. Ben [Edlund] wrote a great episode and it was really well directed. If I had to pick one, I’d go with that one. My favorites that I’ve directed are “Monster Movie,” which I thought was a lot of fun to do, and “All Hell Breaks Loose, Part 1,” which was fabulous. Those are the ones that kind of stick out for me.

Q: What about this season? What’s your favorite episode so far this season?

A: That’s a tough one. I’m going to go with Scooby-Doo, I think!

Brad Buckner

Q: How did “ScoobyNatural” come together?

A: Well, it started out as this mad, insane idea. It made a sort of logical sense because these are two shows that have their roots in the same kind of thing. But then there was tremendous fear and loathing because you thought, how could this possibly work? Are we going to do animated characters with live action characters? No, no, no… we’re going to do our characters animated, but what’s the excuse for that? And we’d never done our characters as animated cartoon characters, so there was just every opportunity for this thing to really do sideways, and I was just so thrilled to see it work out the way it did. It’s really, really a fun thing.

Q: I was more excited about this crossover than rumors about a Riverdale crossover. I think Scooby-Doo is just a much better fit!

A: It is in such a weird way, a natural fit, and the fact that Dean is such an enormous fan of the show and knows these characters as if they were family. Kind of an odd thing, but it just takes us into that world in such a nice way.

The freaky thing for the people in the Scooby-Doo show is that there monsters are never real, and nobody really dies, and there’s no real jeopardy. And it’s an odd experience for them when this thing suddenly starts going very badly and bad things happen. So that’s a strange thing for them to even wrap their heads around.

It’s more fun, more nuanced, a little more real than I thought it would be. It just came out really, really well.

Q: This has been a great season…

A: Thank you!

Q: Have you got a favorite of the episodes that you’ve written?

A: I liked the one called “War of the Worlds”… and I’m sort of blanking right now because we just got finished writing 22 and we’ve done 18 and 13…

Q: You could always spoil 22…. [I tried guys!!!!]

A: I did like how “War of the Worlds” turned out because of the evolution of Lucifer from being this pure monolithic evil character to one that discovers the possibility of being a father and what that’s like and experiences being human in a weird way. He’s never had any empathy for human beings. And the fact that he was disgusted by human beings is what got him into so much trouble to begin with. And now he’s kind of discovering the idea, the subtleties of that and it was an interesting idea to play with.

Q: Mark Pellegrino is amazing in the role…

A: He’s gold. And he throws in little things. Basically sticks to script, but every once in a while just tosses in something that is just terrific.

Q: And he’s been great with Danneel [Ackles – Sister Jo] – they have amazing chemistry together. That was fabulous!

A: Yes! And coming up is his first meeting with Jack, the son. And that’s going to be brilliant.

Eugenie Ross-Leming

Q: How much fun was this crossover to do?

A: It was a mixed thing because so much of it was done in animation-land. We weren’t actually – the live part where Sam, Dean, and Misha were acting – was filmed in Vancouver, but that was only 3 or 4 days. It took about a year to do. It was like the gestation of a whale! It took forever, and then the animation part after the shoot was done, I think, in Asia. So we weren’t involved in the animation.

We would look at cells and people would say, ‘oh, I think Dean’s too short,’ or something – make his head redder. It was like a puzzle being constructed. It didn’t have the emotional stuff that when you do a show in real time, and you write it, you edit it, you write it, you shoot it, you edit it… you know, you’re sort of engaged in a different emotional way. This didn’t have it, but it was interesting. I mean, Scooby – I just love the dog! It just was a different vibe than we ordinarily do. And it was also outside the arc of the series for this year, so it’s a standalone episode, much more light-hearted.

Q: And the final result?

A: It was really good. And we scored it at the old classic Capitol Records stage where Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland would sing, with a much bigger orchestra, our two composers, Chris and Jay did a great job. There’s much more music on it. So that was fun. It was like returning to old Hollywood.

Q: What’s your favorite episode that you’ve done so far this season?

A: I’m trying to remember the episodes we’ve done… I love writing for Lucifer. He’s just so deliciously bad. I really like the last episode that we wrote that has not been shot and the one right before it that is about to be shot because they’re heading for the climax, so they’ve got a lot of blood and guts, betrayal, and heartbreak, and redemption. A lot of these characters are looking for redemption in this episode, and they’re trying to find redemption through Jack. Everyone’s got a piece of Jack. So I kinda like the last two.

Andrew Dabb

Q: When the crossover with Scooby-Doo was first brought up, what was your reaction?

A: Can we do that? Can we actually make that work? Because animation is… our show, usually the scripts are done between 2 to 4 weeks before we shoot them. So it’s 2 weeks to a month lead time to get an episode done. Animation, a script has to be done more than a year in advance. And there are very few shows that know they’re coming back more than a year in advance. So we got very lucky last season when we got picked up in January. We knew we were coming back, we knew we had this lead time, and once we knew that, everything else kind of fell into place. From a purely logistical standpoint, it was always going to be a challenge. And creatively I was still very confident. We’ve got a great group of writers, a great group of actors. I always knew creatively we could pull it off – it was just logistics, but thankfully it all worked out.

Q: Were you a big Scooby-Doo fan?

A: Yes! I remember I was driving home and I called my Mom, and I said, hey, Mom we’re doing a crossover with Scooby-Doo. And she said, I don’t know if you remember this but when you were two years old if you took a nap and missed Scooby-Doo, you’d cry the rest of the day. So I have always been a Scooby-Doo fan.

Q: This season has been a lot of crossing t’s, dotting i’s, shout outs to fans, people coming back – is there anyone you haven’t brought back that maybe you’d like to bring back?

A: I think there are characters floating out there that we like that we haven’t found a place for, and there are some characters out their floating around that may be on their way back in the remainder of the season that people will be very excited about… yes…

Q: Osric Chau is still floating around Apocalypseworld…

A: Yes. Bobby’s still over there in Apocalypseworld, or a version of them at least, and again these aren’t the same characters but they’re similar enough that I think the fans enjoy them.

Q: And Alexander has been an amazing addition to the show! Have you been having fun weaving Jack into the story?

A: I personally don’t like him [laughter!!!]. He’s been great, and he’s really held his own in a way that’s very difficult to do, walking into a 13 year old show with a cast that is this established.

Q: And there have been so many new dimensions to the show. Mark Pellegrino has been great, and I’ve really enjoyed his chemistry with Danneel, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of them…

A: Cool! Anything you give Mark he makes better, everything you give to Danneel she makes better, and I would say that’d what makes writing for them great, you know they’re going to improve anything you put on the page.

Q: Is there anything you can tease us about what’s coming up?

A: There’s a really cool Gabriel episode coming up. That I think people are really, really going to enjoy. A really cool Rowena episode people are going to enjoy, and we’ll see the return of our good friend Death coming up.

Alexander Calvert

Q: You’ve been a real breath of fresh air – Jack is so much fun and you’ve just been knocking it out of the park every single episode. What’s it like coming in to a show that’s been on for 13 years?

A: The show’s been on for 13 years, so obviously, they’ve been doing something right. We’ve been so lucky to feel the love by so many people. For me, it’s just been lovely because people really care about these characters, so for me to get to come into that situation, I’ve just been really lucky.

Q: Do you have a favorite episode so far?

A: Favorite episode for me, at least so far, was the western episode. Just getting to see everyone playing out the western fantasy. We had like a shootout, we had the cowboy outfits – that was fun!

Q: Anything that you can tease for us?

A: Yes! Apocalypseworld and all out collision course with all of our characters.

Q: Has there been a particular favorite scene that stands out other that the western episode? Have the guys been being good to you?

A: Yes! My favorite scene so far that I’ve shot was a stunt when all three of them got ripped back and thrown into a wall. That was just fun for me to watch because I was just right in front of them.

Misha Collins

Q: How does it feel being on a series that’s been around for 13 seasons?

A: Thirteen seasons is amazing in any day and age. The show has been on so long now that it represents a significant portion of our lives. It’s actually a quarter of my life that I’ve been working on this show. Half of my adult life. It’s a big, big part of both my career and my personal development, and we all feel that way. Jensen, not too long ago, was telling me and Jared about a dream that he had about the last scene of the series and both of us teared up because it’s that emotionally connected to us. So it feels like we’ve won the lottery and it feels like a big part of our lives.

Q: So Castiel seems to be moving back into being a soldier again, the way we first saw him. How does it feel going back to Cas’s roots?

A: I think it is going back to his roots. I think Cas came into contact with humanity and the boys and it mitigated some of his militarism and now he is kind of abandoning that because he feels like it didn’t work. Cas, I think, logs his failures, so over and over again he’s tried things and he feels like they haven’t worked. I don’t think Cas spends much time reflecting on his triumphs? It’s more regret and loss for him, so I think that he is sort of taking off the fetters and doing what it takes to get the job done. Even if that means casualties.

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