I have another special interview to share. Supernatural Russia recently did an interview with Rob Benedict, aka Chuck (or possibly someone else) and they have allowed The Winchester Family Business to reprint the interview in English. I always feel so honored to share the great work they do over at Supernatural Russia. A big thanks to Marta for allowing us to do this.
Below is the interview. Enjoy!
Interview With Rob Benedict
Actor Rob Benedict came to “Supernatural” after regular roles on shows like “Felicity” and “Threshold.” His socially awkward, bathrobe-wearing writer of pulp novels, Chuck Shurley, was unexpectedly identified as a prophet of Lord and the writer of Winchester Gospel. Rob was so kind to give an exclusive interview to Supernatural Russia <index.php> and told about playing this complex character, about himself and his impressions of work on *Supernatural* and other projects.
Many thanks convention manager Julie Caitlin Brown for the assistance in arranging the interview.
Can you tell us something about yourself so the Russian fans of Supernatural could get to know you better? Why did you choose to be an actor? Maybe you are from actors family?
I grew up in a college town in the Midwest US and both of my parents and an older sibling were involved with a local community theater. So thatâ€™s where I caught the â€œbugâ€ of wanting to be an actor. I starred in a production of Brighton Beach Memoirs and fell in love with acting. I went on to study theater at college and immediately came out to Los Angeles to pursue the career. After about 3 years of waiting tables and auditioning, it all started to pay off, and I began working full time as an actor.
How did you first hear about Supernatural? How did you end up auditioning for this show?
I read the script and loved the role. I had not seen the show at the time. I read for the producers and got the part, and then I had to go back and watch past episodes so I knew what all the references Chuck was making were about! I loved what I saw. The writing was really strong and Jered and Jensen were addictive. I was hooked.
What do you like about this character?
I love that he is the least likely hero. He considers himself a failure, and here he is, a prophet. I love that idea of him not even knowing the power that he hasâ€”and most of the time, not even wanting it. The idea that you are given a gift and how you perceive that gift could change the path you are on, is fascinating to me.
What is your best and worst memory from shooting Supernatural? What was your favorite scene to shoot?
In the episode where I tell them to â€œhoard toilet paperâ€ we were on top of this mountain in Vancouver where it was freezing cold and there were these wicked bugs flying everywhere. They flocked to the lights in a swarm. It was wild, and not the most comfortable. We were all huddled together all night. Iâ€™d say my favorite scene to shoot was probably the Convention episode where I actually got to be the hero for a split second, when I yell â€œsalt the door!â€ and Becky falls in loveâ€”as a character actor, I rarely get those moments so that was cool. In the script it even said that Chuck gets the â€œhero angleâ€, so I was like, sweet.
Do you know yet if you will appear again later during this (possibly final) season?
I donâ€™t know. After last seasonâ€™s ending, there was a feeling that Chuck would not be back, because after he disappears, in Godly fashionâ€¦.itâ€™s complicated to write him back in. And this season is going in a different direction. So they are still trying to figure it out. That being said, with a show like Supernatural, you never knowâ€¦.!
Have you been a victim of Jared and Jensen’s pranks on set? If so, how did they get you and what about payback? Any funny stories that happened with you on the set, maybe funny bloopers ?
The most awkward moment like that was one time Iâ€™d left something in Jensenâ€™s trailer and he wasnâ€™t around, just this big bodyguard guy who watches his trailer. And I meekly went up to him and said, â€œI need to grab something from Jâ€™s trailerâ€ and the guy kind of chuckled and said, â€œgo on inâ€. So I open the door and Jensenâ€™s dogâ€™s are in there and they go in attack mode barking like crazy. I was so freaked, I tripped and fell backwards down the stairs of the trailer. The bodyguard laughed. Me, not so much.
Could you share with us your impressions about Jensen and Jared? Jensen once said in an interview that he’s better in comedies. It seems Jared thinks otherwise about himself. If you had an opportunity to work in one project with Jared or Jensen, who do you prefer for a comedy? And for a drama?
Itâ€™s hard to say. Iâ€™ve only seen them do this, and they are both great at this. BUT, just hanging out with them, they both have great senses of humor so I could see them doing comedies as well. Iâ€™d love to do a comedy with either of them. I would be a great sidekick. Just me standing next to Jered, who is like 6â€™4â€ (Iâ€™m 5â€™7â€) is comedy.
Are there any other people on the team of Supernatural, who are special to you and whose work you value, even if the fans of the show might be unaware of their contribution? If yes, please tell us about them, we’d love to know more about the behind-the-scenes.* Would you like to collaborate with the Supernatural cast in another project?
Iâ€™ve really grown fond of Misha. From the beginning, he and I hung out a lot. We share an agent and have a lot in common. Heâ€™s a terrifically unique human being. I have also become good friends with Julie McNiven. We actually met doing conventions together and really hit it off. Sheâ€™s also very cool. Iâ€™d love to work with either of them in another capacity.
When you finished reading the first series scenario where you are on the cast did you come up with an idea like â€œMan! I will play the part of Eric Kripke!â€?
It took me a few episodes to realize I was Kripke. At the outset, it seemed like I was a combination of all of the writers. But as it went on, it became clear to me that I was most specifically him, AND that I was the character through which he could address the fans.
Everybody wonders if Chuck is the God or not. What is your idea about this?
I strongly feel that it should be up to the fans to interpret it as they see fit. When I first read it, I didn’t think that at first. But then after we shot it, and the way we shot it, it felt like that was the way to go. I think if you follow the idea that I am Kripke, and Kripke is the Creator of the show Supernatural, well, then, it should follow that Chuck is God.
Do you prefer to play keeping strictly to the scenario or are you one of those actors who is always eager to contribute to the character image? What part of Chuck is yours?
I always like to throw my bit in there, improvise when I can, add manerisms that are mine. Thereâ€™s a lot of me in Chuckâ€”the nervous energy, the self doubtâ€”those are characteristics that I can easily tap into. And I always wanted to play Chuck very rough around the edges â€“ there were things in the script I really grabbed onto, like the fact that he drinks quite a bit. And that when we first meet him, he probably hasnâ€™t seen sunlight in a long time. He is a hermit. I really wanted to make that part of him clear and not shy away from it.
What about other sets you appeared? What good or bad memories do you keep from these experiences? Is there the same friendly atmosphere as on Supernatural set?
Iâ€™ve been on many different sets and I have to say, it is rare to work on one where the atmosphere is jovial and everyone has a love for what they are doing. Felicity was that way, so was Alias. And I have to say so is Supernatural. I had a lot of fun working with that crew and those actors.
Please tell us about your previous work projects and about your future plans.
Iâ€™ve been working in television for about 15 years. I suppose some of my most notable credits are Felicity, Birds of Prey, Alias, a shortlived Sci-Fi show called Threshold and most recently a comedy called Head Case. The movies Iâ€™m most recognized for are Waiting with Ryan Reynolds, State of Play, Kicking and Screaming and Not Another Teen Movie. I have a movie with Jenna Fisher coming out in the Fall called â€œA Little Helpâ€. Hopefully youâ€™ll be able to get that in Russia!
Which points of your career are the most significant to you as an actor? Which movie roles are the most special to you as a person?
I find something in every work experience that I benefit from. Some of course have more than others, but I always try to take something special away.
Any particular role that would you like to play?
Iâ€™d like to play a bad guy soon. Show my dark side!
Have you yourself ever tried writing books?
I have as a matter of fact. Iâ€™m always writingâ€”songs, screenplays, short stories. Chuckâ€™s right, itâ€™s hard! But so fun.
Do you find it hard to combine the shooting process with your musical band activity?
It makes life busy, but it always works out. The hardest part is when the band has a show that we have to cancel because of an acting job. But it always comes around to benefit the band and we make it work. Weâ€™re delighted for instance, to have a new legion of fans from the Supernatural world!
If you hadn’t got into acting, what would you do for a living? What else do you like to do except acting? Any hobbies?
Well, obviously, music. I can see myself having been something involved with musicâ€”composing, teaching. I have always romanticized the idea of teaching music or drama at a University level.
What is your life motto or may be favorite quote or phrase?
Iâ€™ve got this quote on my desk from Samuel Beckett, â€œEver Tried? Ever Failed? No matter. Try Again. Fail Again. Fail betterâ€. It depresses me and motivates me at the same time. In the acting world youâ€™re life is constant trying out and facing rejecting but keeping onâ€¦.this gives me the strength.
What are your favorite books, movies, directors, bands or musicians?
So many, so much. I love the novelist Michael Chabon, heâ€™s probably one of my favorites. Movie directors I love are Wes Anderson, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan. Bandsâ€”Radiohead, Pearl Jam, Wilcoâ€¦and there are so many new bands Iâ€™m constantly listening to. Thereâ€™s a band from Australia called Tame Impala Iâ€™m currently obsessed with.
Are you familiar with the Russian cinema? Have you seen any Russian movies? If yes, do you like any Russian actors or directors?
Iâ€™m probably not as familiar as Iâ€™d like to be. I know Tarkovsky is one of the best, Iâ€™m familiar with him. Anton Yelchin is a young actor making waves here. Heâ€™s a very talented young actor.
What would you like to tell the visitors of our website, yours and Supernatural fans in Russia? We greatly appreciate your work and would be happy to welcome you to Russia one day.
Iâ€™d love to come to Russia some day! If you have a convention, Iâ€™m there. I could even bring my band. Iâ€™ve never beenâ€”and I hear wonderful things. Lots of love!