Once again, I had the honor of doing a joint interview with Giuseppie over at Supernatural Legend, a popular “Supernatural” fan site in Italy. We’ve done a few in the past, and this time we had to honor of sending questions to Gil McKinney, who plays grandfather Henry Winchester in the episode “As Time Goes By.” In this interview, Gil shares some great information about working with Jared and Jensen, the large positive fan reaction over his role, talking with fans on Twitter, and he even reveals that this was not his first audition for “Supernatural.” He was up for a much bigger role at one point, but the part went to some guy named Jared.
Below is the English version of our interview. The Italian version can be found on Supernatural Legend’s website:
How was working with Jared and Jensen? Did you already know them before doing ‘Supernatural’? Any stories from the set you can tell?
Jared and Jensen are the coolest guys. I didn’t know them personally, but of course knew who they were. We are all from the state of Texas, so we hit it off right away. They are not only wonderful actors but really great guys. They went out of their way to make me feel welcome on set and didn’t let me take myself too seriously. Which I loved. I really enjoyed working with them and would welcome the chance to do it again.
How much time did you take for shooting this episode? How was working with the crew? How is ‘Supernatural’ to you, if compared to the others shows you worked on?
We shot 8 long days on this episode, with the American Thanksgiving holiday right in the middle. The crew is fantastic! One of the nicest, most professional groups I have had the opportunity to meet and work with. All in all, I would say that my experience on the show has been one of the best I have had in my career thus far.
How familiar were you with ‘Supernatural’ when you got the role? Have you learned a lot more about the show and it’s history since your appearance?
I was only somewhat familiar with the show. I actually tested for the role of Sam when they were originally casting the pilot. I have learned more about it since being on it; however, I know there is still alot I don’t know.
You’ve done a lot of shows (it’s great the diversity in roles you’ve had in your career). How has the ‘Supernatural’ fan reaction been compared to the fans of other shows? Is this role one that’s gotten you a lot of attention?
I have never had such an amazing response from fans like I have from the “Supernatural” fandom. So flattering to know that they care so much and that I lived up to their hopes and expectations for Henry.
Do you see yourself reprising your role of Henry Winchester (since death is never permanent on this show), or do you see the role as a one time thing?
I am defintiely open to resprising the role of Henry. I feel that there is so much more the boys and I could do together. However, it is soley up to the writers and what they want to do in Season 9.
Did you have an idea when you took this role how much an impact you would have on the fandom of ‘Supernatural’? Not only because you were the grandpa of the Winchesters, but because the fandom loved you after only one episode. Since they didn’t love the other grandpa (Campbell) in season six it could have gone both ways.
I was not aware of how important this role really was to the fans until I was up in Vancouver shooting. And even then, I was not prepared for the large response on the internet. I was very flattered by all the kind words, and I am still so honored to have been given the opportunity to bring Henry Winchester to life. It is truly one of my most favorite roles.
You joined Twitter shortly after episode 812, â€œAs Time Goes By,â€ aired. What do you think of having that kind of interaction with fans? Do you find it beneficial as a actor, or a necessary evil?
The writer of “As Time Goes By,” Adam Glass, talked me into joining Twitter. I had considered it in the past, but was unsure if I would really participate. The “Supernatural” fans were so loving and supportive that I figured I would give it a chance. It has been fun. I really look at it as a way to communicate with fans while following those I am interested in, as well as news sources.
What’s your next project? Do you have interest in doing any writing or directing as well as acting?
I just shot two small guest stars on Showtime’s new show “Masters of Sex” and TNT’s “Perception.” They should be airing in the Fall. Right now, I am focusing on acting, but could see myself writing or directing down the road.
A big thanks to Gil McKinney for taking time to answer our questions, and to Giuseppe at Supernatural Legend for arranging the interview. And I say to the writers, let’s work on those creative ways to bring Henry Winchester back!