What attracted you to the part of Sam?
“I’ve always been a fan of the horror genre such as The X Files and Twilight Zone and when I read the script it seemed to be much in the same vein. It’s also a fun character that I’ve never been able to play, the reluctant hero; the Luke Skywalker, the Neo from The Matrix. It just seemed like a fun character and a fun role to explore. Also I had met McG because I had tested for Superman and I knew David Nutter, one of the executive producers who also directed our first 2 episodes and I was really excited about the prospect of working on the show.”
Tell us a bit about Sam
“For 18 years of his life, he was part of the trio of Winchester boys and he really didn’t want to be, so when he finally snuck away, he was going to university and wanted a normal life. But now, obviously, with the loss of his girlfriend he’s gone back on the road with his brother. After seeing his father he’s gradually realizing more and more that maybe this is what he was meant to do, but he’s still reluctant, because I think he blames both of loss of his mother and the loss of his girlfriend on this journey that the three of them are on, and he doesn’t understand what’s going on. So he’s both motivated by the loss of the two most important women in his life, but he’s motivated and turned off by it. For him it is like, Well, doing this is what caused my girlfriend to be on fire on the ceiling so maybe I shouldn’t do it.” But also, he’s angered by it, so he wants to go avenge them.”
The Demon suggests to Sam that he has plans for him, can you talk to us about that?
“We see that at the end of the first season. We start to see a sign that it seems like something’s following me. It seems like I LOST my mother too but I also LOST my girlfriend, and so it is like “why is bad luck following me?” and we start to wonder if maybe the demon’s got some beef with Sam or whether he has some plans for him. And the demon outright says, I have plans for kids like you, and so Sam is reeling and he’s thinking “what does that mean? I’ve tried my whole life to get away from this and now I’m finding out that I’m deeper in it than my family.”
So the demon plays a much, much bigger part in the second season, so far. I mean we’re only in episode 9 of 22. But so far it’s definitely not so much The Search for dad like a lot of the first season. Now, we know where dad is. Now, it’s more about this demon. We start to realize there’s something about Sam that Dean and his Dad can’t explain. There’s something that definitely is following him, and so we’re definitely going to go deeper into that. I don’t know the answer myself yet, which I wish I did. I probably still couldn’t tell you. But we’re nine episodes in now and we start to run into kids like Sam whose mother died on the ceiling of their homes and they’re six months old and already have powers. So we find out that there are other kids like him that the demon was talking to.”
How does his father’s death affect Sam?
“Well, it messes him up. It almost flips the cards, whereas Dean was always saying “This is what dad wants. This is why we’re doing it.” And Sam was more questioning
Now, Sam finds himself trying to control his brother who has a lot of anger and rage issues. I figure it’s my fault. And I’m trying to sort of make the most of it which is interesting for Sam because he’s been reluctant and thoughtful throughout the first series. Now, after he loses his father he just wants to make the most of it. That sounds like a bad way to say it, but now he finds himself doing things for dad or doing what he thinks dad would have wanted. So we sort of switch cards a little bit.”
Do you share any traits with Sam?
“I do actually, it’s funny because Jenson and I went out to eat the other day and I was talking about the show; how the hours are starting to get me to and how I wish we could just be shooting back in Los Angeles. I’m very quick to question what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. Whereas Jenson’s character, Dean, is more like ‘I’ve been told to do this and this is what I’m doing’. I always question things. What purpose does this serve? Who is it going to help? Who is it going to hurt? I always try and think about the repercussions of something before I do it. Much like Sam, I’m really interested in the puzzle of things and try to learn everything I can about a subject before I try and tackle it.”
What have you enjoyed most about the filming of the series so far?
“It’s been fun to be fight trained. Our characters are supposed to be trained in all sorts of fighting skills, so it was fun to work out this summer and to box, work in martial arts and do some of the fight scenes. I had a really great time doing that.”
Have there been any particular difficult elements of filming the series?
“Yeah, it’s definitely the green screen. I’ve done Movies and plays where you’re talking or even having a monologue, and that’s always easy. But when they say, All right. Look at this wall, and this X mark is the face of the visual effect thing that we haven’t made yet, so you’re just going to have to imagine something scary, so be scared. That’s definitely the hardest part, because you’re using your imagination and it’s definitely the weirdest part, to look at something and be thinking “I hope they make this thing look scary because I’m going to act scared, so I hope they don’t sell me out.”
Other than that, the toughest part of actually filming the show would just be the hours. Especially as an actor, you want to develop your character so much and you want to go home and do your homework, but when you go home and you need to be back awake in eight hours with lines memorized, you can’t really work on building character as much as you’d like to, but you find the time.”
Apparently there were some injuries whilst filming this year, could you tell us about that?
“It’s a stupid story. I wish I had a better story. Last year, I broke my hand. Jensen and I had gotten jumped and I broke my hand, so at least then I had a cool story. And now, it’s just I fell and broke my wrist”.
I wish it was something cool, like I was saving a child from a bus or something! I’m a wreck. I’ve always tried to pretend I’m tough and big and strong. I’ve broken a couple of hands, a couple of arms and my hip is messed up and my root canal is done. I’m not as tough as I pretend to be. In the end they wrote it in to the show. We’re doing our fifth episode with my cast on!
But we’re still active. We’re fighting and we’re holding guns. You know, you can’t really avoid it so they figured roll with the punches. we had an episode where a zombie is running after me and we’re trying to trick her into going back into her own grave, and she tackles me and I fall it on it, so that’s what happens. And luckily, in the show we are so active that’s it’s not difficult to explain.
It’s not like when I was on Gilmore Girls. But Sam and Dean are running around fighting and shooting and, you know, causing a ruckus, so it’s much more believable that these guys would get hurt. I’m happy because it sort of frustrates me when there’s a show – and we’ve done it a couple of times – but when there’s a show and you’re cut up and you’re bruised and, you know, you’ve got your arm in a sling, and then the next day you’re sparkly clean and healthy. We used to joke about it and call it WB ointment. We had an episode called Shadows where I get slashed across the face, and the next episode I’m fine. And I’m like, Oh, they just put some WB ointment on it. It clears right up.
Why do you think the on screen relationship between the two brother’s works?
“I’m not sure. I know that when Jenson and I met each other, we immediately got along. He’s a laid back Texas guy and I’m a pretty laid back Texas guy so we just clicked immediately and I think that shows on screen. It seems like we’re enjoying ourselves and having fun with each other. We both have brothers so we’re used to that sort of relationship where you love somebody but you want to give them a hard time and luckily I think we’ve been able to bring that to the screen.”
Do you believe in the ‘Supernatural’?
“I do believe in the Supernatural. I think it’s a pretty big world and it would be hard to imagine there not being something else. I’m sort of a 50/50 split. I don’t necessarily believe in it because I’m very much a creature of what I see and I’ve never seen or had any experiences with the Supernatural. But I also realize that it’s a big world and big universe, and it’s hard to believe we’re the only things out there, you know. Definitely, things have happened that made me go, What was that, but I’ve never had any direct experience, so I guess I’m a non-believer but my eyes and my mind are open to it, believe me.”
Sam and Dean don’t have much room in their lives for a girlfriend but if you could choose your perfect leading lady who would be your ideal?
“That’s a tough question, I’ve got a girlfriend so I don’t know if I should be talking about that. You know what, I’d just like to have a very talented actress. If there was going to be a leading lady I’d like it to be someone who was a great actress first and a movie star second.”
You have Linda Blair guest starring in this series, how was working with her?
“She was a lot of fun on set. She takes her work very seriously, and she works hard and has a good sense of humour about it. It was interesting to talk to her about her experiences with The Exorcist.
I never been thought about it, but as a little girl, she was a huge star because of this movie. And she was talking about how she’d get some fan mail from devil worshippers. So she was just talking about how the stuff she read as a child is stuff that children shouldn’t read.
You know things like, Come marry me, and she’s 15 years old, and we’ll rule the world, and stuff. She was basically just talking to me because I had just gotten an interesting letter. And she was like, You know just keep in mind that are some cooks out there!”
What do you like about this show? Why do you think people should watch it?
“It’s a great show. It’s truly scary and not just one of these shows that they call a scary show when it’s not.”
“We have a great time. I think our writer Eric Kripke is bringing some great dialogue to the screen and we just have talented people working around us. We put on a fun show, we have a good time doing it and we’re working hard to give people a show that they will enjoy. Personally, I think it’s one of those shows that’s going to last for years.”