Friday, March 26, 2010

'Supernatural's Chuck: A Modern-Day J.D. Salinger...

Today kicked off Creation Entertainment's annual 'Salute to Supernatural' convention, held at the LAX Marriott. The weekend festivities opened with appearances by Richard Speight Jr (article coming soon) and Rob Benedict, whose band also performed in a special, first convention appearance concert.

"My Life, Made Possible by Pop Culture" managed to steal a few minutes with Rob before he took the stage to great about a thousand fans in the downstairs ballroom. Though he couldn't confirm nor deny how season five would end, if the boys would survive the apocalypse, or even if he would be back next season, he did chat about his relationship with the show's creator and his love of the somewhat hapless character.

This is your first L.A. convention appearance, is it not? Are you looking forward to meeting some of the fans out here?
- It is. I'm excited to find out where they're coming from. The last one I did in the states was Chicago, so it was that hood.

Are you at all concerned you may run into a real life Becky?
- [Laughing] You know, I meet people all of the time that come up to me and say "My name's Becky, so yeah..." but no, other than that I've never had a weird or odd experience with a fan. I'm not sure if the same can be said for all of the other guys!

And your band, Louden Swain, will be performing tonight. That's another first. I have to admit, when it was announced that you would be appearing, and on Friday, I wrote in to the convention organizers to request Louden Swain!
- Did you really? That's so nice. [The convention] approached us about playing, and I think a lot of people were requesting that we play, and so they asked us to. There's talk about maybe us playing another couple of conventions, so I think this is kind of a [trial]...But it's really special! I'm excited to get the fans to hear us, [and] that's an element I haven't done yet.

Do you think any of your music will make it into the show?
- I'd love to. I'm really bad at that kind of networking, I guess, that you need to do. I think they're aware that I'm in a band. The thing about the show is a lot of the times they'll use classic rock-- well known rock-- but yeah, we'd love to. We've had our music placed on a couple of other things, so we're always into that idea.

You could always just have Chuck hum a few bars in the background of a scene or something.
- There is a guitar in the set of his house, so I could just pick it up and start strumming!

Exactly. And you own the rights, so they can easily keep it in. Did you know initially that Chuck was going to turn out to have such a greater purpose when you went in and initially read for the character?
- My audition scene was-- I think-- when they tell me they know about the books or something like that, and I had read the script, so I knew. But I had to go back and look at all of these episodes I had never seen of the show because I wasn't all that familiar with it.

So what about Chuck intrigued you enough to get involved with such a crazy show?
- Right off the bat I knew, and what attracted me to it was: here's a guy who's just the most unlikely prophet. He doesn't want the job; he doesn't think he's very talented or good; he's sort of drinking his way into oblivion. They described him at first as sort of a J.D. Salinger type. So that part was just kind of a rich place to play from...I guess I played it that he's tortured by it-- that he feels like it's a curse in a way, but at the same time he's strangely in love with the stories because he's created them.

Do you think Chuck is glad the Winchester boys are becoming the famous ones, even though he is the one who "wrote" the books?
- It had described his relationship with the boys* as father-son in a place [in the first script], and he really sort of does care about them; he wants them to be safe. He just doesn't want the burden of being the guy who knows. He wants to be in the shadows and nobody sees him. I love that! That's cool to play that.

I'm a huge fan of some of your past comedy work, especially Head Case on Starz.
- Thank you so much. Head Case was awesome. They got enough for a full two seasons but that's it, though.

I know; I was bummed to hear it wasn't coming back. How much of your inherent comedic style do you bring to Chuck versus maybe what was on the page of that initial first script you got for your audition?
- This more than other things I've done even, I have a real fondness for the writers and the actors, and this character-- he's a really fun guy to play. I understand Kripke's sense of humor, but one sort of feeds into the other. In the episode this year at the convention, where I'm sort of riffing at the end, that was as much him as it was me. He wrote an outline of things he wanted me to say, but I just [went off]. There were parts-- and specific lines-- that I just came up with on the spot, and they liked and kept in.

And I have to ask: season six; what's the deal!? Will you be back?
- I don't know-- but I didn't know last year whether or not I was coming back this year. I am about to go up and shoot my part in the season finale. I know how it ends, and definitely it's up in the air. What's kind of interesting is [Chuck]'s tied to the story, which is a cool thing. The kind of role I have on the show, it's just kind of episode to episode, and they just call to see if I'm available.

But would you ever really say "No, I'm not available?"
- [Laughing] No, of course not!

To catch up on what Rob had to say during the fan Q&A on stage in the main ballroom, please check out my Twitter archives, where I updated live from the event.

*The photo to the right is of Rob imitating the squinty, shruggy swagger of leading men Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. Become a Fan on Facebook for tons more photos!

1 comment:

Laura said...

Awesome interview, D - very thoughtful questions! Am jealous that I missed today's events, but you got the spoiler scoop for me!