Ruth Connell Talks Supernatural's Midseason Premiere

The last time we spoke with Supernatural's Ruth Connell, she was still adjusting to a relatively [...]

(Photo: Russ Burlingame)

The last time we spoke with Supernatural's Ruth Connell, she was still adjusting to a relatively new role as Rowena, Crowley's mother.

Almost nine months later, she's feeling more and more a part of the long-running series' cast, and her character takes a big step into the limelight in tonight's midseason finale, "O Brother, Where Are Thou?"

Connell joined to talk about her role, her part in the Supernatural family and what to expect from tonight's big episode.

How has it been integrating? Rather than being a guest in this incredibly tight-knit cast, you're a big part of it now.

At the Comic-Con panel, Jensen said something about working with the core cast and called me out at Comic-Con to the audience. I have to say that was a big turning point for me; my heart just melted.

It feels really special, it feels amazing, and it's genuinely probably the best thing that's happened to me. I love doing this show so much, and they're amazing guys. I'm fully aware that there's a couple of million people who would kill to be in my position, and it keeps getting better and better, the more I get to know them and Misha.

It seems like whenever Rowena is onscreen, everything is going crazy and the stakes are incredibly high. Is it a fun challenge as an actor to play a role where every moment is over the top and you're kind of the only one who seems to have a handle on things?

...Or pretending to be confident!

Yeah, I love that the stakes are so high. Rowena is a dramatic character and she has a flair for the dramatic herself, whcih is fun to play. It's a sweet spot for me as an actress. I hope I'm not an overactor, but it's definitely enjoyable. There's a phrase that my friends and I use: There's some times you need to go balls to the wall, and I think Rowena is always balls to the wall. You get to go flat-out and I love to do that.

I think the thing that breaks it up a little bit is the humor and in this episode and the next episode, that's the thing I think she shares with Crowley. They're both smart-asses in a way, and there's wit between them. I think that's what I love about the show, is the tongue-in-cheek humor which makes the melodrama more human.

We haven't seen a ton of you this year, but your presence has been felt. How is it to have this kind of master plan playing in the background? Do you feel like you really need to be always aware of all the other players so you can come off as confident as Rowena needs to be?

I am. I watch it every week, and the tricky thing is, because we film in advance and then it comes out and you've already filmed other things since then, I always worry about spoilers. You've got three different stories: you've got the past, the present and then also, at conventions we're talking about it. We have to keep our brains straight, and I don't know how the guys do it, they've done so many episodes.

I do have to keep up to make sure I'm clear about what's going on, for sure. This episode and the next episode, I think, are very much a pair and we filmed them back to back. They definitely lead into each other and that being said, there is a huge cliffhanger this week, so people have to tune in for the first episode back next year.

I love the way your character interacts differently with each person; she doesn't have a singular attitude and approach. Is that intimacy, or manipulation or both?

I think that she's a wily woman, and I absolutely identify every person's weak spot and sweet spot. I think she's very well-written in that way. I don't see them as the generic Winchesters. I see Sam as Sam and Dean as Dean and I view them differently. And Crowley, and I'm fascinated by an angel that left Heaven. I think that's one of her strengths, is that she absolutely can identify that, and know people. I think with Rowena there's such a relish at picking somebody's scabs and pressing the sore spots.

And she is a bit of a goer. Crowley was perhaps conceived -- perhaps, if she was telling the truth, we'll find out -- during a winter solstice orgy, so she's definitely interested in the men for being men's sake. There's definitely an element of teasing and flirtation because she's a girl, after all. She likes a little spring in her step.

Watching you and Misha at the press event in Vancouver, you guys had a great rapport. Will we see you guys bouncing off each other coming up?

There's something coming up in Episode 10 and I can almost see the scene on the trailer. Misha and I, I think, we swear at each other and to me, that's always a sign of affection, when you can curse and swear at each other. He's good fun, for sure.

And of course, the fans get so invested that any time you share the screen with somebody...

They ship us, don't they?

Yes! And it's so funny because he has that effervescent energy. You can see how easy it would be to play off that chemistry, especially with the spring in your step that you mentioned. Do you think that being such larger-than-life characters as opposed to the somewhat more grounded Winchesters contributes to that?

Well, she's pragmatic. She's larger than life, she's been around -- I know what I think, which is around 365 years, something like that -- and she's had an extreme life.

You find out more -- that's what I love about Episode 10 for Rowena -- there's things that I've imagined for her backstory and actually some of the things I've imagined, the writers have worked in. She doesn't come from a privileged background; she's had her feet in the soil. It's all in the writing and I've got such a great character to play with. There's so many layers to her, I'm a very lucky actress, for sure.