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Wingman Wednesday

Grey Griffin

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Photo By: Deidhra Fahey

She has a voice that has inspired generations of pop culture fans, including those reading this, whether realized or not.

For Grey Griffin, who has applied her talents as a voice actress to everything from “The Fairly OddParents” to “The Loud House” and all animated points of interest in between, getting to work on such memorable brands while still maintaining a level of anonymity is her favorite part of the job.

We recently sat down with Griffin to discuss leaving her mark on viewers, why she lives in fear or angry tweets, and being pleasantly surprised by the popularity of “Supernatural.”

TrunkSpace: First off, we’re getting some serious street cred at home with our kids for this chat because they’re massive “The Loud House” fans. What is it like working on a project that has such a lasting impact on the next generation of pop culture lovers?
Griffin: Aw! That’s so flattering! Gosh, the success of the show has been such a pleasant surprise! I knew it was good when we did the short but I never DREAMED we’d dethrone Spongebob in the ratings! (Incidentally, my grandmother thought Spongebob was a little piece of cheese.)

TrunkSpace: Over the course of your career, you’ve worked on a number of series that have influenced different generations, from “The Fairly OddParents” to “Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends.” You’ve also given your own take on iconic characters from established universes like “The Transformers,” “Curious George” and “Batman.” Do you feel like you have left your mark on the world of pop culture, because from the outside looking in, it sure seems like you’ve had a hand in entertaining young and old alike?
Griffin: It’s so crazy when I meet ADULTS who say I was their CHILDHOOD! When you’re all by yourself in a booth, you forget how many people your voice will reach and the longevity of those characters! It’s overwhelming to imagine!

TrunkSpace: Is there something nice about being able to have such a successful career and be involved in so many high profile projects, and yet still maintain a level of privacy in your personal life because your voice has led the creative charge?
Griffin: It’s my FAVORITE THING about this job!!!! I can take my kids to Disneyland and nobody bothers us! (Even though I’m the new voice of The Redhead on “The Pirates of the Caribbean!”)

TrunkSpace: There are a number of interesting things about your work on “The Loud House” that we’d love to touch on. For starters, you juggle multiple characters on that show, including siblings Lola, Lana, and Lily. Parents say that they never have favorites when it comes to their kids, but when it comes to characters, do you have a favorite? Is there one Loud who is more fun to inhabit than others?
Griffin: I have a soft spot for Scoots! The old lady on the scooter? Grumpy old ladies are fun to play… because I AM one! (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: The other fascinating thing about that particular project is that your son Tex voices Lincoln Loud, making it a true family behind the scenes as well. Two part question. Is Tex named after Tex Avery, and, if so, was it his destiny to be the voice of future animated characters?
Griffin: Well his daddy is a country rock musician (he sings and plays bass for the Old 97s) so his name was a tribute to Tex Ritter and Tex Avery!

My son caught the acting bug early. Even observing him as a toddler, I knew we’d be acting together someday!

TrunkSpace: On a live action series, a set often becomes a second family. Is animation more isolating, at least when it comes to costar interaction?
Griffin: It truly depends on the project. Sometimes there are a lot of on-camera people in a cast and they tend to like to work alone, but we are like REAL sisters on “The Loud House!” We go out for meals together. The ladies brought food over when I had my babies. We laugh and squabble just like any family. I still text my “T.U.F.F. Puppy” castmates and we meet for drinks…

Voice people are a tight-knit community!

TrunkSpace: Is your approach to discovering an animated character the same as you would take with a live action character? What does that process look like?
Griffin: I have such a limited amount of on-camera experience but I will say that doing so much voiceover has made my brain extra lazy when it comes to memorization, so when I’m doing a live-action project, my approach is pretty much, “DON’T FORGET YOUR LINES!!!!”

Supernatural — “ScoobyNatural” — Pictured (L-R): Dean and Daphne — Photo: The CW — Photo: © 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

TrunkSpace: You’ve given life to iconic characters like Captain Marvel, Betty Rubble and Daphne of “Scooby Doo” fame. Is it more difficult voicing a character with such a rich history because you’re having to walk in their animated footsteps as opposed to establishing them for the first time?
Griffin: I think it truly is because I think, as actors, we want so much to please everyone! When I take over an iconic character like Daphne, Betty, Captain Marvel or most recently, Jane Jetson… I just live in abject fear of angry tweets and blog posts! (Laughter) Please LIKE ME!!!!

TrunkSpace: Speaking of Daphne, you starred in one of our favorite hours of episodic television of all time, the “Supernatural” cartoon crossover, “ScoobyNatural.” Was that experience a different one for you with that character, because tonally, it seems like it had some fun moments that you’d never find in a standard “Scooby Doo” episode?
Griffin: Misha (Collins) is actually a fellow parent at our school so I was used to seeing him in “dad mode”! I honestly had no idea what a huge show “Supernatural” was or what an impact that project would make! It was awesome!

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career thus far and are there any bucket list items that you’re still hoping to put a check mark next to?
Griffin: I’m a big Disney nut so doing a voice on The Pirates ride was pretty amazing…

I’d also really love to tackle one of the princesses someday. Not literally of course.

The Loud House” airs on Nickelodeon.
Her stand-up comedy special, “My First Comedy Special,” is available now on Amazon Prime.
Griffin can also be heard as Arcee in the new “Bumblebee” film.

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Wingman Wednesday

Kim Rhodes

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Photo By: Travis Hodges

If you steer clear of people with yellow eyes, call your car Baby, or recognize the value of salt in places other than the kitchen, chances are good that you’re fan of the series “Supernatural.” And if you are, you know that the Winchester brothers have had their fair share of friends and family come into their lives throughout the course of the show’s first 13 seasons, though none have left an impact quite like Sheriff Jody Mills. Now the maternal ass-kicking ally, portrayed perfectly by Kim Rhodes, is on the verge of spearheading her own spinoff series, “Wayward Sisters,” which viewers will get a taste of tonight when “Supernatural” returns to The CW following its mid-season hiatus.

We recently sat down with Rhodes to discuss her “Supernatural” road so far, the power and magic of the fandom, and what she’s most excited to explore with Jody in the new series.

TrunkSpace: “The road so far…” is a popular phrase associated with the series. Could you have ever expected that your “Supernatural” road would lead you here today, on the verge of your own spin-off series, “Wayward Sisters?”
Rhodes: I was so grateful every single second on that set. It never occurred to me to wish for more. And then when people started whispering, “Wouldn’t this be a good spin-off? Wouldn’t this be…” like, in my darkest heart there was a tiny little flicker of, “Yes, please! Please! I want to do this forever!”

But really, no expectation. No belief. I am astonished and I have no idea how this happened, with the exception of a group of powerful, vibrant, unbelievably joyous fans that were like, “No, no, no. We’d like this. Look what we can do.”

TrunkSpace: Obviously the fandom is very strong, but to be able to have a creative say and help a network venture towards a particular idea or concept is a very rare thing.
Rhodes: I’ve never heard of it happening before. Ever. Now, “Supernatural” has a very unique relationship with its fans. I remember being on a different show, and they actually said, “You’re here because of your fandom. We want to know how to do that with our show too.” I was like, “You can’t.”

I think the magic of “Supernatural” and the relationship with the fans, it cannot be recreated, because you can’t tell people what to do. This is the other thing. The fans are all individuals. It’s not a hive mind. You can’t just feed it. It is not a foregone conclusion that this spinoff will go. Because you can’t just seed somebody something and say, “Here, we call this ‘Supernatural,’” and have them say, “Yes, we love this.” They’re smart. They’re opinionated. They’re vocal. And they’re powerful. And it all comes from different ways of expressing love for the show “Supernatural” and for themselves and their own relationships and place in that. It’s pretty miraculous.

TrunkSpace: And because of that, it is called the SPN Family for a reason. They’re not afraid to say what they love and they’re not afraid to speak up when they don’t love something, but even then, it comes from a place of love.
Rhodes: It is, in all aspects, a family. I was talking to somebody else and I was like, “You know, nobody pushes your buttons like your family because they installed them.” It’s very easy for fans to be passive in this world, because nothing’s expected of them. But the “Supernatural” fandom expects a lot of itself, and they are passionate. I love that. It makes me identify. I’m like, “Yep, you’re me, I’m you! Yes!”

TrunkSpace: We know creatively the table has been set for “Wayward Sisters” throughout the course of the season, but this week’s episode really serves to put viewers at that table. Are you experiencing any sort of nerves in terms of how it will be received by the fandom?
Rhodes: You know how Holly Hunter cried in “Broadcast News?”

Supernatural — “Wayward Sisters” — Pictured: Kim Rhodes as Jody Mills — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2017 The CW Network, LLC All Rights Reserved

TrunkSpace: Yeah.
Rhodes: There you go. That’s me. I was fortunate enough to have four episodes on a completely different show, playing a completely different character. I’ve been on “Criminal Minds” for the last couple months, and it kept me distracted. Today is the first day I’m not on “Criminal Minds.” I was like, “Oh, maybe I’m not completely okay. Maybe I’m just repressing all of the terror and hope I’ve ever felt in my entire life that has culminated in this moment.” Yeah, that’s far more likely is that I’ve just been repressing it.

TrunkSpace: Would you say tonally that tonight’s episode of “Supernatural” is going to be representative of what “Wayward Sisters” will become?
Rhodes: Boy, I wish I could answer that. I don’t know. They haven’t told me anything because they know I don’t keep secrets well. That said, what is definitely indicative of everything they’ve said they want is how high the bar is set. We didn’t cut corners as actors. We didn’t cut corners with storytelling. It is brutal. The fights are hard, the work was tough. We trained, all of us, trained. Both physically and with weapons. The bar was set high. I can safely say that should this go to series, we will only keep raising the bar for ourselves. We want to exceed the fans’ expectations. And their expectations are pretty damn high.

TrunkSpace: That’s the thing. Sometimes expectations can be a blessing and a curse, because people are excited but at the same time they have their own set ways of what they envision something will be.
Rhodes: Yes. Now that is definitely something we are aware of. I had said before, I would like to say again, give it a chance. Just because you don’t see all of your expectations met in one episode doesn’t mean we aren’t laying the groundwork, particularly in terms of representation. “Wayward Sisters” has really opened up the number of voices and perspectives that the stories are being told from. Within that, if you don’t look at something and go, “Oh, well they forgot this…” Maybe not. You can’t eat the entire meal in the first bite.

TrunkSpace: Yeah, it’s not a movie. It’s not an hour and a half. It’s a long journey.
Rhodes: Yeah. And also, you’ve seen the episode so you know what I mean when I say there’s probably going to be a moment when the fans feel a little betrayed. When they’re going to be like, “Wait a minute, you did it again to us?”

TrunkSpace: Right.
Rhodes: Just hang on. And that’s going to be my motto for the entire journey, is just hang on. Just hang on. You think you know. You don’t know. Just hang on.

TrunkSpace: Obviously you’ve seen the character Jody grow over the course of your time on the series. What are you most excited about from a character’s journey in terms of what we could possibly see her go through over the course of her own series?
Rhodes: I am so excited to see Jody make some mistakes, and watch other people have to clean up her mess. Jody’s been pretty on-target so far, because that’s how she’s served the show. We know she’s made mistakes, but we haven’t needed to watch any of them because that wasn’t pushing the storyline of “Supernatural” forward. I would like to think that within “Wayward Sisters” Jody’s going to make mistakes. And she’s going to have to learn some stuff, which is hard as a senior member of a group. Because a lot of my identity as a person when I’m in a situation like that is, “Oh yeah, I got this. Let me tell you how to get this.” And Jody’s going to have to realize that she ain’t always got it and she’s going to have to learn from the girls around her. I’m looking forward to seeing what she learns from them.

Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2017 The CW Network, LLC All Rights Reserved

TrunkSpace: Jody’s always been very supportive of Claire, Alex, and Patience in terms of them taking on the responsibilities of being Hunters, but as she becomes more invested in the group and as dangers increase, do you think she’ll have second thoughts about that?
Rhodes: I think that’s always going to be with her. I think that’s definitely a note to her, because she’s experienced loss at the hands of the supernatural. And really, nobody else has lost the kinds of things that she’s lost. Jody is the one who’s painfully aware of what’s at stake in this kind of life and so she’s always going to have to struggle to allow people to be who they need to be, to fight the fight that needs to be fought.

TrunkSpace: She’s taken these girls under her wing at a time when they needed her, but we would imagine that Jody needs them just as much, if not more given those holes left to be filled in her personal life?
Rhodes: Well, I also think for me, I prefer to phrase it not so much filling the hole – because those holes have unique shapes and nothing will ever fill them – but to remember that someone’s capacity to love, and I have personally experienced some pretty traumatic losses in my life, the loss will never be replaced. But the love continues to be expressed when I choose to love someone else. And love myself. I think that is something that Jody is aware of. She’s never going to replace her husband and her son. However, being of service and finding hope again is the best thing she can do for their memory. And those girls give her both of those things. She can love again, and she can hope again, because those girls are in her life.

TrunkSpace: Finally, Kim, you sort of touched on this at the start of our chat… how grateful you were to be on the set each and every time you got the call. Everybody we have spoken to who has been involved in the series or who has worked on the series, they all have that same point of view, which is that they genuinely love the experience and being a part of this universe. Having been in this industry for as long you have, is that rare? Because it seems pretty rare from an outside perspective.
Rhodes: Do you believe in love at first sight?

TrunkSpace: Actually, yeah.
Rhodes: Have you experienced it?

TrunkSpace: Yes.
Rhodes: That’s pretty fucking rare isn’t it?

TrunkSpace: It is.
Rhodes: It’s like that. It exists. People who have never experienced think it’s a myth. People who have experienced it know how precious it is and how rare it is. It’s magic.

Supernatural” returns tonight on The CW.

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Wingman Wednesday

Catherine Lough Haggquist

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Starring in two Christmas movies this holiday season, including “Jingle Around the Clock” premiering Saturday on Hallmark Channel, Catherine Lough Haggquist has been surrounded by festive fare since September. Excited to be a part of the seasonal content consumption traditions of television viewers, the Vancouver native promises her films carry more bang for your Christmas buck than one of those yule log videos that we all can’t get enough of.

We recently sat down with Lough Haggquist about her prolonged holiday season, the reason Christmas movies continue to excite audiences, and the behind-the-scenes magic that makes “Supernatural” so successful.

TrunkSpace: We’re suckers here for a feel-good Christmas movie. You happen to be in two of them this year, “Christmas Pen Pals” and “Jingle Around the Clock.” Has your holiday season felt extended because we assume you’ve been surrounded by festive flare much longer than most of us given the production schedules of both films?
Lough Haggquist: I always love the holidays, so yes, it was great to get them started early. Usually, Christmas movies film in the summer, which makes it hard to get your Christmas jam on. In this case, we filmed “Christmas Pen Pals” in September and then “Jingle Around the Clock” just before Thanksgiving in November, so it just really felt like the holidays started early and haven’t really ended yet.

TrunkSpace: Projects like “Jingle Around the Clock” continue to grow in popularity each year, with networks like Hallmark being one of the few to build its audience. What do you think the draw is for audiences to tune into holiday films, especially in such an over-saturated market?
Lough Haggquist: I think holiday films are like holiday carols, in that they are a unique celebrations and representations of the season. In each case, you’re always looking for the new one that will become part of your holiday tradition. I know people who keep their TVs on holiday movies all day long, like other people play Christmas radio stations – as a nice way to create a holiday feeling at home – and besides, holiday films usually have better plots than the Christmas fire log video.

TrunkSpace: Television is well-known for having breakneck production schedules, but it is our understanding that films like “Jingle Around the Clock” make other television projects look like marathons. Does a quicker production schedule force you to approach performance in a different way? Do you have to try and find an understanding with your character prior to shooting your first scene?
Lough Haggquist: I think that in general when working in television, you have a shorter timeline to create than you would on a feature film. As such, you have to come prepared and in turn, you will work with others who are similarly prepared. In my case, I enjoy the fast pace, because it forces me to make clear choices quickly and it creates an interesting energy on set. The energy pushes all of us to do good work in a shorter time period. You have to bring your A-game and you have to come to slay!

TrunkSpace: Not only are we suckers for Christmas movies, but we’re also suckers for “Supernatural.” You’ve guested on the series twice over the years, playing a different character each time. From what we’ve heard, that is one of the smoothest-running series in the biz. What was your experience like working on that show at different moments in your career?
Lough Haggquist: The first time, I was a little bit thrown off by how much fun everyone was having on set. They were fully prepared and committed when it was time to shoot, but between takes, there were lots of jokes and the atmosphere was so relaxed. In television, the long days and time constraints don’t always lend themselves to that kind of working environment, so this experience was new to me at that time.

When I returned to “Supernatural” again, I knew what to expect, so not only was I welcomed back, but I got to be part of the fun, myself. I have no doubt that the show’s longevity is related in no small way to the fun and playful atmosphere that is created by the cast and crew.

TrunkSpace: How important are shows like “Supernatural” and “iZombie,” which you have also appeared on, to the acting community in and around the Vancouver area? Would it be a different landscape if such high profile shows like those and others were not actively shooting there?
Lough Haggquist: Having so many series available for actors to work on is necessary for the overall talent pool and sustainability of our creative community. With more work being available, it makes acting a viable career choice and I’m very grateful for episodic television as it’s offered regular work to myself and others.

That said, I think that the volume of film and television projects in Vancouver inspires all of us because it keeps the city vibrant with creative energy and makes everyone – whether we were actors, filmmakers, or another vital part of the industry – want to contribute and be part of it in our own respective ways.

TrunkSpace: As you look back over your career, can you pinpoint a single “big break” that took you to the next level, and if so, what was that role or project?
Lough Haggquist: I think that the project that was essentially my “big break” was when I was hired to be Holly Robinson’s stand-in on “21 Jump Street” because even though it wasn’t an acting job per se, it was the first time that I had ever had any extended exposure to the television-making process. Prior to that, I had only done commercials and a music video, and I hadn’t really had a chance to observe the process of making a television show.

That project was the first step for me towards building a meaningful network of people in the industry and there are friendships that I formed on that show that are important to me professionally and personally today.

TrunkSpace: Again, looking back over your career, what project or role taught you the most about the craft? Essentially, what job gave you more than a credit and paycheck?
Lough Haggquist: I think that the job that gave me a true insight into the craft while also offering me the most creative challenges as an actor was being able to inhabit the role of Nora on “Continuum” for three seasons.

The opportunity to work from the core of the character that we established and share her journey as new things happened around her was a great way to develop my own craft and give me many rewarding experiences along the way.

TrunkSpace: You founded Biz Books in 1996. How important has it been for you to maintain active interests in things other than on-screen work, and how do you juggle focus between the various endeavors?
Lough Haggquist: Since the beginning of my career, I have always been active in the acting and entertainment communities at large. Through this, I realized that there was a significant need in the marketplace for a local source that could provide creative types in Vancouver (and elsewhere) with essential books, plays, scripts and products that could help them along.

I started Biz Books because I wanted to lead by example in supporting my community, but my desire to support others in trying to reach their artistic dreams has also expanded into other work I’m involved with like teaching and coaching. If we aren’t supporting each other, we have already failed.

As far as focus goes, I enjoy the fact that my career has balance to it and that I’m fortunate to be able to shift between different challenges, endeavors and mindsets. Acting taps into skills that I have developed, while other activities like teaching or Biz Books bring out knowledge that I have gained that can assist others. All of these are equally rewarding to me.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Lough Haggquist: The highlight of my career so far was having the opportunity to attend a fan convention in London for “Once Upon a Time.” While there, I got to meet a number of men and women who shared their stories about how “Once Upon a Time” and the characters we had created had brought them joy, entertainment, and most importantly, community.

I am still in touch with a number of people that I met there. The whole experience really re-connected me with the importance of stories and storytellers.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Lough Haggquist: No, because the best part of this whole adventure is the journey, not the destination.

Jumping ahead would only show where I end up, not what brought me meaning along the way. I have arrived many places that were not nearly as amazing as the trips to get there. I want to discover and create, not anticipate and expect.

Jingle Around the Clock” airs Saturday on Hallmark Channel.

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Wingman Wednesday

Hayley Sales

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While multi-hyphenate Hayley Sales views her musical career and acting career as part of the same overall creative journey, both ways of artistic expression have delivered their share of unique highlights. With a new album currently in the works and recent roles in “Deadpool 2” and “Supernatural,” the future is looking bright for the Washington, D.C. native who has even more highlights to celebrate heading into 2019.

We recently sat down with Sales to discuss her artistic road so far, embracing the fashion of the 1980s, and justifying our Jensen Ackles bro crush.

TrunkSpace: You’ve had a successful music career and in many ways you get to control your own destiny by way of your music. You write what you want. You record what you want. You perform what you want. Did it take some getting used to, transitioning into the world of acting where so much is dependent on the decisions and actions of others?
Sales: Most definitely! In many ways, music is you realizing and actualizing your own dream whereas acting in a film or TV show is bringing someone else’s dream to life. It doesn’t mean it is any less rewarding or fun to do, just different. With acting, it’s more as though you are fitting into a puzzle, or doing a brush stroke on a huge canvas. I do find acting in an ensemble inspiring though. Probably because it’s so different from music. You get to be a part of something bigger than yourself. You get to tell a story that isn’t necessarily your own, although you put your heart and soul into it. I find it very expansive to be put into a box, as strange as that may sound. I do find that sometimes having limitations to art can be the most inspiring. Sometimes when you have a billion different ways you can produce a song, it can be daunting. With acting, it’s beautifully simple in some ways. You get to tell someone’s story, do them justice by bringing their joys and their fears out into the open in the hopes that you make someone else feel a little less alone. But I love them both so much. They’re so similar and so different.

It is definitely a challenge to handle the business side of acting and music, where you are rejected constantly. In both careers. Over and over again and not necessarily because of anything you are or did, but because you just aren’t what that particular label, manager or producer is looking for. It’s odd because, as an artist, you need such a thick skin, but if you don’t stay vulnerable, you lose the essence of art. At first, I’d wind up being in tears over this part or that part or this label or that label, and overtime, I think you realize, the right moment will come for you and to trust in that.

TrunkSpace: Do you view your musical career and your acting career as separate entities or do they fall under one larger creative umbrella?
Sales: To me they’re one and of the same. I can’t wait to be in more musical films. They’re both ways of expression. Whether you are expressing yourself or expressing your character, which in many ways, is expressing parts of yourself as well. I’ve heard so many reasons you can’t do both and for a while, I wasn’t allowed to act while I was signed as a teen. But in this day and age, I think art is art and I’m just grateful to be swimming in that pond of creativity!

I can’t wait to release my next record though. I actually spent four years on a record that was never allowed to be released. Universal had a huge staff switch over a month before the record’s release. Due to a corporate policy that had just been put in place, they refused to give me back the rights to my own music, even though I was willing to buy it from them. It broke my heart. I turned to acting entirely during the two years of legal battles. Only recently have I, finally, begun to sweep the pieces of my courage off the floor, into a dust pan, and back onto the table and am in the studio at my parent’s Blueberry farm as we speak! You can hear some of them on my Spotify. (@hayleysales)

Something happens when you experience that heavy a loss, that type of helplessness and betrayal. I thought I’d never have it in me to make more music. But now I feel more driven than ever to release the songs I love… not that a label would love or the radio would love, but the songs that make me feel most moved to sing. Can’t wait for you to hear. As we record, I’ve been diving into each song as though I am an actor telling a story… the story just happens to be my own. It’s been a very fun exercise in connecting two of my passions!

TrunkSpace: We love great music, but we also love great lines – lyrical snippets that stick with you beyond the macro of a song or album. What is your favorite line that you’ve ever written and why?
Sales: Don’t you love when a line from a book, song or movie just resonates so loudly you can almost feel it? I love when that happens. The words seem to weave their own tapestry that wraps around you! I honestly couldn’t even begin to say which was my favorite of my own writing, but maybe it would be this poem. I remember so vividly, writing this on the sand in Cocoa Beach after the loss of a dear friend…

Death will be a welcome visitor
When he chance to come
I’ll open up the door, I will
Invite him into my home

I’ll spread a feast of dreams and things
Collected here and there
Seat him at the table’s head
With wine and bread to share

We’ll chat of all the memories
I’ve lived and he has watched
Together we will drink to sleep
The tired and winded clock

I’ll ponder how I’ve loved and lost
And sometimes how I’d won
And as the night crawls further in
My mind will loose her tongue

A point will come when the silence
Has engulfed me in its womb
Old death will wink, and I will smile
I know my time is soon

I’ll look around my perfect house
And love the life I’ve lived
I’ve lived enough to know that life
Is better with an end

Goodnight to light, to breath, to song
I know we’ll meet again
For death is not the finish-line
But the means by which we mend

TrunkSpace: In terms of the feeling you get as a musician, creating this living, breathing thing from scratch and then turning it over to the universe… can you achieve that same feeling while acting? Are there parallels to creating a song and creating a character?
Sales: Very good question actually. I’d say they’re both incredibly similar and completely different. With music, you are creating, like you said, a universe. It’s your universe. It’s the exposure of your inner most thoughts and desires. Basically, you have to take a big red sharpie and circle all the chinks in your armor then go, “Hey world! This is me!” Music is powerful in that way. It’s a very personal communication between the listener and the musician. Having said that, acting is equally powerful and requires the same amount of vulnerability and exposure. The difference is, you have to bring all of your own world into this entirely new character’s life and begin to breathe in their shoes. You have to bring all of yourself into the universe of the story. But you aren’t really you…you’re you in someone else. Not sure if that makes any sense, but they are incredibly similar! But also balance each other out. They’re both exposing your truth, just through different mediums. Art is such an amazing communication. Cuts through all the rules and boundaries when it’s done right.

TrunkSpace: We are suckers here for “Supernatural,” particularly with the quirky, monster-of-the-week episodes. One of our new favorites is “Mint Condition,” which aired earlier this year. In it you play Janet Strong, and your wardrobe is totally tubular and wicked awesome. What does it feel like to be a part of such a memorable episode of this long-running series?
Sales: I am beyond grateful and yes… yes, my outfits were totally tubular and then some! I feel so lucky to have gotten to be a part of this particular episode and of the series in general. The energy was wildly hilarious on set. Whenever I’m in between takes, I love to stand near the director and watch the monitors. You can learn so much. A great deal of the time, however, as we were filming this movie, it’d take everything in me to not buckle over in laughter. And I wasn’t the only one. It truly feels like magic when everyone is in the right headspace and enjoying the process.

Slightly related and funny story about my callback for the role of Janet… before the audition, I went on a mad rampage through the attic for my mom’s ‘80s clothes. After finding truly amazing gems, I went on to borrow my 10-year-old niece’s scrunchy and my sister-in-law’s safety pin watch from 1983. I was so excited to get to play dress up. The callback was very fun. The director, producer – everyone was lovely, but here’s the best part – I wound up being slightly late out of the audition and had to run down the street with my side pony, cut off shorts and blue eye shadow, and let me tell you, I got some very, very interesting looks – like I’d just stepped out of “Hot Tub Time Machine.”

TrunkSpace: The series is continuing to excite its fandom in Season 14, which is hard to even fathom given how short-lived even successful series are these days. We hear it is one of the most welcoming sets to step onto in the business, but is it difficult to go into something that is such a well-oiled machine and not feel like the new kid at school? Were there nerves?
Sales: You know, I think most actors would be lying if they didn’t say they had some nerves. For me, they always happen as I’m driving up to set on the first day. Especially if I’m really excited. But, then magically, once I step out of the car, something happens and the butterflies take off. Everyone on the set of “Supernatural” was so welcoming it was hard to be nervous. We were all excited to be filming the hilarious footage we were filming, it felt like summer camp or something! I loved it. I wish every set could be that inspiring and warm.

Having said that, I do remember my first day on a big show though. It was a very emotional scene. I was so nervous and then crying so hard for the scene, they had to stop. You could hear my heartbeat on the mic! I was so embarrassed… but I remember the director came up to me and just talked to me about the story. Once I stopped thinking about myself, started thinking about the person in front of me, the nerves went away.

TrunkSpace: Have you had the opportunity to feel the reach of the passionate fandom – the SPN Family – since your episode premiered? Has any of it come as a surprise or did you have a sense of how big the fan base was before being cast?
Sales: I mean, when a show is on as long as “Supernatural” has been, they’ve got to be doing something right! And what an amazing cast and crew. It truly is the most welcoming set to walk onto. Having said that, I’m definitely seeing that it has one of the most loyal fan bases out there, and had no idea just how supportive Supernatural’s fans are! They’re lucky to have you cheering them on. Truly.

TrunkSpace: As children of the ‘80s, we have to go back to your wardrobe for a minute. Corey Hart may wear his “sunglasses at night,” but he’d have to wear them all day long if he were on set with you and all of that bright neon. Is the fun side of your job boosted even higher when you’re working on a project where the wardrobe itself becomes such a big part of the character and world you’re inhabiting?
Sales: Most definitely! I have to admit, one of the highlights of my day was watching my hair’s ascension towards the ceiling as they backcombed, sprayed more hairspray, and then backcombed again! Add that to the peacock glitter eye shadow, hot pink knit gloves and leopard print mini skirt, and it’s pretty hard not to feel like pulling out a boom box and slipping back into a different era. I simply love doing period pieces. You really are influenced by wardrobe and in many ways, it makes the job quite a bit easier as an actress. I find myself sinking into the story and the world without even trying. In a strange way, the more outlandish the outfit, the more you remember to just have fun. That acting shouldn’t be about doing it right or whether you’re doing well. It takes you out of your head and into your body, which makes the whole thing more fun! My amazing acting coach, Joe Anthony, once said, “You have to put the spotlight on the person in front of you.” If you think about it, when you’re having a conversation with anyone, that’s exactly what you’re doing. Either that or you’re worrying about what they’re thinking about what you’re saying. Somehow wearing a fun wardrobe or speaking with an accent gets you more present, loosens you up a bit, makes the whole thing more relaxed and experimental, especially when it’s hilarious ‘80’s outfit after outfit.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career thus far – with music or acting – and why?
Sales: I knew as a baby I had to be in the arts. I loved music, acting… I just knew there was no Plan B. And while that choice hasn’t always been easy, and has ruled my life, I’m so grateful that I’m able to support myself doing what I love. It’s hard to say what the main highlight as been! There are so many, and an equal amount of being down in the trenches of misery! But I think, the first moment of absolute bliss for me was when, at the age of 13, I was flown to the Pentagon to sing Judy Garland songs at the WWII Ace Pilots Convention. Obviously, that was a while ago, but it let me know I could do it, that I just had to keep moving forward. And the tears in the eyes of the pilots as they danced with their wives, brought tears to my own eyes. I realized just how powerful a song can be.

Another highlight was slightly after signing my first record deal with Universal. I was in Nova Scotia on tour. We were in the car and I was busting about to pee. All of a sudden, I heard my first single “What You Want” on the radio… I could barely speak. I just swelled up inside and tears burst out with ecstasy. I even forgot I still had to wait another 20 minutes for a rest area. (Laughter) A similar experience happened when I signed with Verve in the US a few years back. I remember turning on a Judy Garland record, grabbing a glass of wine, and dancing around the house with such a feeling of joy and excitement, I could barely breath. I look forward to the next.

I suppose those are all the moments when I felt the highest. As far as credentials go, getting to perform with the likes of Ben Harper at Fuji Rock Festival, touring with Jason Mraz and INXS… so grateful for all those experiences. Then of course, finding out I’d been casting “Deadpool 2!”

TrunkSpace: Finally, Hayley, our wives give us a difficult time because they say our Jensen Ackles man crush is not normal. Having now worked on “Supernatural” yourself, come to our rescue here… he’s worth every ounce of our unbridled bromancing attention, right?
Sales: This might be the best question so far. I’ll keep my answer simple and sweet. Bromance away my dear friends, bromance away.

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Wingman Wednesday

Miranda Edwards & Michael Jonsson

MichaelJonssonMirandaEdwardsFeatured
Photo By: Erich Saide

We’re sitting down with Michael Jonsson and Miranda Edwards of “Arrow” to chat all things Longbow Hunters after joining up with the series in Season 7. Buckle up villain fans!

TrunkSpace: “Arrow” has a very passionate fandom and is based on characters and a world with a very rich history. When you’re working on a project that means so much to so many people, does it carry a little bit more weight? Does it start to feel like more than just your average job?
Jonsson: “Arrow” is WAAAAAAY more than just an average job. These fans are awesome and they observe and cherish every part of the show. Trying to live up to those types of expectations is daunting but I am going to try as hard as I can to do just that.
Edwards: I really do walk into every project with nerves. None of it is average to me. I want what I do to be as authentic as possible so I have a high standard for myself. But I found entering into this world to be quite freeing. Because I know that so many people watch and love the show. I’m really just thrilled to show up and have fun with this character. Of course, I hope the fans like what I have to bring but I’m pretty excited to bring it!

TrunkSpace: What would 10-year-old Michael and 10-year-old Miranda think if we were to zip back in time and tell them that someday they’d be playing supervillains in the DC Universe? Would they be surprised?
Edwards: Umm. 10-year-old Miranda thought she was already a superhero but she was actually exploring her wicked side. So she might be surprised to be a villain but my family would say, “No, that’s about right.”
Jonsson: Yeah! 10-year-old Michael always played the good guys. He was Luke, Indiana or a Goonie, which is funny, ‘cause my son is seven years old and he likes being Kylo Ren, Thanos or Darth Vader. The kid has the biggest heart and sweetest smile but wants the power to choke you to death.

TrunkSpace: You both joined the series for the first time in the episode “The Longbow Hunters.” What can you tell us about Kodiak and Silencer and how the two get caught up in the super shenanigans to take out Oliver Queen?
Jonsson: We do whatever Diaz tells us to do. He is the boss and it makes for some awesome fight scenes. *Spoiler* – The fight in our first episode in the train car was so much fun! Taking out a whole crew of A.R.G.U.S. was very satisfying from a supervillain perspective. BUUUT, it was that day I realized I need to start training those front kicks a little higher.
Edwards: Silencer loves any scenario where she can dispose of the annoying little obstacles in her path with a quiet quickness. The opportunity to assist Diaz in doing that suits her perfectly. Never hurts to have some partners in crime when you’re doing dirt. So we compliment each other well as the Longbow Hunters.

TrunkSpace: How closely do your characters resemble your comic book counterparts in terms of powers and abilities and did you visit the source material at all in your search for discovering who they are?
Jonsson: Kodiak, in the comics, is the leader of The Shield Clan and is part of the Outsiders War. He IS huge, is a meta with super strength and carries a badass shield. He is also sarcastic and pokes fun at Oliver. I hope we see a lot more of that. The big difference – he’s shirtless and wears an antler skull headpiece. It’d be cool to see an arc transforming him into that.
Edwards: Well, the Silencer has to be able to create silence – that is her thing so that’s an unwavering commonality. She is also adept at taking down her foes skillfully and efficiently both in the comic and on the show. I began reading the Silencer series right away! I was excited to see the backstory that was there for me to draw from.

TrunkSpace: What did you enjoy about getting to bring a comic book character to life? What was it about your character specifically that you liked getting to inhabit?
Edwards: I like the hero vs. villain relationship. It’s always high stakes. As Silencer everything I’m doing from moment to moment is life or death. What a great place to play in. Since she is the one who is deciding who dies and when – by the very nature of her job – she always feels powerful. And of course, in her eyes, she’s always right. Unless she’s being challenged, then she’s fighting for her life. Still life or death. Always interesting to play.
Jonsson: Being tough enough to punch people across rooms and through train doors is spectacular. I get to chuck a lot of people. That’s my thing… I chuck people. I have a cool sounding shield and I chuck people. That and the sarcasm. My humor is dark and sarcastic and is probably why I identified so well with him.

TrunkSpace: Both Silencer and Kodiak were created in what is considered the “New Age” of the DC Universe so there isn’t as much of them in print as there would be for some of the more iconic characters who have been around for decades. Does that take a bit of the pressure off, especially when you consider how the comic fandom has been known to dissect the portrayals of iconic characters over the years?
Jonsson: No way! These fans want and deserve the best and I’m going to work my tail off to make sure this is what they get from Kodiak.
Edwards: I love that she is a new character. I enjoy having the freedom to decide where to go with her. I think there is still mystery around what drives her to do the things she does. That leaves something for me to explore. I like that the fans care about these characters and I look at their attention as a positive. It’s what keeps the DC Universe alive.

TrunkSpace: What has been the most enjoyable part of your “Arrow” journey thus far?
Jonsson: Hanging with one of the best cast and crews around. Everyone on the show is so fun, especially my fellow Longbow Hunters. Miranda and Holly (Elissa) crack me up the whole time. They are not only talented and fierce actors, but they also have incredible personalities making them easy to get along with.
Edwards: Lot’s of action, fun cast, great crew and getting to watch the show and see how it’s received is fun too. Putting on a costume and becoming this other woman is THE most fun!

Photo By: Ellyse Anderson

TrunkSpace: We’re suckers for “Supernatural” here, a show that you have both appeared on throughout the course of its run. (Michael, you actually played two characters if we’re not mistaken?) Is it a bit of a rite of passage for Vancouver-based actors to make a stop in that world, especially given how long “Supernatural” has been on the air?
Edwards: I think so. When I was on and since, I’ve met so many actors who’ve appeared on “Supernatural” once or twice in their careers. It’s such a tightly run ship and everyone is so on top of their jobs that you just dive right in and go for the ride. It’s amazing what can be accomplished in just two short days. I was an angel, I killed, I fought, I died. I had a blast!
Jonsson: (Laughter) Yeah, sooner or later, if you are working in Vancouver, you will be on “Supernatural.” Playing the two characters, I guess I was on it sooner and later. Playing Gog was hilarious though… here are these two giant warriors from 2000 years ago, bickering in Canaanite while wearing diaper-looking loincloths.

TrunkSpace: What is your favorite thing about acting beyond the work itself? What keeps you excited to wake up every morning and pursue this as your career?
Jonsson: Getting to do something different and nuanced every time. I feel like I am always being challenged which is a necessity in everything I do. When challenged, you are forced to become better, find another part of yourself and expand. Isn’t that what life is about?
Edwards: The variety and the challenge. I love doing something different every day, it keeps things fresh and interesting, and there are plenty of challenges. I have to push myself to explore something I didn’t realize I was capable of doing. So I’m growing and learning as I pursue this career. I appreciate all of that.

TrunkSpace: You’re both no strangers to shows with passionate fandoms. Miranda, you’ve worked on “The Magicians” and “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.” Michael, you’ll be reprising your role as The Burier in the third season of “Van Helsing.” With so much great television being made these days, especially those shows that are geared towards an existing audience, is it just as interesting of a time in television for you, the performer, as it is for us, the audience?
Edwards: Yes! And, I am a member of the audience too. I love TV and you’re right, there is soooo much good stuff out there. So, when I have the opportunity to take a great a role on a compelling show, I’m doubly pleased. I’m taking part in the creation of something I’d want to watch and then I get to share it.
Jonsson: Following up on the last answer, it’s fantastic to have a lot to audition for. This means being able to play a bunch of different characters and testing your limits. I love it!

TrunkSpace: Time machine question! If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Jonsson: No! I am a big believer in life being the journey, not the end goal. Every day we are presented with opportunities to better our lives. Sometimes we are aware of those little gifts and sometimes we aren’t, or we are aware but stop ourselves from accepting them. Or we don’t want to accept them cause we see the “gifts” as bad. If I know what is coming in ten years, I might not challenge myself to accept all the gifts. Being brave enough to accept more of life’s gifts, good and bad, is what it’s all about. That’s how we feel alive.
Edwards: Nooooo, I wouldn’t want to get in my own way. Knowing me I’d try everything I could to try to shape my own future and then ultimately mess it up. I know that there are great things in store and that there are challenges ahead. I’ll just wait to find out what exactly they are at the moment they happen. And I’ll still try to stay out of my own way.

Arrow” airs Mondays on The CW.

Featured images: © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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Wingman Wednesday

A.J. Buckley

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Photo By: James Dimmock

Being a child of the 1980s, A.J. Buckley grew up playing with G.I. Joe action figures, so it comes as no surprise that his inner child is gung-ho about getting to portray a gun-toting soldier with swagger on the hit CBS series “SEAL Team.” As the cowboy Sonny Quinn, Buckley has ventured far away – in a Black Hawk helicopter no less – from those previous characters who thrust him into the spotlight, including Ghostfacer Ed Zeddmore from the long-running genre series “Supernatural,” which he hopes to one day find some narrative closure with.

We recently sat down with Buckley to discuss dreams come true, beard functionality, and why the SPN Family needs to Tweet out #bringthefacersback.

TrunkSpace: You’re in your early 40s, which means you were a kid when “G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero” took off in the ‘80s. What would eight-year-old A.J. think if he was told his future self would get to play an on-camera G.I. Joe one day?
Buckley: I would play for hours and hours with G.I. Joe. Me and my cousin, Alex, had pretty much every one of them. All the tanks, every character – I was obsessed with it. And as a boy running around the neighborhood playing guns, doing all that sort of stuff was really part of my childhood, so this in a sense is every little boy’s dream. I get to show up to work and fly around in Black Hawk helicopters and shoot big guns and blow things up. It’s a dream job, it really is.

TrunkSpace: Is it one of those things where you show up on set and there’s a new set piece or prop and you get just as excited as you did on your first day?
Buckley: Oh, without a doubt, and we haven’t even touched half of it. I got to drive on top of a Hummer firing a 50-cal and blowing things up. I got to shoot live rounds out of it. Not during the filming, but just to understand what it felt like to shoot a live round. My character carries all the big guns, so it’s really fun to show up and they hand me the gun and a big pack of ammo and I just unload on something. I don’t know how I ended up so lucky but there’s not a day that I don’t drive to set thinking, “Holy shit, this is the greatest job in the world!”

TrunkSpace: And you get to have a beard, which is pretty awesome for an on-camera gig!
Buckley: Yeah, it’s true. Last season it was a little more crazy because when Navy Seals deploy – our tech advisor for the Seals said that you don’t shave at all. You don’t cut your hair and you don’t shave. One, to blend in, but two, it’s sort of like a badge of honor to how long you’ve been there. So depending on how long your hair is and how long your beard is, it shows the length of time that you’ve been over there.

We went, I think, seven months without shaving once… any sort of trim or haircut. And my hair and my beard were so long that my daughter… one night she had put a LEGO person in my beard and I totally forgot about it. I got to set the next day and the lady’s combing my beard and she was like, “What is that?” And I reached into my beard and it was a little LEGO person.

TrunkSpace: It’s like a wallet!
Buckley: It was a long beard. I found toothpicks in there too. We’d be on the Black Hawk and my character would have a toothpick. Because you’re all geared up; it’s hard to reach into your pocket, so I would just put them inside my beard and then if I lost one I would just pull one out of my beard. It was very useful.

TrunkSpace: You mentioned having the Navy Seals as advisors. How important was it having access to them to sort of not only secure the realism of the series, but to understand who Sonny was?
Buckley: We would 100 percent not be the show that we are if it wasn’t for the men and women that are veterans on our show, who have now become producers or veteran writers, or are behind the camera or in various different departments on the show. Sixty percent of our crew are veterans and they’ve gone out of their way to do that, so there’s a real sense of pride in the show that we’re making. And I feel that with our executive producer, Chris Chulack, he sort of set the tone that said we want to have the authenticity of what these guys do. Although we’re making a TV show, we want to be as authentic as possible. And our veterans on the show, our tech advisor producers, they have the ability – which never happens – that if a guest director is shooting something or any director is shooting something and if it’s not the way that we would move or it’s not the way that we would do it, the veteran has the ability to step in and say, “Cut.”

Buckley in “SEAL Team”

TrunkSpace: You mentioned the love of coming to set, but what is it about Sonny himself that you’ve enjoyed throughout these first two seasons?
Buckley: He’s a real cowboy. It’s such a fun character. I’ve never played a role like this before. There’s a guy that my character’s loosely based on, and I got to spend some time with him and he’s got this kind of swagger to him, this cowboy, and he’s got the one liners and sort of that dry sense of humor. He’s a fun, whiskey-drinking, beer-drinking, red meat-eating cowboy that kicks some ass. It’s kind of a dream role for any guy.

TrunkSpace: Did it come with a bit of pressure when you first signed on, knowing that he was specifically written for you?
Buckley: Yeah. Ben Cavell, the writer of the first season, when I spoke to him he had said, “I wrote this with you in mind for the character.” And knowing that this is based on a real group of guys and that they’re with you every day on set, yeah, there is a certain amount of pressure. But I like the pressure because it keeps everybody on their toes and it’s our responsibility to portray this group of men and women in a certain light… and portray them right by giving them the respect that we should and honoring them in that way, so it’s a good thing.

TrunkSpace: You’ve played a lot of diverse characters over the course of your career… guys with different internal ways of thinking. Was that a conscious decision… trying to keep each new role different from the previous one you portrayed?
Buckley: I think so. I would say more in the second part of my career. I always like to find each character I get to kind of push the envelope or create something that’s really different from who I am. Coming off of “CSI: New York” and “Supernatural” – I was a regular on “CSI: New York” and a recurring on “Supernatural” – I was fearful when the show ended that I was going to be typecast. And for me, my favorite character growing up was John McClane, that sort of every man that can do the impossible. And that’s where I wanted my career to go, so I really had to put the time in and shift gears in the sense of being laser focused on the roles that I choose, and physically how I looked. It became really a nine to five job where I had to hire a nutritionist, Kevin Libby, to really dial in sort of who I was and the characters I wanted to start portraying.

TrunkSpace: Was part of that physical transformation an extension of getting executives and casting people to see you in a different light?
Buckley: Yeah, it was. And I think it was for me, too. I needed to feel that way, to kind of get there. In a sense you kind of become the character a little bit or whoever this idea you have… it’s obvious if you’re a superhero or an action hero, you’ve got a good chance of working, and pudgy little dad bod wasn’t going to cut it. So I said, “Fuck it!” and I just decided that I was going to put everything I had into it, and in a sense, manifesting this next chapter.

Supernatural — “#THINMAN” — Image SN916b_0278 — Pictured: AJ Buckley as Ed — Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2014 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

 

TrunkSpace: We had read that your “Supernatural” character, Ed Zeddmore, was one of your favorite characters that you’ve ever played. What would Dean Winchester think of Ed if he showed up all jacked? Dean’s such an alpha male, how would that play out?
Buckley: He’d be terrified. (Laughter)

I always thought it’d be really funny because the Ghostfacers are the longest living characters. And Travis Wester, my partner on that, on Ghostfacers, who plays Harry, he also started doing a lot of crossfit and he got pretty jacked. I always thought it would be funny if they brought us back, and through the years that they hadn’t seen us, we come back and we are who we are now and sort of give the boys a run for their money. I think it’d be fun. Those guys, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, are two of the nicest human beings you could possibly meet. For our characters, when we came on the show, we kind of took over it. It became the Ghostfacers show, and some actors wouldn’t be cool with that, and they were just… they’re as successful as they are for a reason, because of just the types of guys that they are and how open minded and cool they are. They’re just a good group of guys and I would love for our characters to go back and at least… like kill us or do something, because it ended just so oddly. We separated and we never came back.

The Ghostfacers were Eric Kripke, who was the original show writer, they were kind of like his babies. Him and Tre Callaway were the writers who gave birth to them, so to speak. Eric Kripke really got behind us and kind of gave us our spinoff. We got to write it and direct it, and it was a whole thing, but once Kripke left, we both felt that the new showrunner wanted to take the show in a different direction, which happens and that’s totally cool, but Ghostfacers just wasn’t on that direction train.

TrunkSpace: You’ve been on a bunch of high profile projects over the years. Do any current fandoms compare, at least passion-wise, to the SPN Family?
Buckley: There’s no other fans like “Supernatural” fans. “Supernatural” fans are the most loyal fans that are out there. They’re diehard. Our characters, the Ghostfacers, became who they were and we got that spinoff and that incredible run because the fandom really got behind us and talked about it.

The fans, if they’re reading this, they should do this thing and hashtag #bringthefacersback.

SEAL Team” airs Wednesdays on CBS.

 

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Wingman Wednesday

Barry Nerling

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There have been a sundry slew of fan-favorite characters to claw and scratch their way into the hearts of “Supernatural” fans throughout the course of its 14 seasons. Last night’s episode, “Mint Condition,” introduced us to a new dead darling that our slasher-loving lips can’t stop quoting, Hatchet Man.

We all do bad things sometimes!”

We recently sat down with the actor who brought the memorable boogieman to life, Barry Nerling, to discuss hatching Hatchet Man, fortuitous barbecues, and “farting” in front of Steven Spielberg.

TrunkSpace: We are suckers here for “Supernatural,” particularly with the quirky, monster-of-the-week episodes. One of our new favorites is “Mint Condition,” which aired last night. In it you played Hatchet Man. What does it feel like to be a part of such a memorable episode of this long-running series?
Nerling: It feels pretty dam cool to be honest. I started on the show back on Season 1/Episode 3 and they have had a lot of memorable characters along the way. “Supernatural” has always been about hunting monsters and telling cool stories. Their so called “standalone episodes” are always so much fun, like “ScoobyNatural” – one of my favorites. I just hope the fans like this character so he to can join the ranks of all these great character creations spawned by “Supernatural.”

TrunkSpace: Hatchet Man is a great agglomeration of celluloid slashers, particularly those from the ‘80s we grew up with. How would he fare against some of cinemas deadliest like Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, and Freddy Krueger?
Nerling: Honestly, I think all of those guys are great. I think we would all look at each other and just nod. You know, like, “I feel you brother, respect.” Although, Krueger likes to try to get into your head, so I think Hatchet Man would have to be careful of that.

TrunkSpace: In the episode, action figures come to life and all hell breaks lose. Did you get to keep any versions of your own mint condition Hatchet Man self as a keepsake? What would you think if actual Hatchet Man figures ever found their way into the collector’s market?
Nerling: Well, sadly the only copy was the life-size version in the comic shop, so no, I did not get a mini version to put with the rest of my collectibles. I for one would love to see the Hatchet Man action figures. If they need me to pose, I am available.

TrunkSpace: Did wardrobe and makeup sort of dictate your performance? Did you just BECOME Hatchet Man when you slipped into his physical skin, so to speak?
Nerling: Playing these types of characters, you always draw from or lean on the makeup and wardrobe, for sure. It is the starting point. Of course, you can not help but draw from the icons of horror as well. I was fortunate to have Special Makeup Effects Artist Mike Fields at the helm for this character and his work is like being in your own skin, so you can really work the character. He designed both the mask and the actual prosthetic makeup I wore.

TrunkSpace: You’ve worked on the series in the past as a stunt performer. Was this a special experience given how featured the character is and how much potential the episode has to remain memorable within the fandom?
Nerling: Yes, this one for sure stands out for me. I have had so much fun doing everything I have been able to do on the show, but yes, this character is very special, for sure. It was also the first time I actually get to fight Jensen (Ackles). I always seem to end up fighting – or should I say, dying at the hands of – Jared (Padalecki), so it was a nice change.

Did I mention how much I love both of those guys? They really are awesome.

TrunkSpace: Speaking of the fandom, there are very few shows out there that have the kind of loyal audience that “Supernatural” has. You’ve seen how the well-oiled machine works both behind the scenes and on camera. What do you think keeps the “Supernatural” train chugging along, currently in its 14th season?
Nerling: First and foremost, the fans are what keep it going. As long as they want to keep watching, the crew will keep making it. Those guys have a lot of fun on that set. They really like each other and it helps that the boys have not changed since day one.

© 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

TrunkSpace: You’re based in Vancouver. How important are shows like “Supernatural” and “Arrow,” which you have worked extensively on, to the city and the industry there?
Nerling: These shows are so important to our local industry. They employ a lot of people behind and in front of the camera. They give all of us a chance to show off Vancouver’s talent pool and believe me, we have so much here.

TrunkSpace: You started your career in film and television much later than most. What was it that prompted you to take that leap, because for many people, it’s easier to shelf the dream than it is to pursue it?
Nerling: For me, it was a chance meeting at a barbecue in Vernon that got me here. An agent was there from Vancouver and he liked my look. I took a chance and started doing extra work to get the feel for it and realized I had a performer living in me. So I moved down and started to pursue it more seriously taking classes, getting a principal agent and learning from others around me. Never too late to go for it – whatever you want to do.

TrunkSpace: As we mentioned, you’re also a stunt performer. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done on-camera – the thing that made you go, “Am I really doing this?!?!”
Nerling: I did a gag on “The BFG” where the character I was doubling takes a drink and my pants get blown off from a fart and then I get shot up into the air and crash back down on the table. Looking down and seeing Steven Spielberg giving me direction was definitely one of those moments.

TrunkSpace: One of the things about movie slashers is that they always come back for a sequel! If Hatchet Man came back in the future, would you be willing to pick up the hatchet once more?
Nerling: Absolutely! Anytime they want me to swing the hatchets, I will be ready to slice and dice!

Supernatural” airs Thursdays on The CW.

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Wingman Wednesday

Andrea Drepaul

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Andrea Drepaul joined the “Supernatural” universe this season as the sharp-toothed werewolf Melanie. As part of the archangel Michael’s fiendish (and still secretive) plan to destroy the Winchester’s reality, she appears to be involved in the bigger apocalyptic picture, though she’s not giving us any clues as to how the writers will use the character in the future. Thankfully, we’re a patient faction of the SPN Family and will be tuning in each week until we find out.

We recently sat down with Drepaul to discuss werewolf geek outs, the loyal fandom, and why our Jensen Ackles man crush is fully justified.

TrunkSpace: You recently made your “Supernatural” debut as the werewolf Melanie. Did getting to play a classic movie monster fulfill any long-percolating childhood dreams? You’re in great on-screen lycanthropic company now!
Drepaul: You know… I’ve always wanted to play a werewolf. This stems from (along with the other millions of people) I was obsessed with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” I remember watching it as a kid and was so terrified and yet enthralled with this notion of monsters and werewolves. So my inner geek, really geeked out.

TrunkSpace: The series is continuing to excite its fandom in Season 14, which is hard to even fathom given how short-lived even successful series are these days. We hear it is one of the most welcoming sets to step onto in the business, but is it difficult to go into something that is such a well-oiled machine and not feel like the new kid at school? Were there nerves?
Drepaul: No, not at all. There is zero tension on this set. Everyone is so friendly and lovely. A great deal of fun happens – the cast and crew are infamously known to gag the actors on set. There are lots of jokes and shenanigans, it’s a wonder how they get anything done. But they do and they do it so well. I was confident I had done my work and I knew Melanie inside and out.

TrunkSpace: We would imagine it is very helpful debuting in an episode that was directed by long-time “Supernatural” actor and director Richard Speight Jr. Beyond what he brings to his role as director, were you able to tap into him as an overall “Supernatural” resource as well?
Drepaul: Richard is amazing! We hit it off right from the audition. He loves actors and you can tell by the way he directs you and his insightful motivations for character. He has quite an infectious energy on set, which also makes you feel comfortable and lifts the energy of the set as well. We didn’t talk much about “Supernatural,” more about the motivation for the scenes.

TrunkSpace: Have you had the opportunity to feel the reach of the passionate fandom – the SPN Family – since your episode premiered last week? Has any of it come as a surprise or did you have a sense of how big the fan base was before being cast?
Drepaul: Wow, I’m absolutely blown away by the fandom. Truly, I have received only praise and welcome from the SPN Family. I knew the fan base was big, but you don’t really have a sense of it until you are on the other side. It’s so wonderful.

TrunkSpace: It seems like Melanie is part of a larger story arc that will creep back into play later in the season. Can you tell us about what we can see from her down the line? Is she going full, angel-powered super wolf?
Drepaul: I’d like to think anything is possible on “Supernatural,” but I feel that this would be a question only the writers could answer.

TrunkSpace: You grew up in a small farming town in Ontario. When did the acting bug first bite you and was pursuing it always the only path you considered traveling?
Drepaul: I’ve actually had a very unconventional path to this career. I was a model when I was 15. But I was raised that you had to go to college and get a “real” job. My parents were immigrants to Canada. I love them for that, for teaching me the value of education. I became the first woman in my family to complete college and graduated with an Honors degree in Business Administration. But afterwards I still felt the calling to be a performer. I moved to New York for a bit, but that didn’t feel right so I landed back in Toronto. Toronto gave me my start. My first job was with Taye Diggs! This career continues to be an evolving journey for me but I know that it is my journey.

TrunkSpace: What job has been the most important to your personal journey thus far? What role and project taught you the most about your craft and profession?
Drepaul: Great question! I’ve had the opportunity to be on amazing sets and work with incredible actors, but the job that taught me the most was my role as Rubina Jafari on “Covert Affairs.” I was working with Sendhil Ramamurthy, who was fresh off of “Heroes.” He was so generous with not only his performance but he really took the time to guide me through how to have a longstanding career. He was the first person to encourage me to get my working papers to the USA and offered to help me through that process. He also was my first on-screen kiss, which I was incredibly nervous about! He walked me through it and really respected my space. He taught me that being a lead wasn’t just about the performance you bring, but also about how you conduct yourself on set – the energy you bring to the table. I never had a chance to properly thank him. Sooooo, if somewhere in the internet ethers he reads this… THANK YOU!!!

TrunkSpace: As you look forward, what type of career do you hope to have when all is said and done? If you could pave your exact path the rest of the way, what would that path look like?
Drepaul: Another great question. I think immediately in the vision of my mind I would be working on a Netflix, Hulu, Apple or Amazon series that is a mystery, thriller or fantasy. I’ve always had a pull to the mysteries of this universe as a person, so naturally I think that a show in this genre would be wonderful for me. Personally I have a heart for the underdog, and always willing to lend a hand to help others see their light. Currently I have started posting my own quotes (on my Instagram) called “Driven” and started to work on a way to launch a platform for young people to help them achieve success in a meaningful, lasting way. Long term I would be working on a cool mystery, thriller show, become an author of a book and have a platform for the youth.

TrunkSpace: That being said, if we had a time machine and gave you the keys to take it for a spin, would you take the journey ahead 10 years to see what your career would look like a decade from now, and if not, why?
Drepaul: (Laughter) If you had asked me this question six months ago, I would say yes. But now… no. I want to be surprised by all the twists and turns. I want to learn the lessons, experience the highs and lows. There is magic in not knowing what lies ahead. But I do know with certainty that the future is very bright

TrunkSpace: Finally, Andrea, our wives give us a difficult time because they say our Jensen Ackles man crush is not normal. Having now worked with Jensen yourself, come to our rescue here… he’s worth every ounce of our unbridled bromancing attention, right?
Drepaul: (Laughter) Yes, he is. He’s actually more handsome in real life.

Supernatural” airs Thursdays on The CW.

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Wingman Wednesday

Mark Rolston

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This week we’re taking an extended look at the new movie “Glass Jaw,” chatting with the creative minds responsible for bringing the gritty drama to life. Arriving in select theaters and digital HD on Friday, the film is a story of redemption set in the world of boxing and stars Lee Kholafai, Korrina Rico, Jon Gries, Mark Rolston, Jaime Camil, Malcolm David Kelley, Vernon Wells and Steven Williams.

First up we’re chatting with Mark Rolston to discuss working in independent film, “Rocky” overtones, and what role he’d literally eat a shoe to return to.

TrunkSpace: “Glass Jaw” is not the first independent project you’ve worked on. As an actor, is there a bit of a leap of faith involved with signing on to work on an indie, not knowing when (or even if) a particular film will see the light of day?
Rolston: Well, in addition to “faith,” there is a lot of serendipity. I had been preparing for another film when the call came, so in addition to reading it first, I have to gauge what the character will require and ascertain whether I can pull it off. Of course, you never know what film will actually make it, but “Glass Jaw” had an atmosphere on set, and with Lee Kholafai and Korrina Rico being willing to fight for it; look where we are. Theatrical release is the icing.

TrunkSpace: What was it about “Glass Jaw” and the team behind it that gave you the confidence to jump into the work and take on the character Frank?
Rolston: Frank spoke to me the first time I read the script. I knew I could create a character. I didn’t hardly know anyone on the crew, but when I saw real professionals on set like Scott Eddo (Makeup and Hair) and Charlie Picerni (Stunt Coordinator), I knew the production was real.

TrunkSpace: When you first read the script for “Glass Jaw,” what was the initial draw for you in terms of wanting to be a part of the project? Was it the overall narrative? Was it the character? A combination of both?
Rolston: The script had a lot going for it. The dramatic tension was palpable. Of course, the narrative has “Rocky” overtones. But the story was unique with enough drama to sell it, to me anyway.

TrunkSpace: When it comes to independent films, is there more freedom for character discovery and trying out different ways of delivering lines or emotion within a scene, or does a limited budget mean a limited schedule and a breakneck pace that doesn’t allow for real time experimentation?
Rolston: Independents by nature allow for a lot of creativity, because you have to create on the spot and respect that you don’t have all day to shoot three pages; YOU HAVE TO SHOOT EIGHT TO TEN! The indie atmosphere is one where you have to just bring and throw down. Like a boxing match.

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the work you did in “Glass Jaw?”
Rolston: I am most proud of my character. I found the perspective of the character. I found the space to just let Frank talk.

TrunkSpace: For the audience, the finished work – the end product – is usually the most memorable aspect of a film. For actors, we assume it is the experience of making it. What is a memorable moment during the production of “Glass Jaw” that will stick with you?
Rolston: It was the set up of the pivotal scene between Frank and Travis. Our DP – legend Jeffrey L. Kimball – created a magnificent tracking shot that lands on a very intimate scene between the two men; and Lee/Austin and myself/Frank just talked like real people. Did I say it was Friday night and we were shooting until midnight after a full day? Glamorous, huh?

TrunkSpace: You’ve been acting professionally for decades. Do you still love it as much today as you did when you first stepped onto a set to start your career?
Rolston: Absolutely! I want to follow in the footsteps of the great French Dramatist and Actor, Moliere, and die on stage or on a set for that matter. (Laughter)

Rolston in “Saw VI.”

TrunkSpace: What has been the biggest surprise of your career, the thing that younger Mark who was starting out his career would be extra psyched to hear about in advance?
Rolston: Without question; being called at my home, to be told by writer/director Frank Darabont that I had landed the role of Bogs Diamond in “The Shawshank Redemption.” I thought I had lost it. Frank was my angel, and fought for me to get the role. Indebted Forever, Frank!

TrunkSpace: You’ve given life to so many great characters over the course of your career. Are there any that you wish you had more time to spend with and explore even further?
Rolston: All of them really. Shooting a film is fleeting. You shoot and it’s over. So the rehearsal and preparation – “the work” – has to be done beforehand.

TrunkSpace: We’re suckers for “Supernatural” here. When you first signed on to play the demon Alastair – a character who plays an integral part of the overall series lore – could you have ever imagined that the show would still be chugging along a decade later and that you’d be asked about it?
Rolston: That was one of the most enjoyable characters I ever created. I will never understand why I was replaced. I would literally eat a shoe to play Alistair, “Demon of All Demons,” once more. May the show chug on forever and I will get the chance!

Glass Jaw” arrives in select theaters and on digital HD this Friday.

You can also hear Rolston as Norman Osborn in the new Spider-Man game for the PS4!

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Trunk Stubs

Trunktober: Supernatural

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This October we’re focused on one thing and one thing only… watching as much horror-related programming as possible to prime the pop culture pump in celebration of Halloween. Our consuming will be taking place nightly, and while there’s no rhyme or reason to how we’re going about choosing our scary screenings, we’ll do our best to tell you how we did it so that you can watch them as well.

Title: Supernatural

Episode: “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester”

Directed By: Charles Beeson

Starring: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, Ashley Benson, Robert Wisdom, Don McManus

We Watched On: Netflix

Trunktober Approved Because: You didn’t think we’d get through an entire spooky season without throwing our favorite monster-hunting series a bone, did you? In this episode, the Winchester brothers get into some demon-raising trouble on Halloween, which could mean a whole lot of evil being let out into the world unless they can stop it. Which of course, they do!

Biggest Scare: Boiled alive while bobbing for apples. Kind of puts a damper on a perfectly good Halloween party.

Here’s a look at this week’s brand new episode.

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