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Supernatural’s Ruth Connell Talks “Paint it Black” [Exclusive]

Liane Hentscher/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. © 2015 WBEI. All rights reserved.

Liane Hentscher/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
© 2015 WBEI. All rights reserved.

Warning: Mild Supernatural spoilers

In the post-Demon Dean world, there are four main things causing drama on the hit CW series, Supernatural. 1. The Mark of Cain. 2. Claire, Jimmy Novak’s daughter. 3. Monsters of the Week. 4. Crowley’s mom, Rowena. Tonight, Rowena is a big part of the action.

Synopsis for “Paint it Black”: ROWENA MAKES PLANS TO RECLAIM HER MAGIC — Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) investigate a string of suicides committed by people with little in common other than the identical, grisly method of death – slow, self-administered disembowelment.  All of the victims were members of a Catholic church and had recently given confession, leading the brothers to suspect the priest (guest star Stephen Daniel Curtis) is somehow involved.  Meanwhile, when Crowley (Mark Sheppard) captures Olivette (guest star Teryl Rothery), the leader of the Grand Coven, Rowena (guest star Ruth Connell) pleads her case to be allowed to practice magic freely again. John Showalter directed this episode written by Brad Buckner & Eugenie Ross-Leming (#1016).

Right about now, Crowley probably feels betrayed by Team Free Will after Dean handed the First Blade over to Cas after killing Cain with it. Does that mean the King of Hell will be more open to his mother’s machinations? TV Goodness talked to Ruth Connell to find out.

Liane Hentscher/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. © 2015 WBEI. All rights reserved.

Liane Hentscher/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
© 2015 WBEI. All rights reserved.

Ruth Connell: What just happened in the previous episode — “The Executioner’s Song” — was that [Crowley] let me down. I kind of put my heart on my sleeve a little bit and said could you please help me with this Olivette person from the Grand Coven. And then it looked like he’s going to, we’re making plans, and then…he deserts me and takes off to help the Winchesters instead. The last thing you see is me going, you know, I was impressed with you ’cause you were the King of Hell but you’re being a wuss. (laughter)

That’s basically where things pick up in “Paint it Black.”

Ruth: What you see is Crowley delivering Olivette to me after all. It’s fantastic, obviously. It’s a great gesture. I’m sure there are other reasons…he’s doing that for himself, I’m sure. He’s thinking that there’s something that he can maybe gain from the situation but it seems to be that actually — oh he’s doing the thing I want…you’ve given me the thing I was looking for.

Which means Rowena finally gets to confront her Grand Coven nemesis.

Ruth: Then you see the scenes between Teryl and I — Teryl who plays Olivette. Teryl Rothery — she was fantastic to work with. We had a lot of fun in our confrontation scenes. You see Rowena…you think she’s tough already but she gets even tougher. It was a lot of fun to play.

In “Girls, Girls, Girls,” Rowena explained how she was kicked out of the Grand Coven because they didn’t approve of her methods. And her magic was too extreme. So now that Rowena gets the chance to plead her case, will we ever see Rowena at full force?

Ruth: I hope so. That’s what Rowena wants, you know? She wants to flex her muscles. The thing is…she deserted her son and went off to study with Letitia Di Albioni…I think she’s an ambitious career woman. I don’t think that was nonsense — I think that was true. And when you have a talent you want to use it to the biggest degree you possibly can. You might not use it for the right reasons but I think her motivations to make the most of herself definitely pervades everything that she does.

We’re still trying to figure out whether Rowena wants to practice freely again just so she has that option or there’s another (more devious) reason.

Ruth: I think the Grand Coven has been the bane of my life. Hopefully, in this episode, you get some explanations to why Rowena is the way she is. She was thrown out by the organization that she most wants to be a part of. She can’t really legally practice witchcraft because all these years she’s been in the wrong. She’s like a fugitive, I suppose. And that’s pretty tiring.

To somehow get your status back or maybe to even take over or usurp all of it — that would be very satisfying. And then you become very powerful. And then what do you do with that power? I think with Rowena, maybe this is her moment. Maybe she’s starting to really…things are just starting to fall into place for her…after all these years on the lamb.

We’ve seen Rowena repeatedly try to out scheme Crowley. Does she have any sincere feelings for her son? Does she have it within her to be a good mom?

Ruth: Old habits die hard. Rowena manipulates people. And Crowley manipulates people. I think that’s who we are. In a way they’re very in sympatico with each other and it’s a shame in a way that they can’t just get over themselves and their trust issues and work together. I think you can see there’s moments of that there…where they could care but it’s just too treacherous, perhaps, because of all the water under the bridge. What you’re asking is definitely what interests me from a character point of view — are there maternal feelings? As Rowena, even if I do feel them maybe I don’t want them. It makes you weak. Caring for people puts you in a position of weakness and I don’t want to be weak.

Connell is enjoying the hell out of working with Mark Sheppard (Crowley).

Ruth: I love Mark. I absolutely love Mark. He really made me welcome…the very first scene we did together was the one where I meowed at him in “Girls, Girls, Girls” — and we had just met each other and he shook my hand and he was so supportive from the get go. He took time with me. He is a fantastic actor. He knows the role of Crowley inside out, upside down and twice on Sunday — he’s amazing. Sometimes on set — he’s got a little more experience than I do. I’ve got a much bigger feature background. That’s actually where I came from. So sometimes on set I’ll actually walk away but he’ll say to me — no just stay with me ’cause on camera you know you can just look away. And he’s right. Please don’t tell him I said that. (laughter) He’s always right. It’s been a great learning curve for me working with Mark for sure.

Confession: She loves getting to be a part of the Supernatural universe and tweeting with fans.

Ruth: The whole Twitter thing was new to me. I went on Twitter and Tumblr for the show I was in before but not really using it. I am just knocked out by the fan art. And the fun and the response. I had a little bit of fun — I don’t know if you saw on Twitter the other day I came across some of Jensen Ackles’ gummy bears in the makeup trailer.

And I put it out to the fans — I am not brave enough myself and so I said to the fans, do you think I should eat them? And I thought the fans were going to say no don’t you dare eat Jensen’s gummy bears. About a thousand people said, ‘Do it! Do it! Steal the gummy bears!’ That was so much fun. But I did eat the gummy bears. I don’t know what’s going to happen the next time I see him. I’m living my life looking over my shoulder. I can’t tell you what’s the most fun about working on Supernatural, it’s been a joy, honestly. Bob Singer said to me, ‘this has turned into a good gig for you.’ And I said to him, it’s the best gig of my life. I’m really grateful for it. Supernatural airs tonight at 9/8c on the CW.

Interview edited for space and content.

More on “Paint it Black”

Liane Hentscher/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. © 2015 WBEI. All rights reserved.

Liane Hentscher/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
© 2015 WBEI. All rights reserved.

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