Let’s face it, female characters on “Supernatural” with eyes for either of our beloved Winchester brothers do not fare well with fans…normally.  For me, there is one exception to that rule, and that is Cindy Sampson’s character Lisa Braeden, Dean’s love interest in season three and his one and only attempt at a normal life in season 6.  
 
With the kind of history that has befallen other female guest stars of ‘Supernatural”, it wasn’t a big surprise to hear that Cindy expected early on that her character would be one of the most hated in the series, but that is not the way things worked out. In fact, many viewers found themselves defending Lisa Braeden. The group of fans at Jensen Ackles' Q&A session I attended last October told Jensen Cindy’s performance was brilliant; and I have seen and heard many similar compliments in articles, blogs and on message boards since then.
 
As much as some fans may have wanted it, a serious level of animosity just did not happen.  Cindy Sampson convinced a large part of the female audience that Lisa might not be a bad idea for their favorite male character and that is no small feat with this cult fandom.  In fact, many found themselves hoping for the couple to make it.  
 
While that was not in the cards for them, TPTB couldn’t bring themselves to kill Lisa off either, and that should speak volumes to the acting talent of Cindy Sampson.  But that was only a part of what she brought to the screen.  You have to also attribute Cindy’s charm to her gentle nature, her own independence and strength, and her sense of humor, all of which can be seen beautifully in this interview. 
 
If you are still not convinced of her tremendous acting ability, check out any of her 31 other acting appearances in television and on the silver screen.  This is one busy lady and we thank her tremendously for taking the time to do this interview with us which is a fascinating look inside one Lisa Braeden, and one Cindy Sampson.  Enjoy!
  

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How did you originally get into acting?  Was it something you always wanted to do?
 
No….I wanted to be a lawyer or an archaeologist-ha.  My mom thought I was “dramatic” and forced me to go to an audition. I think I cried…however, I ended up getting the part on a kids consumer show in Canada called Street Cents. I was 16…I made money and had a ton of fun. Ruined me for life (Smile)
 
You originally auditioned for the role of Bela Talbot on “Supernatural,” but a few weeks later, you were offered the role of Lisa Braden.  Are you happy you got the part of Lisa instead of Bela or would you have preferred the role of Bela?

I was happy to be a part of Supernatural in any capacity…..the icing on the cake was when they brought me back for season 5 and 6. I used to jokingly ask when I would get to be evil….and then I read the season 6 finale and jumped for joy. I wouldn’t trade playing Lisa for anything. Well, maybe for Lucifer.
 
Were you familiar with the series before you auditioned?  And if so, did you like it?
 
That is the coolest part about being on SPN….my friends and I used to watch it! I love horror/supernatural thrillers. I started watching SPN from episode one because it was an hour long scary movie every week…I loved it. The downside is that I don’t watch it anymore because I’m in it-ha
 
I was at Jensen Ackles’ Q&A in Chicago last October, and the group told him we thought your portrayal of Lisa was brilliant, that you played her like a military wife.  It was a surprise to Jensen as he thought Lisa would be disliked. We asked him to pass the compliment on to you, so in case he didn’t, compliment passed!  That said, you mentioned in a past interview that you felt Lisa was “going to be the most hated character” eventually.  Do you feel that came to pass?
 
For the record he DID NOT pass on the compliment! Shame Jensen. SHAME!!! When I found out Lisa was coming back I expected everyone to hate her, however, that perception gave me freedom. From a fan/viewer perspective I completely understood and yet I never felt pressure to win anyone over. But it happened…people started defending Lisa….it was so awesome!
 
Is a “military wife” the concept you felt best fit Lisa’s character?  If not, what approach do you think best fits her?
 
It wasn’t my approach, but it is definitely relatable. Trust, love, distance, duty.  In retrospect Lisa was definitely a military wife.
 
Lisa took Dean in during a very tumultuous time in his life and tried to give him the most normal life she could.  However, she knew how he'd lived all his life, moving from one place to the next and never really settling down.  Do you think Lisa hoped for a long-term relationship with Dean or did she know it was just a matter of time and circumstance before he would leave again?
 
I think it was timing and circumstance. I think Lisa reached a point where Dean made sense. He saved Ben…there was gratitude history and understanding. I think she took him in, but benefitted the most from “playing house”. It was an unorthodox pairing, but it worked for both of them in their own way.

Some fans feel Ben is really Dean’s son, especially since it was mentioned again in “Let it Bleed.” It seems like the show has some reason for keeping that in the forefront of fans’ minds.   Knowing Lisa like you do, would there ever be a reason she would feel it necessary to keep that fact from Dean?
 
This may be an unexpected statement from me-haha, but I like to think Ben is not Dean’s. I feel it adds more to their story. He loves Ben because he loves Ben…that’s it.
 
The season spent a great deal of time showing how Lisa and Ben were Dean’s only link to a normal life.  But a relationship has two parts.  What do you think Dean brought to the lives of Lisa and Ben?
 
I believe Lisa is a strong, secure, independent woman. I also believe she has a soft spot for Dean and loved having a family unit. Until he turned into a vampire and tried to eat us of course.
 
You got to play a demon complete with black eyes and everything in “Let it Bleed.”  Was that a fun part to play? Was it a difficult transition for you from ‘sweetheart’ Lisa to ‘cold-blooded’ Demon Lisa?
 
Not at all. I have played the nice girl next door for so long. It was SO easy and SO refreshing to be evil. Just ask my ex-boyfriends. I’m really good at it.
 
You were able to exit the show alive, a rarity in “Supernatural.” Do you think Dean did the right thing in having Castiel wipe Lisa and Ben’s memories of him? And do you think that will keep them safe from future demon harm?  Are you happy with the way Lisa and Ben’s storyline ended?
 
I emailed Sera Gamble immediately.  I thought it was brilliant and heart breaking. I was blown away by that script…it was genius. I’m not sure if it will keep them safe, but HEY!!!! I’M ALIVE!!!!!! Not many other characters can say that-hahaha.
 
You were in a total of eleven episodes of “Supernatural,” albeit some were very small segments.  Of the all the episodes you were in, which was your favorite, and which was the most difficult for you?
 
My fave? COME ON! Demon Lisa for sure. Most difficult? The one where I had to load the gun. You know when you see girls loading guns and shooting things with complete super power ease? Not possible. Not possible with real guns….they are difficult and they don’t cooperate well.
 
It’s always fun for fans to hear about behind-the-scenes antics and tidbits about the cast and crew that we'd be surprised to learn.  Do you have any you would be willing to share or any special moments on the set you can tell us about? 

Jensen and Jared cry a lot. A LOT.
 
You were also on Syfy’s new “Being Human” series as Cindy Lanham, another single-mom role.  Do you perceive returning to that series next year?

I wish. I am so proud of that role…I watched the UK Being Human and thought that role was so poignant….and then I got it! True story.
 
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Whether or not we see Cindy Sampson on “Supernatural” again, she can take comfort in the knowledge that her female character is one of the few that survived the show...and not only the show, but the fandom as well. 
 
I and all here at The Winchester Family Business wish to send a special thank you to Cindy Sampson for taking the time from her busy schedule to participate in our interview series.   


(Administrator's note:  PLEASE DO NOT REPOST this interview on other sites.  Share a small bit and then link back to us.  Thanks much!)

 

Comments  

trackerem
# trackerem 2011-07-03 15:10
great article!! thanks! donna
Cathia
# Cathia 2011-07-03 15:23
Thank you for this interview, Sable :) I don't like Lisa but Cindy made her more understable for me :)
Bardicvoice
# Bardicvoice 2011-07-03 15:44
Great interview - thanks for this! I'm definitely in the loving Lisa and Cindy camp, so hearing from Cindy is a real treat!
Laine Thornton
# Laine Thornton 2011-07-03 16:23
Awesome! Though she is the love interest of my fave brother, I still liked her, and I don't care what they say, I think she will be back with Ben, that they won't be safe, and that it will come to light that Ben is his son. Hey a fan girl can dream can't she? LOL :D
Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2011-07-03 18:43
I really don't think she will be safe either. She and Ben might not know about Dean, but Dean still knows about them and that's all a demon would need.
Madison
# Madison 2011-07-03 17:57
I loved getting to hear about Lisa from Cindy's own PoV. I was one of the rare ones that actually did like Lisa. I felt she was a very strong, capable woman that had didn't rely on Dean, but definitely had a soft spot for him and had fallen in love with him over the year. I love seeing Cindy's take on Lisa as well. And awww, Jared and Jensen cry a lot? Well dude, if I worked that much with all of those emotional moments on set, was so far away from my family for so long and such, I'd cry a lot too. The big softies.
Madison
# Madison 2011-07-03 18:00
Oh, before I forget, I'd like to post this over at the CW Lounge for fans to read, but we're not allowed to link back to other sites there. May I have permission to post this interview and post your website as the source, would that be okay? Thank you.
Alice
# Alice 2011-07-03 20:27
That's always been a big problem for us, the CW lounge I mean not allowing links. We do post these interviews to inform the fanbase, but at the same time we do like getting the traffic! It sustains our existence. The CW lounge tends to take that away from us when something is reposted.

Is it possible to post part of the interview and then tell people to go to the source for the rest? Maybe some of the highlights? I do want people to know about this, but I'm hoping they would come here at some point to see it.

Thanks for asking Madison.
Madison
# Madison 2011-07-03 20:39
Sure, I could do that. Thank you for allowing me to, Alice. I just didn't want any of the fans to miss out on a chance of getting to see a really great interview from a great cast member and person! :)
Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2011-07-03 18:45
Many thanks to Cindy Sampson for taking the time to do this interview. She is a real sweetheart.

Thanks all for reading it!
BagginsDVM
# BagginsDVM 2011-07-03 19:11
Wonderful interview! I'm a Dean girl & I've always liked Lisa & what she represented for Dean. I still can't decide, however, if I want Ben to really be Dean's son or not. I am glad that both Lisa & Ben have survived so far!
Filomena
# Filomena 2011-07-03 21:16
I didn't always understand Lisa's motivations, but that had to do with the writing, not the acting. Cindy acted the hell out of that role and she's beautiful, charming and intelligent. What more can you ask for? Yes, I have a girl-crush. Thank you so much for the interview.
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2011-07-03 21:50
Wonderful interview on a great actress! She was super on SPN and Being Human. I look forward to seeing her again tackling another role.
Deanie_24
# Deanie_24 2011-07-03 22:30
Wonderful interview, with great questions and answers!!!
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2011-07-04 00:34
Great interview, as usual, Sablegreen! Cindy was so fun!
Olivia J
# Olivia J 2011-07-04 00:43
Thanks! Interesting interview. I never liked the character of Lisa, but I appreciate Cindy's performance and the fact that she knew her character. I really enjoyed knowing that she understood it was never a love story for Dean and Lisa, but something different and right for that moment in time. And I admire Cindy's response to the question of Ben's father. I firmly agree with her answer. I always felt that it was more about Ben and Dean than Dean and Lisa and not only would it turn Lisa into a horrible liar, it would take away from Dean's bond with Ben.

I also like that she liked the ending for Ben and Lisa. I really hope they don't come back, because it would mess up a stellar ending to a not-so great messy storyline.

I don't fully agree with the notation that she was that well-liked by the majority of the fandom. (I think it was more a third of the fans liked her, a third of the fans disliked her, and a third of the fans didn't care really one way or another.) I do think she did finally break down a lot of barriers in this fandom. For the first time, I saw fans truly defend a female character while she was still on the show and not after the character's death when it was safe to. And I think she proved that fans are open to having a love interest. I don't think that Lisa was the right character for a love interest and Cindy's performance as a demon proved she was used in the wrong role. But at least the writers know that fans can be open to having the brothers with love interests as long as they are involved and alright with the supernatural world and do not get in between the brothers.

Again, thank you!
Yirabah
# Yirabah 2011-07-04 01:37
I loved Lisa since the first time we saw her and was hoping back then already that there would be a chance for Lisa and Dean somehow. After finding out, that he had spent a year with her I was completly happy. Only saddend by the fact that the writters would kill her off soon. But NO, they didn't. I love the writers. They always do the unexpected.

Since I used to be a military wife, I always thought she portrayed that part extremly well.

I am glad she and Ben weren't killed off therefore we are able to see more of Cindy's performance sooner or later. And we will. There is no doubt in my mind. There will be a time when some monster will use Dean's love for them to go after Lisa and Ben.

Thanks Sablegreen for bringing this interviews to us.
maggie
# maggie 2011-07-04 02:10
Thank you so much for the interview..

I love Lisa and Cindy Sampson. You know? I'm still sad that the writers get rid of Lisa because of the haters....hope the writers bring her back at least for a few episodes......
Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2011-07-04 02:48
They didn't get rid of Lisa at all....that's the interesting part. She is still alive and very much in Dean's mind. There is always a possibility she will be back...
bibi
# bibi 2011-07-04 02:11
Oh dear, Cindy Sampson needs to stop deluding herself into believeing fans LOVED her. Many fans hated this storyline, and she even mentioned how much people hated it during Asylum. Jensen hated the storyline too. Thank god she is never coming back.

And no fans are not open to love interests.
Cassieo
# Cassieo 2011-07-04 02:39
I think you are confusing the actress 'Cindy' with the character 'Lisa.' The storyline of Lisa and Ben was not a good one,a 'not-so great messy storyline' as Olivia J said...but the acting was excellent.

I have alwasy felt that a relationship with either of the boys is very doable as long as they don't interfer with hunting or cause any angst between the brothers. This one was never meant for that part. It was totally to cause more heartache and hardship between the brothers and that's why I didn't like it.

The idea itself is great, but it would need a very different approach to the idea and some good writers to bring it off. And yes, if done right, I think a love interest would be accepted by fans. Regardless, the acting from Cindy was great!
Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2011-07-04 02:51
I agree with Cassieo here. Cindy has no delusions as all. Fans did support her and her acting was very good. I really don't expect Lisa will return but the fact that her character is not dead, means TPTB aren't sure they are done with the character either.
bibi
# bibi 2011-07-04 12:15
you can say this about any character. Including the ones who are dead who can also be brought back too. So in thar sense lisa is any different to any other character.
debhanley
# debhanley 2011-07-04 05:26
i thought that was a great interview with cindy i also liked her and dean together and hope we can get them back together in the future they belong together hopefully sometime in season 7
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-07-04 10:32
Great interview. I rather liked Lisa, thought she was a strong character, but sometimes felt they could have done a few things differently. As it is, it was more or less to show that hunting and normal life don't mix. I just wish we could see a hunting family that wasn't totally dysfunctional.

Cindy was a great addition to he show and she acted great. It's nice to see how down to earth she is.
Melanie
# Melanie 2011-07-04 13:04
Very nice interview. I liked Cindy's performance and I am very glad that they didn't kill Lisa and Ben off.

Cindy did rock as Demon!Lisa. ;)
Bevie
# Bevie 2011-07-04 18:52
I liked Lisa and Ben a lot. Loved Lisa and Dean together, She was so very kind and understanding. Have no idea how anyone else could possibly be any better for him. If Lisa had not been there for him I truly think he would have killed himself rather than live without Sammy. I'd rather they never come back to the show than be killed off of it. I hope they get together in some imaginable future when the show is no more and the hunting is over. (as much as it can ever be). I don't want to ever see Dean and Sam die gloriously or anything like that. I would like to imagine them living on with some wonderful benefits that they don't have right now. They could train younger and newer hunters when their bones are too brittle to take the punishment any more. :-?

Dean and Lisa and Sam and Sarah.

And I thought Cindy was wonderful in the part and she made me so very fond of Lisa.

Thanks for this interview. :-)
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2011-07-04 23:47
Thanks for another great interview Sablegreen. I liked Lisa on the show. She was an anchor for Dean, but yes I do understand that she couldn't stick around, the show is about the brothers after all. The fact that TPTB didn't kill her off like so many female characters, maybe she'll be featured again, who knows? And wiping Lisa & Ben's memories will not keep them safe from demons, because Dean still cares for them very much.

Cindy seems like a very nice person with a great sense of humour.
Suze
# Suze 2011-07-05 04:52
Good interview!

I liked Lisa and Ben ( I've got a Ben too so I'm biased ... ) and I'm glad they got out in one piece rather than die a horrible death and make Dear Ol' Deano even more of a guilt-ridden-gl oom-fest than he already is. Let's hope they stay that way!
Matilda
# Matilda 2011-07-06 07:04
Good interview Sablegreen. I think Cindy is a very good actress. Hope she appears in many more episodes. I look forward now to reading all your interviews.
Matilda
# Matilda 2011-07-06 15:10
Are you planning on doing any more interviews Sable. Just wondering as I enjoy reading them very much.

Matilda
Freebird
# Freebird 2011-07-25 09:45
Loved this interview, Sablegreen, thanks for doing it, and thanks to Cindy!
I love Lisa, and Cindy is brilliant. She and Ben surely contributed a lot to the story. So sad they are out. But happy they are alive!