On a personal note, I was able to confirm from Jared Padalecki at the "Salute to Supernatural" convention in Chicago that he does indeed cringe when he sees your name on a script. In his words, he's either "naked, crying, or naked and crying." Do you take some twisted pride in that?
Jared is hilarious. The thing I actually do take pride in is writing to our actors' strengths. The reason I can write Jared and Jensen such emotionally demanding scenes is that I know they'll nail them. They're victims of their talent. And before people make the joke, I am so not talking about the naked thing. Come on. In all seriousness, our show isn't even in the running when it comes to the implied-nudity competition on network television. We're positively restrained. All right, now that I've said that you're all free to go ahead and make the joke.
Is approval of what goes into the mythology happening by panel, or from Eric Kripke himself?
Mythology arcs are mostly hashed out in brainstorming sessions, headed up by Eric. As for approval-- creatively, the buck stops with Eric. Thus has it ever been.
Eric Kripke. Madman or evil genius?
Both of these seem kind of negative to me. I wouldn't say he's entirely mad... or completely evil. He is, however, utterly dedicated to his work. Did you see Twilight? You know how Edward is with Bella? That's how Eric is with Supernatural.
Great comparison! I should explain that question. It came to me after watching Mr. Kripke with cheerful delight reminisce about creating "the most violent, brutal, anti-holiday holiday episode ever" in his closer look at "A Very Supernatural Christmas" on the Season Three DVD set. I do so love his mind (and that episode). Thank you for pointing out how dedicated he is to the show, for often some fans forget that.
As someone who has been there since the beginning, have you seen his enthusiasm increase throughout the seasons? Have there been times where he's questioned why he does this to himself?
I don't know what happens when it's just Eric, a bottle of whiskey, and a long lonely night. But in the writers' room he's always been into what he does. I think what's happened over the seasons is that all of us have relaxed. We're more confident with the voice of the show. I think at a certain point everybody said, "Fuck it. Let's have fun with this." That kind of attitude always comes from the top down.
The Fan Questions
Erin from Nevada asks:
Hi Sera! "I Know What You Did Last Summer" is such a pivotal episode that I'm sure you're inundated with questions about it. My questions are:
First: What are some theories you and the other writers have, addressing how Ruby could reanimate, maintain, and possibly heal a dead body so that it functions as if alive?
Demons on our show possess dead and injured bodies all the time. That's why you have to exorcise them, deliver a lethal stab with Ruby's knife or shoot 'em with the Colt. Regular killing methods don't even slow them down. The demonic force animates the body and keeps it together. But as soon as the demon evacuatesâ€”if the body was thrashed, it'll drop. The rule has been consistent since Season One, but if you want to hear a moment we say it out loud, check out "Jus In Bello." If memory serves, there's a Demon Rules 101 convo in there.
Second: It seemed to me that when Ruby first appears to Sam (riding the body of the blond secretary,) she is caustic and sarcastic as before, but when she returns as "coma-girl," her demeanor is markedly milder. Was this difference scripted to be intentional, as if Ruby rethought her behavior towards Sam, or was this just an accident of casting and/or directing?
The first time Ruby reappears, she's got another of Lilith's demon with her, so she's got to keep up appearances - until she kills that demon. That scene is the most "Season Three Ruby;" we calibrated it carefully, and discussed it with Charles Beeson, the director, who did a great job juggling all the levels and all the Rubys in that episode without ever missing a beat. That Ruby is a little more vulnerable once she's alone with Sam in the car. Every actress is different, of course, so they'll feel different onscreen. But by the time Ruby is in the body we've seen her in for most of this season, Genevieve's, she's dealing with Sam in a very different way that before. The choice is intentional.
Hi, Sera! On your website, you note that you broke into the Hollywood writing scene as a finalist for "Project Greenlight." That documentary series was backed by some powerful names in the industry. Can you tell us a little more about the process that led you to participate, what impressed you most and least about the competition, and what you learned from the experience?
My writing partner, Raelle Tucker, and I had been trying without success to get an agentâ€”to even get agents to read our work, actually. We had a vague notion that if we made the finals of a competition, it might help persuade a few people to crack open our screenplay. Greenlight was the first one we entered, so we were a little shocked that everything went so well, so quickly.
What impressed me least was having a camera follow me around while I "acted natural." That was ridiculously stressful. Definitely worth it, but I learned that I am not career reality-show-contestant material.
What impressed me most was the genuine intention behind the project. They - Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Chris Moore - really were all about helping young writers and directors who didn't have the benefit of connections within the industry. This wasn't profit-driven or a vanity project for them, they could have been doing something else with their time, for a lot more money. It seemed clear to me that they were motivated by generosity and a sense of gratitude for their own success. And it worked: they helped launch several extremely solid careers.
Also from your site, I see that you are a fan of Frenchies. Do you have any of your own? If so, which character(s) from "Supernatural" do(es) he/she/they most resemble, and why?
Yes, I have a French Bulldog. His name is Mojo. He is super chill but occasionally spazzes out with awesome power, so I'm gonna go with Uriel.
1967chevy (Jane from Colorado) asks:
I love your work and enjoy all of your scripts. I also love Raelle Tucker and miss her "voice" on the show terribly. What is it like for you now that she's no longer around?
Raelle's hands down one of the most talented writers I know, and her departure was definitely a loss for Supernatural. But I'm thrilled that she was hired to work on True Blood and feel her voice adds hugely to that show. My own adjustment had little to do with her being around our show, actually, writers come and go; it's the way of TV. She and I were writing partners for many years before we started work on Supernatural, and had decided it was time to dissolve the partnership and pursue separate projects. So the weird thing for me was about moving into the next stage of my life as a solo writer. It was a big step for both of us, and it has helped me tremendously to watch her do so well. I'm one of her biggest fans.
Yasmine From Jacksonville FL asks:
In "I Know What you Did Last Summer", Ruby said "We need you to take the bitch out." So who's we? I know you guys don't do much by mistake so who's we?
Ruby and Sam.
Will we ever find out what happened between Dean and Bobby to make Dean see him as a father figure as opposed to an uncle or family friend?
A flashback episode revealing more backstory is always possible. But also, Bobby has just consistently been there for the boys. And he's certainly stepped up since John died. Filled the father role in many ways. For my money, better than John did.
Will Sam ever realize how much he is following in his dad's footsteps in the obsession department?
Very much so.
Will Dean ever recover from his PTSD? Will he ever get a more positive self worth?
Dean will certainly try to move forward from his hell experience, but we'll provide him with some setbacks. In general, yes, I think this season brings Dean a more positive sense of himself. Or at least a less crushingly negative one.
I see from your bio that you love discovering new music, as do I. I know that it is not Supernatural-related, but I'd love to know any new bands/artists you have recently discovered.
This happens to be a terrible time to ask me this question, because when I'm working on a project, I tend to listen to the same music over and over. And over. Not while I'm writing, but while I'm driving around brainstorming (which, since I live in LA, amounts to a couple of hours a day). Eventually, this becomes a curse. Say, around month five. But it cannot be helped. Right now, I'm working on a screenplay that calls for Jacob Golden's "Revenge Songs". And I'm writing a slightly sci-fi cable pilot that mostly demands Radiohead (not new, I know, but at least they have a more extensive discography than Jacob!) with some Sia and Great Northern thrown in.
When I manage to stop thinking about work, I've lately been digging on Amanda Palmer's new solo album. Also Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, Raphael Saadiq, and Glasvegas.
You seem to not write a lot of the stories dealing with Urban Legends and such. Is there a reason for that or does it just happen that's the way the stories work out?
We all pitch urban legends. I end up writing whichever episode I get assigned; it's usually a matter of scheduling. But from inside the show, it doesn't feel like I'm separate from episodes I'm not writing. We're all helping each other out.
If you were to write the very last episode of Supernatural, how would things end?
I'm so glad I don't have to figure this out. Also, I like Eric's ending.
Thanks again so much to Sera Gamble for taking time to answer these burning questions, and we can't wait to see what the writers have in store for us for the rest of the season. January 15th can't get here fast enough!