Interview with Mark Sheppard – Supernatural on E4 (6th Jan 2015 at 9pm)
Final interview (for now) to help celebrate Supernatural coming to E4, we chat with the worlds most ubiquitous scifi actor, the wonderful Mark Sheppard, who plays Crowley in the show! Supernatural Season 9 will air on E4 Tues 6th January 2015 at 9pm.
What happens to Crowley at the start of Season 9?
Crowley is in lockdown. The best way I can explain this is that the process of trying to cure Crowley has had a profound effect upon him, and not the effect that was originally desired. It’s probably more profound than Crowley would enjoy, so I’m sure it’s going to have its consequences.
How will viewers find him at the start of the season?
You’ll see that Crowley is pretty much incarcerated in the same sort of state he was left in. So, while Sam has not been able to cure Crowley and complete that cycle, the effects of experiencing some form of human-ness is definitely going to have a profound effect on him. Whether he likes the effect or not is another story, and so is how deep the effect on him will be.
Are there any other spoilers or hints you can share with us about Season 9?
Having been on shows where I’ve been the keeper of secrets for a very, very long time, you’ll never get a spoiler out of me. It’s just not what we do. We have to be in agreement that in order for people to enjoy what it is that we do, we tease out elements of it to pique interest, but we never want to give away what’s actually happening.
How much do you enjoy playing a character like Crowley?
It’s been fabulous. They are very kind to me on this show. There’s something rather fun about him having that kind of whimsy and that kind of enjoyment in everything that he does. He’s really insatiable when it comes to consuming fun. He’s a lot of fun to play.
We’ve seen some incredibly evil villains on Supernatural, but Crowley is almost jolly. Your character is very unique…
I’m giving absolute credit to the writers for this; I think Ben Edlund created the character first. In a way, Crowley is like Bugs Bunny because he tends to fight only when he’s provoked. If you shoot him, he’s going to do something. He was created with that idea in mind. I think the writers were really smart and when they saw that his character was working in this way, they thought, ‘Let’s keep going in that direction.’ That’s the great thing about having smart writers on the show. I’m sure there’s a little trial and error when it comes to how evil Crowley is, but he’s so much fun to play.
Do you have the flexibility to change some of your lines if they don’t seem to fit your character?
Most lines fit. You’ve just got to remember that what human beings say is not always what they mean. So what they say is not always as relevant as the meaning behind it.
Crowley has been deliciously bad on the show. If the cure works, would you enjoy changing him up to be a moral character?
We can only wait and see how deeply the effect of that experience is on Crowley. As an actor, doing anything that morphs your character and gives them more dimensions is great. As I say, to have writers that allow you to experience new things with a character year after year is a lot of fun.
What is the secret to Supernatural’s success?
We’re in Season 9 of a show that doesn’t bore me. And it really doesn’t bore me! I’m still interested in what happens to these characters and their stories. Supernatural has its moments of great whimsy and it has its interesting changes, but I think the writing just keeps getting better and better. I think it’s more fun and more interesting than a lot of other shows. For example, I love Law & Order. For years and years and years, I’ve watched Law & Order – but after 14 seasons there was nothing different you could do, apart from doing things like character changes. I’m so glad that we’re not in the situation where we have to solve everything, or where Supernatural was something like Battlestar Galactica, where you can’t jump in the middle because you have no chance of working it out. We’re very lucky in that respect. It’s a great show to work on.
As an actor, you seem to land great roles?
I try very hard to play distinctive and different characters, and I hope that it works. The projects I’ve tended to enjoy over the years are the projects that the viewing public has also tended to enjoy and I appreciate that a lot. Fans are everything. Without them, this stuff doesn’t exist. We’re the space between soap commercials – but hopefully we’re some of the most interesting space between soap commercials. I don’t think anybody that I’ve worked with for any longevity has gone out to try and make a bad programme. We love making them and it shows when we love it.
What do you like most about your fans?
The great thing about the fans, and Supernatural fans especially, is that you can’t fool them at all. You can’t fake the passion and you can’t fake the vibe – and you can’t fake whether somebody is going to like it or not. If the show is made by people with their hearts on our sleeves, then it’s going to be a really fun show to watch. And that’s exactly what Supernatural is.