Here is Part 2 of Brendan Taylor’s interview with Lynn about returning to Supernatural as Officer Doug Stover (he also appeared on the show in 2015 in the Plush episode) and working with Briana Buckmaster, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki.
L: I’ve often said that I should bring the casting agency a fruit basket, because they only cast the best most committed people. Jared and Jensen said occasionally they get someone who doesn’t fit, but they don’t last long.
B: Yeah, no. I think with the amount of actors they go through; it’s kind of a rite of passage to be on Supernatural. They did say there was this one person who was just like doing his own thing, doing weird awkward loud warm-ups and they just kinda pulled him aside and were like, you can’t do that on this show (laughing)
L: (laughing) That’s not this show.
B: I don’t think they’ve had to do that a lot, but I think you have to listen – when everything else is going so well without that behavior, why would you think that you could get away with that?
L: You must not be very observant not to pick up on that. But I’m always in awe of guest actors, constantly having to go to a new setting with new people and having to be that observant, so you can pick up on the norms right away and fit yourself in. That’s intimidating!
B: Yeah, and you know, my first episode, to be honest, I felt that in a way. Briana was back for her third time in Plush, and I was brand new, so they had a rapport and I really kinda didn’t and you just — all you can do is just what you’re paid to do, and that’s what I did. Obviously, it was rewarded with getting to come back on the show, probably a multitude of factors decided that. And this time I got the opportunity because they split up a lot in the episode, Briana goes with Jared, and I go with Jensen, so we spent a good bit of time together, shooting the shit and chatting. We’re actually around the same age, which is funny.
L: I saw that you tweeted ‘Jensen and I got along like a house on fire.’
B: Yeah, we were just kinda joking about the same things, we have a similar sense of humor, like a dry sense of humor, I guess?
L: That sounds about right.
B: We were just like sharing a lot of internet memes, showing them back and forth between takes.
L: (cracks up)
B: Like dad jokes. I was showing him some memes he hadn’t seen. It was pretty fun and we just kinda clicked in that way.
L: Oh, Jensen and memes, that’s awesome. Okay, I’m moving to the comedy portion of the chat now – what were the worst times when you kept cracking up and couldn’t hold it together? You and Briana tweeted something about ‘the butterfly’ scene and Jared and Jensen kept making you laugh.
B: (laughing) I actually watched and was like, where’s that scene? Oh, they cut it entirely. Which actually makes sense because the way it was written, it made Donna come across as maybe not so bright. They had the FBI guy talking about the patterns of this abductor, and he’s saying oh their migration patterns move up north in the winter and in summer down south, and then pause…beat… and Briana says (in a dramatic whisper) ‘Like a butterfly.’
L: (cracks up)
B: And the line just made Sheriff Donna sound clueless, and we all look at her like, duh. But trying to keep a straight face through that line, oh man, it was hard. We kept doing it over and over and especially when…
[At this point Brendan is laughing so hard he can’t go on, and I’m laughing so hard just picturing it…]
B: Sorry, it’s bringing me right back…. And Jensen would look over almost anticipating and she’d go (dramatic whisper again) ‘like a butterfly’ and he’d just go ‘shit!’
L: (still cracking up)
B: And the FBI guy, he was a nice guy, but there’s a time when he’s on camera and we’re off camera and we’re just being unprofessional…
L: The poor guy
B: So Briana’s tactic was just to look straight ahead and not react to them (J2) reacting, but in the meantime, it was a funny image. Jared is kinda my height and the camera is kinda over our shoulders behind looking back at the FBI guy, and Jared is on the left side of camera facing out and then it’s Briana and then it’s me. But she says the ‘like a butterfly’ and Jared just kinda slowly turns his head and I just see his eyes over top and I just couldn’t handle it…
L: I don’t blame you!
B: They know their power and yeah, their mastery of screwing around.
L: Oh yes they are very good at it
B: Jensen is also really funny, they’re both just really funny.
Briana’s tweet about this scene: FUN FACT: we couldn’t stop laughing at a line they inevitably CUT OUT of this scene. “Like a butterfly” i would say. And Jared and Jensen would pretend to look at me like “duh Donna”. Eventually I had to just not look at them to not laugh. “Nice tactic” Jensen said.
L: They are really funny. I thought you did a good job with the lines you had that were supposed to be funny too. You deadpanned it a little with a lot of them and that made them even funnier.
B: Yeah I do a lot of commercials – I don’t know if you watch tv a lot and catch them – but one thing they allow me to do is work on the comedy. Just having an understanding, there’s a moment in that intro scene when we’re looking at the car and Dean says about Donna, oh yeah she’s family. And I just kinda am smiling along and then drop like what?? Like this whole time? And we had this moment at the end of that scene where he’s big time bullshitting. I like that scene because it is so obvious, like no one would really believe that, but at the same time we kinda love that Doug just wants to believe.
L: Exactly, he’s a little naïve and sweet…
B: Yeah, but I added that moment when Dean turns and walks away, I have a little like (laughing) ‘Huh. All right..’
L: Oh yeah, that was good, that’s what I mean, your funny lines came out very funny because of the way they were delivered and all the little nonverbals too.
B: I could have easily just kinda stayed there smiling like a goofball, and then we get from that oh Doug is just like totally clueless, but I think it’s important to understand the arc of the episode to see that he’s starting to gain a suspicion.
L: Yes, I liked those hints. And I love that you were thinking about that throughout too.
B: Another funny part that was all me (cracking up) was the head slap [when Marlon asks ‘what’s the matter, you vegan?’ and Doug slaps him upside the head]. I thought it was important for Doug to have that scene to show that he’s not a pushover, he does something a bit out of character that’s putting someone in line because he does care. It’s not just everyone else doing everything; he’s active in it. I mean, it could have easily been Sam or Dean who does that, but I think it’s especially funny that Doug got to do it.
L: Yes, and him having taken that in, like yeah, that’s how they do it in the FBI.
B: Yeah, kinda looking up to them, like I wanna be like him. Practicing the head slap, Steven (Yaffee, who plays Marlon) was fine with me just kinda knicking his hair, but it would kinda be different every time, he would look at the screen and look back, and I didn’t want to – I mean, the stunt guy is always there, even for something as simple as that – you don’t wanna hit someone in the temple or the ear.
B: (cracking up again) And I kept – I was worried about hitting him too hard, and we had a few takes, there was one where I just like, I completely missed his head!
B: And then they didn’t cut, so I just kept trying to do it again, and the guys were like, what are you doing? And everyone just couldn’t hold it after that; it was just funny that I kept trying to do an impulsive slap like twice in a row.
L: I hope some of this will make the gag reel.
B: I hope so, it was like partially me, Brendan, just trying to get this thing right, and it was partially just it’s funny to kinda see something comedic for no real reason.
L: I wouldn’t be surprised. I wasn’t surprised when they brought you back either. Every now and then you get a guest character that resonates with the viewers. There was a bit of a gender role flip with him telling Donna she’s treating him like crap and I think we were rooting for him.
B: Yeah definitely, and in the end of that first episode it was open-ended so I kinda hoped they’d have some kind of closure to that, but I’m fully aware that me and Doug are part of Donna’s story line. And it should be her going forward, and I think it was important to show that she doesn’t need a man to keep her going, and I think that was showing that. But it is nice to have someone who’s supportive and caring.
L: Well, if Wayward Sisters goes…
B: That would be… obviously, I would love that. I understand the hesitation, you could never see me again, and Donna will go on and kill monsters. I think it’s important that she takes her own path but of course, I would love to be back. Even in this episode and consistently multiple times in each episode, someone is in danger, and someone is about to die — even in this one, the FBI guy is about to shoot Sam in the head and it pans over to the camera and then blam! OMG and you look over, and of course, someone is bleeding and then he falls over, and there’s Dean with the smoking gun!
L: That was such an awesome moment.
B: That happens like all the time on Supernatural in one form or another, and I think it would be cool if that same kind of thing happened and Doug is standing there with a gun. I think he just needs some time to process. I do say I love you Donna but I can’t do this, but I did also say – within the episode – I’ll always be there for you. Dean says, you’ll always be there for her, right? And I say you betcha.
L: That’s right. He wasn’t rejecting her, just saying that he can’t do it. That’s why it’s so tragic.
B: So yeah, obviously relationships are complicated, but also holding myself (Doug) accountable for what I said about being there for her. I think that’s something to think about – obviously, to come back in a way that doesn’t outshine the girls though, that somehow highlights the force against evil I guess, as a member of the team
L: Yeah, that’s what Dean was saying, we could use another hand on this side from someone who knows. I felt like they deliberately left that door open, so…
B: I sure hope so. I was texting Briana last night – and all the cast was messaging her saying how great they thought the episode was.
L: She kicked ass.
B: I think – I’m not up to speed this season, but this was one of the best ones I’ve seen recently. And she’s a big part of that obviously.
L: I have a good feeling about it all. It was so nice to get to chat with you. Anything I didn’t ask you about?
B: It was great chatting with you too! Oh, I posted a lot of photos from on set and I appreciate that the fans appreciate those behind the scenes things.
L: Oh yes, I’ve got a lot of them, they were great – you did nearly kill the entire fandom by posting that picture of Jensen on set wearing glasses though.
B: (laughing) I can’t even understand that, I didn’t know that I wielded such power with that! It was just a picture of them screwing around, it didn’t even come close to occurring to me that would be the response to that photo
L: Oh yes, I could have predicted it.
B: And then people were like, you broke the internet! I’ll post a few more too tonight that are pretty fun.
L: Fans really appreciate the behind the scenes because most of us will never get to be there.
B: I sort of gathered that and essentially nowadays you have the ability to do that with social media, and true fans like to know every single bit.
L: Absolutely we do.
B: Oh and I was gonna mention that I did set dec for 15 years and I worked on the episode LARP and the Real Girl, helping build that big set out in the field. I did that job for many years, day calling around so I didn’t have a permanent place on Supernatural but I did span a few weeks at a time there working on sets. That’s why I posted a picture of George Neuman [the set decorator on Supernatural since Season 1], who was so happy to see me back there. And I was on the show in Season 8 too.
L: You were?
B: They cut my scene.
B: I did post a photo a while back, I’m trying to remember the episode number. I was so excited that I got on Supernatural. It was a scene with Alaina Huffman. It was me and my friend Adam Pateman, and we were sorta business guys chatting about how unfair the world is blah blah blah and we go down these stairs from a law office kinda thing and we look over and Alaina is standing there with her demon eyes and you look back at us and we both have demon eyes, and she’s recruiting her army.
L: Oh cool – but gotta say, this role is a million times better!
B: Oh totally, that was just a one time thing. It was cool, but I do remember gathering my family to watch, like ‘yeah I’m on Supernatural!’ and then…
L: No I’m not…
B: It happened a few months prior on another show where I got a part in the finale, and they cut that scene as well. It was starting to look like I was making everything up!
L: Yeah sure you’re on these shows…
B: My family was like we watched the episode two times…
L: Like, where were you? That sucks. So do you like acting more or set dec?
B: I haven’t done set dec, knock on wood, in almost three years. For me, acting is a goal. It’s actually very hard to make it as you probably know. It’s always been a passion of mine, and I couldn’t really handle it anymore being on set literally a few feet away watching people do what I wanted to be doing
L: Oh god yes, that would be so painful.
B: Yeah and I was taking classes on weekends, it was something I pursued in high school and then in university it was sorta on the back burner, but then I found my way back to it. And as I gained more experience with set dec and knew more people, I was able to go to more auditions and slowly they started paying off more. It was a very gradual thing, not an overnight success thing, which is a very rare thing. It does happen; it happened to my buddy Jordan who’s on Riverdale overnight. Anything on that show is huge, so it can be an overnight thing, but it’s not the norm at all. So slowly I’ve started to work and checks would show up and I also did a lot of theater and all of a sudden it started to go in the other direction. Now it feels like I can kick back a little. I think even in Jensen and Jared’s position, who are like the only actors in the industry [in Canada] who have a full time job (laughing), I think they, yes they have that, but you still have to put in work, to keep it consistent and help it grow. It’s ironic that I have way more time now as a full time actor, but you sometimes make plans and – while we were talking I saw that I got something from my agent for an audition on Monday so I won’t be taking my car in to get fixed on Monday, I guess I can’t do that now!
L: Fingers crossed for you for Monday!
B: My character is back on the The Magicians too in March and I’m also on The Arrangement up here. I got all three emails for those within a week of each other, so those are the kind of lucky breaks you hope you get, but you have to work for it. And fingers crossed for Wayward Sisters, this has been an awesome thing to be part of!
Hopefully, Brendan will have more chances to be a part of Supernatural – and Wayward Sisters – in the future. Until then, check him out on The Magicians and The Arrangement!