Jen, one of the English Men of Letters (well, WOman of Letters) that appeared in the first and second episodes of Season 12, was someone most Supernatural fans automatically disliked – how couldn’t you? One of the first scenes you see her in, she’s beating up poor Sam and Castiel.
However, Bronagh Waugh, as you will read in the following interview, is very fun-loving – even up to a prank on Jared Padalecki.
How were you cast as Jen?
They were looking for a British actress for the role as she is from the British Men of Letters, so the casting directors, who had known my previous work on The Fall, called me in. We had met previously and really wanted to work together but were just looking for the right project – I met with the Producers, and it just fit! I think it would have been easy to play Ms. Watt as a menace and an over-bearing villain, but I think she really respected Sam’s stamina and Dean’s tenacity. She didn’t want to do what she had to do, but they left her with what she deemed as no choice. It’s a shame that the role was already written that she would die because I think once I got there and we all started working together we thought it potentially could have gone a bit further — but you never know with Supernatural! People can come back from the dead! Or maybe she’ll have a kick-ass ‘good’ twin that comes to help the boys once in a while! A tough, British kick-ass ‘fairy Godmother’ for them or something! Ha!
Tell us about the fight scene with Jensen, Misha and Sam; how long did that take to film? Was there an especially difficult part?
Oh, that was so much fun! Initially, I was a little worried I was in over my head — in the audition, Phil Sgriccia, the director and Jim Michaels asked me if I could fight and I was like “Oh yeah, I’m Irish – I was born to fight!! I’m tough as nails…” and then got the job and kinda freaked out that I was in too deep — especially when I saw how big and tall and strapping Jensen and Dean were! I was like… “Oh holy Mary Mother of God! What have I got myself into?!!” But then I met Lou Bollo the Stunt Coordinator, who has been choreographing the fights since the beginning of Supernatural — that’s a lot of fights! And I met his team, and they were just so welcoming and helpful. I was a trained dancer when I was younger, so I treated the fight choreography like dance choreography and split it into sections of 8’s and beats and then just practiced and practiced and practiced!! When I went home I shadow boxed in the reflection of my cousin’s Kia car window to see if I was hitting the right marks!
When I showed up the next day, Lou and the team were like, “Holy smokes, this girl has it down!” So then they went and changed it all! That was hard … because sometimes unlearning something is harder than learning something new on the spot. But we got through it, and Jensen and Misha were so helpful with making sure the story made sense… that’s why we had to change some of the moves because Ms. Watt was appearing like she had crazy superpowers when in actual fact she is just a ‘Men of Letters’ so can’t make people fly across parking lots with her sheer force! (I wish she could’ve, but there’s limits to what one gal can do!!) The fight was filmed over 2 days, and after the first day I was walking like John Wayne – my thighs and my butt were burning from fighting solidly for 12 hours, but it was great! I ended up with buns of steel (for a week!) HA!
Did anything funny happen while you were on set?
I can honestly say that those guys are SO much fun to film with! We laughed non-stop for the whole time I was there! Jensen and Misha are so witty – they had me in stitches! Jensen accidentally right hooked me with his elbow to my jaw and felt so bad. I was totally fine but then on the next take he had to pretend to be thrown against the car and he actually threw himself with such force that I reacted with such shock when I ‘punched’ him that everyone roared at my reaction — I really thought I had floored him! I hadn’t — he was just very good at stunts!
And Elizabeth and I could not do one single take of the scene where we had to say “Bring in Mr. Fetch” without creasing up with laughter. We had to be staring at Jared and we were deciding what to do with him next, and I had to slowly and menacingly turn to Liz and say “You know what we have to do…. we need to… bring in Mr. Fetch, the director ” and we would just burst every sing, the director, as SO patient with us and let us go about 27 times! The only single time we did it without laughing was the take they had to use!
Also, the Supernatural pranks are legendary and Phil, the director, had come up with a prank on Jared that when he was tied to the chair and I turn on the water and torture him with water dripping on him and I had the blowtorch in my hand, that we would instead blast the song from Flashdance on the speakers and Liz and I ended up doing the full Flashdance routine where she is on the chair with a blowtorch – Jared had no idea and was really confused at first but then started howling with laughter – I think that one might make the blooper reel!
What was your favorite scene to film?
Probably the fight scene with Misha and Jensen – it was so empowering to be able to play such a strong woman who could physically kick two really big guy’s butts! I felt like Wonderwoman! Even if I did look like Mike Myers in that old SNL sketch! It was a lot of fun. I kinda fell in love with the car in that scene too – it’s like the 4th character in Supernatural… it’s very cool!
Do you have any current or upcoming projects that you’d like to share?
I’ve just wrapped on my first US feature Steel Country playing another really interesting, edgy role — very different to Supernatural but a lot of fun, if intense! It’s a dark thriller and I was working with one of my favourite actors, Andrew Scott — he is just wonderful — I’m a very lucky lady to be able to work on such diverse projects.
I’d also just like to quickly say, if I may, a big thank you to all the Supernatural fans who were so welcoming to me and really embraced my character. What awesome fans! They are so dedicated and knowledgeable about the show — such commitment! Shows like Supernatural would not be possible or have such long-term success without them, and I think the cast and crew really know and appreciate that. So hats off to you guys!