Carrie Genzel is one of those lovely actresses that thought being in Supernatural was so nice she did it twice – she was in Bugs, one of the earlier episodes in Season 1, and in Just My Imagination, one of my personal favorite episodes, in Season 11. Many fans will remember Carrie’s character, Linda Berman, being the one with “Sparkle on her face!” Definitely one of the more iconic moments in Supernatural, for sure.
Since Supernatural, Carrie has appeared in Max 2, They’re Watching and Season’s Greetings. Carrie is also the author of State of Slay, a blog about “the state of living in self-love as your authentic self.” Carrie explains further about her blog and her journey to writing it below.
Carrie currently has a fun comedy called The Layover coming out on Direct TV on August 3 and in theaters in September 1. It stars Kate Upton and Alexandra Daddario, and was directed by William H. Macy. In addition, fans can see Carrie at Modesto’s Classic Comic Con, Oct. 27 to Oct. 29 in Modesto, California.
Since this turned into quite a great and lengthy interview, we’ve split it into 2 parts. In Part 2 Carrie talks about her State of Slay site which will inspire everyone.
You were in two episodes of Supernatural; there was a 10-year difference between the two because you were in Bugs in 2005 and Just My Imagination in 2015. Did you notice any difference on set between the 10 years?
Well, you know what was interesting was what was the same. Typically, on shows like Supernatural, especially, you know, Supernatural has a really long season, and they put in some long days; there’s a lot of special effects and a lot of different things that make days longer. I can see that being on that schedule day in and day out can wear on a person some times. What was really interesting going back 10 years later was that a lot of the core group of crew was still there, which was amazing to see and really goes to show you what kind of family that they’ve all assembled on that show, that so many of those people are still there after all of these years.
Other than that it was great to see the boys, and we laughed a lot, because I remember when we shot Bugs the first season, I think it may have just started to air; it was really new, and it was really dark compared to what else was on TV back then; I think there was Buffy, but Buffy had a lot more humor; Supernatural in the first season was really dark. Even in the way they shot it, it was really dark. I remember talking to the guys, and they were like, we don’t know if this is going to fly, we’re hoping, but it’s really different from what’s on; everyone seemed unsure about the longevity of the show. Cut to – and it’s still going — ten years later, me walking on set and going, you guys are still here!
What was cool, was to catch up, because now, they’re married, they have kids … so a lot had changed, and it was really fun to hear about their kids and life doing the show, but also having a family outside of the show and juggling all of that which they seem to do quite well. It was fun to catch up and see them again so many years later and just great to see that the show is still rolling along and still feels like a family. A lot of that has to do with the boys. They really put that energy and that tone into work every day and they love being there, and they really love each other; and you feel that when you’re there; that really sets the tone for everybody there. Everybody’s there to work, everybody’s there to have a good time, and everyone really appreciates the job they have and the fandom that keeps everything going and humming. Everything that is done on set is really in honor and in tribute to that fandom. It’s a really nice environment to work in.
You’re definitely not the only person I’ve talked to that have noticed the crew being very much the same as the first season to later on in years. I honestly think one of the main reasons is how gentleman-like Jared and Jensen are. That literally trickles down to everyone else in cast and crew; everyone has just stayed together. I think that’s a lot of the reason why Supernatural has done so well is because the actual core group is still there; it still has the same feeling. I think that’s really, really cool.
You were talking about the Supernatural family; how has that affected you?
It’s been incredible! I was invited to The Family Don’t End With Blood, the book launch in Los Angeles on May 10 by Lynn and it was wonderful because it was the first time I actually got to stand up and say thank you in a public forum. Just after Just My Imagination aired, I was bombarded with love on social media, and it was overwhelming, and I tried my best to get back to every single person and I just couldn’t. It just was impossible for me to do that so I did a video to say thank you. I had no idea what was going to happen because when Bugs aired, there really wasn’t social media. Over the years I’ve gotten fan mail, or people had reached out to me and said they liked the episode, or how did you do that … it was nothing compared to what happened when Just My Imagination aired. I was looking forward to the episode because it’s a great episode, I was looking forward to seeing all of it, not just the stuff I did because I was really thrilled for the whole episode and excited for Rich; it was his first time directing.
All of a sudden my phone went berserk. The episode aired, I’m crying, because it always makes me cry at the end; and all of a sudden my phone’s like ding-ding … all of this stuff starts happening on my phone and I’m like what’s going on? All of these people start reaching out to me and then there was ripple effect because dependent on the time zone and the country – it wasn’t just that one day – oh, now it’s on in Brazil. It was funny how it came in waves depending on where it was airing in the world and the time zone.
It was really incredible. I just felt this wave of love, and it was really great to hear everyone’s comments and really embrace that episode … it still happens, almost every day. It’s been a while since that aired. It’s really nice as an actor when people connect to the material. We’re all storytellers, and we hope that the stories that we’re telling and the characters that we’re playing resonate with people. When it does in such a big way, it’s really fantastic, and it’s really rewarding – it feels like we’re doing something right. Especially for Supernatural … you want to honor that story, the characters, and you hope that you’re adding something special.
It’s been interesting because both of the episodes that I’ve done have kind of been stand-alone episodes in a way, they haven’t contributed to the overall story, so you kind of go it’s one of those fun episodes where you get to go a little out there. The #SPNfamily really, really, every day just warms my heart. You all are incredible and – you are – you can do anything. I’ve seen the power of what you can do when you all band together. The Entertainment Weekly cover comes to mind, where you guys kicked ass. You guys won for getting your show on Entertainment Weekly over Game of Thrones, Outlander, like big, huge shows that haven’t been on long that maybe have a little more heat because they’re newer, or shinier, or what have you. You guys were like, hell no! We are getting our show on the cover, and our boys on the cover, and they did that wonderful story. I went, this is it, this is what they can do.
There’s so much good that you all do – which again, really goes to show you the good in the cast and the message that they promote about themselves and about helping others. That definitely trickles down through the fandom and through the #SPNfamily, which I find really, really inspiring. I think that’s really incredible; I don’t really know if there’s a show that really has that. I think it’s such a unique, it’s so unique to Supernatural and it’s really incredible.
That’s one of the reasons why I personally love Supernatural so much is that the cast, whether it be the main cast, to the guest stars, like yourself; everyone is so giving of themselves and of their time. I mean you’ve got yourself, who is constantly replying to pretty much every single Tweet that you get …
I try, it’s hard.
It’s really, really hard.
Especially with the #darkhunters … I get up some mornings and I’m like holy moly, how long have you guys been up?
You and I are both on Pacific Time, and most of my girlfriends, my #darkhunters friends, are in Eastern Time – I get up and I’m like, okay, I need to catch up!
There’ll be like 45 messages, what’s happening?!?
I just recently saw that David had 99+ messages or notifications. But yeah, it does get overwhelming some times. I can’t respond to all of this, I have to go to an audition! I try to hit the highlights and at least check in, like, I’m here!
It’s incredible … and it’s rapid fire, too! It’s like holy moly, it’s just flying through my screen … Some times I just like to sit back and watch it happen.
So what was your favorite part about being on Supernatural?
Oh my gosh, so many things! You know, I was just really thrilled to go back. I was itching to go back because so many people I know had done it multiple times … I’m like, I haven’t been on since season 1, and I died … can I come back too? A year or so ago, around the time that I shot that, I had been in a few times for roles for the show, and I was like I’ve got to go back to do something, and it just wasn’t happening. When I went in for this, I was like, I don’t know if Rich really likes me … he must be a good poker player, because I couldn’t really tell, wasn’t really sure … so I went home, and then a few days later I got the call.
I didn’t know about the manicorn blood; they had taken that out of the audition materials. They do that – either they’ll make up a scene, or they’ll take stuff out so that you don’t know everything. God forbid those get out somewhere, so they don’t want it to get released … It wasn’t until I read the actual script that I was like, oh my God, this is going to be insane! This is going to be crazy.
There were so many things that were great about doing that that I was looking forward too. Working with Rich, who is a phenomenal actor. His history with the show, just made it even better because I knew that no matter what was going to go down on set, he had our backs. He knows the show, he knows the guys, he wants this to be as great as it can be and we were starting with an incredible script. I’m like, this is great. It was so fun to see the boys again and to catch up. Try not to laugh while they were wearing their Mr. Rogers sweaters. Because come on … I was like, come on. Those were amazing. And they were so uncomfortable in them. It was even better in person.
Rich really let us play and have fun. Even in the scene when they first come to my house – we got to play around a little bit with the whole manicorn moment. Because, you know, a manicorn … We kind of played around with different reactions, different things – we really had fun. It was great.
The scene — Nate Torrence, first off, is so hilarious. It was next to impossible not to look at him in the scenes, because Linda can’t see him, or hear him; so it was ridiculous – he’s in the suspenders, in the pants that are too small, that were in danger of breaking at any given moment … they really were. He’s like, I don’t know if these are going to hold again today. But that was the joke – they were supposed to look small … and God bless him for rocking those.
I’m a fan of Nate’s work as well and knew his work from other things. It was such a joy to go to work and try to pull this off without laughing.
I was going to ask you how hard it was to keep a straight face.
It was ridiculously hard. Before we actually shot the moment where I put the blood on my face, Rich pulled me aside, and he all of a sudden got really, really serious. He’s like Carrie, I really need you to be professional here, and I need you not to laugh. You can’t laugh during this moment because if we put the blood on, and you start laughing, we’re going to be behind like an hour. It’s going to take an hour to take the blood off of you, reapply your makeup; I’m like I get it, I will not laugh. I promise on my soul; I will not laugh.
He’s like, they’re not going to make it easy on you, I know them. I know them, and they’re going to be silly, and goofy … I’m like, I know, I know, I promise you – I promise you, I will not laugh. It’s not anything you can practice; because once it’s on, it’s on … I didn’t really know what was going to happen when I put it on my face. They set it up so that when I sit down, and Sparkle’s next to me and I’m sitting on that bench, they had kind of rigged that cushion with pools of sparkly blood so that when I put my hands down, and I’m talking to them, I’m really just loading up my hands with blood.
I’ve worked a lot with fake blood before, and it’s sticky, and it’s sweet, you kind of know what’s going to happen; but because it had the chunky glitter in it, I’m like, I don’t really know what’s going to happen. So I was just like, here goes! Rich was really specific about how he wanted me to like put it on my face. So it was a lot to remember – my brain was firing like a million miles an hour, right, picturing that scene. I’m like, I’ve got to do this, I’ve got to sit down, I’ve got to touch my face like this, I gotta get up … there were all these things happening …
So we do it and it’s on, and we’re in the scene, I can see their faces, and Jensen in particular, makes me laugh every single time I watch that scene, he was the funniest. It was just his reaction. I get up, and I stand up, at the end of the scene, and it’s on my face … and a piece of glitter goes right into my eye. It literally feels like a dagger in my eye. All I can think of is I promised Rich I wouldn’t laugh or wreck the scene. I have to somehow get through the end of the scene. All I could think of was not letting my eye water and not messing up the scene … I just concentrated so hard on what was happening, and not looking at Nate. I would just stand there and go Jared, Jensen, Jared, Jensen, Jared, Jensen, and look back and forth so I wouldn’t stop in the middle at Nate. I would just go, Jared, Jensen, Jared, Jensen, Jared, Jensen in my head … and just say my lines. Just doing that repetitive until Rich said cut and then I’m like MAKEUP!! My EYE!
As soon as he said cut, the boys just burst out laughing and Nate just burst out laughing … saying, you look INSANE!
I’m like, I don’t even want to see what I look like because I don’t want to have that image in my head, because we still have to shoot … I just want to pretend that everything is normal … now I don’t have glitter in my eye so it’s all good. I stepped off set, while they were moving the cameras around, just to kind of get some air … it can get hot with the lights and stuff. Rich had frozen the image of my face on all the monitors … I came around the corner, and there was just monitors with my glittering face on it. I’m like, well, I guess that’s what I look like …
They really didn’t make it easy. They were goofing around; they were making the silliest faces, they really had a good time with it.
The boys are notorious for pranks on guest stars.
They boys like to have fun, and they like to goof around … It’s not a regular scene where God forbid you laugh, they go cut, and you go again. Once it was on, it was on. We didn’t have to worry about it. It was just that first moment about getting it on properly, and he was happy with the application of the manicorn blood … then it just stayed on for the remainder of shooting. It was hard. Actually, it was actually kind of itchy and gross. It actually stained my face so that was lovely; and my hands, which was really lovely.
For months and months afterward, I would find random glitter on me … I just kept sparkling for months. And months. And months. And months. I would think, now it’s gone. But then I would find a random sparkle … It was just everywhere. And it stained my feet! Well, my one foot, because I had to step in it, and I had on leather-soled shoes … I didn’t even realize, but it soaked into the shoe, and when we wrapped, it was really late, and it’s dark … so I just wanted to get home. I threw off my shoes and put my socks and sneakers on, and went home, and I crashed. The next day, I wake up, and I’m like, why is my sock stuck to my foot? I peel it off and it’s all full of blood and glitter. It was really the gift that kept on giving.
If you were back on Supernatural, would you be a hunter, a demon or an angel?
Well, I think of the three – I would love to be a hunter … I’ve auditioned to be a demon on the show, before I got Linda, which was super fun … because you just get to go balls out. I actually kind of hyperventilated … I got a little too into it. But I gotta go with hunter. Because, come on. Let me go kill some shit! I think maybe somebody messes with Linda’s daughter, she’s like, enough of this crap and goes hunting.
Her and all of her jewelry. Linda wore a lot of jewelry. She must’ve been a jewelry salesman … maybe she had some sort of business on the side … I don’t know how I could’ve put more jewelry on then I had.
How did you get into acting?
I had always been drawn to acting. As a young girl, we used to go to the Saturday matinees; our dad used to take us. I was also just so in awe of whatever that was, when the curtain opened … that magical world that opened up. I remember even as a very young girl thinking, I don’t know what that is, but I want to be a part of it. It really was a form of escape for me. I always had these magical places in my head … even as a kid, would act out skits and do things. As I got older, it became kind of a place … it really was a place of escapism for me. I was really uncomfortable with who I was and I didn’t like myself so to be able to play another person and to act, I’m like, that’s great because if you don’t like that person, it’s okay, because it’s not me. It kind of became a way of life … I realized at some point that it could be a career. That I could actually have a career doing that. I thought, that’s really awesome, because I do that every day anyway. So, let’s do this.
That was kind of my motivation to start. Thankfully that’s not still my motivation. It really was just a way to get out of myself, and out of my own head. For a chance to be somebody else. That’s kind of how it all started.
What advice do you have for people who want to get into acting?
Go to college. Get another career. No. I’ve had the opportunity to teach, and I always get asked that one of course. I’ve taught kids in high school. I always say to them: If it’s not your passion, if it’s not something you feel like part of you will die if you don’t do it … don’t do it. You still can, but in a different way. Go get an education, go get a degree, go find that other thing; you can still do community theatre, you can still do things on the side, but to do it as a career, and to go after it, the way you have to go after it today … is tough. You have to make a lot of sacrifices. I always say to people when they ask me; it’s a little bit of a selfish, not even a little bit, it’s a selfish business in that I’ve missed birthdays, holidays, funerals, weddings, major events in people’s lives that I love and care about. Because I’m travelling, I’m on the road; I’m on location … I’m at work. It’s tough that way.
I think if you are a storyteller by nature, and you need to tell a story, then find your outlet. Find your way. And it may not be acting, because I know some incredibly talented people who thought it was acting and are now directing, or now writing … or doing something creative in a different way in the entertainment industry. If acting is your passion, I’m a big fan of making your own opportunity. It’s really hard to break through the pack. When you’re young, it’s easier, people give you a chance, and they don’t expect you to have a huge resume. There are some opportunities that are afforded to you there. It’s very competitive … and I think now there are so many outlets where you can showcase who you are and what you can do. And you can do that virtually for free. You don’t have to have a lot of really expensive equipment to make it happen, as long as the picture is clear, they can hear you, you’re good to go.
I know every studio, every network, major agency, are always scouring the Internet for new talent. If you live in a small community where you’re not in a major market, like Los Angeles or New York or Chicago, make your own opportunity. Get your friends together, make your own content, or do it yourself … and make your own opportunities. Always do your research. If you’re contacted by an agent, or if you’re wanting to talk to an agent, Google them. Find out what people are saying about them, because there are a lot of scammers out there. You should never pay anyone to represent you as an agent or a manager. That’s not how it works. They get paid when you get paid. So that’s always a good rule of thumb. Always do your research.
As an actor, I always say, you have to be your own detective. When you’re crafting your character, and even so, just in business. It’s just too easy now to look on your phone and research somebody and find out if they’re legitimate or not. Do your homework.