Interview: Briana Buckmaster talks ‘Supernatural’ and Sheriff Donna Hanscum

Interview: Briana Buckmaster talks ‘Supernatural’ and Sheriff Donna Hanscum

Interview: Briana Buckmaster talks 'Supernatural' and Sheriff Donna Hanscum 2016 images

Briana Buckmaster, one of the lovely “Wayward Daughters,” plays Sheriff Donna Hanscum in Supernatural. As Briana mentions, what started as a one-off guest role quickly turned into one of Supernatural’s fan-favourite characters – and after three episodes over three different seasons, Sheriff Donna’s appeal is still great.

How were you cast as Sheriff Donna?

I auditioned for the role with a bunch of other actresses. Originally it was supposed to be a small 1 episode role the breakdown was “a small town midwestern sheriff like Marge in Fargo, but not pregnant.” The trick was that I WAS pregnant. So I had to keep that a secret. I came in to the audition with a thick Minnesotan accent and won the heart (I think) of Phil Sgriccia who was directing the ep. The rest is history!

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Had you heard of/seen Supernatural before you were cast?

I had watched a couple of episodes of the show to learn the style before my audition, but I had literally zero idea of what kind of incredible phenomenon it was.

How did you prepare for your role?

I studied the dialect because I really didn’t want to get called out on it. I also researched what it took to become a sheriff because it’s my understanding that it’s no small feat for a woman to become the sheriff of a small community.
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Sheriff Donna — along with some of the other female cast – has become quite iconic to the Supernatural fandom. When you first were given the role, did you know how much of an impact she would make?

I had no idea. I was just excited to have a job. And a really fun role! The opportunity to influence and inspire others is a gift, and I thank my lucky stars every damn day. The SPN family is a powerhouse, and I’m so happy to be a party of the family.

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What is your all-time favorite Sherriff Donna line?

So many to choose from! I love how her dialogue is written “what the cuss” is definitely one of my favourites. But I think “shut the front door” is a fan favourite too.
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What was your favorite, and which was your most difficult scene to film?

The most difficult to film was where I chop the vamps head off in Hibbing 911. I had to stand in the exact right position and hailed the machete and the exact right spot in order for the FX to work. I’d never done anything like that before, and it was a bit nerve-wracking. My fave is probably the donut scene. The crew and Jared and Jensen were in stitches the whole time. I kept a straight face cause I was just trying not to mess up.

What was your most embarrassing moment from filming?

Anytime the boys make fun of me dropping a line or walking funny or anything like that. They’ll make sure you never forget it.

Tell us about the Wayward Daughters Academy campaign; are there any new campaigns in the future?

There are a bunch of things in the works with WWD though nothing I can quite talk about yet. But I think people will be very happy :)

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What do you enjoy most about working on Supernatural?

The cast and crew are incredible. Professional, talented, warm, welcoming and so much fun. It sounds like we’re all just making it up, but it really is everything people say and more. Best set in the world to work on. And also a well-oiled machine.

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Do you have any current projects you are working on (that you can share)?

The only thing I can share at this point is an animated web series that I write for called White Ninja starring Paul Scheer. It’s on Vine which makes it and extra challenge to write a funny script that’s mere seconds long. But it is a very dark comedy, so it’s not up everyone’s alley. I’ll keep everyone afloat to my other projects as they come closer :)


Carol Hansson is a freelance writer out of Northern British Columbia. Her interests include writing, reading, her horses – and of course, Supernatural.

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