When one of our Movie TV Tech Geeks family members has something new out, we love to help promote it, especially when it’s something that every Supernatural fan will want to get their hands on.
Lynn Zubernis, who writes some pretty in-depth and intense Supernatural recap reviews, has her latest book hitting on May 9 Family Don’t End With Blood: Cast and Fans on How Supernatural Has Changed Lives (You can order it here), has interviewed nearly everyone from the show, and we’re happy to run her ‘best ofs’ leading up to her book launch. If you want to attend her Los Angeles book launch check it out here.
Her latest book features With contributions by Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, Mark Sheppard, Jim Beaver, Rob Benedict, Briana Buckmaster, Osric Chau, Matt Cohen, Ruth Connell, Gil McKinney, Rachel Miner and Kim Rhodes, and a Dozen Passionate Fans!
Now for Kim and Briana – Here’s a joint interview we did with both Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster, which as you can imagine we couldn’t print all of it, but suffice it to say, we had FUN! And were Wayward AF. Both Briana and Kim wrote about the Wayward AF phenomenon in their chapters in FDEWB, and how their experience with this show and this fandom has changed them…
This interview was so huge, we had to put it into two parts. You can check out part 2 here if you want to jump ahead.
Life has been crazy, both for me and for Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster – let’s just say they’ve been #WaywardAF and the fandom has embraced them every step of the way. I hope you got your tee shirt and sent your support, because if there was ever a slogan that fit our fandom, this one is it. The campaign was a tremendous success, both doing good in the world with Random Acts and inspiring all of us with the reminder that being #WaywardAF (and being REAL) is a very good thing.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Kim and Briana at Houscon this spring to talk about their Season 11 episodes (Plush and Don’t You Forget About Me) – I’d call it an interview, except it was at least as much off topic and off the record as it was interview – but here are the printable parts of what we had so much fun talking about. Or in other words, Kim and Briana and Lynn all get #WaywardAF. And are pretty damn happy about it.
I’ll pick up where I’m going on about how much we love having them at conventions. Because we do! In fact, I can’t wait to see them at Pittcon next weekend.
Lynn: What people like so much about you two, I think, is that we finally have women who seem like us!
Briana: Representation, yay!
Kim: [laughing] Yeah, they’re tired and they’re angry and they cuss and they love people and they hate people…
Briana and Lynn: [laughing]
Kim: I think one of the things I so appreciate – because Briana and I really complement each other – but one of the things I think we both have in our strong wheel house is that we aren’t afraid to let an ugly truth show if it’s the truth. Like truth trumps pretty for both of us.
Briana: Yeah, agreed.
Kim and Briana (and Ruth) get real onstage:
Kim: And that is, I think, how all people feel. Like they wanna move through the world but it’s gotta be pretty hard. I can imagine – and I’m only imagining this – but if I really respected someone’s work and their work meant a lot to me, and then when I got to meet them, they had a wall of perfection up, I’d be like oh, I can’t relate to that because I’m not perfect, I’m imperfect and broken and flawed and ME. And it would just create distance.
Briana: Mm hmm.
Kim: So I think something that we both consciously do, because it’s a part of us, and also because it’s important to us, is we’re like “Ah, broken, isn’t that awesome?”
Kim and Briana: It’s just like yeahhhh, yep, here we gooooooooooooo!
Lynn: It’s so funny, I just flew here from an academic conference, where I chair the Stardom and Fandom area…
Kim and Briana: Oh cool!
Lynn: So it was two days of academic papers and there was a panel comparing the old model of stardom, which was like manufactured perfection…
Briana: Right, 1940s Hollywood, right?
Lynn: Right, even when they were sitting by the pool, they had full makeup and hair done and so people couldn’t relate, but that’s what the publicity machine wanted. But that’s not powerful!
Kim: Not anymore.
Lynn: No, it’s changing, even if you’re a ‘celebrity’ you can interact with fans in twitter, or in person at conventions, so that barrier is different. But on the other hand, when you first started doing cons and let the F word fly, Kathy and I looked at each other and were like, oh, can a woman get away with that or only Sebastian? I felt like it was iffy in the beginning.
Kim: Oh it was SO iffy, my character hadn’t been consistent on the show, and if I hadn’t had a twitter following…
Lynn: But they also saw the fan reaction, and it was so positive.
Kim: They had women who represented their concept of what they should be, and then I came in and I’m like, I’m old, I’m angry, I’ve got a kid, I’m tired, WTF is up with this?
Lynn: You were real. And fandom welcomed that – obviously! Okay, so we should talk about Supernatural. Briana, your last episode, Plush.
Briana: [laughing] That feels like a century ago!
Lynn: I know, but it was such an interesting episode. And it bodes well for your character that the boys actually called her a hunter.
Briana: I know! We were just talking about that, that they made her a hunter. And how some characters are just assumed and some are proclaimed a hunter. I think it was necessary for Donna, and it’s a bit like, okay, so what are they going to do with this character? Because they could have just ended the episode with bye…
Kim: Yep, okay, see ya soon…
Briana: But they said, you’re a hunter now, so there’s a reason they did that, but I don’t know anything, I’m not alluding to that. But it seems like they do have a plan for Donna.
Lynn: At the very least, they left the door open.
Briana: Right? That was probably my favorite part of the episode.
Lynn: Did you have that strong reaction to it when you read the script?
Briana: Oh yeah, yeah.
Kim: We always are like, what’s in your script? What’s in your script? The first thing I asked her, I was like – you would tell me if you died, right?
Briana: Oh yes, but [to Kim] you tweeted something that said guys – and you did the right thing , you were protecting yourself – but you said I’m not in charge of whether I live or die, ever. And I said that to my husband and he was like NO, and I said, I think she would have told me! But maybe she can’t or won’t, and I was like please don’t kill her off!
Lynn: We were ALL like that! And for Donna too.
Kim: Yeah, Donna’s not only the call in sheriff now, so you can travel anywhere, but she’s also a hunter.
Lynn: I think this is the first time they’ve introduced a character that is not a hunter and then pronounced them a hunter.
Briana: Other than Claire now
Lynn: Right, just with the last episode she was in.
Briana: But what about Jody?
Kim: Jody is very specifically not a hunter. I teach hunters.
Briana: I don’t think you’re not specifically not a hunter, I think you just haven’t been proclaimed a hunter…
Kim: I think Jody was like, meh, that’s fine, I’ve got other shit I’ve gotta do. I don’t think she’s upset about it.
Briana: Yeah, no.
Kim: It’s not like I’m sitting there waiting to be anointed a hunter.
Lynn: No, but she’s been proven a badass many times over.
Briana and Kim: YES.
Briana: And if the boys went ‘what? OMG I’m so sorry,…’ I think that’s totally what they’d do, like ‘OMG you’re totally a hunter! OMG OMG’ – I think that’s what it would be.
Kim: I don’t think Jody is sitting next to the phone, I think she’s like I’ve got enough shit on my plate, if you need me I’ll be there, but right now, I have 50 million other things I’m trying to deal with.
Kim: Just with the human world.
Briana: It’s so funny, we were just having this conversation in the green room. I think Claire amd Donna are like ‘Let’s go, what are we waiting for? Let’s go hunt!’ In different ways, Claire is like AHHH I’m gonna get ‘em!
Kim: Well she’s young and she’s kinda emo about it.
Briana: And Jody kinda wants to rein them in, she is the teacher about it a little bit…In different ways, but I think that’s kinda the fun thing about Jody not having to be called a hunter is that she can bow in and out of that because she is busy. She’s like, you guys are good? Ok I’m gonna go over here and save this town.
Briana: But I think she’s the ultimate hunter, she’s the one that’s been around the longest.
Lynn: I mean, she is a hunter, she just hasn’t been called that. But I feel like it made sense with Donna – that whole episode was about Donna’s evolution into independence and being aware of her own strength and her path of healing from all that shit, and that kinda fits with – like the next phase of my life, I’m gonna go kick some ass!
Briana: That’s a good point, they did kinda like button up that part of Donna, so they made her a hunter at the end of the day and had her come around to Doug and say I’m sorry I was acting that way towards you. And then, that feels like it’s done. Which is a relief for Briana the actress.
Lynn: Say more.
Briana: I just want – but this is just me, the writers have a plan for the character, but me as an actress and also as a fan and an audience member, I just don’t want to watch women talk about boys all the time.
Lynn: Then it would stop passing the Bechdel test.
Briana: I know that damaged goods can influence your future and your present, but it doesn’t have to be talked about all the time.
Lynn: Or in a relationship way always. I mean, Dean is damaged goods, but…
Briana: And we all know that, but we don’t talk about it every episode.
Briana: So I get that they need to get all that stuff out.
Lynn: That was a lot of character development in one episode.
Briana: I know, I know. In Kim’s episode too.
Lynn: Briana, you and I have talked about this before – because Donna was introduced in an episode that was sort of about her weight, they’ve kind of kept that going, and I was a little put off in Plush when she pulled out the salt and said oh my diet secret, I pour it on my food… I mean, I’m not sure anyone in the fandom was laughing.
Briana: I know, I know. I thought maybe, did they have to comment on the fact that I was slimmer, or that they needed to find an arc for my character, I don’t know why…
Lynn: I think they did feel they had to comment on that, but was it really relevant right there?
Briana: Right, who cares? Exactly. I think sometimes audiences are smarter than they think.
Kim: There’s two levels there – on the one hand, it’s offensive to think that anyone’s validity and existence needs — that anyone has the right to comment on a character’s weight, that weight is at all a part of a person. But the other thing is, did the fans think, ‘was that Donna?’ Did they know she’s lost weight?
Lynn: Right, like everyone was watching going omg Donna’s lost weight! Or wait, is that Donna?!
Briana: Like what’s her diet secret! Is she exercising? No, you’re 100% right. I’m very grateful and I love my character, but Kim and I talk all the time about why is it so hard to write for women? Why not just write a script and go well, a woman can say that and a man can say that. Why are the words not interchangeable?
Lynn: They should be. Although, it’s really interesting, Jenny Klein wrote the episode that Richard just directed, Just My Imagination, and there was a reference in that episode to a male character’s weight, which is also unusual, but they did it in a positive way, like the fat saved my life.
Briana: In a loving way
Lynn: And I love Jenny
Briana: Me too, and I think that was a smart thing to do.
[Kim comes back with throat lozenges and water, since they both were coughing]
Briana [laughing] We used to be all cookies and coffee and now we’re all lozenges and water!
Briana: I guess I like the fact that Donna likes food – I like food, and I think that’s a great character trait. But I don’t think it needs to be something she battles, that’s the unfortunate part of that.
Lynn: The whole episode was about Donna’s independence, both psychologically and physically, her being strong, doing CrossFit, and the rest of it was so on point.
Briana: And you know what’s funny? Some of the writers were like, oh, I really hope people ship Donna and Doug and I was like, really?
Lynn: Umm, nope, people are probably not gonna do that.
Briana: And it was cute, the whole conversation was cute, and Brendan who played Doug is lovely, we had a great time together. But it was just like, really? That’s what you get from the script? That you hope Donna shacks up with somebody?
Lynn: Not really what the episode was about.
Briana: I feel like men don’t know what to do with women sometimes except pair them with men.
Kim: And, well, people don’t know what to do with bodies that aren’t a stereotypical perfect body other than assume someone’s suffering inside.
Briana: Exactly, exactly.
Kim: Like, this is the size 12 who’s battling with it. And you know what? When she’s a size 12, she’s fucking hot! It’s novel to think that people can accept who they are rather than assuming that like – I had someone be like, “You’re 46? Well that’s okay, I don’t mind”. And I was like, you know what’s funny? I don’t either!
Lynn: You know what’s even funnier? Why the hell would they mind? Or why would you?
Kim: Yeah, I don’t need your permission to be okay with being 46. So yeah, just that idea that if something isn’t the stereotype of perfection, then there must be an internal struggle to attain that something.
Lynn and Briana: [are nodding vehemently]
Kim: But again, I think that goes back to why we’re presenting a truth to the audience that isn’t necessarily seen. Because in our society, if you aren’t that Thing, capital T – which, by the way, isn’t REAL – but if you aren’t that Thing that isn’t real, you somehow must be suffering and either trying to become that Thing and failing or not trying to become that Thing and really sad about it. But you know what? That Thing isn’t real. And here’s the funny thing – I am. I’m trying to be me.
Briana: People are also uncomfortable around confident people. Especially confident women.
Lynn: Ohgod, yes. To what both of you said.
Briana: People are always trying to put you down – like, how can you still be standing? Nobody likes you…
Lynn: This is what Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls is largely about – that fandom is all about celebrating what it means to be a fangirl, and that includes being REAL. That’s so much of what fan communities are about and why they’re so powerful, because you can’t do that in the rest of the world. Especially not women. As a psychologist, I see so much of the stuff that happens when you can’t be real and your emotions aren’t validated – shame, guilt, eating disorders, self harm. Then I discovered fandom, where people weren’t trying to put people in perfect boxes, and that’s what’s so wonderful about it. And that’s why you both click so well with this fandom!
Briana: And that’s why I love the panels, they’re always my favorite part of the con. Because, like Kim said, we speak truths, I don’t know how to speak any other way. And we often – I often put my foot in my mouth, more often on twitter than at a con. Usually there’s at least part of the audience at a con that’s gonna be cheering you on. It feels like such a good representation. I feel like the fans represent me just as much as I represent them.
Lynn: I think that’s absolutely true. Did any shenanigans go on during the filming of your last episode? With the boys?
Briana: Well, Jared’s always trying to bust you. But only on your coverage!
Lynn: Of course.
Briana: And if he can’t – if he does something and you don’t laugh at it, he’ll go like this – pffffff – like he’ll make you laugh by laughing!
Briana: There were always those scenes. You can read them [Jared and Jensen] pretty well, like sometimes they’re talking business and they don’t wanna fuck around right now, so then we won’t. But then there will be scenes where every time I’ll be holding my sides they would just wind up and smack them down, and then Jensen would kick them out of the scene and they’re just like –they’re toddlers!
Kim: They’re like little boys.
Briana: I said to my husband, when I was reading the script – Every single one of my scenes is with those boys, I don’t know how I’m gonna make it through!
Kim and Lynn: [cracking up]
Briana: It’s like with the three of us? It’s not gonna happen. Jared is the worst though.
Kim: When they’re together is the worst.
Briana: That’s very true. Jared alone, I had some trouble with, but when he’s with Jensen? Oh man. Nothing crazy though, just the usual shenanigans. Just like them teasing me. I feel like they treat me like a sister.
Lynn: Well, they know you well now. The people who do the cons, you all get to know each other really well.
Briana: That’s so true.
Lynn: I was just chatting with Shoshanna Stern, who was a guest star on Supernatural this season…
Briana: Oh, she was fabulous! So good, that was a great episode. Did you watch it, Kim?
Kim: I did. And I was actually there when they were shooting it.
Lynn: I loved Shoshanna, I thought Eileen was a great character.
Briana: She’s done a lot of stuff too, eh?
Lynn: [silently] I love it when Briana’s Canadian comes out…
Lynn: It was interesting to hear her view of the boys, because she observes very keenly – and she said, I didn’t know, when they started goofing off, like am I allowed to laugh?
Briana: Oh of course!
Lynn: And she gave me this run down of how the crew reacts, the director, how she’s expected to react, and the unbelievable way they play off each other. That when it’s one of them, it’s fine, but as soon as the other walks in, they light up and their ages seem to drop by 30 years.
Kim: It’s like the difference between having one puppy in a room and having two puppies in a room – like it really is, they increase exponentially!
Briana: [nodding] Mm hmm.
Lynn: That’s really true.
Briana: But you know what? Actually, we’re the same way.
Lynn: [laughing] That’s true!
Briana: You find somebody that you really mesh well with and then you’re just more of yourself when they’re around.
Lynn: Exactly! That’s why I thought it was funny when people hoped fans would ship you with Doug, because you know who most people ship you with.
Briana: [grinning adorably] Yes! Her!
Kim: [also grinning adorably] Meeeeeeeeee!
End of Part 1 of the Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster interview. Part 2 can be found here.
We will continue through the launch of Lynn’s book with some of her best Supernatural interviews. Check out Kim and Briana’s chapter – along with many other cast and fan chapters – in Family Don’t End With Blood. You can pre-order it here.