Supernatural’s alpha vampire is probably the ultimate monster. Played by Rick Worthy, the alpha vamp has been around, well, since the beginning of time … and Rick plays him perfectly. Rick is currently working on The Man in the High Castle in addition to The Magicians and is also known for Battlestar Galactica.
First of all. This week’s episode was awesome.
Thank you so much. I’m a fan of Supernatural myself, and I loved it from the beginning to the end. It was very well written, very well done and I think a lot of people liked it too. Although there were quite a few comments from people who told me they were sorry I died.
We’re very sorry that you died. However, you are still part of the SPN family, so …
Yes, I am … and with Supernatural, you never know … I’ve sort of put this character to rest, especially last night after seeing it … I hadn’t seen everything since we filmed it. It was nice to see it and I thought it was done the right way.
You’ve been on Supernatural four times over the past seven years – what would you say would be your favourite moment from filming?
Let’s see, I did Family Matters in 2010, and then in 2012 I did There Will be Blood … which is one of my favorites, because I thought it was just really cool, and I loved the whole concept, and the idea that they had to get the blood of an alpha to kill Dick Roman, I thought it was really clever. And then I did the little dream sequence with the little girls which was really creepy. Which I guess was part of Season 5, and then last night, so yeah, I guess four times. Four times on Supernatural, yeah.
Out of all of those many, many years, what would you say would be your favorite moment from filming?
Man, that’s … wow. You know what, I came in on Supernatural in 2010 … I just literally remember the year prior to getting the job I hadn’t worked. Like there was just no work. I was taking meetings, I was auditioning … I was getting close, but y’know … they went with someone else. I almost threw in the towel. I’ve been doing this since I was 20 years old and I’ll be 50 in about nine days. My agent said just hang in there, hang in there, and lo and behold, this vampire role comes up on Supernatural and it’s a very cool character, he’s the world’s first vampire … it was a very lengthy nine-page audition, and I read my lines like I always do, I went in, and I didn’t think I got the job … I knew I did my job in the audition but I figured the role would probably go to someone else. But then my agent called a few days later and said pack up, and get ready to go to Vancouver. They want you to do this vampire role. So the role itself reinvigorated my career, and I have a lot of love for Family Matters because of that, and also because I thought the character was so incredibly interesting. I had never worked on Supernatural, so I didn’t know what Jared and Jensen were like or anybody else in the show and I ended up falling in love with those guys and everybody in the show, and Guy Bee, the director, he and I have become really close, we’re like brothers now, like super close. When I finished filming Family Matters, I walked up to Jared and Jensen and said, you know you guys have spoiled me because I don’t think it can get any better than this. You know, in terms of the amount of fun that we had on set, and just the level of professionalism that is on set … that is really unique.
What has been your funniest or most memorable fan encounter?
My most memorable fan encounter? Does it have to be Supernatural or can it be something else?
Of course, it can be something else.
Well, I always think about … I went to New York City to visit my brother and my nephews and my sister-in-law, and I checked into a hotel near Times Square … I got in late, like the plane arrived late, like I got into Manhattan at like midnight or something like that … it’s New York City, so everybody’s out at all hours of the night. So I started walking through Times Square, y’know thousands and thousands of people … there’s this one guy staring at me, like maybe a block away and he kind of just locks his eyes onto me and he starts approaching me … I’m thinking, okay, he probably recognizes me from something. He comes up to me and he gets closer and closer, and he looked terrified … this is maybe about 12 years ago and he said, excuse me, are you a Cylon? I said yes I am. He said oh my God, can I have your autograph and I said sure, so I signed something for him … he seemed like a Battlestar Galactica fan so … and that’ll happen from time to time, someone will come up to me and say are you a Cylon? Nowadays I’ll get are you the alpha vamp, and also, are you Dean Fogg from the Magicians? I’d say, yeah, I play those characters, that’s always … I think it’s a really nice compliment.
Any behind the scenes stories?
Oh my God, there are just so many … we were talking about the perfect combination of fun and professionalism on Supernatural, which I haven’t experienced really on any other shows, in an almost 30-year career … when I went back to do There Will be Blood, it was 2012. It was like episode 23 of Season 7 I think, something like that. I went back to Vancouver, hadn’t seen the boys or anyone in like two years, and I just remember it rained a lot, it was raining a lot that day, and the driver drove me onto the studio lot and there was nobody around except one guy, one dude, and it’s raining – and he’s riding on this little bitty mini-bike, and he’s riding around in the parking lot … and it was Jared. He comes up to the van and I get out, and we’re just totally smiling at each other, y’know, and he hugs me and says, man, it’s just so good to have you back. That sort of love and that sort of person is just really rare, and he just made it really special for me to come back to Supernatural. I thought it was really nice that – it would have been great to have seen Jensen, but he wasn’t in the script or any of my scenes, so I didn’t see him. He’s also just a lovely charming guy. But when I went to do this last episode The Raid, it was all me and Jared so we got to talk a lot and chat, and I just have a tremendous amount of respect for him and for Jensen as well.
Are you on Twitter?
I’m not on Twitter.
Jared was actually live tweeting the episode last night and that was pretty funny.
I would love to read what he wrote. Did he write some pretty cool stuff?
Yeah, he did actually. Adam and David were live tweeting as well, so they were going back and forth, it was pretty hilarious. But one thing that he said …
They’re a good group of guys. It’s amazing, they’ve been doing these characters, these roles for what, 12 years?
It’s fun when you look at the pilot and then let’s say skip ahead to year five, or four, and you can see how they’re aging, and then up to now, and they’ve really grown up with the characters … you know, and I think that’s really, really unique. I think they’re doing a great job with handling the whole thing. The kind of success they’ve had, and other people have had, they would have blown it by now. They wouldn’t be able to handle it, to keep it all together … or they probably wouldn’t be not nice people to work with. These guys, they’re incredibly humble. I’m sure you know, that’s really rare. When I left – I’ll probably put a picture up on Instagram later today – when I finished shooting I asked Jared if we could get a really nice picture of he and I together because I like him so much. I never do that kind of thing with other actors … normally I’m like, hey, it’s good to see you, maybe we’ll see each other again, but I really wanted a snapshot of him and I … and also Jensen if he had been there. Because I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance to see them again on Supernatural … maybe I’ll be at a bar somewhere and we’ll run into each other but I like them as human beings …
Yeah so Adam, Adam Fergus right – he said, “That Alpha is a scary mutha …” Then Jared’s like, yeah dude. Why do you think we avoided him?!?!
Off-camera, I’m Rick, the way you hear me now. When it’s time to do my job, I do my job … that’s what an actor is supposed to do. It’s funny, because one of the things I found interesting about playing the alpha vamp is that when I meet people, because I’ve done some of the Supernatural conventions as well as other conventions, kind of like Comic Con but people know me from Supernatural, or other shows, but you know there are a lot of people that are Supernatural fans … they say man, you’re really nice! Or wow, you’re really funny, or I didn’t know you could dance … I think it takes them a second to realize that I’m a human being, that I’m an actor and I have a character to play. That’s probably the best compliment because it means I’m doing my job.
Tell us about your other current role, Dean Fogg from the Magicians.
It’s a really wonderful character. Dean Fogg is the head of a magical university called Brakebills. The Magicians, as I’m sure you know, is based upon three books written by Lev Grossman – they were all New York Times bestsellers — The Magicians, The Magician King and the Magician’s Land. It’s just an amazing series to be on. I’m blessed by God to be on this show. My dear old friend Sera Gamble – who used to write for Supernatural – this is her show. She’s the showrunner on Magicians and it’s her project, her baby. I’m so proud of her. She’s really just taken the bull by the horns and just gone with it y’know. She’s really become a titan in the industry and a real role model for women. She decided to create the series based on the books, and we are now into Season 2 … and episode 5 just aired … we are hoping to get Season 3.
What is something about the alpha vampire that most people don’t know?
His age. If I were to ask you how old the alpha vamp was, what would you say?
Well I know everyone said he’s old, so I’m guessing along the lines of two to three thousand?
I would say that’s a very good guess. That’s probably a better guess than most people guess. I ask this question from time to time … I love hearing what other people have to say, it’s not just about me I want to hear what you have to say. When I meet people I ask, how old do you think the alpha vamp is? They say, oh my God, he’s like 400 years old … I’d say nah, you should add at least another zero to that. In truth, he’s much, much older than that. He’s as old as human life itself – in the bodies that we know, as human beings, which is approximately 200,000 years old – in short, he’s ancient. He’s the oldest living monster in the history of the world – he gives a clue in Family Matters when’s in the cage – it’s really well written, we had a lot of fun with it – directed by Guy Bee – when the boys come in the alpha vamp says, when your kind first huddled around the fire, I was the thing in the dark. That’s the only clue really that he gives to people in terms of how old he really is. If you think about it, that’s going way back. I would say he’s at least 200,000 years old. Which to me was the key to getting inside the character, his heart and his soul. I needed to know how old he is – or was, at this point – once I knew how old he was, what he came from, his sense of age and all the things he had to fight, the flood, the fire, earthquakes and all those things – he mentions those things in There Will be Blood – then you get an idea of how old he is, that was a way into the character … once I understood that, everything else kind of fell into place in terms of how he speaks … he’s not in a rush to do anything. He’s so calm, like all the time … that was critical for me. The analogy I like to use is he’s like an ancient reptilian snake, and he’s been on this Earth forever. He’s just coiled and relaxed sitting in a corner, but you know that he’ll strike if he needs to. That to me is the alpha vamp, the perfect analogy for him. This sort of coiled snake in the corner. He’s there, but you don’t want to mess with him.
Any current projects you’d like to share?
Right now I’ve been working on the Magicians – we are on hiatus right now and hope we will get Season 3 but I’ve also been blessed by God to work on another great show, almost at the same time as the Magicians – that is the Man in the High Castle. The Man in the High Castle is on Amazon Prime and it is a terrific series – it is very, very different than other shows I’ve worked on. Even though it’s science fiction it really is more like a history dramatic series because it poses the question, what would the world be like if we lost World War 2? Everything is essentially reversed. The Nazis and the Japanese empire have basically split up the world between them. And everything as we know now is completely different. We got picked up for Season 3 and I expect to be returning for Season 3 … shooting in Vancouver – I believe we start next month. I’m on standby right now, but I have to go party for my 50th birthday. I have the entire month of March clear, that’s good, it means I have time to go see people.