Not only does Supernatural writer Davy Perez have a wonderful sense of humor, he has an excellent – and very fertile – imagination as well. From the reaction on social media, American Nightmare went over extremely well – and it’s not hard to see why. From nailing canon perfectly, to all the wonderful nuances in Sam and Dean – the script, and the story, is magnificent.
And again, we can’t emphasize that Perez was also a writer on the amazing ABC drama American Crime.
How did the story for American Nightmare evolve? (Where did the idea come from, etc.)
The idea was actually first generated from a basic concept that Bob Berens thought of (a rustic family up to no good). It was then passed on to me and infused with my own experiences. As I wrote it, it was shaped through the lens of all the classic and modern horror movies I love.
What was your favorite scene in the episode?
So many, it’s hard to pick just one. Watching the guys argue their different theories was a highlight for me, because they nailed it and imbued it with a lot of nuance. I’ve got brothers and some times you just butt heads, you don’t know why, but you do. And, of course, every moment Sam (Jared) has with Magda. Oh and that dinner scene is such a highlight, it was inspired by the Jonestown Massacre tapes, the fact that fans picked up on that was very satisfying.
You nailed canon perfectly; did you binge watch every episode or is there a Supernatural bible somewhere in the writers’ office?
Our Supernatural Bible is named John Bring. He’s seriously a huge help with researching, or more often just knowing, all things Winchesters. I’ve binged my fair share, especially related to the topics I am attempting to tackle, but John is the Supernatural equivalent of Cliff Notes.
How did Magda get her psychic powers?
As far as we can tell, she was born with them, and they manifested at puberty. But, things being what they are, the world may never truly know where Magda got her powers…
Do you have any behind-the-scenes stories to share?
The first time I met Andrew Dabb I was recovering from a cold and could not speak. I’m a garrulous talker, and usually sardonic as hell even if we just met. But there I was with no voice, so I just had to sort of nod and offer up one sentence responses. Lucky for me, we still hit it off and had lots to bond over. Still, for those first couple weeks I was walking around convinced that I had to, “Just shut up and good things will happen for me.”
How did you become a writer for Supernatural?
Every year the various studios go to all the districts and select two representatives from each one. It’s meant to be a symbol of some sort of pride in your specific district, but really it’s population control. I got sponsored, someone sent me a bow; I was about to eat poison berries, and then Andrew Dabb spared me.
What can you tell us about where the episode was filmed? (I’m guessing the road to the house was out near 200th in Langley, but I’m not sure.)
Somewhere in Vancouver is my best guess. I’ve been here in Burbank the whole time writing up a storm, hope to visit the Cast & Crew up there soon, though. I hear nothing but amazing things about the people who make this all come to life.
What scene were you most looking forward to watching? (I can imagine a manic glee rubbing hands in anticipation kind of thing.)
Definitely that creepy singing reveal of Magda in the basement. The transition was shot so beautifully, and Paloma’s performance was top notch. I wanted that moment to land and really throw people for a loop, and from what I can tell it did. If I can give just one person the heebie jeebies, then I am satisfied.
Where did you get your inspiration?
A lot came from my Roman Catholic upbringing, as well as random encounters I’ve had through the years with misguided people. The horror influences of Carrie and Stigmata are all over this one plus the movie Witness. In general, a lot of my inspiration comes from reading short stories from the Pulp era and true crime documentaries.
Have you begun work on your next script as of yet?
I have…. There is no rest for the wicked.