Supernatural: Rob Benedict talks God's return
'There's a big battle to be fought,' the actor tells EW
Last week on Supernatural, years of speculation became truth when Chuck admitted that he is in fact God. And furthermore, he’s back in town because of Amara (Emily Swallow). But is God ready to take down his sister once again?
We talked with Rob Benedict about his return to the show, when he found out who he was really playing, and what comes next.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Obviously fans have been talking about Chuck maybe being God since the season 5 finale, but when did you find out for sure?
ROB BENEDICT: There were some moments on the set. People were like, “I think this means you’re God.” And I was like, “Does it?” I wasn’t sure. And then after the season 5 finale, Eric Kripke calls me and says, “Hey, so how does it feel to be God?” And I was like, “Oh ok, wow, so that’s what this is.” At that point, the interpretation was that I was basically him, the omniscient writer of the entire show, literally the creator of Supernatural. He was like, “Let the fans interpret it how they want to,” but then slowly it started getting out there and I think the majority of fans always believed that that was the case. Then last year there was the tease at the 200th episode where I appear and that’s God-like, but it never quite made sense to bring me back into the plot until this season because of the Darkness. Finally there’s a reason for God to appear. That was always the vibe I got but now it’s confirmed. I thought but I didn’t have complete and total confirmation until this season.
Does knowing the truth at all change how you play the character?
The last episode of season 5, there were two different Chucks that started to come up. Towards the end of it, I sort of started playing this Chuck that was okay in his own body that knew everything and was okay with knowing it. That was where I got by the end of that episode when I had a white shirt on and then went back to heaven or whatever. And then the 200th episode, that’s what I was playing, and then last week, what was finally made clear was that God was posing as Chuck and he enjoyed that and so it really made it more clear for me when I can be Chuck, be a normal dude, and then when I need to be God, in the moments where I’m pushed or where I have to get serious. It’s definitely a work in progress, but my instincts were clarified when I came back for this arc.
I was really surprised God did not get himself a more updated computer.
I know, right? [Laughs] The funny thing about that is that’s exactly the computer I was using in season 5 when I was writing the “Swan Song” episode. They literally still have that. They keep all their props in this huge warehouse, Jensen [Ackles] was showing me. Literally it’s like Chuck’s house — all the actors who come back have a prop room where all your props are filed away.
Yeah it is! So they just got it back out, they thought that would be fun to have the original computer, which yeah, is literally from the dark ages.
It only has Microsoft Word.
[Laughs] Yeah, we hope.
At the end of the last episode, we saw Chuck/God meet up with the Winchesters. I’m interested in their dynamic. Are the Winchesters at all happy to see him?
I think a lot of it is clarified in this week’s episode. Definitely the first thing that needs to be done is that God/Chuck has to have a sit down with the two of them, he does have a lot of explaining to do, so I think that where they’re coming from is disbelief. I’ve got to convince them. That’s the first thing on my plate as Chuck is to bring them up to date. There’s a lot of love there and there always has been. I feel like from the first episode I did, there was this strange father-son thing between me and them, and that comes more to light in these next few episodes.
I feel like they’re going to have a lot of very specific questions about things that have happened to them and where they needed God’s help. Does he have answers for all of these things?
No, I think the overall thing is what I was saying in last week’s episode, which is, “I got really tired of watching the same things happen over and over and over again and I got tired of watching my creations mistakes. So I threw myself into this character of Chuck and roamed around the world, had a great time, and have been on vacation a bit.” Now that it’s all coming to a head, my first reaction was fine — let her destroy it, I’m done. But I think ultimately he comes around because he does love creation and he loves what he’s made and he wants to help. Obviously there’s too much to get into in one episode but they ask the big questions. Everyone wants to know where I’ve been and why. The reason why I’m back is now it’s my family and it’s personal. There’s a big battle to be fought.
As you mentioned, he was very hesitant in the last episode but he seemed to come around at the end. But moving forward, is he fully back in action now? Is he still at all hesitant?
He is, but there are only certain things that he can do. He needs Sam and Dean to be his boots on the ground and he needs them to help him come up with a plan. Amara has the same power as he has; it’s his sister.
What are his feelings toward Amara at this point?
He said in last week’s episode every time I’d create a world, she’d destroy it. I don’t think that he understands her. I think he’s fearful of her. She’s like the big sister that always stomped out his sand castle, so he’s pissed. He’s angry. He’s a little afraid. At the end of the day, the other side of it is like, she is his family and so everything that goes along with that. [It’s a] dysfunctional family but they’re two sides of the same coin and that’s what he’s struggling against.
Supernatural airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.