Recently, TV Equals got to be part of a roundtable interview with our fearless leader himself, Eric Kripke. The Kripkeeper was on hand to chat about the latest guide to the show, a book called The Essential Supernatural: On The Road with Sam and Dean Winchester.
Kripke spoke at length about the new book, describing it as an “all-inclusive collection of everything Supernatural,” joking that the beautiful volume was so go that “frankly, it’s far classier than we deserve.”
Regarding what fans will find within its pages, Kripke said the book holds “a history of the show, both for the fans and frankly for the people who are making it. It’s nice for us to remember what the hell we’ve been doing all these years.”
“Supernatural will always be my first child.”
In addition to speaking about the book, Kripke fielded questions about the show itself. Though he doesn’t work as closely on the show as he used to, Kripke said, “Supernatural will always be my first child, I’m incredibly proud of it.” He said that looking through the book, “offered me an opportunity to really look back at what the experience was. I look back emotionally, very much like how you would look back at old photos of your friends and family.
When asked about how Supernatural began all those years ago, and whether or not he ever pictured it delving into some of the deeper storylines it has, Kripke said, “I had a storyline in the back of my head when we began and this sort of five-year plan. It did eventually escalate to facing the devil and facing the apocalypse, but I started out with much more b-movie aspirations. I was a fan of horror movies and would have been happy with just a gory show that was a part “Evil Dead” and part “American Werewolf in London.”
“We’re putting characters first and monsters second.”
Kripke’s b-movie aspirations changed as they started writing more serious episodes. “By the time we hit the second season, my mandate to the writers was ‘we’re putting characters first and monsters second.’ The more we ran with that ball, the more we discovered we could tell stories of faith and destiny. It really helped to deepen the show,” Kripke said.
Asked about why it is that the boys always seem to be fighting and splitting up on the show, Kripke replied, “Conflict is the basis of good drama and there’s more storyline to play when there’s static between them and they don’t completely trust each other. I’ve always felt, even when I was writing the show, that the seasons where Sam and Dean were in agreement the whole time weren’t as interesting as when we gave them a conflict.”
“It’s a stressful position to be in to have one brother chosen by angels and the other chosen by demons and have them in the same family. The theme of the show has always been that family can overcome everything. If the show has had one message it’s that nothing is more important than the bonds of family, more important that even the bonds of heaven and hell.”
“Sam and Dean will always come together.”
Kripke added, “We give them lots of obstacles but I believe at the end of the day, Sam and Dean will always come together.”
We asked Kripke if going through the pictures in the book brought up any particular memories and he said, “Some of my favorite photos in the book are conceptual artwork, not even necessarily stuff that made it into the show. That really brought me back. [Such as]: we were in the nitty-gritty of producing the show and having arguments and debates over what Blood Mary should look like and what the Wendigo should look like. That was really exciting. Beyond that there is some awkward photos of me directing the show and that brings back really visceral memories. There is no harder job than directing an episode of TV and Supernatural is one of the hardest shows I think anyone has ever directed. Those long hours and figuring out the scene where Dean kills Ruby and Lucifer rises: we’re in this beautiful church set and for some stupid reason I chose that particular time in my life to go on a diet. I got so dizzy on set that I thought I was going to pass out. It always strikes me as funny because there’s really no way to demonstrate leadership to your crew than to pass out in front of them. I had to grip the edge of my director chair and go to my trailer to get my head back and then spent the rest of the shoot eating burritos.”
“Chuck has always been my surrogate on the show.”
Kripke was also asked which character is the most like him on the show and he said, “I would say that probably would’ve been Chuck. Chuck has always been my surrogate on the show.”
It was an honor to chat with the man who created this show and hear straight from the horse’s mouth on those subjects that I know a lot of fans have been curious about. Now that you’ve seen what Kripke himself has to say about the need for conflict between the boys, has that changed your opinions of what has been happening in the most recent season? Sound off in the comments below. We love hearing from you guys!
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