Supernatural Chat: Interview – Richard Speight Jr. on the Possibility of Gabriel’s Return

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Hey there Supernatural fans! Well it’s almost time for the relatively short hellatus to be over. Just one more day until the show returns and I thought I’d share another interview. This is the last of the interviews from Creation Entertainment`s Salute to Supernatural event in Burbank back in November. Richard Speight Jr., who played the Trickster/Gabriel, chatted with the press backstage about the possibility of Gabriel’s return to the show, his thoughts on getting such an amazing guest role and how much he knew about the character from the beginning.

Will Gabriel Ever Return to Supernatural?

As you can imagine, the one thing that everyone wanted to know was when, if ever, Gabriel would be back. Apparently, the fans aren’t the only ones who want to see him again.

“The idea of bringing Gabriel back has been on the table since I left. The idea of me coming back, either as Gabriel or the Trickster of a combination of both, has been on the table since [my last episode]. Honestly, because I happen to know several of the guys who are writers from other worlds, they tell me all the time that the character will be up on the board, there will be something that is being bandied about, something they’re very serious about and for whatever reason it doesn’t come to fruition.”

Gabriel’s Return to Supernatural: Not as Simple as it Sounds

If ideas are always being bandied about to bring Gabriel back, then why haven’t we seen him? Turns out it’s not as simple as it sounds.

“The character of Gabriel was so significant in the way he entered and exited any episode and what he brought to that specific episode, and what that episode brought to the over-reaching mythology and arc of that season, that they are loathe to screw it up. So it’s a blessing and a curse. Because the character had some amazing episodes and I got to do some great stuff, but what that also means is you can’t just breeze into an episode and deliver some information and leave. When that character comes back it has to come back in a way that matters, that is significant, that is consistent with what the character has been doing and how dramatic his appearances have been previously, and has to have a reason, it has to matter in the mythology of the show.

“Certainly the angel-centric storylines that are going on now lend themselves to possibly opening that door, and again, it’s consistently being brought up in the writers room, it’s really a matter of all those things coming to pass. It’s so complicated to do that correctly and even I feel, as much as I want to come back on the show, I don’t want to jump the shark with the character.”

Gabriel’s Return: Looking at it from All Angles

With all the current angel drama on screen, some fans are probably theorizing on ways that Gabriel could return and help the Winchesters out. Does Speight ever feel tempted to make suggestions to the writers?

“It would feel like I was just coming in from the desk of the obvious if I said, “Hey, what if I just walked in that door?” You just don’t want to be that guy. I kind of have to respect my position on the show, which is an actor who played a role. I’m not part of the creative team, I’m not part of the writing staff and those guys know what they’re doing really well and better than I would ever be able to do myself, no matter how much I put thought into my character. Because I’m looking at my character, I’m not looking at every character and mythology and the story and mini arcs and major arcs and I think I would just annoy them.”

Keeping the Trickster’s Story Close to the Vest

When he started out on the show, Speight’s character was a janitor who then turned out to be a Trickster, who then turned out to be Gabriel. That was a huge arc for one character to go through, but in the beginning, Speight had no idea what his fate on the show would ultimately be.

“I knew absolutely nothing. I thought the first episode was a one-off. I knew I didn’t die and as an actor you think, “Hey, I’m not dead.” But I didn’t put much stock in that. When they brought the character back the second time, it was very open-ended. So then you go, “Okay, I’m probably coming back again.” But they keep everything very close to the vest, the Supernatural people. I think because they want the freedom to change their minds and they don’t want storylines to leak out. I was just as shocked as the viewers when I read [my] third episode and I was Gabriel. That, I didn’t see coming. I loved it.”

If he’d known the entirety of the Trickster’s story when playing him in that first episode, would he have played him differently?

“No, I don’t so. Anytime I go in to play a character, I go in to play the character based on the material that’s handed to me. I don’t think you would’ve wanted to tip your hand to the idea that you were a different character that early on. I stand behind the choices I made for that original episode.”

There may not be any news yet, but rest assured, the moment we hear any news about a return of Gabriel to Supernatural, we’ll be shouting it from the rooftops.

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  • james

    please please please do not undo the great death that gabriel had. i know richard is popular and i myself love him to death, but bringing gabriel back would be such a cheap fanservice, i don’t know if i could even enjoy it. while greatly loved, gabriel was NOT as important to the plot as fandom makes him. to have him brought back as a “lol just kidding, i tricked the devil!” now would be SO terrible and weak.

    • Jes

      Actually Richard already told us they get a “dead” or “not dead” to know whether a death was for real, and when Lucifer killed him he got a “not dead” from the writers. Though I admit his death was pretty amazing, they clearly had an idea when they killed him about bringing him back.