Supernatural Chat with Ty Olsson: “The relationship between Dean and Benny is genuine”

Supernatural Season 8 Episode 9 Citizen Fang

Hey there folks! Well Supernatural has been back for a couple of weeks and if you’ve been reading my reviews, then you know that I’ve found the last couple of episodes a bit of a roller coaster ride. Now that Sam has given up Amelia and Dean has abandoned Benny, I know some of us are wondering what’s going to happen to our new favorite vampire.

A few weeks ago, I had to pleasure of chatting with Ty Olsson, who plays Benny on the show. In part one of our interview, we talked mostly about his movie (and possible TV show, someday) Borealis. In part two of our exclusive interview, Ty talked about Supernatural, including what it’s been like for him to play Benny, the fans’ reaction to his character and what he hopes to see for Benny in the future.

First up, I asked Ty whether or not we fans could trust Benny. He said, “That’s a common theme apparently. The writers have certainly done what they do best with the Benny character because they get everyone to ask that very same question: ‘Am I just being beguiled by his character and his charm or is he going to break my heart and hurt my poor Dean?'”

“I think the relationship between Dean and Benny is genuine.”

Continuing on the same subject, Ty added, “The writers know you guys and they are toying with you. The short answer is I don’t know. My instinct is that I think the relationship between Dean and Benny is genuine. There is no subterfuge, there is no trickery going on. That’s why my gut is telling me from what I know and from how I’ve played Benny. I think there is a genuine bond there. To me it is unquestionable that there is a brotherhood and that there is nothing to worry about.

The problem is, even saying that, is that is that the people in our lives who hurt us the most are the people who are closest to us. The ones who love us are the ones who cause us the most pain unfortunately. So I’m not saying that about Benny but just the fact that their relationship by nature divides the brothers, on some level it causes pain and that’s the bottom line. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Benny’s being malicious.”

“I think that’s a more interesting storyline anyway. I think suddenly if the writers just decided ‘Aha! It was all a trick and Benny’s mastered this huge plan’ I’d be like, ‘Eh, okay, I’ll play whatever you want but that doesn’t seem quite as interesting as the fact that we have a relationship that struggles because of cultural differences or beliefs or religion or species.’ Those are all far more interesting things than just one big trick going on here. So I’m certainly hoping that they explore that relationship.”

“There’s a lot of fun to be had [with Sam]”

Taking about the relationship of Benny and Dean becoming even more complicated when Sam gets in the picture, Ty said, “I think that we haven’t even begun to get into what goes on when Sam really gets into it. There’s a lot of fun to be had with that, both comically and dramatically. There’s a lot of meat to be had on that bone, for sure.

On his co-stars, Ty said, “[Jared and Jensen] have done such a great job at developing this show and carrying this show that you guys, the fans, really care that it’s amazing how many people ask me that exact same question: ‘Is it okay for me trust Benny? Just please tell me. Are you going to break my heart?’ and I have to say ‘I don’t know people, I’m sorry.’ I’ll get tweets from people saying ‘I love what you’re doing with Benny, but I don’t trust you’ or even threats of ‘If you hurt one of my boys I’m not gonna be happy.'”

“The Supernatural fandom is just outstanding.”

Talking more about the fandom, Ty said, “The Supernatural fandom is just outstanding and that’s what makes a show like Supernatural able to exist for eight seasons. That’s part of the reason why we do it, that people enjoy the craft that we make our living doing, from the writers to the crew to the actors, the whole group is lucky to have a show that goes on for eight years. The lovely thing is that they all know it.”

[The fans] are all very self-aware, too. I got so many warnings when I got on the show, like, ‘Welcome to the SPN Family, don’t worry, we’re not all nuts. We’re crazy, but we’re not dangerous.’ [laughs] My first impression of the fandom has been good. I’ve enjoy it immensely, I’m on Twitter all the time, I try and chat with as many people as I can. Some of the things that people warned me about are true, there are people who don’t understand when you’re just here for a few days, you get people who really get upset or who take some comment out of context and suddenly you’ve morally offended them and they’re in tears and you’re like, ‘I was joking!’ That’s the downside, but the upside is that you get to chat with people who are really into the show. The fandom of Supernatural is phenomenal and I keep telling people that I feel like I have my own cheerleading squad and my own team. If I ask a question on Twitter, within five minutes I’ve got 25 tweets how to fix my computer.

“I’ve already signed up for karaoke and I can’t sing to save my life.”

Many fans enjoy going to the many Supernatural conventions around the world, and Ty will soon be a part of them. “I’ve already signed up to do about a half dozen conventions and I’m so stoked about that. It’s one of those things that I really haven’t had a chance to do much in my career, which is to travel to far-off places for work and I’m just so excited to have that opportunity. I keep doing all the things people are telling me not to do; I’ve already signed up for karaoke and I can’t sing to save my life.”

Talking more about the conventions, Ty said, “We’re actors so what better place to fan our egos than at a place where a bunch of people who want to see you and take your picture and are happy to be around you? I’m really excited to meet some of the fans in person. I really, really like quirky people and Supernatural, and the sci-fi genre in general, has a lot of those. I’ve seen Benny tees and someone made a video game of Supernatural that you can play, and Benny’s in there, and at least once a week someone’s fanart pops us. It’s cool to be part of something that is so well enjoyed. Supernatural’s not like any show that I’ve ever been on for that; for the fans being as amazing as they are.

We all know that Benny was left high and dry by Dean at the end of “Torn and Frayed,” and as for whether Benny will be back after that episode, Ty said, “After that, I don’t know. But he is in number 10 and then there is definitely a break after that for a while.”

“Is there a gray area there?”

According to Ty, the mystery is still whether or not Benny actually did feed, though it does seem from his addict-like behavior in his last episode, that he must have. But even if he did, Ty has an interesting question to pose to everyone, “Let me ask you this, if he did feed is he as guilty of the act as part of what happened in that episode, or is there a gray area there? Imagine this, you’re an undercover cop in the middle of a bust and things get to the point where a narcotics dealer holds a gun to your head and wants to see you do the drugs. You’ve got no way to hide it, you’ve got no way to get out of it, but he’s going to shoot you so you do it. So now you’ve just taken an illegal drug, not only against the law but against your job, but you were saving your life. So, [now what]?”

As to whether he’d like to return to Supernatural , Ty said, “I think there’s just so much for us left to discover and I have no idea what the writers have planned; I’m not sure they planned anything. But I know people are enjoying the storyline and I’m enjoying playing Benny and I’m excited to find out where else they go with him, if they choose to do that. I’ve been doing this long enough to know not to hold my breath but it would be lovely to go back and find out what else they’ve got to reveal about Benny and how he fits into the Winchester world. I think there’s a lot to be had there. I look forward to having some more opportunities to explore that.”

What do you think now that you’ve heard from the horse’s mouth, as it were? Has it made you change your opinion about Benny, whether for better or worse? Do you hope that we get to see Benny again or are you happy that he’s gone from Supernatural for now?

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  • Awesome interview, Michelle!

    I have thoroughly enjoyed Benny as a character and Ty definitely has a new fan in me. Loved his take on the character and fandom, as well as his perspective on the storyline and how he posted the “undercover cop” scenario. Most of all, I agree with this: “I think suddenly if the writers just decided ‘Aha! It was all a trick
    and Benny’s mastered this huge plan’ I’d be like, ‘Eh, okay, I’ll play
    whatever you want but that doesn’t seem quite as interesting as the fact
    that we have a relationship that struggles because of cultural
    differences or beliefs or religion or species.’ Those are all far more
    interesting things than just one big trick going on here.”

    It worry for the fate of both Benny and our boys if/when he returns, but mostly I don’t want the “tickery” possibility to come to pass. I think it would be fascinating to see how that relationship and the consequences play out without any “it was all part of my master plan” subterfuge.

    Thanks for sharing with us!

    • M

      Yeah, I feel like we did the demon-friend-trick deal with Ruby, and the untrustworthy-allies thing with Meg and Crowley. I’d love to have Benny interact with Cas and Sam some more, since we haven’t seen any of that (sans a handshake and a couple comments in Purgatory) because I think there could be a really interesting dynamic there.

      • We did that w/Ruby (or Sam did) I think Benny will never betray Dean and the same goes for Dean will always be loyal to Benny….Cas is coming back & some things have happened we dont know…which will unfold for us slowly

  • Lisa

    There’s been a lot of chatter on Twitter about a Benny/Alpha Vamp hook up – and I’d love to see Rick Worthy back too. I’d rather see Benny stay a positive ally to the brothers, but there might also be a chance for Benny to go “undercover” for the “good guys”… Ty is right when he says there is just so much potential left for Benny storylines. I trust Carver not to play fast and loose for no purpose, so I think we are safe in assuming Benny and Dean’s relationship is genuine. Certainly, the scenes in “Torn and Frayed” support that.

    • I dont think the Alpha Vamp will come back, not sure. Ty considers Dean a brother remember ‘Blood Brother’?

  • I’m all for Benny returning, but to me Dean’s #1 friend will always be Castiel. Frankly, I think it would be more interesting it Benny WERE to show a dark side; turn bad. If he turns out to be TOO good, I think he’ll be a major bore.

    • There are too many lies going on now and Sam & Dean will catch on slowly…hopefully Benny will return, he is a man’s man like Dean….

    • Ali

      Correction: Dean’s #1 friend will always be Sam. A real friend wouldn’t try to murder Dean’s brother.

      • Michele

        What are you referring? Which of Deans friends tried to kill Sam?

  • I really like the character Benny I have enjoyed the relationship between him and Dean. I think it took Dean someplace healthy and I know that sounds strange to say but in one of the earlier seasons Dean talked about how he hates them he just hates all of them so to see him be able to trust one of them and become real friends is healthy and honestly it’s fun to watch. I would LOVE to see Benny come back and I would really love to see what happens between Benny and Sam and put that dynamic into action. He is right there is a lot of meat on that bone. Plus as a cool squeaky chew toy I think it would be a lot fun to see Sam, Dean, Benny, and Castiel all together on a mission, just for giggles. That would be an episode I would be firmly planted in front of the television to see.

  • I think Benny is awesome and I would love for him to become a regular on the show. As long as he stays good, I don’t wanna see him go bad.

  • I enjoyed Benny in Purgatory but I’m just far more interested in stories about Cas and Cas’ relationship with Dean. So I have mixed feelings about more Benny in the show. I did love the snarky Team Purgatory vibe though and would love to see more of that if it included Cas.

    • I disagree withyou very much, Dilys, if it wasnt for Benny Dean wouldnt have gotten out of purgatory in the first place….I agree w/Sabrina this is a healthy place for Dean to be.

  • I’ve really enjoyed what Benny and his friendship with Dean has brought to SPN, and really enjoy hearing Ty talk about the characters. I agree with him that having Benny turn out to be a betrayer would be actually more tired a story. Instead we have a complicated friendship and Benny in a gray area. There is a lot more they could do with Benny and I hope he comes back. And I’m a big Castiel fan, hope we’ll have Cas back soon! But Benny is interesting too.

  • ZoeF

    The relationship between Dean & Benny, and Purgatory are the best things about S8. I desparetely want Benny back and to survive. He’s one of the best characters ever written in SPN and offers a depth no other side character can give with the outsider POV.

  • SPNFan

    I still have some reservations about Benny and whether or not I trust him, but then again I really don’t trust anyone on Supernatural that isn’t Cas, Dean, or Sam and sometimes not even them! But regardless of my feelings about Benny’s character, I LOVE Ty Olsson!

  • Kevin Mills

    Love this guy. Not so much love for his character. I also don’t think he fully understand the dynamic of the show. Benny isn’t on the inside looking out with Dean. He’s on the outside looking in with Dean AND Sam. They are one unit and Benny’s the outsider. When I hear Ty talk sometimes, it’s like he doesn’t get that.

    I hope they keep Benny and give him a real purpose. I also hope the same thing for Amelia. Shame to make them plot devices. SPN always does that. I mean Cas is just now getting a plot worthy of having him around.

  • Benny, I am so glad to hear you will be at the cons…I cant always go but they are on YouTube, I dont miss that. You are right we are one big happy SPN Family. I constantly think about Danneel and wonder how she is. If I could find a ‘Benny Tee’ I would buy one, I love you Benny & somehow you & Dean will get back together. I love that bond.
    The writers cant discard that. I dont know about Sam though…….he is in the way.

  • bjxmas

    Thank you for such a glorious interview that reassures me that Ty is playing Benny exactly how I see him. I agree there are limitless possibilities to explore that relationship, hardships for sure, but also enlightenment and character growth. It is the age old question that Sam has been supporting for years and Dean has stood strong for, that you aren’t ‘evil’ because of what you ‘are’ but rather what you ‘do’, and then the common theme of destiny vs. free will. Benny embodies so much and Ty is doing a masterful job of bringing this complex character to life. We’ve lost so many integral characters like Bobby & Ellen & Jo, we need to repopulate the Winchesters’ universe and I want to see Benny stay for a long time.

    In answer to Ty’s question about the gray area, yes, there are extenuating circumstances and Benny was pushed to the limit. The question is, where does he go from here? I hated that Dean cut him off, but Benny was a class act, accepting and forgiving, just like Dean would have been. I think these two have more in common than just Purgatory and that fighting spirit. I want to see their bond grow and I further want to see Sam brought in, to fully understand it and eventually accept it.

    Welcome to the SPNFamily Ty!


  • I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Benny! But I don’t think the writers are going to turn around and decide Benny’s masterminding some huge trick either. That storyline’s already been done with Cas… and they told Misha from the beginning that’s what they were going to do, so he wouldn’t end up portraying the character in a completely contradictory way. So it wouldn’t make sense to do the same thing again, especially when Ty has already portrayed such a genuine bromance between him and Dean. That having been said, there’s still potential for Benny’s character to throw a wrench in the Winchester works, a million other ways. And whichever way it goes, I would hate for a such an interesting new character to simply fade into the background so quietly. I mean, come on… VAMPIRATE. Could that be any more awesome?!