Supernatural Chat: Interview – Osric Chau on Kevin’s Rough Journey in Season 9

supernatural-osric-chau-interview

Hey there, Supernatural fans! I know it’s only been one week since the last edition of Supernatural Chat, but with everything that happened in the midseason finale, I wanted to share this interview with you guys. Osric Chau spoke to the press backstage at Creation Entertainment‘s Salute to Supernatural event in Burbank last month and while he could not of course tell us of poor Kevin’s fate, he did talk about what it’s been like to be a part of the show, his thoughts on Kevin and some of his biggest fanboy moments.

Warning: Major spoilers ahead for Supernatural “Holy Terror.” You have been warned.

Being Introduced to the World of Supernatural

Chau is a resident of Vancouver, where Supernatural is filmed, but didn’t have a lot of familiarity with the show before he auditioned for the role of the Prophet Kevin.

“When I first started off, I was aware of the show but only because I’m a Vancouver resident. You see them all over the place as an actor in Vancouver. I think this was the first and only time I had auditioned for Supernatural, which was kind of odd, but I guess they didn’t have many Asian characters to audition for, prior,” Chau said, adding, “So my first instinct was I’m going to watch as much of it as I could and then I realized how much there was to watch and then I started to shy away. Then I rationalized myself: ‘Well, Kevin’s kind of new to the Supernatural world, it might serve me that I don’t watch all of it right away.'”

What episode did he watch to prepare for his role? The answer might surprise you.

“Before my audition I did watch one episode – which probably wasn’t the best episode to get a feel for the show – I watched “Party on Garth.” It worked out but now I know it probably wasn’t a good one to start off with,” Chau said with a laugh.

Getting Involved with the Fandom

Chau has quickly become a favorite with the Supernatural fandom, which is inspiring him to go back and watch more episodes.

“As soon as I did my three episodes, I really started getting involved with the fandom. Now I’m trying to gulp it all in and I’m watching all the new episodes. I do have to make time to go back and watch the first seven seasons – that will take some time.”

What’s it been like for Chau getting introduced to this huge fandom all at once? Chau said it’s like winning the lottery, but he almost (gasp!) turned down the role.

“It really does feel like winning the lottery. It’s like [I wonder], what did I do to deserve this? It’s crazy. You do a show and going into it, I didn’t think anything of it. Originally, I declined it because [I thought] this was going to be a really stereotypical character and probably not going to put it in my reel,” Chau revealed. “Then it became this whole new thing. One, they didn’t kill me so that was a huge bonus. They brought me back and they really developed the character, which is crazy. I don’t know if it [would be] with any other show that any of this would have happened: me getting so involved with the fans, going to conventions. This probably wouldn’t have happened with any other show. And it’s just been the nicest surprise and I never forget to remind myself how lucky I am. It’s an amazing community that I’m so grateful to be a part of.”

Kevin’s Journey in Season 9

Kevin’s journey was a long one that began when he learned that he was a Prophet, but Chau said that didn’t change who Kevin was in his own heart.

“He’s still a kid and he has this ability that he can decipher things on stones sometimes, but everything else is the same,” Chau said. “I don’t think Kevin sees himself – in any way, shape or form – special. [Reading the Tablets] was a homework assignment that was assigned to him and that’s how he sees it, not that he’s special and he has to be a Prophet or anything.”

Kevin had some rough times this season, but even when he was strung out, Chau still thought of him as a student.

“This is his parallel to the life he [had] before. He’s studying something different but deadlines are tight and he has to get it done. There’s a lot on the line for him. It used to be for his own world – for academics – and now it’s a world problem. It’s more than just him so he has to be strung out, he has to get it done because he can’t fail this test. So the importance of it is probably the same for him.”

Saying Goodbye, for the Good of the Show

Not realizing what was going to happen to Kevin, Chau was asked what he thought about his character spending a lot of time in the background this season. His answer showed us all just what a professional he is.

“As much as I would love Kevin to have a stronger story arc, I feel that the way the show is going now – unless they really set it up for the end of the season – I just feel like it would come out of nowhere. I guess this is me developing as an actor – before I would’ve loved my character to do everything and be the best and be the main [attraction], but at the end of the day this is a collaboration. We’re trying to make a good TV show and I can’t be that selfish to think that Kevin deserves to be front and center for everything,” Chau said.

At the time, Chau was talking about where Kevin was before “Holy Terror” aired, but it’s interesting to see now how his words kind of came true.

“So to serve the purpose, I think Kevin is honestly in a great position. He’s not front and center, which is probably why he has survived for so long. He’s there but he’s not in your face [making the writers wonder] ‘Are we going to keep him or are we going to kill him?’ because usually it’s kill him.”

Working with and Learning from Mark Sheppard

Though it’s sad to think of Chau saying goodbye to Supernatural, he said that he learned a lot from the people he got to work with on the show, especially Mark Sheppard.

“I love Mark,” Chau said. “I talk to Mark the most on set – or he talks to me the most on set. I love watching Mark work, and because I’m so passionate about learning everything about filmmaking, you really see that in Mark. When he goes on set he’ll look at the script and say, ‘Okay, for the light team I’m going to turn this way’ and he’ll talk to every department. So he does his job in a way that it makes everyone else’s job easier and I love that. He’s so knowledgeable in how the whole process works, technical aspects as well. He’s directed, he’s produced his own stuff as well. Mark is a big role model for me, he’s got a crazy history. He’s done so much and yet I think Supernatural is that one [show] that really boosted his career. And the Crowley character, it really embodies who Mark is. So being able to watch Mark as Crowley has been an absolute pleasure.”

Another highlight of being on the show for Chau has been getting in contact with one of his idols. Actor Orland Jones has been tweeting along to recent episodes of Supernatural, much to Chau’s delight.

“[I watched his shows] growing up and when he started tweeting me I was like (he then made a noise that can only be described as a fanboy squee). It just brought back so many flashbacks of my childhood. I’m going to have to watch his show Sleepy Hollow, I hear it’s quite good. He’s [been] fanboying it up. I’m looking forward to meeting Orlando.”

With the history that the show has with death, one hope is that Kevin will be back on someday. Perhaps we’ll see him in flashbacks or in Heaven or in any of a number other ways the show has brought back dead characters. Until then, fans can be happy knowing that Osric Chau enjoyed his time on the Supernatural set.

With that, Supernatural Chat signs off for 2013. We’ll see you again in 2014, just in time to welcome back the show from its winter hiatus.

What do you think now that you’ve heard more from Osric Chau about his time on Supernatural? Sound off in the comments below, I love hearing from you guys!

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