Exclusive ‘Supernatural’ Interview: Lindsey McKeon On Tessa’s Death, What a Tessa Spin-Off Would Look Like and More

Lindsey McKeon’s reaper Tessa has appeared periodically on Supernatural since season two. While Tessa’s prescence has not been constant, she was a vital part of the tapestry of Supernatural‘s world. She played a particularly strong role in Dean’s life, guiding him as he wavered between life and death and even mentoring him when he took over the role of Death himself. Because of the bond between Dean and Tessa, it made it all the more shocking when Tessa returned in the penultimate episode, “Stairway to Heaven,” only to kill herself with an assist from Dean and The Blade of the First Man.

McKeon, who is keeping busy auditioning and awaiting news on the purchase of her upcoming horror film Indigenous which is making the rounds at Cannes, was kind enough to chat with TV Equals about Tessa’s departure, whether death is really the end for the character and more.

TV Equals: What was your initial reaction when Supernatural called you back for “Stairway to Heaven”?

Lindsey McKeon: Excitement. I absolutely adore playing Tessa, she is one of the most intriguing characters for me to get into, so anytime they call I know something good will be going on. Especially these last two episodes have been fun for me.

TV Equals: We had not seen Tessa since season six; did you find it difficult slipping back into the role?

Lindsey McKeon: A lot has gone on in the last three years and some of the stuff in the script I had some questions about so when I went up to Vancouver, I spoke to the associate producer and he was able to fill me in on a lot of things and I utilized his wealth of knowledge along with my knowledge of Tessa the character and merged the two of them together.

TV Equals: The Tessa we saw in “Stairway to Heaven” was in a terrible place, hearing the screams of souls trapped outside of Heaven, but she could not go through with killing herself until she saw Dean with the First Blade. Is there significance to her choosing that moment to kill herself?

Lindsey McKeon: I’m not sure if there is a particular significance other than that was her last chance. Castiel’s army of angels were going to come in and who knows what would have happened from there, but they wouldn’t have killed Tessa and Tessa would continue to be stuck. In that moment, it gave her the opportunity she was looking for.

Although it wasn’t for a greater purpose, it was to end her pain in that moment. But I think she sees how massively important it is that Dean has this blade, and what it is doing to him. She knows what it can do to someone in the wrong hands, and even in the right hands. I think you see that moment with her as not of judgment, but of concern. One, she knows what it can do and how it can alter the course of one’s life and two, she cares about Dean and has worked with him numerous times. She knows even for him this is trouble coming.

TV Equals: Can you talk a bit about what it was like actually filming the scene where Tessa ended her life?

Lindsey McKeon: It was interesting because I had come into it with all of my preparation and I did want her to be somewhat emotional and vulnerable. I didn’t just want you to see Tessa as an angel that is separate from and devoid of emotion, but as someone who was stuck in this human realm and feels human feelings.

When she can’t do what she was meant to do, what her life purpose is, it is painful for her. Thank goodness, the director, Guy Norman Bee, came up to me and said, “they want you to feel these feelings for her,” and I was like, “great, I’m on exactly the same page.”

TV Equals: What did you enjoy the most about playing Tessa?

Lindsey McKeon: So many things. One is that she is not human, she is of this other form, this other realm, this other energy.

For me, the background it takes to get into that sort of character is always exciting. No matter what kind of entity you are, you have to take this human form and you are limited by this human body, but at the same time you have more knowledge and awareness than a human being does. I’ve taken years of studies in India and Bali spiritually so it is really exciting. These kinds of characters really light me up inside because I get to bring all of this information I have to a character like this.

TV Equals: Given the nature of Supernatural and how few characters stay dead, do you think this is really the last we will see of Tessa?

Lindsey McKeon: You know, I have no idea, but everyone has said that to me. There are so many cool things you could do with it, with where she is and where she ends up. She could be in so many different places and the boys could find her or Castiel could find her. So no, I think even though she is dead there are many possibilities for her.

TV Equals: The CW is still working on a Supernatural spin-off. If Tessa could have her own series, what do you think that series would look like?

Lindsey McKeon: It would be sort of dark and edgy, but at the same time there would be this real energy, momentum and importance driving it. I think if it is Tessa’s rebirth you could go into so many different directions with her character. You could go into Heaven, into Hell, into Purgatory and in these places she would have dealings with all of these beings so you could see the best of the best and the worst of the worst. The potential is exponential.

I love the idea of it being based around one of the females. You have the two boys, now you could have the female spinoff.

TV Equals: If you could guest star on any show, what show would it be and why?

Lindsey McKeon: I just auditioned about a week ago for a recurring role on The Newsroom. That to me is one of the most incrediblely well-written shows, especially for women. I find it very rare for a man or anyone to write female characters as strong and as smart as Aaron Sorkin does.

Supernatural‘s season nine finale airs tonight, Tuesday, May 20th at 9/8c on The CW.

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