Joined: 09 November 2009
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?