I was lucky to grab a few minutes with ‘Supernatural’s Jim Beaver earlier this year to hear about the filming of season 11’s episode “Safe House”. Better known to ‘Supernatural’ fans as the return of Rufus and Bobby, this highly anticipated episode did not disappoint. This actor, writer, and producer was fantastic in his recent role as Carter Cushing in the film ‘Crimson Peak’, ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Justified’, and of course he was loved for his role as Whitney Ellsworth in ‘Deadwood’. He’s also the author of the novel ‘Life’s That Way‘ that will tug at every heartstring. Catch up with Beaver and his upcoming projects.
Colleen Bement: No doubt I can speak for all of us ‘Supernatural‘ fans by saying that getting Rufus and Bobby back together has been a long time coming. Did you and Steven meld right back into your dynamic duo?
Jim Beaver: It was probably easier this time because I’ve kind of gotten used to Steven! He’s a dynamic personality and he loves to improvise and ad lib (to the extent the director will let him!), while I’m kind of a stick-in-the-mud, stick-to-the-script kind of guy. It took me a while to get used to working with Steven, but I really like it now. It’s always an adventure with him. He always knows what I’m going to say, but I never know what he’s going to say. It keeps our scenes energized. I don’t remotely mean he’s not professional — he’s very, very professional. We’re just different type humans. I’m a bit cautious. He doesn’t have a fearful bone in his body, I don’t think. We have a lot of fun, too. Bobby and Rufus are a great odd couple. They could probably do that play together, except they’d both have to play the slob.
CB: My Twitter followers want to know if there are a lot of shenanigans on the set.
JB: Everyone seems to think the set is basically a big kindergarten playground where we occasionally accidentally end up with an episode. That is, in fact, very much the SPIRIT of the set, but it’s not the reality. We have great fun, the set is filled with people with great senses of humor, jokes abound, but we work hard, and that’s what we mainly do. The pranks and shenanigans everyone asks about are far more rare than most people think, at least in my experience. It’s a workplace that’s fun to be in. It’s not a playground. I know that disappoints everyone who wants to think our gag reels are the prime examples of what every minute of the day is like, but that’s WHY those moments are in the gag reels: They’re special and unusual.
CB: What can you share about your upcoming film ‘Billy Boy?’
JB: ‘Billy Boy’ is a drama written by and starring ‘Glee’s Blake Jenner and also starring ‘Supergirl’ Melissa Benoist. It’s a tough story about a boy whose life is beset by one difficulty after another and how tragedy nips at his heels. It’s a really good script. I don’t have a lot to do in it. I play a teacher. I did it as a favor for my longtime friend Robert J. Ulrich, who produces it and was the casting director on ‘Glee.’ He was my late wife’s casting partner years ago and we’re close friends. Anything he asks me to do, I’m in. It’s going to be a wonderful movie, I think.
CB: Are there any other projects in the works that you can share with your fans?
JB: I do not have anything specific in the works at the moment. I was supposed to do a movie called ‘The Three Furies’ with Julie McNiven and Kim Rhodes, but it lost its financing and looks like it’s not going to happen any time soon, if at all. I do have a short film called ‘Injection’ in the can, also starring Julie McNiven. By this time it’s been revealed that I’m reprising my ‘Breaking Bad’ character, the gun dealer Lawson, in the prequel series ‘Better Call Saul’, but those episodes are all shot already. Guillermo del Toro says he has written a part for me in ‘Pacific Rim II’, but that’s been postponed, so anything can happen between now and when it goes into production. I’ve been meeting on lots of pilots, but as of this date, nothing is firm. So mainly what’s on the burner these days is waiting to hear about things, attending conventions, trying to find time to write, and raising my kid, who’s 14 and a girl, so obviously, I have no strength left for anything!
CB: I’ve been reading about the new fan-funded TV series ‘Internity’ and everything about it sounds like a must see show. Is there anything that you’re allowed to share about filming the pilot? What’s the status of the project?
JB: I don’t know exactly what the status of the project is. It’s a lovely premise with lots of promise, if that doesn’t sound too silly. I like the idea, the feel, of my character, and I think the show has great potential. The fact that the show is listed on IMDb seems to suggest that we’ve already shot at least the pilot, but we haven’t. It’s still in the financing stage. So I haven’t been on a set with cast or crew yet. I’m hoping it gets made. Joey Adams, the creator/writer/star is a top-notch talent, and I’m sincerely hoping we get to do this. But it’s early days yet.