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“Supernatural” Actor And Director Richard Speight Jr. Fills Us In On New Projects

Richard Speight Jr. has starred in many films and series  including as Gabriel from the mega-hit series “Supernatural.” But that’s not all, he’s made quite the name for himself as a director, directing episodes of both “Supernatural,” “Lucifer,” and “Kings of Con.”

 

 

Richard Speight Jr’s most recent role was in the soon to be released supernatural film Driven, written by Casey Dillard and directed by Glenn Payne, in which he plays a man on a mission to end his family’s curse and takedown the dark entities that the curse released. He’s not working alone, he’s teamed up with his driver

 

 

Horror Fuel: “Forgive me if I have a “fangirl” moment. I’m a fan. I’m also a huge fan of Supernatural. What is it like to be part of something so big with such a huge fan base?”

 

Richard Speight Jr.: “Well, you know, it’s interesting because my part and my involvement is seemingly pretty small if you look at the grand scheme of how long the shows been on and how many episodes have been done. Yet I feel so apart of it, which is weird sometimes. I’ve directed eleven episodes of the show, I’ve acted in thirteen episodes of the show, and if you put those together that equals one season out of fifteen. That’s not that much. That’s one-fifteenth of the work. But I think that the conventions have been so intricate to the life of the show, I think it’s kept all of the actors who are not Jared, Jensen or Misha, Jim Beaver or Mark Sheppard or Mark Pellegrino, all tied to the show over the years even during seasons that we didn’t appear on the show. I feel very fortunate that I stumbled into a job that has this kind of reach in fan base, this kind of stamina in terms of longevity, and unique weaving of different personalities through the years so that a guy like me can come do a guest spot in season two and still be talking about being involved with the show. That’s super rare.”

 

Horror Fuel: “You didn’t play some small part though. Gabriel/Loki wasn’t just some background character, he had a real presence. You played an important role in the story.”

 

Richard: “For sure, they were impactful roles. I think what I played, and what Ruth plays, and that Pellegrino and Sheppard, Julian plays and all these people that came and did handfuls of episodes, but they were impactful episodes. Obviously, there were characters that stayed around a lot longer, like Sheppard, like Ruth Connell, they were there for more episodes. I think the show did a great job of creating interesting, supporting characters. It wasn’t just these two guys and their angel buddy fighting crime. They really did create dynamic characters, like you say, that ended up having a big impact because they are more valuable to the show than just the trick of the week.”

 

 

 

Horror Fuel: “How do you feel now that the show is ending?”

 

Richard: “Well, you know, we still have a couple of episodes to shoot. I feel sad that the show is going away. But at the same time, I feel incredibly grateful that it was around as long as it was and that it maintained its dignity for its entire run and that it was able to dictate its fate, its own exit. All those things are very rare in tv.”

 

Horror Fuel: “Yes, they are. I’m glad that Supernatural will get to wrap up the show for its cast and fans. I hate to see it end, but every show does at some point. At least Supernatural can go out on its own terms.”

 

Richard: “Exactly. I get that question a lot, ‘Are you sorry to see it go?’ What I tell people is that at least they get to decide when it’s over. So many shows canceled randomly when you don’t expect it or get canceled when you do expect it, or a cast member leaves the show and changes the dynamic of the show. That stinks. So, none of these things happened, it’s going out on its own terms.”

 

Horror Fuel: “It’s nice that the show will give everyone a proper ending.”

 

Richard: They’ll be getting some kind of ending. A lot of people ask how I hope the show ends. I don’t have an answer for that because even if I do think about it, I don’t think it’s worth saying out loud. It’s just one man’s opinion in a sea of hundreds of thousands. But I do think that the fact that people are sad to see the show go is a compliment to the show. It doesn’t matter what the show does for an ending, a butt-load of people are gonna love it and a butt-load of people are gonna hate it. That’s just the nature of the game. Either way, they are going to have an emotional reaction. That right there itself is cool.”

 

Horror Fuel: “You are totally right, you can’t please everyone. But Supernatural has millions of fans so they must be doing something right. I’m just glad that we will get a real ending.

With directing eleven episodes you’ve had a lot of involvement in the story itself. What was your favorite moment or episode that you’ve directed?”

 

Richard: “That’s a tough one because every episode – this is going to sound like a copout, but it’s true -has some scene that I thought was awesome or some moment that I thought was great. I’d say my favorite episode is still – maybe because it was my first one – is “Just My Imagination”. It was a fantastic script and it was super touching, unique. It features Sam Winchester as a kid and his emotional development. It was a really moving episode. So that’s why it’s one of my favorites, if not the favorite.”

 

 

Horror Fuel: “It’s a great episode. I love the imaginary friend angle.

You dip into the supernatural world again for your new film Driven.”

 

Richard: “Driven is a very fun romp through one man’s journey to end a family curse and to do so he’s got to partner with this gal, Casey Dillard. He drags her around because he is too smart for his own good and too stupid to get the job done. It’s really a super fun story that’s scary and also humorous. It mixes suspense and humor really well. It’s a really fun and unique movie.”

 

Horror Fuel: “I watched Driven last night. I truly enjoyed it. It was funny. You and Casey Dillard work so well together, both as actors and as characters.”

 

Richard: “Thank you. I thought so too. Casey and I had never worked together before but I know her from film festivals, we’ve all done the Oxford Film Festival in Mississippi with our works on display. When they reached out to do the movie, the script was so clever and unique I was thrilled to be a part of it. Her approach and my approach are very similar. We worked on it like a play because some of the scenes are really long. I thought it worked out really well. Our shared approach with different energies made for interesting stuff.”

 

Horror Fuel: “The two characters mesh well even though they are very different. They make a great team.”

 

Richard: “Good, I’m glad you think so. I felt that way while we were doing it and I’m glad that it is seen that way by the viewer.”

 

Horror Fuel: “Was it difficult to film the movie since a majority of it takes place inside the car?”

 

Richard: “It wasn’t that hard for me or Casey, I don’t think. The challenge was on Glenn Payne to figure out how to film in that small space and how to get the shots we wanted.  They designed it, they wrote it with that in mind. She wrote it with that in mind knowing that we’d be doing that kind of thing. They were well prepared by the time I showed up the pre-production was over and production was beginning. They were already dialed in knew what they wanted to do. I think they did a really impressive job. Glenn had a very clear picture of what he wanted this picture to be style-wise. And that speaks volumes.

In the independent film world, you’re not doing it for the big paycheck, you’re doing it for the love of the game. And when you have limited time and limited resources, to have that clear of a vision really does up the stakes and improves the product tremendously because that’s what’s going to give it style and flair, not the special effects, not the budget, not the stars on the poster. It’s what you agree to as an artist solely.”

 

Horror Fuel: “The way it was shot and edited together was very clever. Sometimes when you have a film in one location, like a room or a car, it can be hard for the filmmaker to capture the intensity of a scene or sometimes viewers begin to feel claustrophobic, that’s not the case with Driven.”

 

Richard: “I think what you say is true and as a viewer, you can get tired of being in that space. I think this movie avoids that. I think this movie avoids that pitfall. I think there is enough variety and character development of the two leads and there’s enough going on outside the car and their journey to keep you engaged the whole time. You never once feel like, ‘Get me the hell out of this car.'”

 

Horror Fuel: “Right. I agree. It surpassed what I was expecting. It stands out. The dark aspect of the movie combines well with the humor in the film.”

 

Richard: “It should. That was the goal.”

 

Horror Fuel: “You’ve also been working on Lucifer. Great show.”

 

Richard: “That’s right. I’ve directed three episodes of that show.”

 

Horror Fuel: “Which seasons did you direct in?”

 

Richard: “I have two episodes in this upcoming season and one last season. I did episode 507 and then 513 of this season. Of Supernatural I have episode 18. ”

 

 

Horror Fuel: “That’s another fun show. I like Lucifer.”

 

Richard: “I think it’s so fun! I’m spoiled, I go from Supernatural to Lucifer. That’s just awesome. I think the show, the actors, and the writers do a great job.”

 

Horror Fuel: “Yes they do. And Tom Ellis is a great fit for Lucifer.

These days you seem to be doing a lot of directing, are you leaning more towards that or acting?”

 

Richard: “Oh, both. I enjoy storytelling and I enjoy doing it in both of those formats. I really enjoy pursuing both and I will keep doing so. I’m not closing either door, I ‘m going to leave them both wide open and will see what comes through the door.”

 

Horror Fuel: “You won’t hear us complaining. You have another movie come out, Dawn of Five Evils.”

 

Richard: “Yeah, that’s in pre-production. I did the first one. The first one was crazy, so we’ll see that one made. I haven’t seen a script yet. It’s hard to say with everything in the air because of the Covid world we’re living in now. I don’t know what’s going to happen next, but something will happen. I look forward to seeing what it is.”

 

Horror Fuel: “I hope it gets made. I first heard about the movie a couple of weeks ago when I talked to Vernon Wells, who will also be starring in it.”

 

Richard: “He knows more than I do. It’s got a bunch of horror stars, Speaking of horror, you and I are on the opposites of the spectrum. Horror is not my genre. Buy it will be fun for horror fans. It should be a fun one.”

 

Horror Fuel: I hope it will be made. You know, horror is kind of my thing (laughter). If you had to pick one, what would be your favorite of the horror movies you have seen?”

 

Richard: “It’s kind of hard to say, I ‘ve watched so few horror movies, but I’d have to say American Werewolf in London.”

 

Horror Fuel: “That’s a good choice.”

 

Richard: “I love that movie. You can find comedy in there as well. There’s Shaun of the Dead too which I thought was great.”

 

Horror Fuel: “Both are two of the biggest horror movies ever.”

 

Richard: “Shaun of the Dead is such a well-done movie.”

 

Horror Fuel: “Yes it is. Let’s talk about music.”

 

Richard: “Yeah, I put out an album in December, country music, “The Dance and How to Do It“. I put together a band, some of the dudes I met along the road, Jason Vans tours with us, Billy Moran who plays the guitar on the road with us as well, and a couple of other dudes, and we’re Dick Jr. & The Volunteers. We put that album out in December and now it’s on iTunes and where ever else one buys music. We were about to put out a music video before the lockdown happened. We’re releasing new music in the next couple of months. So I’m dabbling in music right now.

 

 

 

 

For regular updates on what Richard Speight Jr. is working on and for tour dates follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Don’t miss his upcoming episodes of “Supernatural” and “Lucifer”!

 

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