The producers at Supernatural do a world class job with casting and have done so from the very beginning with Sam and Dean. Now, ten seasons in, with the introduction of Rowena, portrayed by Ruth Connell, they’ve once again hit it out of the park. We as a fandom are so lucky to have such talented actors on the show. I know for me it’s a big part of what makes me so very passionate about Supernatural.
Ruth, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me. I know the fandom is going to love learning a little more about their favorite witch! It is really so generous of you to let us get to know you a little better.
DC: Rowena comes across as a very complex and very strong woman which I believe is a big part of her appeal to viewers. Does she have further surprises up her sleeve for us and for her ‘puir, wee boy’? I kind of hope so, she’s kept me guessing from the start and I just love that in a character.
RC: There are surprises for Rowena too – in a lot of ways she is reacting to how her circumstances are changing. The next episode is a big one for her and you see a bit more of how the relationship develops between her and Crowley. If I’m surprised reading the scripts then yes you can be guaranteed there are twists and turns aplenty to come!
DC: Was there anything about this character that especially “spoke” to you when you initially reviewed the script and made the decision to audition?
RC: The last line of the audition sides delighted me and totally informed me of the character – Bob Berens wrote it and I love him for it! The line kinda showed up in the last episode where I said; “Now do you understand why it breaks my heart to see what a colossal ‘numb nut’ you’ve become?” Originally it was ‘pussy’ but that’s tough for sensors to pass so ‘numb nut’ popped out instead.
Have you been allowed to tweak any of her personality traits once you started working on the character?
RC: I always turn up to set with my take, my imaginative response to what is written. I love what the producers and writers have given me to do – I totally get how lucky I am to have such a brilliant character to play. Anything I offer is only ever to bring as much color and life as possible to Rowena. There is so much scope with her that it’s a gift of a role to play with.
DC: She is an amazing character. One of the strongest female characters yet. Seeing her interacting with her son is just so illuminative of Crowley’s own issues and the response to Rowena has been overwhelmingly positive.
You studied dance when you were growing up, is that what drew you to acting as a career or was the dance education in support of a choice you’d already made? I chose my first career when I was a fairly young child so I believe that some people do know quite early what they’d like to do with their lives.
RC: Dance was my way in to ‘the business’ for sure. I was expressive as a dancer which was the only thing that made me think it might be possible for me to be an actor. It seemed far-fetched to be from where I’m from and say, “I want to be an actor!” The transition was gradual but it was always in my heart to be an actor.
DC: You are a great fit for the mother of the King of Hell. You seem to convey a lot of Rowena’s personality through very elegant facial expressions and gestures. How did you decide which expressions and gestures to use?
RC: I feel Rowena in my bones! I hope I have an understanding of her and I trust what comes out. I rehearse and try things too and go with my instincts about what’s right. I can ask the director when it comes to being on set if I’m in doubt about something perhaps being ‘too big’ shall we say! I want to push the boundaries but not go too far either.
DC: I think you’ve got a great feel for the character. What’s been the most rewarding part of playing Rowena and conversely, what has been the most challenging?
RC: The most rewarding part is just getting to play the part – I love it so much. The most important thing for me is to feel I’m doing a good job for the show. Challenges happen all the time – this might sound a bit serious but I think always in life the internal battles we face are the toughest ie doubts, fears and other such nonsense and insecurities!
DC: I think it is true that no matter what we are doing, we, as humans, are our own worst critics. Oftentimes finding the way past those internal insecurities is the hardest part of any job we take.
RC: In the last episode I told Fergus I was proud of him being the King of Hell. I believe I meant it. As much as I can perceive anything truthful as Rowena! I also meant the ‘thank you’ I said to him as he killed Gerald for me. I was surprised and touched by that. Genuinely – Mark is such a good actor I was affected in that way in that moment. I need to stop now – it’s getting a bit sentimental! Bah!
DC: I believe that the Supernatural production and consequently the fandom are blessed with amazingly talented actors. I don’t think the show would have lasted as long as it has without the incredible talent that can be found both on screen and off.
Is Rowena looking primarily for power or revenge against those who she feels wronged her (including the Winchesters who she feels have emasculated her Fergus)?
RC: When we met Rowena she was all about the Grand Coven. Then other things come into play. Watch and see! I believe it changes.
DC: We know that Fergus was conceived during a pagan festival, who do you imagine was his father?
DC: Oooh – mysterious and interesting. Now I’ll have to put my thinking cap on. I have an immediate reaction to that but I’ll keep it to myself.
When I asked Rachel Miner about the sarcasm she brought to the role of Meg she said that as a demon she felt that Meg had seen and done it all and was consequently able to see the humor in things the rest of us might overlook. Rowena also possesses a very unique sense of humor, would you say that similar to the demon Meg, she is now amused by humanity in general or is she using the humor and sarcasm to cover her bitterness at being thrown out of the Grand Coven? Using these character traits to deflect her disappointment and anger over the fact that her peers didn’t recognize her greatness?
RC: I think Rowena likes a laugh.
DC: Trust a fangirl to put so much extra thought into a character! Rowena is a very skilled and powerful witch, one of the spells she created the “Defigere et Depurgare,” vanishes demons. Will we see this come in to play at all? I think it would be a phenomenal weapon in the Winchester’s arsenal.
RC: You will see more and more interesting spells I feel!
DC: The fandom loves your accent! Do you have to modulate your speech patterns at all?
RC: I play around with it, telephone voice to guttural Scots. Old fashioned to modern. Cheeky to formal. And sometimes just whatever comes oot!
DC: Rowena is certainly one of the more complex characters on the show. I love your wardrobe which while old fashioned in some ways it is still very, very sexy and glamorous. It suits your character quite well. Is there anything about it that you would change if you could?
RC: I adore my gowns. I’m a very happy bunny.
DC: How do you like living and working in the US/Canada? Do you have a favorite thing about the colonies?
RC: It’s so great to work in different countries. Life is an adventure and I’m loving exploring Vancouver for sure. I still feel like a tourist in LA and get a kick from being around all the old-school film era landmarks.
DC: I have to wonder if anyone is ever really “at home” in LA since the very foundations of the place is built on dreams and imagination.
If you could choose to live in another time period, would you? If so, which would you choose and why?
RC: I’m happy to be alive now. Not sure I fancy all that plague and pestilence from the past really…
DC: Good point!
Two final questions….first, you have the most beautiful skin! What’s your secret? Seriously!
RC: Zabrina Matiru head of make-up!
DC: Damn, not something I could pick up at the local drug store….lol!
And lastly, we call our group Lusty Fangirls so were wondering what your most “lusty” experience has been so far in your life? If it’s still on your bucket list, will you share? This is a fun question and not meant to be overly personal at all.
DC: And with that one answer you’ve given the entire fandom heart palpitations!
Once again, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. You are now officially part of the #SPNFamily and I know the fandom will appreciate this opportunity to get to know you a little better.
Speaking strictly for myself, I think that Supernatural S10 has been one of the strongest in recent years. Each new episode offers new insights into even the characters we’ve known from the beginning and teases us with the multiple ways in which this year’s story arc could play out. I eagerly anticipate every week’s new episode and then enjoy discussing all the nuances with my friends on and off line. While we may not always agree about what direction the story is headed, we do agree that Rowena’s introduction to the story and the cast offers a multitude of new puzzles to solve and conflicts to overcome. The gods know that the Winchesters can’t survive long without either. I sincerely hope your character has the opportunity to be a thorn in the sides of Sam, Dean and of course her ‘wee boy’ for some time.