Exclusive: Interview with Katherine Ramdeen on ‘Wayward Sisters,’ fandom and more!
A badass both on and offscreen, Kat Ramdeen made her first appearance on Supernatural in the season 9 episode “Alex Annie Alexis Ann” as the title character, Alex. At the time, she was a human working for a nest of vampires. But after some intervention from Sam, Dean and Jody Mills, she returned to the good side and went to live with Jody.
Seasons later, Alex continues to be a guest character and an asset to the Winchesters. While she chooses (for the most part) to stay away from the supernatural world, her medical expertise comes in handy, especially after some nasty fights with everything from werewolves to alternate universe monsters. Alex is also a part of the “Wayward Sisters” team, a group of six female characters – hunters, psychics, dreamwalkers and friends – who were poised to take on a show of their own… until executives at The CW decided otherwise. Nevertheless, the Wayward philosophy lives on, and is powered by fans and actors alike, including Kat.
Nerds and Beyond sat down with Kat to discuss her experience on Supernatural as well as her life off set.
Nerds and Beyond: What made you connect to Alex as a character?
Katherine Ramdeen: As an actor, it’s my job to find some part of myself in the character I’m playing. With Alex, even though her struggles were supernatural struggles, deep down they were completely human. Alex wants love. Alex wants a family. Alex wants to belong. Alex wants to love. These are very human wants and it’s easy to play, as an actor. When we first met Alex she was so completely messed up. She had no home, she didn’t know who she could trust, she was just trying to SURVIVE. We all do that. I do that. As soon as I read the script I cared about Alex. I knew she was good, just in bad company. I don’t know how else to explain it other than I knew I had to play her.
N&B: Can you tell us any fun stories from the Wayward Sisters set?
KR: I wouldn’t say I’m a party-pooper, but I’m definitely different on set. I guess I take my work maybe too seriously. The Supernatural set is infamous for being, well, a fun set. I like to think I’m “fun”, but I’m honestly, as a human, socially anxious. I was never the one in school to be laughing and making jokes and being a goof-ball. I just get so much joy just for showing up, and getting to act. And Alex has a rather balanced and no-BS personality. She’s just like “Okay, what am I doing today? Going on a rescue mission to save some people? OK. What do I need?” So she’s very similar to myself that way. I can tell you that there are many fun stories OFF SET – just being able to hang out with the girls and be friends, you know?
N&B: What made you connect to the Wayward movement?
KR: There’s something in the air. People are waking up. People are demanding more for themselves and from the media they see. The Wayward movement means different things for different people. For me, it’s really a mix between being proud and loving who you are, and showing compassion and fighting for those who need help. That’s a thing that I want to be part of. I want to make the world a better place. I think when people think about what it means to be Wayward, they feel that it is both a call to action to do better, whatever that means for that individual, and to show love and acceptance for yourself and others.
N&B: What was your experience of getting the news that WS had been cancelled, and what has your experience been since then?
KR: As an actor, I learned a long time ago that nothing is concrete until it’s on the screen. So I guess although I was surprised, I wasn’t phased. I simply have to look at the work I do as a business sometimes, because the fact of the matter is that I care passionately about Wayward. I care so damn much about these women and their stories and I know that is a very, very dangerous thing to feel, as an actor. To become attached. But I was attached from the moment I read the script, before I even earned the right to play Alex. I was already passionate about getting to work on this amazing production and with the people who make it together. So I guess, I didn’t really allow, and still have yet to allow myself to be upset by it. Also, maybe because Wayward isn’t dead, so I can’t really move on. Alex is still working cases with Jody. The girls still have their stories to tell and monsters to fight. And the outpouring of support from the entire fandom and
#SPNFamily, has been, well, cathartic. In a way, I get to feel the feelings I don’t allow myself to feel through them, and their voices. The fans are the reason Wayward was given wings. And I do not doubt their power for a second.
N&B: What has your experience been like at Supernatural conventions?
KR: A Supernatural con is a place I can go and know that I’ve just walked into a room with hundreds of friends. They are simply an amazingly loving, supportive, awesome and fun time and I WISH I WAS INVITED TO MORE OF THEM!
N&B: Whether on Supernatural or some iteration of Wayward Sisters, where do you see Alex’s story going? Do you think we will see Alex this next season?
KR: I can’t say for sure what the writers/creative team are thinking for Alex, but I know that wherever her story is going, it’ll be Wayward AF. I’d personally love to see her continue to grow into the strong, intelligent, caring and fiesty woman she is becoming. And I certainly hope I will be back!
N&B: One cause you are very passionate about is veganism. How did you become a vegan and what advice would you give to those who want to give it a try?
KR: I stopped eating animals about 10 years ago, but I didn’t go fully vegan until about 4 years ago. It wasn’t a huge shift from being vegetarian, I just cut out dairy, eggs and honey, after learning about their respective industries. I went vegan literally overnight after watching a fur trade video where a fox was skinned alive and left to die a horrendously painful death, skinless, on a dirty road. I thought to myself, this is atrocious and I cried for a long while. Then I found my cat and I just remembering crying so terribly, and holding her and apologizing over and over again for how I’ve lived my life. My cat, of course, was very confused but in true animal companion fashion, she just purred and showed me unconditional love. After I was finished crying, I ransacked my house for everything and anything that was non-vegan and threw out/recycled/gave away everything. Then I started my vegan education. I learned that being vegan isn’t about being perfect. It isn’t about trying to not step on ants on your way to the beach (but yes, I don’t want to step on insects, either). It’s about ethical convictions and truly caring about animals and their wellbeing. The advice I have for people that want to learn more about veganism? Watch 3 documentaries: Dominion (or Earthlings), Cowspiracy, and What the Health.
N&B: This year, you went with RandomActs to Nicaragua. Can you tell us about that experience?
KR: What RandomActs, along with other organizations and nonprofits, is doing in Nicaragua is simply amazing. I didn’t realize until I got there how much I deeply needed to be part of a group of people that want to help others. I think traveling creates this shift in perspective that allows you to not just know that there are those in need. You are able to see it, breathe it, and see the real differences that we can make in people’s’ lives. It was remarkable. It was also incredibly emotionally draining. I tend to “feel too much.” I sometimes think I am a bottomless pit of empathy. Seeing how people survive really made me look at my own life, and to be more thankful and grateful for all that I have. So I suppose it made me a better person. To be more patient with myself, as well. I try to not take things for granted, but being fallible, as most humans tend to be, I need a reminder every once in a while. I try to remind myself to give whenever I can, and that we’re all here on this planet together. It was a trip that in a lot of ways changed my life, and I’ll be forever thankful to RandomActs and Misha for inviting me to help give to those who need help.
N&B: When not acting, you do a lot of video gaming and streaming. How did you get into gaming, and what do you like about the streaming aspect?
KR: I’ve been gaming since the original Nintendo NES, so it was something I grew up with. However I didn’t get into PC gaming until 2012. I thought that streaming would be a natural fit for me, as an actor, but I quickly realized that streaming was more of a therapy than anything else. I created a community on my Twitch channel “kjaneway” and made a lot of friends. As I’ve said, it can be challenging for me to socialize with people, but the online platform is perfect for connecting with others while still feeling safe. I love streaming because it’s on my terms. I decide when I want to go online, and I can protect myself from trolls with the click of a button. Streaming to me feels like the place I can go to hang out with my friends. In the 90’s maybe it was a coffee shop. Now, it’s online and open whenever I want it to be. I honestly love it.
N&B: What would your lightsaber color be?
KR: Whatever color phasers are, heh.
Finally, What does fandom mean to you? What do you see as the power of fandom?
KR: The fandom is synonymous to family. The power of family is the idea that no matter where I go, no matter what I do, I’ll have my family there supporting me and that kind of power is incredible and I don’t take that for granted. I love you guys!!!
A huge thank you to Kat for taking the time to chat with us! You can keep up to date with all of her projects by following @katramdeen on Twitter.