As a celebration of the end of 15 years of Supernatural, we had originally planned a big project to launch with the end of the series. However, due to COVID-19 and the shutdown of productions, the finale date was pushed back (to what we now know is tentatively in the fall).
We still wanted to celebrate May 18, the original date of the finale, as well as share a few interviews we had planned to launch at the time of the series ending.
The interview with Emily Swallow (Amara) is below. Emily talks about Supernatural and what it means to her. Read on below!
Nerds and Beyond: Can you tell us how you got involved with Supernatural? Did you audition, were you approached, etc?
Emily Swallow: I auditioned; I remember it very clearly because I’d just sprained my knee surfing and was very concerned with trying to walk into the room without limping! The character description was: “A ‘femme fatale.’ Beautiful, seductive, and sinister when need be, with a razor sharp wit. An ancient creature, new to Earth, who isn’t impressed by what she sees. Is capable of making people love her, but prefers to inspire fear.”
I hadn’t auditioned for someone with supernatural abilities before, and this idea of an “ancient creature” was somewhat intimidating; it wasn’t something I could relate to. But what I COULD relate to was being unimpressed by what I saw, and I liked the idea that fear felt safer to her than love. From that, I decided that she was very guarded and had perhaps been hurt in the past. Her vulnerability was key to me. I think “evil” characters are much more interesting when we can see their weakness and their longing. I found that, when I connected to those human fragilities, I didn’t worry as much about the more fantastical things out of my grasp.
Nerds and Beyond: Is there a particular episode or season that you most enjoyed working on or being a part of?
Emily: Oh man, that’s a tough one! I think my favorite from top to bottom was “We Happy Few”; I loved the epic fight scenes and I had such a great time with Rob while we were working on that emotional confrontation that they FINALLY got to have after a season of her trying to track him down. It was such an adventure shooting those battles with angels and demons and Rowena’s forces. I was in a harness, suspended up in the air and reacting to all sorts of imaginary things that would be put in with CGI in post-production. After all that, it was such a relief to be face to face with Chuck and to be able to confront him about the pain he’d caused her and how he’d let her down. I have such genuine affection for Rob, and that helped immensely, because I felt like Amara must love Chuck deeply for his behavior to hurt her the way it did.
Plus, that episode was just SO MUCH FUN to shoot! We were all bleary-eyed and sleep deprived, and it felt like a big crazy party.
Nerds and Beyond: What is one of your favorite memories from set, or a memory from an event you attended because of Supernatural?
Emily: The conventions have been incredible–I think my favorite was AHBL 8 in Melbourne, Australia in 2017. Experiencing that city with the rest of the cast was magical, and the convention itself was such an adventure. Everything felt like it was on an even bigger scale than the US conventions, and the concert was incredible. The panel I had with Amy Gumenick was one of my favorites ever; we brought fans on stage to recreate the harrowing scene where Sam was driving Baby straight at Amara and she kept it from hitting her with the sheer force of her Amara-ness and had an impromptu talent show, with the oh-so-glorious prize being a roll that Jared had eaten half of 😅. I think that convention stands out in my mind because it combined the community, love, adventure, silliness, and ingenuity of the SPN Family.
Nerds and Beyond: How has being a part of Supernatural changed or affected your life?
Emily: It has profoundly impacted me – as an actor, the opportunity to work on a character like Amara was delicious. I got to explore such complex, dark corners and the light that can come from even the most seemingly hopeless times. Her stunts were crazy fun, and her intimate, connected scenes with Dean were pure pleasure. Jensen is such a generous actor, and it was always a relief to come down from the cursing and smiting and other histrionics to just connect on a simple level.
The conventions have opened up my world in a way I never would have expected. The SPN fans are so supportive and loving of the cast and each other. I’m constantly inspired by the way they have each other’s backs and walk the walk by forming support groups and supporting charitable causes. And I’ve gotten to reconnect to my roots as a singer when I perform with Louden Swain at the conventions, which is crazy fun. I see people like Briana and Jason recording albums and it makes me want to join in on the fun!
Nerds and Beyond: At the end of it all, when it’s all said and done – what do you want the Supernatural legacy to be?
Emily: I think the friendships and generous support are the most important part of the legacy. I hope the fans will continue to feel like we are all family.
Nerds and Beyond: What is something that working on Supernatural has taught you?
Emily: Working on a character like Amara allowed me to roll with the punches and embrace the unexpected more than ever. I didn’t always know in advance where the writers were going to take her–that’s the case in most television work, but with a character whose scope is so huge, it means really relaxing into the moment-by-moment experience of each episode, because I couldn’t try to plot out her arc and her ambition. That can be a little scary when working through scenes with SUPER heightened emotions and with such high stakes, but I saw that, as I accepted the size of where she was on any given day without worrying about where it was going, I could relax into it and not worry, and the story took care of itself. That has helped me in other shows as well.
Nerds and Beyond: If you had to describe your time on Supernatural in one word, what would it be?
Nerds and Beyond: The fandom is a big part of why Supernatural has been so successful. If you had to say something to them, what would it be?
Emily: THANK YOU, and keep up with the beautiful work you do to take care of others.