GOSSIP GIRL is the first CW show on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine! The April 2nd edition, with a cover image of Blake Lively and Leighton Meester, features an article on the show, part of which can be read at rollingstone.com.
An interview with Genevieve Cortese (Ruby), featuring in issue #9 of The Official Supernatural Magazine.
The Official Supernatural Magazine: How did you first get into acting?
Genevieve Cortese: My grandmother introduced me to acting when I was about six years old. She used to take me to the theater, so I have been pretty much doing [this] since the 4th grade. I did a lot of local community plays, and then I went to Tisch [School of the Arts] at NYU [New York University].
What was your first big break?
I got a [part in a] small movie called Mojave pretty much the first month out of college. Right afterward, I was on Wildfire, a TV show on the ABC Family channel. I’ve been working pretty much non-stop since I got out [of school], but it’s been nice. You gained quite the fanbase from Wildfire.
What was that like?
It was great, and I couldn’t be more grateful. It was such an adorable show, and to have people respond to it and follow it from the beginning has been really special for me. It allowed me to grow up on a series, as it was my first television show. Getting the lead on it was a bit crazy, and to have so many people love it as much as I did was a totally unreal experience. I feel really blessed, and it’s nice, too, because [those] fans have followed me over to Supernatural.
Were you well-versed in the world of Supernatural before being cast as Ruby?
I knew a little bit about the show. Honestly, I love it, but half the time, I have to turn away. I was at the gym the other night and caught the first 10 minutes of an episode. I’m running on the treadmill, yelling at the TV, looking away, tripping over myself, and people were staring at me. It was the episode where the guy eats the razor blades in the candy [It’s The Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester] and I’m like “Oh, God! Oh, God!” I have a hard time watching it, but I’m aware [of the Supernatural universe]. As for Ruby, I didn’t even know I was going to play her until I pretty much got to Canada. A lot of it I learned from the crew, cast, and writers. Early on, it was advertised your character would be a waitress and possible love interest for Sam over multiple episodes.
What kind of a breakdown of the character did you receive?
The same thing. I thought I was going to be Kristy the waitress. You have to love Eric Kripke, because he keeps you on your toes. On Wildfire, my character had a lot of inner strength and there was stunt work. I feel I’ve proven myself being the lead of a show, but they understood I could handle myself. I had no idea about the grittiness I would have to bring to Ruby. I pretty much got up there and it was “Time to play!” It’s been an amazing experience. One of the big twists in the season four premiere was Ruby’s return.
Was that difficult to keep under wraps?
Absolutely. It’s still hard for me, because the story continues to grow. I can’t tell you how excited I was about episodes nine and ten. I’m so excited about the relationships and the work we put into it. From Ruby’s introduction in Sam’s hotel room, fans were speculating whether they were intimate with each other.
What was your take on that?
In the premiere, I was unsure, because at first I thought I was playing the love interest and then I’m not. Initially I did it a bunch of different ways so that we could maneuver it. It wasn’t really until the second episode that it started making a little more sense. In the back of my mind, I always thought Ruby was in love with Sam. If you watch the third season when Ruby is first introduced, the way Katie [Cassidy] did it was very tough, and she’s hard to get close to. If you watch the two of them together, Ruby’s very similar to Dean. They’re very protective, and I think the whole point of that is to see if Sam can step up to the plate. It’s also to protect herself. Is Ruby ready to get involved in this and see if Sam can accomplish the task she knows he is capable of? This season it’s been very important to bring more of a humanity to it, and I’m sure the fans are going to be upset when they hear that, but she was human and has said that in the last two seasons. As an actress, it’s important to look at what that means, what it’s like to love someone, be hurt, and be happy. At this point, Sam’s proven himself, so whether he fully reciprocates her feelings, I don’t know, but she’s in love with him. It’s also important to know what Ruby has given up to be with him. She can’t be in Heaven or Hell, so she has no one. She can’t even walk around outside by herself. Sam is the only one she has.
Being a demon, could Ruby be seeking redemption?
Yeah, that’s part of it. Obviously, she still has her own hate and rage, but at this point, Ruby’s suppressed a lot. For me, the most important thing we’ve discussed this season is for Ruby to have a calmness and be more fear-driven, as opposed to [being], “I’m gonna kick the crap out of everyone!”-driven.
As a demon, Ruby has every right to be scared of the angels. Have they had much interaction?
[Until I Know What You Did Last Summer], she’s stayed clear and never met one of them. There’s a scene where I basically have to give myself up to the demon Alastair to save the boys. He just tortures the crap out of me and rips me to shreds. It’s like “Okay, I’ll do it!” but if it were an angel, I’d be gone. For Ruby, the thought of losing Sam is way worse than dying herself.
How was it filming those torture scenes with Alastair?
They were unbelievably intense. I’d never experienced that before. Having my arms bound to a metal chair, pretty much naked and completely vulnerable, was pretty scary. On top of it, to have my own knife used against me was horrific. It was incredibly grotesque and frightening. You leave a little bit shaken, but it’s really important for people to see what Ruby’s willing to do to save them. You’re not even sure whether she’s going to make it or not.
For whatever reason, some Supernatural fans really have issues accepting female characters.
As I said, I’d hate anyone who got close to [Sam and Dean], too! I want them all to myself! I was warned about the comments, though. Actually, I had a lot of Wildfire fans who were also Supernatural fans, write to me and say “Oh my gosh! We heard you were on Supernatural. Please don’t worry! They’re not going to like you!” I was really well aware of it, although I’ve never experienced it before. I just have to do my job and keep going.
What’s it been like working alongside Jared and Jensen?
It’s like I was back on Wildfire, where the people were so much fun and we all laughed. It’s really nice and comfortable. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people.
Have you fallen victim to any of their pranks?
We always try and one-up each other. We make fun of each other a lot. They make fun of me by pretending they can’t see me because I’m so short. And anytime Jared takes his shirt off, I pretend I’m throwing up!
Do you have any highlights from the series so far?
My favorite episode is probably I Know What You Did Last Summer, because I really get down and dirty. They really explore Ruby, too. My favorite moment is when I’m in the car with Julie McNiven, who plays Anna. We’re in the back seat with Jared and Jensen in the front. I’m huddled over to one side, because I don’t want to be close to her. It’s an angel and a demon in the back of a car, which is hilarious!
Read the full interview in issue 9 of The Official Supernatural Magazine on newsstands now.
Supernatural Tune in Thursdays 9/8c on The CW
Director’s Cut: Robert Singer Supernatural executive producer and director Robert Singer on Monster Movie, featuring in issue #9 of The Official Supernatural Magazine.
The Official Supernatural Magazine: Despite the introduction of angels this season, and all the cool storylines that’s led to, the episode that stands out the most in many ways is Monster Movie. Were you excited to be the one directing this unique episode?
I was thrilled to have gotten this one!
While we’d assume you were already a fan of the classic 30s horror films, did you re-watch them before shooting this episode?
I did. Some of them I found really helpful, and others were just kind of crappy… I tried to certainly pay homage to the best of them. I think James Whale (the director of Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein) was probably the best. The original Dracula had some cool things in it, too. I tried to recreate lenses and the way they were shot and the moves they made and all that, but at the same time I tried to keep it modern. I like to think of Monster Movie as an homage, rather than just a shot-by-shot thing.
Did you have to change your directing style to suit this episode?
Somewhat. We shot it with more traditional wider angle lenses, and the moves were a little more studied, the way they used to film them. Like when the Wolfman attacks the people in the car, I really wanted to make that feel like an old Wolfman movie. I made a conscious effort to shoot that on our soundstage rather than go out to a practical location. You got that backdrop with the moon and the ground fog and all that, which has a certain unreal quality to it, but I thought it was appropriate for that particular scene.
Likewise, as it was black and white, did you have to approach the lighting of the episode differently?
Serge Ladouceur [Supernatural’s Director of Photography] and I talked about this quite a bit. It was a harder light; there wasn’t as much soft light as we normally use. The shadows were deeper and we weren’t afraid of letting the blacks go really black and putting a harder front light on some of the scenes. Serge likes those movies as well, so it was an easy transition for him. We just had a great time doing it. We’d look at the monitors and giggle about how cool it looked!
Do you think Supernatural’s viewers are familiar with those old monster movies?
I think some probably are, but I think most aren’t. Our feeling was that for those who hadn’t seen them, it would be a little bit of an education, and maybe they would then go look at these movies, and for those who had seen them, it would be a fun ride. It worked out well.
Were you concerned about having too many of the myth arc-heavy episodes in a row at the beginning of the season?
That was a discussion we had. We brought up with them that we normally like to spread these things out a little bit, but they felt pretty strongly that it would help launch the season. They weren’t afraid of having that much mythology, which seemed to have worked out well for us. We’re doing great this year!
We’d say you’re doing even better than “great!”
Yeah, it’s pretty remarkable. In the 18–34 [demographic], we’re up 33 per cent, 18–49 we’re up 42 per cent. It’s enormous. It’s a bigger jump than any other show. After three years, I think people have just sort of found us, and I imagine the upward trend will keep going. We’re all happy about that.
It’s great that Supernatural is picking up so many new viewers, but what do the diehard viewers think of season four so far?
The response has overwhelmingly been very positive. The audience seems to love Castiel and that whole mystery. You do these things and you don’t know how they’re going to be received, and we just sort of make these decisions and say, “Well, what would we like to see? What do we think would be interesting?” And we hope the audience agrees. Sometimes they have and sometimes they haven’t… but this year they seem to be really onboard with the story we’re telling.
More specifically, what was the fan response like for Monster Movie?
The show did well and got a good response. On the blogs and all that it was pretty much universally liked… and they don’t spare us when they don’t like something!
How did you feel about the guest cast on Monster Movie?
Our guest cast was great, especially Todd Stashwick, who played the shapeshifter. We found out when he got up to Vancouver that he was really a devotee of these movies. He brought a wonderful quality to the character, especially Dracula. He found all the comedy beats, and then when he did pathos at the end, he really delivered. Everybody really got into it – they went back 50 years, or however long it’s been, and just placed themselves in that acting style. The crew enjoyed doing it, too. It was just a fun time.
You’ve mentioned before that directing Bad Day At Black Rock was the most fun you’ve had directing Supernatural. Would you say directing Monster Movie has surpassed that experience?
I think so. For Bad Day At Black Rock, to be able to go out and test my comedy chops and see if I could do it was a lot of fun. But this one was probably more special, just because it’s so different. I grew up on those movies. I watched them on television and I always thought they were great fun. I think the first director I ever really noticed, where I said, “Wow, look at the direction!” was James Whale. Being able to do the big crane shot like James Whale did, and those close-ups that he used to do, and that lighting was great fun for me.
Would you say Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki are well-suited for taking on whatever acting challenges the writers throw at them?
Jared feels more in his comfort zone if he’s doing heavily dramatic stuff, but I think he underrates himself on the comedy. His physical comedy was great in Bad Day At Black Rock. And in Monster Movie, when he goes to rip the ear off the guy who was playing the keyboard and he realizes it’s not the shapeshifter, he does a really funny facial take. Jensen loves to go for the comedy. He’s got great comedy chops and terrific timing, so that stuff doesn’t scare him at all. I think if the script’s got comedy moments in it, he really digs it.
What’s your favorite thing about season four so far?
I have to say, where we’ve taken the mythology. The addition of the angels has been a really good shot in the arm for us. It came to us last year as something to try, and I think we were all a little wary of it. We’d committed to doing it, but we weren’t sure what it was. Once we cast Misha Collins [as Castiel] and saw him on film, we said, “Oh, this is really going to be great stuff.” I think the best thing about this year is that the mythology is the strongest it’s been since year one.
Looking ahead, what can you tell us about what’s to come?
There’s a couple of really big surprises we have up our sleeve that I don’t think anyone’s going to see coming. I wouldn’t even want to hint beyond that! But I think people are going to go, “Whoa, wow, that’s really cool!” I can promise people if they keep watching they’ll definitely be surprised!
Read the full interview in issue 9 of The Official Supernatural Magazine on newsstands now.
Supernatural Tune in Thursdays 9/8c on The CW
SUPERNATURAL MAGAZINE ISSUE 9
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STATEMENT BY TYRA BANKS:
“To all the Top Model hopefuls who were affected by the New York casting, we are doing everything we can to make sure that ALL the girls who weren’t seen, get an opportunity to audition – we’ll update you on our plans very soon. It is so important to me to redefine beauty, and make sure that everyone gets a fair chance to pursue their dream. I am beyond excited for Cycle 13; for the first time ever, young women 5’7″ and under have a shot at becoming America’s Next Top Model! I encourage each girl to come out ready to rock the runway and show off their fiercest pose. I’m rooting for all of you!”
On Saturday, Aprill 11, 2009, The William S. Paley Television Festival celebrates 90210, welcoming the cast and creative team of the show to a live panel discussion. Moderated by Diablo Cody, the event features special guest star Tori Spelling, and will be held at the Cinerama Dome at ArcLight Hollywood.
Named for William S. Paley, founder of both the Paley Center and CBS, the annual William S. Paley Television Festival has celebrated television’s rich and diverse programming and the creative process behind the medium for the last twenty-five years.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
7:00 pm PT
Cinerama Dome at ArcLight Hollywood
To purchase tickets to this event, visit http://www.paleycenter.org/paleyfest09-90210.