Interview: Rob Benedict
The following Interview was Carried out by Lucy (@SpnUK) for the Supernatural Wiki on 2nd December 2013
Rob Benedict played the prophet Chuck Shurley on Supernatural during Season 4 and 5.
“I mean he’s this alcoholic, tortured writer who never changes out of his robe..and he’s a prophet of the lord.”
– , Rob Benedict on his character Chuck Shurley
During the last Salute to Supernatural convention in Burbank (Burcon) Rob Benedict announced that he had suffered a stroke during the previous Toronto Convention. He told the Burcon fans that he was going to be OK and that Richard had stayed with him in the hospital. He insisted that it was important to tell the fans as they have been a source of good in his life.
Rob Benedict Interview
Q: First of all can I say that it was such a shock to the SPNFamily to hear of your recent health problems, how are you doing now?
A: Doing much better, thank you. I should be all good to go in 2014!
Q: It was fantastic that some of the other cast members stepped in to help out during the Louden Swain gig at Burcon. Do you feel like you have made some lifelong friends from meeting the other cast members either while working on the show of from the conventions?
A: Without Question. These conventions have really solidified our relationships. As you said, it is a family. It is this very cool supportive community of amazing people. Besides J and J and Misha, I didn’t work with any of the others– so it really is from traveling together and doing these conventions. I mean look at Richard– never worked with him– but here we have this cool bond. He truly is one of my dearest friends.
Q: As well as the cast members, you have received a lot of support from the SPNFamily, like the #LoveToRobBenedict tweet campaign. What is it like for you to be a part of the SPNFamily?
A: It’s amazing, it really is. There is such a strong support for the show and for us. It’s difficult to describe to someone who’s not involved or isn’t aware. I feel blessed to be a part of it.
Q: You have attended many of the Supernatural conventions now; do you have any special or crazy convention moments you could share with us?
A: Every one has a pretty amazing moment. Every time my band has played or I’ve been allowed to sing has been pretty special. In Toronto at a panel, I sang the Louden Swain song “she waits” a capella, and got a standing ovation. I have to say, that was one moment I won’t forget.
Q: Why do you think you were chosen for the role of Chuck Shurley and what initially drew you to the role?
A: They had me at “i am the prophet chuck”. It was one of those characters that right from the beginning, I got what they were looking for. I felt like I knew who this should be. I loved the idea that he was the least likely guy to be a prophet. And I thought the writing of the first episode, him discovering that these pulp books he’s written actually telling the future, was genius. I mean he’s this alcoholic, tortured writer who never changes out of his robe..and he’s a prophet of the lord.
Q: Do you think you have any similarities to Chuck?
A: I’d say we share an amount of neuroses! And I certainly know what it means to be a frustrated writer. At the same time, I think there is a really profound amount of sympathy and love that Chuck has for Sam and Dean. Almost like a father, who created them. I really felt like I tapped into that part of him as well.
Q: What do you think about the theory that Chuck is God?
A: I always tell people that my theory is that Chuck was Eric Kripke. The writer of the show, the creator of the world. And if you look at that– then no matter what you think about the mythology of the show– Chuck is Eric is the all mighty creator of Supernatural. And when Eric left the show, his last episode was Swan Song, which was his love letter to this world he’d created.
Q: Did you know your Impala’s history and significance speech during Swan Song would be such a pivotal and powerful moment?
A: I knew it was really good writing. And I felt honored to be able to recite it. I don’t feel like we did too many takes of it either– it was one of those things where you didn’t want to mess with it— it just felt right.
Q: What is it like working on the set of Supernatural, with all the Supernatural cast and crew; do you have any memories/stories you could share?
A: Everyone on that show from J and J on down, is really amazing. I just remember it being super fun, super relaxed, you looked forward to going to work. My favorite memories were going into Jensen’s trailer and hanging out. I remember one time my baseball team, the St Louis Cardinals were playing the Dodgers in the playoffs and I kept running into his trailer to watch the game. But there were also some dogs that scared the crap out of me.
Q: You are part of a duo with Richard Speight Jr called Danger Bottom and Kodpiece; where does that name come from and what more can we expect to see from you guys?
A: Yeah, that’s our alternate character names when we host live from Comic-Con for Gamespot.com. We’ve done it several times now– in Comic-con San Diego, in New York, and at a game show in Seattle. When we do it’s broadcast live on Gamespot. When we started doing it we were with a couple of pro gamers who had gamer “handles”. We realized if were going to be hip with the gaming crowd, we’d need the right nicknames. I kept making fun of Richard for using the word “bottom”. Richard kept making fun of me for staring at codpieces. I couldn’t help it– these statues of superheroes are very tall! Anyway one thing led to another and boom: Danger Bottom and Kodpiece. You’ll be seeing us again. Definitely at Comic Con SD but hopefully sooner…
Q: You recently wrote and starred in the independent short film The Sidekick; what was it like to write and star in your own project?
A: It was amazing. So fun to create something and be with it from start to finish. It was very gratifying. As an actor you don’t often get much control, so it was such a treat to have ALL the control. I’m very proud of it.
Q: Do you have any other future projects lined up that you can tell us about?
A: Well, soon we’ll be releasing Sidekick so everyone can see. Stay tuned at http://www.thesidekickproject.com. I’m taking off the rest of the year and at the beginning of 2014, Louden Swain will start recording our new album. And I’ll start going out for new projects. I’m excited about the future!
Q: You are ¼ of the band Louden Swain, how did the band get together and where does the name come from?
A: The name comes from the movie Vision Quest with Mathew Modine. It was from the late 80s, we were all fans even before we knew each other. If you haven’t seen it, you have to. It’s classic. He’s a wrestler in high school. Kind of a Rocky type story. And his name in the movie is Louden Swain.
We all met through mutual friends. Mike went to my college and we met Norton through another friend from school who grew up with Norton. We met Billy much later, he was playing in another LA band that we used to gig with. When that band broke up he asked us if we needed another guitar player. As soon as he joined the band, things really clicked.
Q: Do you know and are you able to say if you will be returning to play Chuck in Supernatural in the future?
A: I don’t know at all! I know they’ve talked about it in the past. It’d be nice to have him re-surface in some way before its all through. But that’ s up to the new gods of the show!
Q: For those that do not know, please could you explain about ‘Banana Hammock’ being your safe word?
A: Ty Olsson and I were joking around in Rome, late one drunken night and he kept putting me in a head lock. At the time it was sort of fun, but then it felt like I was dealing with an escaped Grizzly Bear that I couldn’t control. The next day we were on stage together and decided we needed a safe word next time he put me in a head lock. A bit earlier in the same Q and A, someone had found a picture of me online from a comedy series I did called Head Case, where I am….in a yellow “banana hammock”. They found it and showed the audience. Good times! So back to the safe word, someone yelled “banana hammock”, and it stuck!
Q: Did you get to keep your Chuck Shurley bath robe?
A: I wish!! It should go In the Museum of Supernatural History.
- A huge thank you to Rob Benedict for answering these questions for the fans!
- Also thank you to Rob for supplying the photo’s.
- Thanks also to his manager for helping to arrange the interview.
- E-mail Interview conducted 2nd December 2013