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Interview: Ruth Connell

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Currently in its tenth season, Supernatural shows no signs of slowing down and its popularity is as strong as it was in the beginning. The series has a way of introducing some fantastic characters into the Supernatural universe that only adds to the greatness of the series.

One such character that was recently introduced was a witch named Rowena. The character is played by Scottish actress Ruth Connell who is definitely enjoying the ride so far playing the “big bad” in the current season.

Ruth sat down with the Pop Culture Principle to talk about booking the Supernatural job, working with Jared and Jensen and how amazing the Supernatural fans have been to her.

***Warning! If you are not caught up on Supernatural, this interview contains some spoilers and you may want to skip the interview***

Pop Culture Principle – How much did you know about Supernatural before you were approached to be on the show?

Ruth Connell – When I moved to America I got my first studio apartment on my own after I had been here for a year. I didn’t have a television and that was good in a way because it made me really specific about what shows I watched. Supernatural was on my list because I am interested in supernatural things any way. When I got the audition, I cleared my schedule for a couple of days and watched 14 episodes over the weekend. After watching some of season 9, I went back to the beginning and the pilot episode and the next episode were amazing. This show was made ten years ago and was doing supernatural type stuff pretty much before anyone else. I feel like they were ahead of their time and the production value was so high. It was like watching mini-movies and I thought they were fantastic.

What I like about Supernatural is that it was a real labor of love to make it happen and I felt a kinship with the show. As an actor, I’ve had a similar type struggle to get myself launched and I felt connected to the show in that way.

Pop Culture Principle – Can you tell us about your character Rowena?

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Ruth Connell - I am the mother of the King of Hell. I am Crowley’s mom which is one of the coolest reveals I think a character could ever have. She’s Scottish like me, red hair like me. She’s a witch and her magic is pretty potent and powerful. I think you are going to see what she is all about and try and work out why she is there and what she is up to.

Pop Culture Principle – Did the writers give you any background on your character before shooting?

Ruth Connell – They gave me the scripts of the episodes I’m in so far and there was a lot in there. I used my imagination for the rest. I went to the Supernatural Wiki and used those things to work stuff out for myself. I am one of those actors that like to fill in all the gaps. Before I got the next episode, I had my theories about Rowena being a single mom back in the day in Scotland. She had to use witchcraft to stay alive and things were probably tough for her and Crowley.

Pop Culture Principle – What was it like working with Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles ?

Ruth Connell – This is my first American television show and I am so aware of how lucky I am to have landed in such a well-oiled machine. A lot of the crew have grown up on the show as well with some of them having families now. It’s a really stable and nurturing environment. As I said, this was my first American series and so to land inside the Supernatural world, I am so grateful. As far as Jared and Jensen go, if I ever get anywhere near successful as they are, I hope I handle the success as well as they are. They are so gracious, welcoming, warm and funny.

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Pop Culture Principle – What have you enjoyed most about playing your character Rowena?

Ruth Connell – I love every single aspect of playing Rowena. The audition sides they gave me were absolutely fantastic. Whenever I am in doubt about how to play a moment or what is going on, I always go back to those audition sides. Everything was in there, the humor, the power, the strength and the determination of Rowena. The episode I appeared in was called Soul Survivor and that is where it resonated with me that Rowena is a survivor. I love the fact that I’m giving carte blanche to go around the place in evening gowns. The costume and wardrobe department on the show are fantastic and I was really keen on this full length gown. I think it fits my physicality and I love that for Rowena.

Pop Culture Principle – How does it feel knowing you are the mother of the King of Hell?

Ruth Connell – It was such a glorious thing to say that I am the mother of the King of Hell. I’ve known this spoiler since July and it’s now December and you have no idea how hard it was not to shout it from the rooftop. So now, it feels great to be able to settle into it and enjoy it for all that its worth. I love Mark Shepherd who is an amazing actor and he kind of took me under his wing when I was up there.

Pop Culture Principle – Supernatural has a huge and loyal fan base. As an actor, how does it make you feel knowing your character has already had an impact with the fandom?

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Ruth Connell - It’s absolutely fantastic! I love it and will grab it for all its worth. I’ve been working hard for a long time in the business and I nearly had a few breakthroughs before. I mean, I’ve always been a working actor and have had bits and pieces of success, but to suddenly land on a show whose fanbase gets right behind you, I am so grateful. I am really enjoying it as well! I’ve probably spent more hours on Twitter in the last week then I’ve actually spent talking to my family back home. It’s an absolute pleasure and privilege to have people be interested in your character and your work. I love the fact that the fans have been so kind, welcoming and positive about Rowena. I’m the happiest Scottish actress whoever moved to LA and is working in Canada.

Pop Culture Principle – You got to attend the Supernatural 200th episode party. What was that experience like?

Ruth Connell - It was amazing! I was filming and I went into my trailer and there was a white envelope. I opened it up and there was this fancy 200th episode celebration invitation. That was so nice to be included and asked to go. One of the highlights at the party was meeting Felicia Day. Even though I am part of the series now, I was so happy to meet her. We both were wearing high heels and after a while we both took them off and were dancing around barefoot. Life doesn’t get much better than that when you are dancing barefoot with Felicia Day at the 200th party.

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Pop Culture Principle – Supernatural is known for its amazing fan conventions. Do you have any plans on doing a convention in the near future?

Ruth Connell – Absolutely! I’ve booked my first one which is Asylum 14. The great thing about that one is that it’s in Britain and it’s close to my dad’s 70th birthday. I am guessing they are going to be there, so I’ll get to see my dad. I have a message from Spain this morning and a message from somewhere else. I look forward to doing a bit of travelling and seeing the fans in as many different countries as I can.

Pop Culture Principle – What can you tell us about your next appearance on Supernatural and do you know if you will be a recurring character?

Ruth Connell – All I will say is that it will be interesting to see the relationship between Rowena and Crowley. I don’t want to say too much, but I will just say that I am not dead yet. Honestly, everything is a bonus from here and I am happy I made that leap. 2013 was one of the hardest years of my life for many personal reasons, but 2014 is probably the best year of my life so far and it’s largely due to Supernatural.

We would like to thank Ruth Connell for sitting down and talking with us. Don't forget, the Supernatural mid-season finale airs December 9th at 9/8c. If you would like to keep up with all the latest news about Ruth and her career, you can go to her official website at www.ruthconnell.com.

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