When Chuck Shurley first showed up in the fourth season of Supernatural, he was just a writer. Well, technically he was a prophet, but we didn’t realize that until Castiel arrived and explained things. Cut to season 5 and speculation began that Chuck (played by Rob Benedict) was more than a prophet. Could he be… God? Supernatural certainly seemed to be hinting at that with his disappearing act and the way he showed up at the end of “Fan Fiction,” but it wasn’t until season 11 that the show made it official. Chuck is God (and also he has a sister).
In the show’s 14th season, it threw another twist Chuck’s way: Not only is he God, but he’s been the author of Sam and Dean’s lives, and when Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) decided not to follow through on Chuck’s story, well, they pissed him off. And now, as the show is nearly halfway through its final season, the boys are facing their final villain: God himself.
What was your reaction to finding out God would be the series’ final villain?
ROB BENEDICT: When I read the script for the end of season 14, I was like, “Oh no, people are going to hate me!” [Laughs] Because when you cross the Winchesters, that’s bad news. But after that wore off, I was super-excited because, as an actor, it’s really fun to play this kind of role. It’s so juicy, and there’s so many nuances the way that they write the character, so it’s really been fun. And after this long run, it’s great to be such a big part of the final season. There’s nothing more epic than the big bad being God.
Did you have to rethink the character after you read that script?
It’s been sort of a slow burn ever since season 4, playing different roles — first just a writer, then the prophet, then possible God, but all through the process, I’ve been sort of putting in little nuggets of different versions and different personalities that Chuck has. And certainly with this one, even in season 11 I had moments where I had to be really wrathful with Metatron and sometimes with Dean, and I just go back to that and now I’m just playing that full tilt. The strict father is really where I’m at right now, the strict father who never comes down from that pedestal. Strict father or crazy showrunner, one of the two.
He’s a fairly subtle villain, for the most part. Obviously he ended the world, but in terms of temperament, Chuck so much as raised his voice in the season 14 finale and it made all of us sit up.
Yeah, and that’s what’s so great about it, and that’s what I’m finding this season too, is there are levels to it. You want to keep that idea that we actually have not seen God go off yet. We want to keep that idea that like, “Oh no, we don’t want to make him really angry, because if we make him really angry it could be super-bad.” It’s like keeping the top on the boiling water that’s about to burst.
I also think Sam and Dean need to figure out what killing God would mean for the universe before they go after him…
Yeah, exactly, thank you! In fact they explore a little bit of that in the coming episode. What happens in this episode kind of sets us up for that final push, the last half of the season. God’s thinking, “I need to get in front of them and talk to them,” and we get to talk a little bit about that. But yeah, that’s what I’m thinking, like, “You can’t take me off the table, or you ain’t got no table!”
When we saw Chuck talk to Becky, he went from being pretty chill to getting pissed. What Chuck are we dealing with in the fall finale?
He still has a lot of power but he’s off his game, so it’s kind of scary when a figure like that is off his game but still all-powerful. We’re dealing with a Chuck that’s not at 100 percent, and I think what we’re going to explore is the connection between him and Sam. They both have this same wound, and that’s affected him and knocked him off a little bit, and he needs to fix that. That’s the first thing he needs to do. So step 1 is somehow getting in touch with Sam.
We’ve seen a lot of Chuck’s potential endings so far this season. At this point, has he decided on one ending?
I think he does have an ending. It’s not set in stone, but yeah, he has a vision of how he wants it to end. He’s feeling resistance from all the other parties, but he definitely has a vision of what he wants. I think he’s not going to be able to get that written until he fixes this wound with Sam, which is somehow holding him back. That’s first on the to-do list, and then he’ll be able to go ahead and write the ending that he wants if he’s able to. They of course don’t want to happen, so all of this is leading to something, some big confrontation.
Before the series ends, do you have anything on your bucket list? Any character you’d like to share a scene with?
I’ve been able to do so much. I’ve been able to sing on the show, and I’ve been able to work with so many amazing actors. Everything that’s happened on this show has been icing on the cake for me, just because it started off as a one-off guest star. But that being said, there are so many actors I do these conventions with that I’ve never had a chance to work with. I’ve never worked with Kim Rhodes, that’d be fun to finally have something with her. I love working with Alex Calvert. That reuniting grandfather and grandson thing didn’t go as I thought it might, so I feel like we have some unfinished business. I think Mark Pellegrino’s a genius actor if he could come back.
Supernatural airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on the CW.