By Kate -admin MV
Here on Multipelverses we try to take the high road and not spend time bashing people for their performances. We will poke at characters and storylines but generally we try to be nice about the people playing the parts, but I have to make an exception. I have seen numerous interviews with the showrunners from Supernatural who think that the problem with casting women on Supernatural is that the fans just don’t want to see any women with the boys. I beg to differ on this. Personally I have enjoyed a lot of the women who have come and gone in assorted episodes over the seasons. Most memorable from the first season was Nicki Aycox and her portrayal of the demon known as Meg. Meg was a smart and sassy demon and when she was exorcised we saw a glimpse of the real girl who was being tormented and trapped through possession and it was the first time on the show that the guys realized they needed to look at the people that demons possessed- not just the demon. When Nicki returned this season for the excellent episode “Are you there God its Me Dean Winchester” it was this girl who confronted Dean and made him feel for the girl he’d failed, not the demon who took her over. Nicki was excellent in showing that this was a separate person and we knew it was not her demonic possessor. That is called acting.
In one of the series’ fan favorite episodes- Sam was possessed by the demon “Meg” and when he was, he took on some of her less charming traits, taunting and threatening very much in the way that Nicki did. Jared’s study of her portrayal made his transformation believable.
Who else has been possessed ? Jeffrey Dean Morgan as John Winchester at the end of season 1 was taken over by the yellow eyed demon and that was the first time we saw him as more than just the shadowy figure looming over Sam’s crib. When season 2 opened, Fred Lehne took over the role and took the glimpses of the pure evil that we saw when he was in John come to the forefront as he made a deal with John. His YED was such a strong character that Fred was kept on to appear in the two final episodes of season 2 and his shadow has been cast over the entire series. This year in season 4, YED made an appearance in the episode “In the Beginning”. He was played by two different actors- first by Christopher McCabe who played YED in the guise of the man bringing deals to folks outside of Lawrence, Kansas. When Dean shows up ready to kill him, YED body hops into Sam Campbell played by Mitch Pillegi before Dean can get off a shot. McCabe was the smarmy YED we saw in season 2- plying slimy charm with an undercurrent of menace. When he makes himself known to Dean as Grandpa- he is scary as hell and we know it is the same demon! Why? Because both actors studied Fred’s version of YED and took the cadence of the speech pattern and the tone of voice and then translated it into their own performance, maintaining the essence of what made YED the demon we could recognize immediately.
This season “I know what you did last summer” episode 9 and “Heaven and Hell” episode 10 introduced a new demon – Alistair. We learn from Dean that Alistair was the head torturer who broke down new souls just arrived in Hell. And Dean had become his apprentice in pain. Mark Rolston is long time character actor who is no stranger to playing the bad guy. He was the evil “Jack” in the 90s series The Profiler and goes down as one of the most twisted killers in TV history for that part. Alistair as a demon is cruel and enjoys it. The next episode airing in March, has the demon coming back in a new body- with a new actor playing the part. This time it is Christopher Heyerdahl- from Sanctuary, SGA and Smallville. In the trailer we can see and hear that he has studied Rolston and is picking up right where he left off. The speech and mannerisms are mirrored from one actor to the next- keeping the character cleanly defined.
These are the good demon portrayals on Supernatural. Now lets get to the bad one. Katie Cassidy came on to the show in season 3 and made a huge impact as a new character. She played Ruby- the demon who remembered being human and has no interest in seeing demons take over the world. She spends most of the season proving to Sam and Dean that she means them no harm. She is smart, sassy, somewhat secretive, and still a little cruel- she is a demon after all. We see her willingness to sacrifice herself for Sam in Jus en Bello and she is sent back to hell when Lilith pushes her out in the season 3 finale. When Katie turns around it is Dean – close to hell and able to see demons- who initially says “That’s not Ruby” before we see it- Katie’s face twists up and we see her smile and the look in her eyes- it is the evil Lilith. When the episode is over- Lilith and Ruby are gone.
Open- season 4. Ruby is back. We are introduced to her again in Lazarus Rising with a new actress in the role. Fans immediately jumped all over Genevieve Cortese and it is for one reason. She didn’t do her homework. Her Ruby is not recognizable as the character Ruby that we saw in Katie last season. In the episode “I know what you did last summer” Ruby appears back from hell as a blond played by actress Anna Williams. In the few minutes she is onscreen- we see Ruby. She sounds like Ruby- she has the speech cadence of Ruby. Then Sam gets after her for riding some poor woman’s body and Ruby leaves- coming back in the body of a coma victim that has had the plug pulled on her. She has the dialog but the characterization is off. Genevieve talks with a bit of a lisp- does she have a tongue piercing? Guess what ladies- it does not do good things for your ability to elocute dialog. I personally had been hoping we were going to find out that this sloppy Ruby portrayal was on purpose- that Ruby isn’t Ruby but Lilith in disguise- but it looks more and more like my excuse for Genevieve is just not going to come true. This is sad- because I have been trying my hardest to not be mean but I just can’t hold it back anymore. There is a very easy solution to the problem- have GC’s Ruby 2.0 ( actually she is 3.0) be exorcised and have to come back in yet another body-and this time- please cast someone who can act and is willing to study the episodes that Katie was in and make sure that we can believe she is who she is supposed to be.
Update 3/1/09: COMMENTS ON THIS POST ARE NOW CLOSED.