EXCLUSIVE: Jim Beaver Talks Supernatural 5.15 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid and the Season 5 Finale
The man behind legendary demon hunter Bobby Singer reveals all leading up to this year's riveting climax.
It's been an explosive year for the Winchester Brothers. And Supernatural Season 5 is rapidly speeding towards its shocking conclusion, which will wrap up the entire series thus far in anticipation of an all-new Season 6. The CW's hugely popular sci-fi drama returns this Thursday, March 25th, with the debut of Episode 5.15: "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid". And it is a very important hour for Jim Beaver's legendary demon hunter Bobby Singer.
In this touching and heartfelt tour de force, we find Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) investigating Bobby's hometown where the dead are rising from the grave. Instead of attacking humans, they are happily reuniting with their families. The brothers turn to Bobby (Jim Beaver) for help but he tells them not to worry about it and to leave town. Suspicious, Dean investigates and comes face to face with Bobby's dead wife (guest star Carrie Anne Fleming) who has no memory of what happened to her. Once the zombies start turning evil, the boys tell Bobby he has to kill his wife. But the wheelchair bound demon hunter refuses to heed this heroic call. John Showwalter directed the episode, which was written by Jeremy Carver.
How will these events forever change the beloved Bobby Singer? And how does it edge us towards that highly anticipated Season 5 climax? We recently caught up with actor Jim Beaver to find out more. Here's what our favorite spook chaser had to say:
Most important question of the day: Is Bobby Singer someone that can't be killed by the Colt?
Jim Beaver: You got me. (Laughs) Let's just say that hasn't come up yet.
There have been murmurings of a Supernatural Spin-off featuring Colt Paterson battling demons in the Old West. Can you talk about how Bobby Singer ties into that mythology?
Jim Beaver: I haven't heard anything about that.
This Thursday's episode is an important one for Bobby. What do we learn about Bobby that may surprise fans?
Jim Beaver: I don't know that there is anything surprising about Bobby that they are going to learn. The trailers have made it pretty clear that Bobby's wife comes back. The fans already knew that he had one. A couple of seasons ago, we did an episode that dealt with his late wife. That is not a particular surprise. I don't think there is anything surprising about Bobby that you are going to learn. It's mainly a story about something new that happens to Bobby. It affects a lot of other people in the story as well. But I don't think there are any great revelations about Bobby.
Did the episode bring you more of an understanding of this character? Does it at all change how you look at Bobby?
Jim Beaver: Kind of. Every script that comes along, there is new stuff that happens. The revelations come from seeing how a character deals with those new things. In that sense, this episode isn't particularly unusual. I'm not being a lot of help here. We get to see a side of Bobby that we don't often see.
We get to see Bobby's wife for the first time. What can you tell us about her? And what sort of relationship do we come to understand between these two?
Jim Beaver: For very bizarre, very supernatural-like reasons, Bobby's wife comes back from the dead. We see that they had a very good, very strong relationship before she passed away. Bobby's very hopeful of resuming that relationship. I think its one of the most touching episodes we've ever done. The emotional stuff is mixed in very cleverly. It's mixed in very wonderfully with the supernatural elements. The audience is going to get a glimpse of what Bobby wishes his life were like.
When the writers came to you with this script, had they taken your own personal story into account? Was it cathartic in a sense? Or was it so far removed from you as a person that you could see only the fantasy in it?
Jim Beaver: I can't speak for what the writers took into account. Or not. The writers didn't ever bring it up. While they were shooting it, there were a number of people on the crew that said, "This must be kind of hard for you." That sort of thing. It was in a way. But it wasn't in a way. My personal situation? I am very happy as an actor to be able to take things from my personal life and use them for something that I think is meaningful. But, no. They never checked with me. None of the writers that work for the show ever said, "We're getting ready to do this." They know me well enough to know that I am fine with whatever they hand me.
Bobby is still in his wheelchair. When we spoke in December, you told me that you'd like to see Bobby stay in the chair. What are your feelings on this now? And will we see a resolution before the season ends?
Jim Beaver: As an actor, I am a little antsy being in the chair at this point. Even though I can get out of it at any point I want between scenes, it's limiting. I've found that there are a lot more scenes of other people going out and getting into adventures while Bobby waits by the phone. More this season than in the past. In that sense, I am not nuts about it. Dramatically, it's been terrific. It brings out character points that might not have been explored had his life not changed so drastically. As for a resolution? This season is about such big things. That element is peripheral. There is going to be a lot of resolution this season. Let's put it that way.
What role does Bobby play in wrapping up this five-year storyline? And are you satisfied with the resolution?
Jim Beaver: Bobby is very involved in the way season five wraps up. He's been very involved all along this season. Much more than in previous seasons. I've done more episodes than I have before. I am very satisfied with how Bobby's participation is part of the resolution. I don't think it's a resolution that stops everything. In a symphony, there are two, three, or four movements. We are simply coming to the resolution of one movement.
There's been news floating around that a lot of characters from seasons past are going to be returning. And we will see some of them in Episode 5.16 "Dark Side of the Moon". Can you give us a hint as to who we might and might not see return, and how they all tie into the big picture?
Jim Beaver: In terms of characters from past seasons, I've heard some rumors. But I don't know too much. If people come back, it doesn't involve Bobby all that much. Because I wasn't around when that stuff was shot. I don't have a good answer to that. But don't take anything by my non-answer. I just don't know. I think this is a really strong finale to the season that is coming up. I think fans are going to be delighted and flabbergasted.
Your memoir Life's That Way is finally hitting paperback on April 16th. Have you gone back and added any new passages or chapters in updating the book before its rerelease?
Jim Beaver: I didn't do any rewrites other than to fix a typo or two that we caught. I added a few things to the acknowledgments. Other than that, and that it's got a new cover, it's very much the same book that is in hardback. I am excited for more people to read it. Paperbacks are a little less expensive. Maybe that will allow the book to open the audience a little more. I'm very excited about it.
Will you be hitting the road again in support of it?
Jim Beaver: A little bit. A lot of that stuff is still being worked out. And I have six fan conventions to deal with at the same time. I am going to be on the road a lot. Which one it will be for at any given time is still up in the air.
Jim Beaver's Bobby Singer returns for an all-new episode of Supernatural on March 25th, entitled 5.15: "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid". Jim's Memoir, which looks at life with his wife as they face the challenges of battling cancer, hits paperback on April 16th in stores everywhere.