Samantha Smith is the talented and beloved actress who brought the character of Supernatural’s Mary Winchester to life. She will be attending WishCon in November, giving numerous fans an opportunity to meet her. Read on to find out what Samantha has to say about her path to an acting career, her favorite role and Supernatural.
What made you decide on a career in acting?
“Well, the short answer is, I didn’t really. It was kind of an accident. The long answer is:
I had been a model and commercial actress (although I never called it that) since I was 15 or 16. I gradually realized I seemed to have much more of a knack for commercials than I did for print, and so eventually, tired the modeling business I left NY and moved to Los Angeles. The plan was to attend UCLA at night and support myself doing commercials, since, at the time, something like 80% of them were produced here. I had no thought or intention of becoming an “actress.” During this time, I booked a commercial for HBO in which I had actual dialog. Until then I’d only said things on-camera like, “Oil of Olay, for younger looking skin.” (Which was ridiculous because I was about 23, but anyway…) I loved it. It was a four or five day shoot, with real actors and a huge set and about 100 extras…it was SO FUN. Not long after it started running (it was my first Super Bowl commercial!), the director of a small indie out of Chicago saw it and flew me in to audition. I think I was terrible but he had his heart set on me playing this role for some reason. So I booked the film, and needed an agent to negotiate my deal. That’s how I got an agent. Ridiculous. About a month later, the whole film fell apart, but by then my agents were sending me out on auditions and several months later I booked my first real job, on Seinfeld. So, in short, I fell into it backwards and never escaped!”
What has been your favorite role to date?
“I loved playing Sarah Lennox in Transformers. No one got to see my scenes that were cut out of the sequel, but Sarah is a smart, determined person with an easy laugh and a lot of love for her husband and family. You only saw a little in the first movie, but it would have been more obvious after the second one. And of course, there’s Mary. There’s something really solid about playing an iconic mother. And then they let me do things like play her as Eve, which continues to be a career highlight in the fun department.”
What is the most challenging part you’ve played?
“I did a series of TV movies for Hallmark where I was playing the (step)mother to someone 8 years my junior, who had a daughter of her own who was calling me “grandma.” That was challenging to my ego but the part itself was pretty easy. Marty was her name, and she was a little bit too sweet for my taste but, hey, it was like 1890 or something.”
What did you like best about playing Supernatural’s Mary Winchester?
It feels like Mary is connected to everything. It all leads back to her life and the decisions she made. I like that she always tried to do what was best, and is fierce and quintessentially maternal. She’s eternal.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time on the Supernatural set?
“The SPN set is a family. I’ve been on many sets, obviously, and some were wonderful and some were awful. But I have yet to be on one that feels like this one. And not just because they’ve been together so long— I felt this way since the first episode I shot after the pilot. I specifically remember showing up to shoot HOME, and being immediately embraced by everyone. Of course I also had a photo double in a full-on fire suit, and both Jensen and Jared’s stunt doubles were being thrown around the set like rag dolls, so all around it was pretty entertaining time.”
Are there any upcoming projects you have that you can share with our readers?
“Not that I can share!”
Is there anything you like fans to know about Samantha Smith which they may not know?
“I love and appreciate each and every one of you. I’m still baffled that anyone cares what I think or say, and the outpouring of love from my fans (do I have my own fans? It seems unlikely— I feel I should rather say “our fans”) is a continual surprise for which I’m eternally grateful. And, I love cheese.”
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