Samantha Ferris brings a spark and life to any role she plays. She has a natural talent that shines through the screen and makes her characters feel like real people. Whether it’s Stargate SG-1, The 4400 or Supernatural, Samantha Ferris is one of those actresses who is remembered.
She was very gracious to answer my questions for The Nerdy Girl Express about her career, her favorite character, Ellen and Supernatural. Her answers had the wit and charm you’d expect. Read on to find out more.
You had an early career as a television reporter, did that inspire you to get started in acting?
Not sure the two were connected. Maybe the desire to perform was always there? I started as a radio announcer. From that I became the weather reporter at our local tv station. However, it was a while before I became an actor. I got into radio in 1991, but it wasn’t until 1998 that I got into acting. Radio was just an easy fit for me, but in 1998 I had a life changing moment: my dad died, I hated my job, and my current relationship was going nowhere and I thought, “Life is short….what do I really want to do with my life?”. Acting. That’s what I really wanted to chase. So I did. I never looked back. The odds were against me, I was in my late 20’s, but I figured that I might as well chase what I really wanted. You don’t want to look back on your life and regret the things that you could have done.
What has been your favorite role to date?
Different answers to that. Some shows were fun to work on but the roles were meh….some roles were great but the shows were meh. One of my first roles was in a show called “Beggars and Choosers”. I got to play this tongue-in-cheek vapid actress (Sandra Cassandra) who was a trashy actress and lacked any kind of ethical backbone… she slept, ate, and drank her way to the top. Now THAT was a fun role. I do comedy well, and that role I got to push the limits. So that was one of my faves, but I have to say that overall, Supernatural was the best and most rewarding role I ever played. A fiercely protective bar owning, gun toting broad. I’m proud of that role. I’m proud of who she was and how she went out. Ellen Harvelle is close to my own character: loyal, ethical, loving, strong, takes no shit, and would protect her own till the day she died. And she did (laughs). My demise was one of the most gratifying scenes I have ever shot. We cried. All of us. It was powerful and meant something. I still get messages from people who were affected by that scene. Some people tell me that it changed their relationships with their own families. It makes me tear up when I hear that stuff. I am very fortunate and grateful to have played Ellen Harvelle. Also, the crew on that show are fantastic. They are family. I cried like a baby when I left the show. It’s rare in this industry. I am grateful for my time on that show.
What did you like best about playing Supernatural’s Ellen Harvelle?
She is/was a formidable character. Someone that we could all learn something from. She was everything that people should strive to be,a little bit. Strong, loyal, fierce, loving, protective, ethical, decent. Mama bear. She would die for the people who meant something in her life. And in the end…she did. I have such respect for Ellen Harvelle. We need more of her in the world. Especially right now.
Are you surprise by the reception of the character of Ellen with the Supernatural fandom?
Hell yeah. At first the fans hated me and my daughter (Alona Tal). They were very protective of the boys and any new characters (especially female) were criticized heavily. Alona took a real beating because anyone who had the romantic attention of Sam or Dean was a real threat (laughs). But once the fans realized that I was a loving supporter of Sam and Dean, I think they relaxed. Then when it became obvious that I was intensely loyal and would guard them with my life, fans started to like Ellen. Everyone wants a little Ellen in them (laughs). Tough, strong, fearless. Ellen’s death really hit some fans hard. I’ve done conventions where I would get people coming up to me in tears…..saying that Ellen’s final scene with the boys and Jo hit a nerve close to home. It was really quite amazing. That scene made some fans call their moms, hug their moms, and it made some people patch up estranged relationships with their families. How bloody great is THAT? humbling. We went out in a blaze of glory. Was so sad to leave the show, but we went out in the best way possible.
Is there any scene you wish you had played as Supernatural’s Ellen?
Well, duh. I would LOVE to have had some flashback scene with Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Something sexy, right? First thing I asked when I got the role was, “Do I have any scenes with JDM?” No such luck. I also would liked to have beat the shit out of some of the other great characters…but that was not to be. Sigh.
What is your dream role?
Something along the lines of Courtney Love. No offense to her, but something trashy, and edgy, and crass. A really wounded woman kicked around by life a bit. Holds her heart on her sleeve. I would ROCK that role.
Are you working on an current projects you are able to talk about?
Have done a bunch of movies for Hallmark recently. The Gourmet Detective series. They were fun. Great cast. I am about to start filming another film for Hallmark. Something about blueberries. They keep changing the name. You never know what’s next. One day you’ve got nothing on the books, the next day you are lead in a television show or feature film. It’s a currently changing industry. Stay tuned!
On November 2, Samantha Ferris celebrates her birthday. Here’s wishing this special lady and talented actress a great birthday and continued success and happiness.
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