Samantha Smith has returned to Supernatural in Season 12 as Mary Winchester to the delight of fans. The character is a beloved part of the history of Supernatural. Mary is having a difficult time adjusting to the changes in the thirty-three years since she’s been gone. After all, Mary left a four-year old and an infant and now she has to get to know her sons as grown men and hunters. But she is determined to put the pieces together and find her place in a different world (and life) she left.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Samantha in May. Despite her very busy shooting schedule for Supernatural, she graciously agreed to a brief follow-up interview to talk about Mary in Season 12. Read below to see what she had to say.
Even though Mary Winchester was killed in The Pilot, she is such a pivotal character and a guiding force in Sam and Dean’s lives and, of course, the Supernatural landscape. Throughout these past 11 years, fans have been fortunate to see you return to the show in numerous episodes. When you learned that Mary would be resurrected in Season 12 not as a ghost or in an alternative reality scenario, what challenges did you face in how you approached Mary in Season 12?
“It was quite a shock to learn Mary would be alive—REALLY alive—again! Unlike in previous appearances, my focus this season has been on embracing Mary as a full person, not just the canonized “perfect mom,” and not just within whatever parameters the temporary appearance called for (as in “Eve,” for example). Mary is a whole person who we haven’t seen since she was played by Amy Gumenick in the flashback episodes. I’ve actually pulled a little from that, as well, since it is a big part of who the character is! The greatest— well, I don’t know if challenge is the right word, but it’s certainly been a huge consideration, has been to show the conflict in Mary’s heart without letting her be morose all the time. Hunters are resilient and pragmatic, and Mary is a Hunter. But she’s having to deal with a whole heck of a lot.”
Of course, Mary wrestles with her memory of Dean as a 4 year old and Sam as a baby. What would you say is the difference in Mary’s interactions with each of her sons?
“I think that she naturally treats Dean as more of an equal, as he’s the oldest, and even though he was only four when she died he was a little person with a personality and with whom she had a relationship. Sam was an unknown entity, an infant who now has no memory of her from that time. He’s essentially a stranger. I think she intuitively navigates Dean’s hard shell, and sees how, at least overtly, Sam is more empathetic. So the different sides of Mary will be drawn to each of them depending on what’s going on with her.”
Which son do you feel more closely mirrors Mary’s personality?
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