Lisa Berry is a dynamic actress who boasts numerous television credits. She has endeared herself to fans of The CW’s longest running show Supernatural as the Reaper Billie. Berry’s mesmerizing performances as Billie, a strong and enigmatic character that kept the Winchesters on their toes, has certainly enriched the Supernatural landscape. Soon Berry will add another popular show to her acting repertoire when she makes a guest appearance on Shadowhunters. I recently interviewed Lisa Berry. Read what she had to say below about Supernatural, Shadowhunters and how she wants to use her voice to inspire others.
You have endeared yourself to Supernatural fans for your portrayal as Billie. Can you tell us about your audition for the role of Billie?
“I didn’t audition for the role of Billie. I feel so blessed to be a part of the show. I actually auditioned for the show for years and years and years. I had auditioned for the role of one of the witches who Rowena asked to join her Mega Coven. I didn’t get it which was actually really good in the end. I later got a call and was told that there was a role that they had for me. They asked me if I sang. I said yes (laughs). I didn’t know what size the role was. I didn’t know what I would be playing. I just knew that I needed to sing a little bit. The role kinda unfolded a little bit at a time. I learned that the character’s name was Billie. When I got the first script and I read it, I was like, WOW…this is cool! They kinda wrote me in based on my audition for the witch. They saw something in me and said that I think that I rather have her in a role, playing a character that will come back. So there was no audition for Billie. There was no one else really in the running. They found me and they wrote a character where I would fit in. And the rest is history. It’s kinda really cool. I’m someone who has watched the show for a really long time. I’ve gone through the seasons again, watched it the second time through (laughs). So when I got the call that they wanted me on the show…from sitting on my couch watching the show as a fan to actually being on it, it’s a very surreal feeling. Also getting to play off Mary Winchester, getting to show this other side of Billie. That was amazing.”
What are some memorable moments on the Supernatural set?
“One hundred percent…the most memorable moment for me was the first time getting a photo with Jared and doing my first scene because I was so nervous to ask for a picture. I’m so nervous on that set all the time because I’m such a fan girl (laughs). So there’s that part of me that’s a fan girl and the other part of me saying, you’re showing up for work, you need to get it together, you need to be professional. The first scene, working with Jared, even talking to people on the phone before I went up to Vancouver to shoot my first episode all of it. And of course, the next memorable moment would be my exit from the show. Coming and going (laughs). It was an honor to go out on the 250th episode, being directed by Bob Singer. If you’ve gotta go, that’s the way to go (laughs).”
How would you describe Billie?
“I think of Billie as a tree. That’s the image that comes to mind whenever I delve into her character. She’s very rooted in old, old, old, ancient, everything. She’s very much like an oak tree and has much potential, like a Sycamore tree. She also embodies a very old soul. She evokes a strength that makes her believable and a force for the Winchesters to have to fight against. I love that. That’s a cool message.”
Congrats on your upcoming role on Shadowhunters. Without giving away any spoilers, what can you tell us about the character you will be playing?
“The whole time that I was playing her, I felt like Wonder Woman (laughs). She’s extremely powerful and extremely intelligent. She’s a definite force. She’s got a one track mind and she goes after the things she wants. She’s ambitious. I think that every actor wants to play a character like this when entering into a world as fantastical as Shadowhunters.”
You are a positive and inspirational presence on social media. Can you tell us about lisaberrylive.com and your goals for this website.
“Thank you for going to my website. When I was designing it with my team, I was thinking how I wanted people to feel when they come to the website. I really want people to feel like they have had a glass of water after feeling really thirsty. I want them to feel totally refreshed. I feel like we all have a physical space and we all have a metaphysical space. I want it to be a thing that when anyone stopped by the website, they are either left feeling neutral or uplifted in some way. That’s really my goal. I know that it’s really hard to live in this world. We have the choice to go one way or another. Not that I’m oblivious as to what is happening in the world. I like to do something really challenging to be the change that I want to be. I think that you make better decisions when you come from a place of kindness. Whether locally or nationally, why not take actions that inspire. You see it over time. It’s not something that happens by accident. Kindness is something you practice every day. I think that there is a misconception that you can get lucky and say I love myself today. Especially in the entertainment industry where you’re supposed to look a certain way and you’re supposed to act a certain way. I think that when you see people like Viola Davis or Taraji P. Henson who are inspiring us right now and who are very different but owning that difference, that comes from taking that big step of telling yourself that you are worthy. I want the website to be a light; for someone who says, it’s really dark. I would say, there’s a light over here.”
Are there any other upcoming projects that you are able to share with us?
“I’m going to be doing the Shaw Festival which is in Niagara. I totally hope that people if they can to come see me live on stage. I’m doing An Octoroon and The Madness of King George III. It’s completely different from any of the characters that people have seen me play. It’s really cool. I also have a Lifetime movie coming out later in the year called Naked Pursuits, a steamy thriller. I don’t get naked (laughs) however it’s almost like an oxymoron. My character is very physical and active but she hates it which is different from other characters that I’ve played. Those are going to be some really exciting things coming up this year that I’m really looking forward to sharing with everyone.”
Information and tickets for Lisa Berry’s appearances at The Shaw Festival: