Having tenure on two, count `em, two Joss Whedon series, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel, Charisma Carpenter and her Whedonized alter-ego Cordelia Chase are bonafide geekdom royalty. That said, having Charisma alone guest on a current heavyweight fantasy/horror franchise like Supernatural would enough to overload fans’ anticipation cortexes, but having her appear alongside fellow Whedoneverse alum James Marsters (“Spike” from Buffy The Vampire Slayer) already has minds blowing before that very episode, “Shut Up, Dr. Phil”, has aired. It is, in Ms. Carpenter’s own words to me, “Every Supernatural fan’s wet dream.”
I spoke with Charisma about her appearance on Supernatural as Maggie Stark, the estranged wife of Marster’s Don Stark. Having seen the episode, I can tell you her response to questions about Maggie’s character were dripping with carefully placed semantic hints to Maggie’s true nature. “She’s been around a while, she’s been married a long time, she’s a little angry and she has a bit of a temper, and an art enthusiast with some marital problems.”
As you might guess, her temper towards hubby Don is the central feature of the episode’s narrative–what’s Dr. Phil without a dysfunctional couple or two?–but her time on set with erstwhile costar Marsters was nothing like the onscreen vitriol. “I really wish I could say I was responsible for getting us together but it was casting brilliance of their part, of Supernatural, and I thought it was an interesting choice to put us together. We had some sentimental moments. We really did. And I think this is the most amount of time that we’ve really ever spent together on a set, you know? And we really bonded together.”
Carpenter is acutely aware of the fact that Supernatural‘s long run has accreted as rabid a following as Buffy, and it was no-more evident than on set. “I mean the fan base is very similar; very fanatical, hard core, diehard fans. So every day that we were shooting there were fans on every corner. It was just crazy. I mean they’re really great loyal fans. The feedback I get is very positive so I hope that it shows in the numbers and that it’s a successful episode.”
On the subject of Jared and Jensen, Carpenter describes them as down to earth. “They were great. They were really fun and nice and easy going and no airs, you know? They were really nice. Family people and into their dogs and it was, you know, we had a lot in common so it was a great experience. We shared books and book ideas and ‘Have you read this book? Have you read that book?’ so it was fun.”
As any Supernatural fan knows, successful guest appearances can often turn into anything from occasional reappearances, to recurring guests, to series regulars. Could it be that this appearance is the beginning of such a run for Carpenter and Marsters? “you know, we’ll see.” Carpenter says, with a chuckle. “I don’t know, I don’t really know. I don’t really. It wasn’t discussed or talked about or considered to be a recurring thing but I’m sure if the numbers are high and–I know the feedback for me like on Twitter and Facebook and stuff has been tremendous. It’s almost just like are you kidding me? These two people? My two favorite characters from another show are on this show? My favorite show?“
So you heard her, fans. Tune into Supernatural “Shut Up, Dr. Phil” tonight at 9pm on TheCW. Be sure to check out our advanced review, photo feature, previews, and even a deleted scene from the episode.