Donna is back on Supernatural! When the show returns in its winter premiere, “Wayward Sisters,” the Winchester brothers are missing in another realm. Donna Mills will gather a formidable team, including Donna, to find and rescue them.
BuddyTV spoke with Briana Buckmaster (Donna) with a group of reporters on the show’s set in Vancouver about her involvement in the backdoor pilot episode for Wayward Sisters, as well as, her guest appearance on a later Supernatural episode.
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What do you think about bringing a female-led show to the Supernatural universe?
I think it’s part of what’s growing in media right now, is having women storytelling, and telling things from their point of view. I think in general in life it’s something that I certainly was looking forward to and am excited about, is telling a story from a woman’s point of view and from Donna’s point of view. I think what it’s going to add to Supernatural is, it’s going to give the fandom, which is in a large part female-based, an opportunity to feel like they’re telling the story and an opportunity to relate to these characters. I think it’s going to make them feel more involved and it’s going to get them more excited about the show, if that’s humanly possible.
Tonally, how does it compare to Supernatural?
I think that it’s very similar in tone. I wouldn’t say that it’s a drastic change, other than it literally is coming from a female point of view. I don’t think that in tone it’s really significantly changed. The stories are still in the same vein of Supernatural, so I don’t think it’s going to be this huge shift for the fans. I think it’s going to be just slightly heightened.
What can you tell us about the other new character and the interactions between Patience and the new character?
Well, Jody as we know has been taking in these wayward girls and helping them in a situation where some of them are finding that they’re parent-less or without leaders in their life. My character is there to assist Jody in a way and Patience. I just watched that episode actually a couple of days ago. Clark Backo is such a great, wonderful actress.
I think Patience is the perfect addition because she comes from a different background than a lot of the women. A lot of the women come from rougher beginnings and Patience was raised at a little bit of a higher class. It will be interesting to see what that character brings, or learns even. The new character coming in, I’m not sure how much I can say without giving away stuff so I’m not going to. But she is going to be unlike any of the characters in a really exciting way — a brand new way that has so many opportunities for the actress, for the character, and for all the characters around her.
It’s interesting to see your character’s evolution.
Donna has such a special place in my heart. It’s going to be such a huge — knock on wood — part of my life, and is currently. When I got cast in that role, it was a very small role. It wasn’t even a guest star role at the time, and I was very excited to play a character that had this fun accent and had this kind of complex storyline about being the leader and sheriff of a town, but also really insecure, feeling like her husband’s left her. There’s lots going on there.
And over the past couple of years she’s developed strengths in new areas that teach her to grow and areas she thought that she was weak. So what a great thing for me as a human person and me as an actress to get to learn through Donna about what we can do though hardships.
This episode that I’m working on now goes even further into the character, what she’s going through, what she’s capable of, and what she’s going to do moving forward. I’m more excited about this script than I’ve probably been about anything for my specific character. I think what’s great about Donna is she’s very relatable in that way. She’s just kind of a regular woman, having regular, everyday insecurities that we all have, and watching her succeed though that and knowing that we all can succeed though that.
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Can you talk about the episode you’re filming?
This episode is about Donna’s niece goes missing, and she’s very close to her niece, so it’s a situation that she doesn’t necessarily feel is necessary to get help for, but she is desperate. I think that for an episode that Donna has previously been in, it’s very different. She’s usually kind of funny and bright and sunny and she’s not in this episode. She is haunted, she is broken, she is vacant, she is lost, because she has lost this woman who’s like a daughter to her. It is an intense, dark, creepy episode. I don’t want to give too much away but for me, it’s a darker episode than I’ve ever been a part of and you see what she’s willing to go through moving forward.
How does your relationship with the Winchesters evolve?
I think it grows because we now have a stronger connection. I think when they first met Donna they felt a need to protect her in a way. And they did but they also taught her ways to protect herself and to protect others which made her stronger. As that grows, I think she is creating a bond with the Winchesters because they’re all hunters now. They’re the king hunters and she’s growing under them. I think that brings them a sense of pride and also gives them an ally. I think that relationship is just going to keep growing stronger.
Early in Supernatural, fans were resistant to female characters. When do you think there was a shift?
I don’t know. I wasn’t around. I’ve heard of this backlash with the women but I’m thinking that maybe it was a misinterpretation of the female opportunity in the show. The women in the pilot are not there to solely serve the Winchesters or to serve any men; they’re there to help others and save themselves. That’s an exciting opportunity for the viewers to see six regular women from all walks of life learning to save themselves and be their own heroes. I think now is the time that television and movies are discovering that a lot of women want to have their stories told by women; they want to have their voices heard. This is an opportunity that Supernatural and The CW is giving to all of us as a viewership and a fandom.
Supernatural is more of a road show, but it sounds like Wayward Sisters is going to be set in the town. Are all the bad guys going to converge on the town?
From what I know, they do want to centralize it in one spot, and I think that’s kind of exciting. I was talking a bit to Kim Rhodes about it, and we think it’s kind of exciting — the people you can meet in a town, the people who can come to town, the people who leave town. There’s all kinds of opportunities we didn’t get to discover because Supernatural is a road show. I don’t know — I genuinely don’t know — how they’re going to specifically bring in the monsters or fight the monsters in one space, but I think it creates an enormous opportunity to develop a lot of relationships that will keep the viewers enticed and loyal and empathetic and emotional about these bonds that will be created and broken inevitably, because it takes place in such a small town.
Are you anticipating having some fan favorites come on the spin-off?
That’s what I’ve heard. I get no say in the matter, sadly. We have people that we really want to come on the show which is pretty much everybody you could ever imagine, just because they’re our friends and we’re like “we want to play with them!” And there’s characters that my character has never and may never meet — like Castiel, Rowena, Abbadon, all these characters that I’m a big fan of and obviously a big fan of the actors that play them. So these are characters that I’d like to see on the show. I think that’s what they want. That’s what they say they want. That’s what I want.
Who’s at the top of your list?
I think it would have to be Castiel. I’ve said this before, and I think it would be just for the pure comedy reasons of seeing Donna and Castiel trying to communicate — just the idea that Donna would be like “Hiya! I like your wings. Gosh, you’re cute,” and Castiel would be like “Who is this? Who is this person?” Just kind of stoic and not understanding how forward Donna is. I think that the contrast of those characters would be just golden.
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(Image courtesy of the CW)