SUPERNATURAL: Robert Singer on Casting Henry Winchester, the Returns of Castiel, Benny, and Charlie, and More | Give Me My Remote

SUPERNATURAL: Robert Singer on Casting Henry Winchester, the Returns of Castiel, Benny, and Charlie, and More

January 29, 2013 by  

Over eight seasons, SUPERNATURAL fans have learned quite a bit about Sam and Dean’s parents, plus their maternal family, the Campbells. But in Wednesday’s episode, “As Time Goes By,” viewers will get to meet Henry Winchester, the paternal grandfather of our boys.

The CW hosted a screening of the hour earlier today, and after, executive producer Robert Singer talked about finding the right actor for the important role, teased a few upcoming returns, and the possibility of season 9…

Casting Grandpa Winchester:

The Winchester men have a certain ruggedness about them, but when it came to casting Sam and Dean’s paternal grandfather, Singer said the show wasn’t exactly looking for someone to match the boys.

“It was sort of a generation removed,” he noted. “We were just looking for the best actor and the guy we thought would work well with the boys. And a contrast. This is a guy who is more elegant and more learned and more educated…We were actually looking for more of a contrast than a familial…sameness.”

Indeed, from the second Grandpa Winchester finds his way to 2013, Gil McKinney’s Henry finds himself at odds with his grandsons. Without ruining too much, he does get a bit confused by current technology, mess with Dean’s car (ooooh boy, is that never good), disapproves of their life choices, and has a different idea of how things should be handled.

The return of familiar faces:

While so much of the show has been about the two Winchester brothers, Singer confirmed a few familiar faces will be returning soon: “Kevin will be back. Benny will be back. Castiel is back. Maybe Amelia. Maybe not.”

As SUPERNATURAL fans know Castiel’s role in the show right now is very tied to the season-long tablet arc.

“He’s really crucial to the tablet story,” Singer said. “He’s going through a trial of his own that’s personal. Naomi is very unhappy with him. Crowley is very unhappy with him. And he is a confused angel right now.”

With Benny, things are a bit more complicated.

“He’s fighting the good fight of not giving in to his blood lust,” Singer teased. “And Dean having to basically cut the tie is a hard thing for [Benny]. So we’ll explore the idea of what he’s been going through in a little while. We didn’t feel like — and never felt — that that story was totally ended. It’s probably not great drama to end a whole arc on a phone call.”

Charlie’s coming back!

Felicia Day (Charlie) may have just popped up in last week’s “LARP and the Real Girl,” but the series is already making plans for her third trip back to the show.

“Felicia’s going to be coming back in an episode,” Singer revealed. “We love Felicia.”

Unfortunately, there’s not too many details about what she’ll be up to in the upcoming hour.

“We know she’s going to be in it, [because] we’re just breaking a story now,” he said. “I know she brings them a case, but beyond that, I can’t tell you a lot.”

Maybe season 9?

SUPERNATURAL may be experiencing ratings (and creative) success this year, but Singer was hesitant to say he was certain that the show would return next year.

“I’ve been around this long enough to know you never feel confident about anything,” he allowed.

That being said, he did note the network seemed pleased with the show’s ratings in its new Wednesday time period, which should bode well for an additional year: “If I were a betting man, I’d bet that we’d be back.”

Make sure to come back to Give Me My Remote tomorrow night after “As Time Goes By” airs for more on Henry Winchester, where Sam and Dean go from here, and more.

SUPERNATURAL airs Wednesdays at 9 PM on The CW.

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126 Responses to “SUPERNATURAL: Robert Singer on Casting Henry Winchester, the Returns of Castiel, Benny, and Charlie, and More”

  1. Brittany on January 29th, 2013 11:11 pm

    PREACH. I love you right now.

  2. ShireneF on January 29th, 2013 11:23 pm

    I do agree with SC that supernatural delineated from the original scary monster vs everyday man. However, the plot has to move on. How can there be Demons without Angels? You felt that the angels should have died in the end of season 5, but that’s ironic. It is because of the Angels that Supernatural continued. The show was meant to end in season 5. However the viewers exploded with the introduction of the Angels and of course Castiel, so they decided to continued it.

  3. Cloe on January 29th, 2013 11:32 pm

    Some comments are so repeated………. ¬ ¬ Ctrl C.
    I loved the news and I hope that all these characters coming back to have a decent end in series or for a continuation in season 9.

  4. Ananda on January 29th, 2013 11:36 pm

    I want to see more team free will. I love the boys but I feel like they are stagnating with only each other. Worse, they realize it and look so miserable trying to only have that “brotherly bond.” So I look forward to the return of favorites like Cas, Naomi, and Charlie. I’m a little ambivalent about Benny and Amelia but willing to give them a try. Mostly I’m excited for the return of Cas and his role in Team Free WIll. I love how his relationship is developing with the boys (both Sam and Dean). And I can’t wait until he takes his friendship with Dean to the next level.

  5. Beth on January 29th, 2013 11:39 pm

    I didn’t see any copy+paste answers. But many fans have similar hopes and/or concerns. Such as, the return of Jody Mills, which is often expressed in article comments sections.
    Just because there are many similar pleas to the same end does not mean that they are unimportant or insincere. Otherwise democracy could never work.
    It’s good that many fans have a unified mind about some things, because that helps the show succeed. 🙂

  6. Mariel on January 29th, 2013 11:47 pm


  7. Trickster on January 30th, 2013 2:03 am

    If I see Amelia The Boring one more time I’ll throw something at the screen. She has zero chemistry with Sam, she’s badly written and her scenes were more painful to watch than poor Samandriel’s torture (he DID NOT DESERVE TO DIE).

  8. Kate on January 30th, 2013 2:11 am

    I really hope the show isn’t going backwards to a repeat of season 7 (which almost killed the show) of it just being all Sam and Dean all the time. That was miserable and completely boring. Supporting characters are needed to make the show and plot thrive, and Sam and Dean are happier when they do have other people to care about and lean on. I know some people think the misery and depression is just so interesting, but the majority don’t think it is, which is why season 7 was so awful. Dean and Sam need to have some happiness outside of each other in order to be happy with each other. That’s obvious by now. Dean has Cas and now Charlie and maybe Benny and I hope he gets to keep all of them, especially Cas. But I would like there to be more people for Sam too. The Amelia storyline was poorly executed, but I wouldn’t mind seeing her again. And what about more Sam and Cas scenes? And Jody Mills? Maybe even a new character Sam could bond with, or maybe Kevin. He and Kevin actually seem like they’d have a lot in common.

    I’m not saying there can never be eps where it’s just the bros, but this idea a few people have that being mostly isolated and completely on their own is a) good for the fictional relationship of Sam and Dean or b) even remotely interesting to the vast majority of SPN viewers is crazy. The whole two brothers alone against the world has been done ad nauseam, and if the show is to survive it needs to branch out. There’s only so many times you can see Dean and Sam have the same conflict or the same plot. They’ve done it all. I’d like to see them get back to actually liking each other, but in order for that to happen there needs to be other characters and plots that aren’t so focused on them to bleed the tension off. Every story needs conflict, and if it’s happening other places than in Sam and Dean’s relationship, then they can actually be two brothers who are different but mostly like each other again, like they were in the early seasons.

    Also I find it highly amusing that people that are in favor of keeping Castiel and other supporting characters get accused of sockpuppetry when the Cas haters and their ilk can’t muster up more than 4 or 5 people on every article to make the same carbon copy, canon blind arguments over and over. Sounds like the insecurity of people who know they’re outnumbered to me.

  9. S on January 30th, 2013 2:34 am

    I’m really glad to hear Cas is important, and I hope he continues to be. The Dean/Castiel dynamic is what keeps the show alive for me. Castiel is such a pivotal character, I can’t imagine the show without him now, and I fervently hope he’s given more screen time and weight in terms of character development.

  10. Ann on January 30th, 2013 2:36 am

    Cas and Charlie are coming back!!!!! 😀
    Great news. Looking forward to seeing their interactions with Dean. Hope thaey meet each other. I’m not really invested in the brother’s only storyline anymore. I hope Sam gets someone he can be friends with too, like Kevin? Sam and Cas should have more scenes. Go Team Free Will! also, Team Purgatory! Really want them all to meet again. It would be nice if Dean actually worried more about Cas’ situation. wish Cas would become a regular character. The Dean and Cas relationship is what got me into rewatching the show. hope there won’t be a repeat of season 7 and only the brothers left. Wish Meg would be back. Also Bobby.

  11. Anjali Alahakoon on January 30th, 2013 5:43 am

    I’m so glad to hear Castiel is coming back…Actually I’m freaking thrilled to hear that…He’s my favourite. PLEASE MAKE HIM A REGULAR CHARACTER AGAIN.Last time we saw him he wasn’t in a good place.. So I’m really worried about what might happen..In the upcoming episodes I like to see the boys help cas to get through with this problems and like to see more sam/cas and Dean/cas time.
    But seriously why Amelia..Sam/Amelia scenes were really boring and annoying, Some times I even skip those. Don’t want her back. Please use that time to do something good with winchester boys and castiel.

  12. blue on January 30th, 2013 6:01 am

    I see the bat signal went out to the Cas fans on tumblr and they’ve updated their agenda to push for Cas/Sam scenes. Have fun with that, but I hope you realize that this means the end of the Dean and Cas’ closeness. Once a character is attached to Sam, he or she becomes nothing more than St. Sammy’s fluffer. That’s just the way this show rolls.

  13. rosa on January 30th, 2013 6:15 am

    Cas – forever my favourite. For me he is the most enjoyable part of the show. Too bad TPTB underuse him.

  14. Salt and Symbols on January 30th, 2013 6:32 am

    I certainly hope TPTB understand that the Sam/Amelia story was an epic failure and that it was because it was written so clichéd that daytime TV would have rejected it.

    I’m glad they all love Felicia Day so much that they write scripts specifically for her. I wanted the SPNverse expanded, but not with comedy characters like Charlie. I can’t believe we gave up Bobby, Rufus, and Ellen for Garth, Kevin, and Charlie. Please, Show, believable character that fit with what this show is supposed to be about…and characters that are written to support the brothers’, not have scripts that showcase a stunt-casted actor.

    Benny…Yes! Benny is a great character and does actually fit into the SPNverse. Love his scenes with Dean, but move him away from being another ‘needy’ friend that calls Dean to be his AA advisor. I mourn that the Purgatory story just dropped…and, hey, where is Purgatory, Dean’s new weapon.

    Henry Winchester looks interesting and a lot can be done to expand SPN’s mythology, if he’s used correctly and isn’t another pervert like the Campbell side of the family was.

  15. tia on January 30th, 2013 6:44 am

    i hate cas -not looking forward to him coming back-because it ALWAYS the same thing. he comes back at the end of the season-he is the main focus of the main arc- sam and dean get pushed to the backround and are cas’s helpless pets. its rediculous. i too am about done with this show. if they don’t get thier act together and make this show about the boys. i am done. i love love love benny. its too bad that they found it important to stop showing purgatory so soon. that was the only interesting “arc” so to speak this season. if they have one more angel/demon arc i am done.

  16. sis on January 30th, 2013 7:04 am

    I am so tired of this “Sam and Dean show” shit.
    The show is BORING when is all about the brothers. BORING.
    I want more Cas. More Kevin. More Mama Tran. More Charlie. More Benny.
    Enough with the codependency.
    I wanted to see more of the Sam/Amelia arc and more Purgatory, but I couldn’t because Robert Fucking Singer had to make the show only about the brothers again.
    I am so fucking tired.

  17. dana on January 30th, 2013 7:06 am

    i miss castiel

  18. Peter J on January 30th, 2013 7:13 am

    blue, I realize that does happen (I know it happened to Bobby). I would like to see a mixture. I don’t have any desire to see Cas fall into the “Dean, suck it up, live for Sam,” bubble. I would like to see them a little closer, because after all these years they would be, but I always want him to be closest to Dean. That is the only thing that would make sense for the character, and Misha and Jensen are so phenomenal in their scenes.

  19. silve on January 30th, 2013 7:43 am

    Dear Mr. Singer,

    You have already proven to me how little you think of Dean and his stories and how much you love Sam. My disappointment in your insistance that Dean is not important but Sam is and always will be has finally made me realize that as a Dean fan, I will never have my hero acknowledged. Only Sam is important to you and he will be the one with all the stories while the fine actor that Jensen is will be wasted on propping up the show.

    Dean is the reason this show is still on the air, I would have thought you’d be a bit more thankful to Jensen and the Dean fans, but instead you just use and use. How disppointing you have made this show.

  20. SPNFan on January 30th, 2013 8:43 am

    Wow. I’m surprised and saddened by the amount of negativity and hatred being thrown around in these comments. I may be in the minority here but I love this show. I love the characters, the actors, and all the wonderful cast and crew. I think Mr. Singer and all the other producers/directors/writers have been doing a great job. I don’t regret a single penny that I spent on every single Supernatural DVD, nor all of the time I’ve spent waiting, watching, and talking about Season 8. Have I liked every single thing that has happened or every single character that has been introduced? Of course not *coughAmeliacough* but I think overall they have got more right than wrong in the SPN universe.

    I love both Dean and Sam and I love their relationship and I fully embrace that family is and always should be the core of this show. I don’t mind when the show focuses on the brothers. The Winchesters are the show, imho. It doesn’t bother me when they fight or when they’re working together well.

    That being said, I also personally most enjoy the episodes that have Castiel in them. I love the different dynamic that he brings to the Winchester duo. He is, without a doubt, my personal favorite character. I would explode with happiness if they ever took Dean and Cas’ relationship to the next level. I would love to see Sam and Cas’ relationship explored more and their bond deepened. I would be so, so, very, extremely happy to see Castiel in lots more episodes and to see Misha Collins become a regular on the series instead of just a special guest star.

    I love the new and interesting characters that have been introduced like Charlie, Kevin, and Garth. And I pine for the old favorite characters like Bobby, Gabriel, and Ellen. It would be amazing if they found some way to bring back Bobby or Gabriel to the show. It would be amazing to see an episode with Charlie getting to meet Cas.

    But whatever happens, I am and will remain a humble and adoring SPNFan. For me, no matter what flaws this show possesses, it is still vastly superior to pretty much any other show on television right now.

  21. Loli("v") on January 30th, 2013 9:54 am

    Salt and Symbols love love looove your comment thank you I completely agree with everything you said. It’s unbelievable how the purgatory storyline got dropped when it was the only thing that kept me watching coz Sam and Amelia: THE most boring character interaction on the show ever. And Cas, same song different verse! Dean and Benny’s relationship was cool and intriguing yet as always Dean gets the push so we can all watch how Sam is hurt and how he’s right and how he’s excused for anything he does and blame it all on Dean coz God doesn’t Dean destroy everyone and everything he cares about and must be blamed and reminded constantly how invalid he is. Then we have Cas who always have something going on.. he’s betrayed, hurt, confused, went coco in the head now back, hurt, confused..etc AAAAAHHH I don’t know how to truly be excited for a new episode anymore

  22. Beth on January 30th, 2013 10:37 am

    @ blue
    Way to be crass.

    @ tia
    It’s funny how you think the “only interesting arc this season” was Purgatory, which heavily featured Cas and his relationship with Dean, yet you hate Cas and think he steals focus.
    Cas has earned his place on the show (four seasons running, and pray to God more to come), and Supernatural hasn’t been just about the brothers for years.
    If you are so unhappy with this show, why keep watching?

  23. Beth on January 30th, 2013 10:45 am

    I feel like you’re allowing the show’s narrative to really saturate how you feel about Dean? When certain characters blame Dean for things, we’re not supposed to believe it. It’s supposed to throw into stark contrast Dean’s own self image, and the hero we know him to be. Everything isn’t his fault. (That’s something Cas even tells him, bless.) The show isn’t trying to villainize Dean at all, it’s trying to make us see Dean’s internal damage — just because Dean believes he breaks everything and is a hollow man, doesn’t mean we should believe it. We have the privilege of an outsider’s view, we get to watch him be a hero time and time again, fight the good fight against impossible odds. Sam, too. Sam’s not always right, and I think the show does a great job of showing his flaws and faults and bad arguments (like refusing to listen to other people when he’s set his mind on something). But Sam is a hero. So is Cas. Cas had maybe some of the most personally impossible battles to fight, yet here he is, defying fate and death and god himself. To fight for what’s right, to fight for humanity, to fight for his family, Dean and Sam.
    One way to get excited for upcoming episodes might be to reinvent your perception of the brothers and company, to reinvest in their emotional story lines. It’s a rich show, full of all kinds of interesting character arcs and development. Enjoyable, for those who care. 🙂

  24. JaredSam on January 30th, 2013 12:18 pm

    I hate Amélia and I hope she not come back. I more will that she died

  25. Brittany on January 30th, 2013 3:03 pm

    @ Beth
    I keep coming back here just to read your comments. You’re so balanced in your opinions and I love it.

  26. Sinead on January 31st, 2013 2:03 pm

    I won’t bother going on about how much I adore Castiel and can’t wait to see him return, because almost everyone else has already done so.

    I will though, add my support to the piles already here for Kevin, Mama Tran, Benny and Charlie. Amelia is someone I can give or take; I’m glad she made Sam happy, but she was a bit bland and two dimensional really. If she returns I hope we get to see some development of her character.

    Lastly, I’ll just throw in a probably pointless shout out to two of my absolute favourite characters in the entire series, Balthazar and Gabriel. I’d love to see them somehow return, especially if they got a scene or several together – I mean, can you imagine the sheer volume of potential snark, innuendo, comraderey and competition between them? I think it’d be fantastic!

    But I know that’s incredibly unlikely, so for now I’ll just hold onto the high hopes I have for the storylines of Charlie, Benny, the Trans, and, of course, Castiel.

    Don’t let us down, writers! We have faith in you still.