The Jan. 23 episode of "Supernatural" (Wednesdays at 9 p.m EST on The CW) sees Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) entering the world of LARPing (Live Action Role Playing) to investigate the deaths of two unfortunate players -- a case that brings them back into contact with geektastic hacker Charlie (Felicia Day), last seen in "The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo" in Season 7.
While HuffPost TV was visiting the Vancouver set of "Supernatural," Ackles and Padalecki previewed the "wild and wacky" episode, with Padalecki revealing that he has some personal experience with the world of LARPing ...
"I want to put a little anecdote out there, that I went to the renaissance festival growing up every year as a kid. I even took [my wife] Gen to it many years ago after we started dating. I love it," Padalecki admitted, before giving us a little more information about tonight's episode.
"We find out about some strange murders and they are kind of kooky and they involve LARPers and Dungeons and Dragons-type personalities and we’re thinking, 'What in the world? These guys don’t seem like they actually have the chutzpah to take a knife to each other and put spells on each other.' They kind of seem like they’re just living in fantasy land," Padalecki said. "We find out that Felicia Day’s character is involved as well, and that makes us go, 'Oh no! This poor girl.' She's kind of like Sam, always ends up at the wrong place at the wrong time. So we have to go pretext ourselves at a renaissance festival of sorts and fit in with the locals to figure out what’s what. It’s really fun. I’m really excited about it. She’s fantastic."
Ackles agreed. "Yeah, she’s great. It’s always fun to have people that have been so successful on the show come back and revisit," he added. "So having her was fun, but also just the whole concept of the episode in itself is wild and wacky and supernatural."
"And it’s fun to watch Sam and Dean go to this world that they don’t [belong in]," Padalecki continued. "They are so good at entering any situation and making it seem as if, 'Oh yeah, we belong here,' that it’s fun to see them kind of out of sorts. It’s almost like the 'Real Ghostbusters' episode where they walk in the room saying, 'What’s going on here? Do we have to do this? Do I have to be here?'"
"There are a lot of good comedy elements to it, but at the same time still keeping true to the show," Ackles said.
HuffPost TV also caught up with geek icon Felicia Day to discuss her "Supernatural" return, and we managed to sneak in a couple of questions about the status of the "Dr. Horrible" sequel and her potential involvement in Joss Whedon's "S.H.I.E.L.D." Find out what she had to say below.
What has Charlie been up to since the last time we saw her?
Obviously the timeline has accelerated a year. The last time we saw Charlie she was going to disappear. When we find her, she surfaces in this LARPing community. In the year interim, she’s stayed undercover a bit, but she’s actually put some roots in when we discover her again.
Roots are good. Does that mean there might be some romance on the horizon for her?
I can very firmly say that this episode introduced me to things I’ve never done before. [Laughs.]
Some of the promotional photography for the episode shows Charlie wielding a sword, so did you get to do some ass-kicking too?
Yeah, I got to do some physical stuff in this episode. There’s one particular moment where I get to show some of the dagger skills that I learned on one of my other projects, "Dragon Age." So it goes to show that everything you learn always pays off as an actor.
What else can you tease about the episode and what Sam and Dean are facing when they come into this LARPing community?
The minute Charlie sees the guys, she knows that there’s going to be some danger. The awesome thing about this episode is that, not only is there this kind of whimsical storyline that highlights LARPing -- which I think is really well dealt with, because Charlie’s the perfect character to put a lens on this not-well-known-to-the-outside-world kind of hobby and I think that’s kind of an awesome aspect of this -- then there’s an amazing and really fun supernatural storyline that puts the stakes on a really high level for Charlie and for the guys.
Can you preview any of the other characters Charlie gets to interact with besides the guys?
Oh, we meet a lot of really fun other characters who are LARPers themselves. There’s a fairy character as well that’s going to be interesting. I think that there’s a really fun sense of play in this episode that kind of transports you to another world that’s within our world.
Has Charlie been keeping tabs on the supernatural world since she went underground, or has she purposefully tried to stay away from it?
I think the minute Charlie left the Winchesters she was trying to leave this world that she did not understand. Really, for somebody who has no skills in that world, it’s just a bad equation. [Laughs.] So, especially since she broke her arm, she was very much in danger in the last episode. I think her thrills have come from wielding a sword in the LARPing world versus encountering the supernatural since we saw her.
Things between Sam and Dean have been pretty strained this season. Is that something that Charlie picks up on when she meets them again?
I think the dynamic between Charlie and the guys is really interesting. Obviously, there’s no romantic tension there and she’s not the kind of person who’s ever going to back down. She very much considers herself an equal to everyone she meets. She is somebody who knows people very well because she’s become a lot of different people in her life. She definitely picks up on some things, especially between her and Dean. There are some really interesting moments not only just because of the context of the brothers themselves, but just between her and Dean.
Obviously, you're a geek goddess in your own right; have you had much experience with LARPing on a personal level?
I guess I was aware of it. I’ve done research for it on various projects. Like I said, I did a project with "Dragon Age," the videogame where we had to build a lot of things that we had. Actually, a lot of LARPers came in to consult with us on that and to help with background and things. I’ve never actually done LARPing as a hobby. I’ve always wanted to. Meeting a lot of the background performers on this episode, they’re authentic LARPers, so they brought their own costumes with them and their own weapons and musical instruments. It was a really awesome atmosphere because even between takes, you really felt like you were in this actual village, not just on the set.
You're a beloved part of the Whedonverse and I know Joss is developing "S.H.I.E.L.D." right now over at ABC. Have you had any discussions with him or anyone else about potentially being a part of that?
I’m just aware of it happening. I've heard a lot of amazing things that I can’t talk about, but I know the fans are going to be very, very excited and satisfied by this project. I personally can’t wait to see it, as a fan of their work.
Obviously, with the way "Dr. Horrible" ended, it's unlikely that Penny would be a major character in any potential sequel, but have there been conversations about that happening and whether you'd be a part of it?
I’m aware of intentions. That’s all that I can say. I would be privileged to be involved if something happens there, but if not, I’m still as big a fan as anyone else of Joss and "Dr. Horrible" and the team that made it. So, I can just cross my fingers that all that Marvel stuff doesn't get completely in the way of a reprisal. But if it has to get in the way, then it’s probably the best thing you could pick to get in the way. [Laughs.]
Do you have any other projects coming up that you can preview?
I actually started a network called Geek & Sundry on YouTube. We’re releasing a series and we’re revving up for another season. So I’m personally developing and writing new projects myself and producing other people’s projects. So it’s quite an exciting time for me to be wearing so many different hats. Then I get the privilege of being able to go to "Supernatural’s" set and be an actor again, which is my fondest love.
"Supernatural" airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on The CW.
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