Dominic Burgess -- Richard Greenstreet
That donut looked really yummy – but how many times did you end up having to eat it?
HA HA! The first bite or two were totally delicious… after bite nine or ten… less delicious! I don’t recall exactly how many bites I took. Amanda Tapping, the director of the episode was very aware of when I was or wasn’t in shot, so any time I’m out of frame, I’m not eating. It’s funny, because my character on ‘FEUD’, Victor Buono, was also a donut fan. I ate A LOT of donuts on that set. Now I have enough donut eating footage for it to be it’s own reel.
What was it like working with Jared and Jensen?
They were delightful! Consummate professionals. They’ve been doing this for thirteen years, which is extraordinary, but they are upbeat and excited to be there; very gracious and welcoming to newcomers on set.
What unique quality did you bring to the character of Richard Greenstreet?
Hmmmm… I always try and find something unique about a character when I play them or audition. I love exploring where their voice resonates from, how they sit, their cadence… Each character is different. Greenstreet’s voice is in my higher register, and I wanted his movements to be a little slower and deliberate. The character wasn’t written as British, but I decided to go with that in the audition.
Greenstreet working with Cromarty – was that a new thing, or something that had been in the works for a long time?
Oh, totally new I think. I think these people are all about the money and Greenstreet exploited it. He knew if he offered a million dollars right then and there Cromarty would turn. I’m sure Astor didn’t pay too well… In fact, I’m sure Greenstreet doesn’t either. Greenstreet probably would have found a way to dispose of Cromarty before he paid up.
Do you have any behind the scenes stories to share?
Not that I can think of from the top of my head. This crew has been working together for so long it’s like a well-oiled machine. I was thrilled to get to work with Amanda Tapping; I was a big ‘STARGATE SG1’ fan growing up, so my inner geek was having a delightful time, and she is a wonderful director! Upbeat and positive and gives people the room to play and explore, both in front of the cameras with the case and behind camera with the crew. It was wonderful.
Tell us about working on The Magicians. (A character I adore, by the way.)
Oh boy, I love ‘THE MAGICIANS’ too. All of those people, the entire cast and crew, just amazing human beings who love doing what they’re doing. There is an energy on set that is palpable. And they all (and I’m not just saying this) genuinely love each other, love the source material and the world they’re creating. I really hope somewhere in one of the parallel universes that Ember is alive and kicking, or hiding in the Underworld somewhere and that he might come back… Speaking of parallel universes… I’d also love to be alive in another parallel universe on ‘THE FLASH’! HA HA HA!
How long does Ember take to create (in the makeup room and hair)?
It’s a long process; between five and six hours. First my hair gets glued down to my head so they can fit a helmet on without it moving. There are these metal rods that the horns are affixed to, without the helmet, the horns wouldn’t stay on the skull cap and the latex would rip. But really, it’s kind of an enjoyable process; the folks that do it, Masters FX are incredible artists. It’s almost kind of Zen. They let me throw on whatever music I want (movie/TV scores thank you very much) and go to town. Then I have these padded Ram leggings that go on and the hairline is all glued to my body, and then… THE HOOVES! Which are actually size 14 stilettos! Magic! Then they apply dirt and grime, because Ember isn’t the cleanest Ram in the shed. They actually use coffee for some of the dirt, so for a while Ember smells like espresso on set! But really, I love it. I grew up watching ‘STAR TREK’, ‘THE X FILES’ and ‘BUFFY’, so all the prosthetic stuff is really thrilling for me!
What did you enjoy most about working on Supernatural?
Well, working with Amanda, which I already mentioned. And I always love working in Vancouver. It’s such a beautiful city. ‘THE MAGICIANS’, ‘THE FLASH’ and ‘SUPERNATURAL’ are all filmed there, and I any chance I get to go I’m very excited! Also, I love that Greenstreet survived! I tend to die on a lot of Sci-Fi/Genre shows… So I’m always happy that there’s room for a comeback!
Greenstreet pokes fun at Sam and Dean’s wardrobe; what was Richard wearing?
Uh oh… You are asking the wrong person! I am so unaware when it comes to fashion and clothes. I’m a t-shirt, hoodie and shorts guy by nature. I thought Greenstreet looked very dapper though! For this episode in particular I think they were going for a very noire look/feel, so I think wardrobe had fun with that.
Do you have any upcoming projects to share?
Sure! I just wrapped on a horror/thriller ‘MA’, directed by Tate Taylor (The Help, The Girl on the Train) in Mississippi. It stars Octavia Spencer, Juliette Lewis and Luke Evans, and I think it’s going to be great. We all had so much fun on set. Right now I’m just working on another show, ‘QUEEN OF THE SOUTH’ for USA Networks in Dallas, and shortly I’m back to LA to start working on the ‘LA CONFIDENTIAL’ pilot. Busy, busy, but I love it! I love being on set and working. It’s my happy place. I also recently wrote and directed my first short film, ‘SAM DID IT’ starring Alfred Molina, and we’re just starting to go through the Festival Circuit. We’re screening at San Luis Obispo, Sonoma, Cleveland, Aspen and Nashville in the next month!
So nice to hear from Dominic about Ember and his Magicians work. I enjoy that show very much, and I think he did a fantastic job as Ember. "Did you bring me little cakes?" LOL! I thought Greenstreet was a good character. Supernatural gives it's guest actors such rich characters to play. He fit the genre and semi-vintage feel of the episode, and was just a sort of delightfully amoral and slippery individual. ~ @ShinyElfriend