Hollywood Insider: Supernatural Behind the Scenes: Traci Dinwiddie on Lazarus Rising


Supernatural season 4, starring Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles as Sam and Dean Winchester: two monster hunting, demon fighting brothers, has been an exciting thrill ride so far, starting with the season premiere episode, Lazarus Rising. Lazarus Rising introduced viewers/fans to the character of Pamela Barnes, described by series recurring character Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver) as ‘the best damn psychic in the state’. When we last saw the lovely and vivacious Pamela Barnes she had been blinded to the point of having her eyes burned out of their sockets in an attempt to see the true form of the being responsible for yanking Dean Winchester out of hell and restoring to him to life and body. That being turned out to be the warrior angel, Castiel (Misha Collins).

The extremely talented and versatile Traci Dinwiddie is the actress who plays psychic Pamela Barnes. Back before the premiere of Lazarus Rising, Eclipse Magazine had the opportunity to do an in-depth interview with Dinwiddie on her role in Supernatural season 4. At the time, Traci was under the fear of series creator Eric Kripke not to reveal key spoilers from her work in the episode. Now that Lazarus Rising has aired (and received a very awesome 3.96 in the ratings), I took the opportunity to catch back up with the beautiful Traci Dinwiddie to chat a little bit about the things she couldn’t reveal before and to get some behind the scenes scoops for Eclipse readers.

The main spoilers for which the lovely brunette actress was under the ‘fear of Kripke’ not to reveal before Lazarus Rising aired was anything to do with details involving Castiel so Dinwiddie couldn’t talk about the pivotal scene of her character being blinded by trying to see his true form. Now with the ‘no spoilers for this episode’ ban lifted I asked Traci about filming this FX scene.

When I asked her how long it took for her to get the FX make-up done for the ‘eyes burned out of their sockets’ scene, she revealed that the effect was not done with make up.

“Actually, it took no time at all!  This was a special effects deal that was mostly CGI, and the blood drizzle was the lovely workings of [Supernatural lead make-up artist] Shannon Coppin .”

This was a far different experience than one she had previously had when working on a film.

“I once worked on a film that took a mold of my entire face. That was gnarly. So, now there is ONE barbie doll in the entire world with my face on it.  Isn’t that weird?  I hope it doesn’t fall into the hands of a mean Voodoo witch!”

Oh my we hope not either!

Yet even with the ‘eyes burned out of their sockets’ scene not being an FX make-up challenge it was still not without its own difficulties, she tells us.

traci eyes

“Kim Manners needed me to keep my eyes open for the entire “Oh God, I can’t see” scene,” the actress explains.  “So, it was extremely challenging not to blink during such an emotional (and personally eye-watering) scene.  I actually had to cross my eyes so I could keep my lids up and stay focused on the emotional experience of realizing I had lost my eyes.  I REALLY, REALLY hope they don’t use that footage for anything!”

Supernatural fans and viewers almost all seem to agree on one thing regarding Traci Dinwiddie’s appearance in Lazarus Rising as psychic Pamela Barnes: that the actress had amazing chemistry with series leads Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles and with recurring actor Jim Beaver.

There was one scene in particular that I as a viewer and a fan was intrigued by and just had to ask Traci about. When Pamela picks Bobby up in the bear hug was that scripted or something you did on your own and what was Jim Beaver’s reaction if it wasn’t scripted?

“Yep. Twas me!” Traci says revealing that she had ad-libbed that adorable scene between Pamela and Bobby.  Regarding how Jim Beaver reacted to this, she says that “Jim is such a generous actor.  He played right along with me.  Every little nuance we had with each other was so easy, just like old friends.”

Another scene that I as a viewer and a fan enjoyed was the playful, yet sexually charged banter between Pamela Barnes and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) over the ‘Jesse Forever’ tattoo. Curious reporter that I am, I had to ask her ‘Jesse Forever’ was that real or for the show?

“Jesse was Pamela’s mistake, not mine!  Phew!” Dinwiddie says with a laugh.

The last time Eclipse spoke to Traci Dinwiddie, she told me that her character of psychic Pamela Barnes was going to be returning to Supernatural in an episode she would be filming in mid to late October. Well here we are coming up on that time frame and so we asked Traci if that recurrence of her character was still in the works.

“Yes, I’ll be back!” Traci confirms to us. “I am very excited about returning to Supernatural.  It’s a terrific script, to say the least.”

Yet, as before, she is living in fear of the Kripke so she is very mum about what the details are concerning Pamela’s return to the show.  “That’s about all I can say or I’d be searching for a new meat suit.  Kripke likes to keep it on lock down!  Besides, you don’t want spoilers do ya?  That’s like opening your x-mas presents in the summer or something.”

Well ok, we can deal with that I guess, because hey we here at Eclipse Magazine live in fear of the Kripke too!

So while we wait for Traci Dinwiddie’s next appearance on Supernatural to come along, keep your TV tuned to the CW Network on Thursday nights at 9PM EST to catch new episodes of Supernatural season 4 starring Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles.