This coming Thursday, April 24th at 9PM EST the hit Warner Bros/CW Network series Supernatural kicks their third season back into post writer’s strike first run action with an episode titled Ghostfacers, written by series creator Eric Kripke. Supernatural stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles as Sam and Dean Winchester: two sexy hot brothers who drive a kick-ass ‘67 Chevy Impala loaded with weapons for hunting down all manner of supernatural related creatures, ghosties and demons. Continuing on with my quest to help get Supernatural fans and viewers into the swing of things again, I caught up with Brittany Ishibashi one of the guest stars of Ghostfacers to chat about her role as Maggie Zeddmore, the Ghostfacers ‘go to girl’.
Ishibashi, a 28 year old native of Southern California, has had guest roles on other hit series such as ‘CSI’, ‘Nip/Tuck’ and ‘The Office’ took time out of her busy schedule to chat with me about her role in the Supernatural season 3 episode ‘Ghostfacers’ and give us her insight into the character of Maggie Zeddmore and what it was like to work on this unique episode of the hit series.
MR: What interested you the most about taking on this role?
BI: It was such a fun script! I loved the idea behind it. It was unlike anything I had ever read or seen before. Plus, I’m such a big fan of Supernatural and the style in which it’s done. I thought “Ya know, if this works, this could be a groundbreaking new way to shoot an episodic.”
MR: How would you describe your character’s motivations in this episode to be where she is and who she is?
BI: Maggie likes to think she’s a tough cookie. I mean, she grew up with Ed as her older brother and as the little (adopted) sister really wanted to impress him and show that she was capable of anything. Her parents put her in martial arts and dance classes when she was little. She devoured all of the books in her parent’s library. Growing up, her library card was her most prized possession. Her book smarts and “training” really get tested in this episode though.
As she faces the ghosts and their lives are all endangered she really starts to wonder what she’s doing it all for and begins to really appreciate her brother and how he looks out for her. And, how wonderfully the ‘Facers’ work together as a team.
MR: What was the most challenging aspect about working on this episode for you?
BI: Filming the episode ourselves was pretty challenging. In addition to being ‘in the scene’ and connecting with your fellow actors you had an ADDED responsibility to tell a story through the camera! A lot of us had these fabulous high def handhelds and some had headband cams or cameras strapped to their bodies. Plus we were in charge of lighting everything and everyone with our flashlights!
It was tough–but once we started playing around we got some really good footage. The process was incredibly interesting. After every take we’d plug the cameras into the monitors and watch everyone’s footage. The pressure was on! It kind of became like a fun game after a while….who was able to cover the scene the best. Man, if your camera got plugged in and you caught the ceiling or you didn’t light an actor you would feel a little bit of shame inside and a HUGE desire to go back in there and get the good stuff—you know, really “wow” ‘em. It was such a nice pat on the back to catch something really great and have the DP shake his head and say “that was great. I don’t know if I can top that…you guys are gonna put me outta work.”
MR: What was the most fun?
BI: The whole experience was so much fun! Because we were shooting the episode as a ‘reality show’ they constructed 360 degree sets and just let us loose. It was definitely the most fun I’ve ever had on an episodic. There was one moment when we were storming the Morton House when I had one of those “This is so much fun! I get paid for this?!” moments.
It was a dark, chilly night and we were supposed to run across a bridge and up to this huge barbed wire topped chain link fence. They had a fog rolling in over the house and we were hiding in bushes and breaking locks and running around the grounds trying to find a way in. It was JUST LIKE the games you would play with your siblings and neighbors growing up! But instead of having to imagine a big huge haunted mansion in the backyard of your parents house we had it for real!
MR: What was something that you learned about from working on Ghostfacers that you might not have known before?
BI: Through working on this episode my respect and awe for the cinematographer quadrupled! It’s an intense focus and fluidity that’s required to tell a story movingly. I mean, how does one make a camera “frightened”…”joyous”…”desperate”…It is a talent that I greatly admire and would love to be exposed to further.
MR: Have you ever watched shows like Ghost Hunters before? If not did you take some time to watch some episode to see how the process is approached to get a feel for where you character is coming from?
BI: Those shows are so cool! And they have the best gadgets. I love how they approach their case and every situation with open minds and hearts and they’ve really done their research.
MR: As you said, the whole episode was filmed with hand held cameras to give it a ‘reality show’ feel. How did this differ for you as opposed to working with the normal filming process?
BI: Because we didn’t need to take down walls and reset a whole lot in between setups, we were moving really fast. And that lent itself to some wonderful improvisational opportunities. We had some very funny people on set. I’m glad so much of that made it into the episode.
MR: What was your experience like working with all the guys?
BI: They were all great. The vibe on set was definitely very playful. I was just one of the boys for those few weeks. It was like I instantly had a bunch of brothers.
MR: What other roles or projects can we see you in besides this episode of Supernatural?
BI: There are a few interesting things in the works that I can’t discuss just yet, but hopefully will be able to very soon! In the meantime, check out the Ghostfacers website that the CW set up at Ghostfacers!
Tune into the CW Network this coming Thursday, April 24th at 9PM EST to see Brittany Ishibashi in her role as Maggie Zeddmore in the Supernatural season 3 episode ‘Ghostfacers’, starring Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles.