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Sebastian Roché Talks 'Supernatural' Season Finale, Fan Encounters & More

by Laura Prudom, posted May 20th 2011 10:30AM
Sebastian RochéFrom terrorist on 'General Hospital' to rogue angel on the CW's 'Supernatural,' Sebastian Roché has made a career out of being unpredictable.

After spending his formative years travelling the world on a sailboat with his family (yes, really), Roché graduated to theater, film and television work, first in his native France, and then on American shores.

As the charismatic Balthazar on the spooky genre show, Roché has made a habit of popping in to cause mischief and mayhem for the Winchester brothers -- for good and for ill. His allegiances will truly be tested in tonight's two-hour season finale (8PM ET on the CW) when Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) find themselves literally caught between heaven and hell, and Crowley and Castiel's alliance puts Balthazar in a very tenuous situation.

Join us after the jump to read what Roché had to say about the season finale (not much!), his first experience with the 'Supernatural' fans and how exactly one goes about getting into character to play an angel. Mild spoilers ahead.

What can you tell us about tonight's finale? Should we be worried about Balthazar's fate?
[Hesitates] There are certain things I can't really talk about ... and I can't talk about Balthazar's fate. [Laughs] I'm going to keep the suspense alive and have everyone wait with bated breath!

Fair enough. Did you get to take part in any action scenes or stunts?
I do take part in one, but most of the time I'm here helping out to actually try to figure out what's going on ... I'm kind of torn between my allegiances, of course, to Castiel, and my new allegiance to the Winchesters, so you have to walk a fine line. Balthazar is always kind of reticent -- every time you summon him he's doing something fantastical with some sort of drunken orgy, so that's always the side of him that's going, "Oh, please, did you really need my help?" That aspect of him, he's always sort of a "not really in the mood," let's say. But he does have a good heart. He's a decadent angel with a heart of gold.

Misha CollinsThat seems like an apt description! Will Balthazar stay loyal to Castiel (Misha Collins), or do you think he's mercenary enough to play for whoever's on the winning side?
I think he struggles with his loyalty. These last two episodes are really about his struggle, but I don't think it's in terms of being mercenary. At first, he seemed to be mercenary, but I have a feeling that he has a very good sense of justice and honor; he has a very good sense of right and wrong. So besides the fact he's a great epicurean and likes to delve into dark matters that, basically, procure him pleasure, I think he has a good sense of right and wrong. He struggles with it, and that's all I can say!

What was your inspiration for the way you play Balthazar? He seems like a very unique character -- did you take from any specific sources or did you formulate him on your own?
No ... it was really just me! [Laughs] I mean, I feel that Balthazar fit me like a glove as soon as I auditioned. The funny thing is, I went into the audition room and Robert Singer was there, and he put me really at ease and I felt that suddenly ... You know there are characters where the character creeps on you instantly, in a good way? Basically I felt that Balthazar fit me like a glove, my personality is a bit like that; I love to be playful, I'm very gregarious, I enjoy the great pleasures in life and I feel that Balthazar has lived -- he lives life to the fullest. He enjoys great Bordeaux vintages and beautiful women.

There is a dark side to him, too, but the character just felt right instantly. I brought my little Sebastianisms, you might say, into the character. But it's to the writers' credit -- they write my character beautifully. I always make these two-scene appearances, which are always amazingly juicy and fun to play.




Did you conceive a backstory for the character when you got the role and in subsequent reappearances, or did the writers give you a specific background to work with?
It's always difficult to formulate a backstory for an angel! [Laughs] Somehow, yes, the backstory could be that he was always a faithful follower and friend to Castiel, but I think that he was always the fun one -- Castiel is the serious one. He's the fun one to be around but he's faithful and loyal to a T when needed.

I hear that you've now been to a Supernatural convention. What was your impression Mark Sheppardof the fans?
Yeah! It was unbelievable, I felt like I was a Beatle. It was really amazing -- the fans are incredibly nice, actually. I was in soap opera fandom and they are lovely, too. But this took on new, greater, proportions. We were in Rome, which was extraordinary in the first place, with the other guys; it was really lovely to hang out with Jared, Jensen, Misha, Richard Speight, Rob Benedict, Mark Sheppard. We had a ball, we really had a lot of fun. We were there to work, but it was still so much fun.

Fans give you so much, so you really want to give them a lot back. It was a wonderful experience, really, really wonderful -- they were just so giving and it was an extraordinary experience, I couldn't believe it. It was super.

Any memorable moments you can share from filming the finale, perhaps from behind the scenes if you want to avoid spoilers?
Behind the scenes ... I remember one scene when we were in Bobby's house, in the basement ... we had some scenes that were just hilarious. You know, Jared is a practical joker. I was having a very serious scene with Jensen and Jared was literally below Jensen massaging his leg while I was doing a very serious close-up and I burst out laughing. Jensen kept his cool -- I have great admiration for it. They love to play practical jokes. It's always fun to work on that set.

I read that you were in the process of directing your first documentary on Sam Childers, the "Machine Gun Preacher." Are you still working on that?
Yes, while I was working on that, unfortunately due to certain circumstances, the subject of my documentary was actually extremely difficult to work with, and decided to do his own documentary! I was kind of evicted from my own documentary, which is unfortunate. Luckily, some of the footage of my documentary will be aired in the end credits of the movie with Gerard Butler (titled 'Machine Gun Preacher'). These things happen!


The two-hour 'Supernatural' season finale airs tonight from 8PM ET (note the earlier start time) on the CW.

Check out the other shows that will join 'Supernatural' on the CW schedule in the fall in our CW Upfronts coverage.


Follow Laura on Twitter: @LauinLA

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trinarosem

Sebastian is amazing. He seems like such an awesome guy, and I can't wait to see what he does next.

May 20 2011 at 2:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Charli Millions

Oh J2 they are too adorable and Sebastian seems like a total riot. Great interview hon!

May 20 2011 at 2:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jaclyn

Absolutely love this guy, he is so adept at his characters. I truly hope we don't lose him tonight and that we will see him occasionally during season 7.

May 20 2011 at 1:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gerrie

Fantastic interview Laura! And what a difference a season has made. I knew very little of Sebastian prior to his recurring role on Supernatural. I had seen him on Fringe but really knew very little of him other than the role of cold killer. But now! What a difference a season makes. Like Misha Collins, Sebastian has opened up to the fans, embracing twitter and cons and has really endeared himself. Trust us Seb, the love you feel for the fans is very mutual.

And I am always fascinated by an actor's take on a role, especially someone who has played such a wide variety of parts, so I really enjoyed hearing the answer to the question of Balthazar's backstory and the ease with which he slid into the role. And man, why didn't my parents travel the world on a sailboat when I was a child. Epic fail there. Hee!

I am hoping Balthazar stays loyal to Cas who needs a friend and a hug!

May 20 2011 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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