Supernatural is now in it’s 11th season, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Steven Williams plays Rufus, a fellow hunter of the main characters, Sam and Dean. Before this though he was also in 21 Jump Street, the TV Series, not the film (although he did have an uncredited part in the sequel, 22 Jump Street), that helped launch the career of Johnny Depp.
We managed to get the chance to chat to him at this years Collectormania at Milton Keynes, courtesy of Showmasters.
What was it like being in Supernatural?
First of all, I’m an actor, right? So that’s my job, right? So it was like rent. It was like rent, it was like mortgage, it was like food, it was like clothing, it was like… It was just like a wonderful, wonderful job. Secondly, the boys and the whole crew, it’s just a great crew and a great show. Working with Jim Beavers is just so much fun you know, ’cause we were supposed to be like two grumpy old men, but Jim was doing grumpy old men so well that I decided to give Rufus a little bit of levity. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but Rufus is a little bit lighter than Jim. I didn’t want to compete with him for grumpy old man, you know, so we tried to make it light. It was awfully fun, we shot in a location that I was familiar with, we shot Jump Street there and we also shot X-files there. So, being back in Vancouver with Supernatural was a lot of fun for me. But I find acting a lot of fun; I mean I have not worked a day in my life since I started acting. I don’t considerate it work, it’s a lot of fun for me. Don’t let any other actor tell you its hard work, they’re lying. Okay. Getting the job is hard work, actually acting is a breeze. Okay.
You did 21 Jump Street, the show that helped launch Johnny Depp’s career, did you ever realise that that show would be so successful?
The only preface I’m going to preface everything by saying I never wanted to be an actor, I never tried to be an actor; I’ve never had an acting lesson in my life. I am an absolute natural, like Johnny Depp, Johnny’s the same way. So again, what it was like is just a job for me, this has always just been a job for me. Okay. What I’m finding about this job is the most joyful thing about it are you guys, that has been the most joy. It’s knowing that I’ve got a group of people out there, that like my work, erm, who. And it is about my work I think, ’cause nobody knows me. You know what I’m saying? When you guys come in and say ‘I like you and duh duh duh duh duh’ and you really like my characters and you like my work, which I appreciate greatly. I wish I could get to know everybody so that you could get to decide if you really like me or not. You know so.
Events like this give us a good chance, and we’ve found that we’ll meet people whilst doing interviews for The Jitty, we won’t know a great deal about them, but because they’re so nice to talk to we’ll go away and become real fans of their work, and hunt down everything they’ve done.
Yeah, its, it’s really special, it is really, really special. Well, for me anyway, I don’t know how other actors feel but for me it’s really, really special.
Do you find that it’s a nice balance because you’re well known but you don’t get harassed?
I’ve always said that I would love to have Johnny’s money or Mick Jagger’s money or Michael Jackson’s money, but I would not like to be hassled, ’cause I consider myself a people person, a person person; I want to be able to mingle. I had an experience once on set, when a first assistant director said to some of our extras err, which I do not refer to as extras I call them enhancement personnel, ’cause they are as much actors as we are. But he said ‘don’t speak to Mr. Williams, unless he’s spoken to you’. You know these actors, you hear their stories, don’t talk to them, don’t look at them. I had to pull that director aside and said ‘don’t ever say that, don’t you dare ever say that, to assume anything of me, okay?’ These people are my fellow actors, so I’m a people person like that, so you know, I love… I would not want to not be able to go outside. I had a friend of mine who used to bodyguard for Elvis Presley and he said ‘Elvis used to cry sometimes, because he could not go out and get himself some ribs, because Elvis loved ribs. Elvis used to cry because he couldn’t go out because of the hullabaloo, you know so, so yeah, it’s nice to be semi-famous or whatever, but not have that thing where you can’t be regular, you know. And most people here, like in a city, in New York City, they see actors they don’t care, you know, its ‘heey!’ and then you go on about your business. Some cities, you know, you get mobbed and some actors bring it on themselves. I mean when you show up with an entourage. You know, but if you just how up by yourself, most people don’t bother you, they don’t give a… you know they don’t care.
It’s a bit off on a tangent, but we have black actors in decent roles, as superheroes, finally we’re getting there, would you agree with that and do you think we’ve still got a way to go?
We’ve got a long way to go, we’ve got a long way to go, I mean let’s be real, let’s be real, we still have a long way to go. Erm, it has progressed a little bit erm, but America is still the most racist country on the planet, and that’s a fact. I mean a fact’s, a fact. So, we still got a long way to go. Yeah, yeah but I’ve earned my right I think and I’ve lived the years that at this point I don’t care. I don’t care, you know, I’m 70 years old I don’t have time for this anymore.
Yeah I’ll be 70 on my next birthday which is in about 6 months, in November. There’s just so much ignorance stuff going on, on the planet, period. I don’t want to spend the rest of my being bothered by it. I want to get up every morning and try to do no harm and try to be as kind to the next human being as I can and that’s the best I can do.
‘Any given day, you don’t have to do anything fantastic, you don’t have to go out and cure cancer or cure hunger. All you got to do is get up and do no harm.’