Ty Olsson, who plays Dean’s Purgatory pal Benny in Supernatural‘s eighth season, recently discussed his character’s motivations and whether he’ll interfere with the brotherly bond between the Winchesters.
Olsson sat down with Celebuzz to discuss Benny:
Olsson says that he and Jensen Ackles “didn’t discuss [Benny and Dean's] relationship beforehand,” adding, “The great thing about working with an actor like Jensen is he’s present and available and a giving actor…
“When you work with someone who’s as good as Jensen is, it just brings your game up. So there wasn’t much of a plan going in, but there has been discussion since. When we hit a pause, we’re like ‘What do you think about this?’”
As for the connection between Dean and Benny, Olsson has a multi-layered answer, explaining that it “starts off as a brothers in arms connection and relying on each other for survival in Purgatory, but after a year of that, it’s just inevitable that they’re going to get to know each other better and more personally. It’s those moments of high stress, for anybody, and constant [fear of] death that you reach out for another human being and some kind of connection…”
But their connection goes beyond their time together in Purgatory. “[N]ow that they’re out of Purgatory and back in the real world, they both have that issue of re-assimilating back into society,” Olsson says. “There’s also that connection of us both going ‘OK, well, I guess we go back to our lives.’ And how do we deal with that in the real world? It’s not like they can always be hanging out, and you see in [“Blood Brother”] a little bit more of that kind of connection between the characters. We’ll see it deepening.”
On whether Benny is being truthful to Dean about keeping his nose clean now that he’s topside, Olsson says, “I think he is being straight with him. The more interesting storyline, and the way the writers are going, is that Benny is dealing with his hunger and this conflict that he has about not being human but also not fitting into the vampire world. That really heavily shows that turmoil that Benny has.”
But Olsson takes Benny’s internal conflict a step further, saying, “I think Benny’s still in Purgatory. He’s not in heaven; he’s not in hell; he’s lost. He’s still in battle, but he’s in battle with himself, and it’s the hardest one yet because he just doesn’t fit anywhere.”
Olsson compares Benny’s situation to “how a lot of people spend [years] in jail, and they’re unable to live on the outside, and they keep going back,” though he also believes “there’s a drive in him to try to find a way to connect with the world.”
However, Benny and Dean weren’t alone in Purgatory; as for the relationship established between Benny and Castiel, Olsson explains that “need for survival keeps them at odds because of the parameters that they established in earlier scenes in Purgatory. I don’t think that becomes a buddy-buddy situation; I think there’s always a third wheel, and in this case, it rotates.”
As for the concern that Benny will be another Ruby, trying to worm his way in between Sam and Dean, Olsson does not see that happening. “Benny understands the conflict that Dean is going through, regarding letting his brother know [about Benny's existence].
“I think Benny’s aware that Dean is torn between his actual brother and his army brother, so to speak, and he doesn’t push too hard on that button because Benny’s smart enough not to get between them,” Olsson says. “He’s looking for a connection; he’s not looking to disconnect others.”
And as for the capacity we’ll see Benny in for the rest of the season, perhaps including him helping the Winchesters in their quest for the Word of God tablets, Olsson doesn’t “know anything about that at this point. The episodes coming up with Benny, Benny’s in a situation where he’s focused on his own situation right now, and I don’t know that there’s any room for him to be helping out with anything else,” he says.
“We’ve got some great episodes coming up that talk a lot about where Benny came from and his struggles,” Olsson teases, “and they’re going to tell you a lot about what’s up with Benny.”
Supernatural airs Wednesday nights at 9:00 p.m. ET.