Felicia Day returns to Supernatural Wednesday for one of the show's more geek-tastic episodes, "LARP and the Real Girl." Proving Supernatural saves its best movie puns for the actress, Day first made the Whedonverse collide with the Winchesters last season in "The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo," playing Charlie Bradbury, the I.T. genius who helps Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) get dirt on leviathan leader Dick Roman.
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While investigating creature-killing larpers (live-action role-players) on the upcoming episode, Sam and Dean discover that since they've last seen her, Charlie has traded her Princess Leia shirt for a crown of her own. The former hacker has risen through the larping ranks and is now queen of the Moondoor community.
Day talked to TVGuide.com about her return to the CW hit and why the episode will blow up your Tumblr feed. (Hint: Tight pants are involved!)
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You're been called Queen of the Geeks before, but now you're playing Queen of the larpers. Have you ever larped before?
Felicia Day: I have not larped. I have been very aware of the larping community. A lot of my fans have been larpers and a lot of people who have helped with The Guild and Dragon Age: Redemption do that as a hobby, so it's something that I'm very aware of and I think it's actually kind of fascinating and awesome. The fact that I can experience it in real life as an actor and on the set was just an amazing treat for me.
How did you feel when you heard that they wanted to bring Charlie back?
Day: I was really excited. I had such a great time on the set and that's mostly because the character is so well written and so well defined. When I was reading the script, I was thinking there's not another character that I'd want to play of this type because they've really made her a three-dimensional character, a girl who loves geeky things that isn't cliché and who really isn't afraid to be a person who loves what she does. So that's kind of a thrill. And when they called me up they said they'd love for me to come back and they had mentioned a larping episode in press that I had seen online, but I didn't actually add those two together until I actually got the script and I was so thrilled to see the cover and the name of the episode because it all came together. Because that was my secret wish — that they brought Charlie back for the larping episode they had mentioned.
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What is it about Charlie that sets her apart from more stereotypical geeks on TV?
Day: I think that there's subtlety to her. It doesn't feel like she's only the things that she loves. She's a real person who has a life and has a skill set and just happens to love these things. And I think they started with a character and added those things on versus only starting by defining her as her love of Harry Potter or comics. And I think that the key to making a character, whatever it is, [is] not to start with the cliché-type things but really start with a person and then just add those kind of interests on. So that was really fun to just play and be able to heighten in her humanity, really, and making it come from an authentic place versus a more surface place.
Is playing Charlie something you'd like to keep doing, maybe even regularly?
Day: Yes, I mean I would love to come back and play Charlie again. Whatever they would need from me, I would be there for. Because I'm busy with my own web projects — I produce a whole network of series now — so I have the privilege of being very choosy and I have actually gotten offered a lot of characters similar to Charlie in the past, but I've chosen not to do [them] because I didn't feel that they had an authentic character behind them. And to me Charlie is the epitome of that, so if there's any opportunity to reprise the role I would be there.
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When we last saw Charlie, her arm was broken and she told Sam and Dean to never contact her again. How does she feel now that they're back in her life?
Day: I think when Charlie decides something she stands behind it, so I would not imagine her reaction to be as welcoming as you would think.
She was a little timid when we first met her, but throughout "The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo" she became much stronger. What's she going to be like when we see her now?
Day: I think that Charlie actually is a very strong character. When you first see her without the supernatural elements thrown at her, she's actually very bold and ignores authority. It's really the loop that's thrown her with all the supernatural elements, with the leviathans, that really put her in an element that she was completely uncomfortable with. So now we see her in this larping environment, it's been a year, she's definitely had to put down roots a little bit, so I think that her confidence level in this world is very high. After all, she had to earn to be the Queen; it didn't get given to her.
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Sam and Dean are used to being in control when they hunt, but will Charlie's growing confidence challenge that power dynamic?
Day: I think that this is a world that she knows really well, so in this circumstance she is, I think, a really big help and I think the fans are going to be really happy and have a lot of fun with the interactions between her and Dean, especially. Because he said in the last episode, "It's like the little sister that I never wanted" and that is definitely a theme with their interactions that you see even a lot more of in this episode. And they were the funnest scenes for me to play, those scenes with Jensen.
Do Sam and Dean get in on the larping action?
Day: You definitely see them in costumes and you know, leather pants. I think this episode will be screenshot, animated GIF and Twitter-worthy. That's for sure.
(Ed. Note: In fact, the GIF-making has already begun!)
What was it like working with Jensen and Jared again?
Day: They're amazing. I think when I first did the first episode I did it was such an unfamiliar environment to me and they're so larger-than-life — their personalities. They're such guys' guys that I got my footing throughout the episode. For this one coming back, I knew exactly the dynamic of the set. Walking in was like walking back into any family that you have on any set. It's very much a creative environment that makes you feel like you can do your very best work because of Jared and Jensen. They've really establish a tone of the set that brings out the best in everyone and makes you feel like you're really having fun creating versus this is a job.
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Your last episode was really serious. Is this one more lighthearted and fun?
Day: Definitely. I mean there's been a great storyline this season, which I've been following just as a fan, but this episode is kind of a little bit of a standalone and it's definitely a fun jaunt. I love the fact that it can put an eye on larping as a subculture and as a hobby, not in a condemning way but it can have fun with it, without making fun of it. That's what I really love. I love the tone of the episode.
Since you are such a huge fan of the show, do you have a favorite brother?
Day: I take the fifth. I cannot say that. I cannot do that, no. I'm completely agnostic. Although I will say that the scenes between Charlie and Dean were some of the funnest that I have played in a long time, so I'm really excited for the fans to see that.
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A lot of fans have been struggling with the idea that Sam didn't look for Dean while he was in Purgatory. Do you find that hard to believe?
Day: I think that if you put yourself in his shoes you can understand why. I think that it's easy to sort of retroactively look back ... and kind of reconfigure things, but you have to think in the moment of the character and the capabilities and the limitations on them and I personally understand exactly why the story has been like it is ... They have a great dynamic in this episode that I think fans are really going to enjoy.
In addition to Supernatural, Day has appeared on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and Eureka. Day also created and stars in the hit web series The Guild (Seasons 1-5 are currently available on Netflix. Season 6 is available here) and founded Geek and Sundry, a premium YouTube channel which features original shows and content.
Supernatural airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW.