Bianca Kajlich plays Millie Winchester on the Supernatural prequel series The Winchesters, which is currently in its first season on The CW.
The Winchesters follows the epic love and origin story of Sam and Dean’s parents, John Winchester and Mary Campbell, as they fight supernatural creatures and deal with their family issues.
Kajlich portrays John’s mother, Millie, a mechanic who runs her own garage. TV Fanatic chatted with her about Millie’s character development, what to expect in upcoming episodes, and what it means to carry on the long-lasting Supernatural legacy.
It’s so nice to meet you!
Yes, nice to meet you, too. Happy Halloween!
Happy Halloween! It’s pretty fitting that we’re doing this on Halloween, given the nature of The Winchesters. I wanted to start off by saying that I’m already such a huge fan of the show, even just a few episodes in; from the storylines to the characters, it’s all so different.
That makes me so happy to hear. Obviously, when you work on something and you love it, it’s great. But it’s really the cherry on top when everyone else likes it, too.
What drew you to the role of Millie Winchester? Were you a fan of Supernatural prior to getting cast?
It’s so funny. I knew of Supernatural, of course. Who didn’t? But I did not watch the show. Mostly because I just don’t watch a ton of TV. But Jensen and I had worked together in 2000, I think, on Dawson’s Creek.
I don’t think we even ever actually had a scene together. But he played kind of a love interest… well, I don’t know if he was actually the love interest of Michelle Williams, but I know there was like a thing going on, and I played Dawson’s love interest.
It was a very fun time, and Oliver Hudson was there at that point. It was like a whole bunch of like, “Everyone’s just starting out.”
And so much fun. So I obviously was aware that Jensen was working on the show and knew of it, but the audition just came through.
To be honest, I think whenever there’s a sequel or a prequel or anything, just something you kind of roll your eyes at because not that many turned out to be that great.
But when I read the script, I remarked to my husband, I said, “You know, it’s good, and like the characters are really fleshed out, and it’s funny, and it’s scary, and it’s got kind of a little bit of everything.”
And then I also just head-over-heels fell in love with Millie. I just thought there was so much already there on the page and then so much potential for this just badass, very unique character.
I love that she had so many different layers, and I just felt like it was something that I was gonna have a lot of fun playing. And I am.
Is there anything that you’re excited to explore more with her?
I think that I’m really excited to explore… Millie’s really been holding it together for John.
I think that has come at the expense of whatever it is that the wounds or the things that she has put on the back burner to really just make sure that her son is safe and cared for in the world.
To be a woman and in this time period, the 1960s and 70s, to be a mechanic and to have your own garage.
I think there’s a layer of toughness that has to be out on display in order to kind of survive. And so I’m really curious to dive into what has been sacrificed for that because she hasn’t… I don’t think she’s gotten a chance to address what is underneath all of that.
So, what is the hurt incurred when her husband just disappeared? So yeah, I’m excited to really dive into her story.
And kind of going off of that, we already know a little bit about her backstory, and how much she sacrificed, and how afraid she is that John is going to end up like his father. Do you think she’s ever going to come around to John being a hunter, or do you want to keep that storyline going?
Well, I think by now, the fact that she doesn’t have a choice is because he’s adamant that this is what he’s doing.
We’re going to see that Millie has to come to terms with it and has to accept it to the extent that she begins to get involved herself because I think it’s the only way that she can soothe that worry is to be a part of it in some respects and keep her proverbial eyeball on him.
Which will not make him feel good. But we aren’t here to play nice.
Millie and John have such great chemistry with their mother-and-son bond. Can the same thing be said for you and Drake off-screen?
Oh yeah, I mean, Drake and I hit it off from the moment that we met, and I think that I feel so privileged to work with somebody who wants to jump in and play. He really gives it 110%.
And he’s so open to ideas, and, like in the fight scene with not Mom, Monster Millie in The Winchesters Season 1 Episode 2. Just like so much of that fight was him selling it on the other end. It’s the first fight scene I’ve ever done.
So I was feeling a little shaky and unsure, and that works because of Drake because he is so willing to just go the distance.
Robbie said to us at one point, “It’s so crazy because I see you guys off-camera as friends. And then you step on camera, and it’s totally mother and son,” and it’s one of those things where it’s either there, or it isn’t and we just… you’re so lucky to have it.
I love it when relationships off-screen reflect relationships on screen. It just makes the show that much more real.
Absolutely. So I have to watch myself a little bit because I am a mom, and I have to realize that I’m not his mom. And then I need to let him make his own decisions.
And in this new episode, The Winchesters Season 1 Episode 4, we actually got to see Millie help out with the case. Would you want her to take part in more cases, or is that just more like a one-and-done because she wanted to help her son?
Oh no, we’re gonna see more MIllie entering into the texture. I don’t think Millie is the kind of woman who gets a taste of that and then walks away. I think she has a very special and unique skill set. So I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in that.
It was recently announced that Gil McKinney will be reprising his role as Henry in an upcoming episode. Is there anything that you can tease about that whole dynamic or how you think it could look?
Well, we’ve already filmed that initial one, and I guess I’ll just say that there isn’t any closure. In fact, it probably will leave us… we all will have a lot more questions, and I think that there is still more to come in that story.
Since we never saw Millie on Supernatural, was it challenging at all to bring her to life since you were able to be completely fresh with her and not have to go off an already established character?
I think that Robbie Thompson did such an incredible job with what little we saw of Millie in the pilot episode that there was so much there already. I really didn’t have to do much work.
I think the spirit of who she was was so beautifully defined that it really was one of those circumstances where I literally just stepped in, and she felt fit on like a glove. There was not a lot for me to do there.
And those are your dream roles as an actor where it just fits, and it just flows so beautifully.
And kind of going off of that, how much of yourself did you put into your character if anything at all?
There’s a lot. There’s definitely a lot of Bianca and Millie.
Probably the parts that I admire more to go off and play with as much in my daily life if only because I’m not bold enough to do so.
Getting to be Millie has actually really helped me to stand up stronger in places in my life where I have felt my whole life that I needed to.
But I think that as Bianca, I’m much more sentimental and soft, and I mean that in a good way.
And I think we’ll get there with Millie. I think that she just has had to be so strong for so long. And I think that part of her survival was not addressing the elephant in the room. So I think that as that facade crumbles there, there will probably be a lot more there to unpack.
She already has such a compelling storyline and backstory, and I’m excited to see what more comes from her.
I agree. It’s my favorite character I’ve ever played, and there are so many directions to go that I tried to just stay in the moment of whatever scripts were on. My wheels get turning, and I just think about all the places we could go, but yes.
What has the fan reaction meant to you after only just a few episodes of The Winchesters has aired since it’s already doing so well on The CW?
Yeah, it’s been great. It’s certainly been with this fanbase; I have never experienced anything like this before.
So I don’t really have much to compare it to in terms of fans being so vocal and involved, but I have loved reading on social media the impact that she has already had on people, which has been incredibly rewarding as an actor.
And as things that I think you dream about the kind of jobs you dream about having.
You had already mentioned that you were skeptical to take on the role because it is a prequel series. But since Supernatural was on the air for 15 years, did that worry you even more of how fans would respond?
I definitely was. I’m trying to think of the right word. I definitely was wary of stepping on the toes of people who love Supernatural because when a show moves people that way when it has such a collective grasp of a large number of people, that’s sacred.
That is something that managed to touch people in a deeply personal way.
So I definitely, obviously, hoped that we could find our way to have a similar sort of impact.
But I, in no way, thought that we would be a replacement or even, in some ways, a continuation. I like to think of what we were doing is something brand new. And hopefully, that would appeal to the older fans as well as people who maybe were too young for Supernatural at the time.
So yeah, I mean, I am deeply respective of people’s relationship to the mothership.
I love that so much.
Well, I think that’s all I have for you today, since we’re running out of time anyway.
Thank you! So nice speaking with you.
Thank you, it was a pleasure.
The Winchesters airs at 8/7c on Tuesdays on The CW.
Megan Behnke is a staff writer for TV Fanatic, who you can follow on Twitter.