Hell and back: Mark A. Sheppard plays Crowley, who always has a glint in his eye even if he is in serious trouble.
Keep your brothers close, keep your enemy closer. For Dean and Sam Winchester on TV's long-running Supernatural hit show, he just happens to be the King Of Hell!
In a show called Supernatural, it is only, erm, natural that the heroes – demon hunters Dean and Sam Winchester, played by Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki – bump into more than a few demons roaming the night. No surprises either that in the course of the series’ nine seasons, a demon the Winchesters keep having to deal with – but can never seem to get rid of – is the King Of Hell.
What no one saw coming, however, was just how delicious the character would become in the hands of British actor Mark A. Sheppard, who has made the demon a fan favourite.
Sheppard’s Crowley first appeared in Season Five as a crossroads demon – the deal-making kind summoned to make pacts which usually end with the demon taking your soul. In Season Six, he became the King Of Hell, presumably through some clever wheeling and dealing, and a mightily impressive sales pitch. Since then, Sheppard has made numerous appearances, the most coming in Seasons Eight and Nine. And he is to be a series regular in the upcoming Season 10.
In a telephone interview with the London-born Sheppard, who was making the call from Los Angeles, the 50-year-old shared that he had no idea he would be playing Crowley for so long when he first got the gig.
“(Producer) Ben Edlund created the character and Crowley is a fun person to play,” he offered. “I’ve known (producer and director) Kim Manners in the past and he had always said, 'You have to come to Supernatural. You love the boys. You have to come to Supernatural.' Unfortunately, the occasion never came up that I would do Supernatural. Not long ago, he passed. Then came the role of Crowley. I just thought, ‘You know what, I have to go do this.’ And it has been an amazing journey.”