Once upon a time, Supernatural creator Eric Kripke gave life to the angel Castiel.
When Flynn calls in a favor from Al Capone in 1931 Chicago, good guys Lucy, Wyatt and Rufus seek out the famed lawman who brought the gangster down — but will they clue Ness into what’s really going on?
TVLine invited Collins to share how the reunion came to be, and to preview his role in Monday’s time-trippy episode (airing at 10/9c).
TVLINE | How did this guest spot come about? Who approached who?
Eric sent me an email, saying, “Are you busy?” I said, “As a matter of fact, I think it might just work out.” I had an episode where I was light on Supernatural, and it looked like it was possible that I could negotiate doing two at the same time. And it’s helpful that Timeless, along with every other show being shot these days, shoots in Vancouver. It wasn’t too challenging of a drive from one set to the other. In fact, the studios are as close to adjacent as they get in Vancouver. They’re like a mile apart.
TVLINE | How did Eric describe the character to you?
He described it with two words: Eliot Ness. That was all he pretty much gave me to go on at first, and I said, “Send me the script right now!” It was great, and I was happy to do something with Eric again. Also, I’ve seen Timeless and thought it was great. It’s such an epic show. I cannot believe what has become of television. The fact that they can shoot a show that epic, with that much production value, is just jaw-dropping to me. It kind of makes Supernatural feel like a student film project. [Laughs] Supernatural is a very intimate and tiny show compared to Timeless.
TVLINE | I’m assuming Timeless‘ version of Eliot Ness is not a hunter like the Supernatural one. How closely does he hew to what we know from the history books?
Very closely. That’s very much the premise of Timeless, dealing with those real-life historic figures. There’s not a lot of film footage of Eliot Ness to go off, so I had to take some liberties. But they tried to make my hair and my wardrobe look as much like him as possible. He’s dealing with the same issues that Eliot Ness was dealing with, mainly taking down Al Capone. It’s very much grounded in history.
TVLINE | What’s his first interaction with the time team like?
His first reaction is, I would say, dubious. But then he warms up to them. But initially, he’s dubious of them and their wardrobe.
TVLINE | Is it not accurate at all?
I wouldn’t say not accurate at all, but there are some red flags in terms of the attire.
Watch an exclusive preview of the exchange, then scroll down to keep reading.
TVLINE | How much do they bring Eliot Ness into everything that’s going on with the time travel and Rittenhouse?
He’s completely kept in the dark. [Laughs] They’re lying to the feds, basically. There’s a little bit of double-entendre and a little bit of confusion as to what’s really going on. He thinks that they’re pursuing a bad guy that William Randolph Hearst put them up to going after. They’ve just made up a completely fabricated backstory that I buy into.
TVLINE | Was there anything you were surprised to learn about Ness during the course of this episode?
I’ll tell you this, [and] this is a little bit of a spoiler: There is a very stark departure from history as we know it and what unfolds in Ness’ story in this episode. Because of the nature of them meddling with the past, we find that Ness has a remarkably different biography by the end of this episode than he does in the version of reality that you and I live in. How’s that for a very elliptical [teaser]?