'Wayward Sisters' Star Kim Rhodes Promises Spinoff Is 'Worthy' of 'Supernatural' Legacy (Exclusive)
By Philiana Ng
Supernatural may soon pave the way for a long overdue all-female spinoff.
On Thursday's episode of The CW's longest-running drama, the Wayward Sisters backdoor pilot reunites some of Supernatural's fiercest women, led by fan-favorite Sheriff Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes) and her surrogate family -- including her pal, Sheriff Donna Hanscum (Briana Buckmaster), and Jody's "daughters," Claire (Kathryn Newton), Alex (Katherine Ramdeen), Patience (Clark Backo) and Kaia (Yadira Guevara-Prip) -- when Sam and Dean mysteriously vanish. This isn't the first time Supernatural has attempted to expand its universe (see: the failed Bloodlines spinoff pilot in 2014), but what's different now is the strong sense of purpose and the timeliness of a tale that, underneath the monsters and demons, is really just about family and sisterhood.
“What is really exciting to me is perspectives that haven’t been included. I identify with being female, but I also think it’s important for people who identify through skin color, through sexual identity, through gender identity," Rhodes tells ET. "It’s important to expand the concept of representation in general, because people feel good when they get to watch stories they don’t have to work to relate to, which is a huge testament to Supernatural,because it’s the emotion and the bond that people relate to. Underneath it all, it is just a human experience and the things we put on top of that human experience can either draw us in or push us away."
Rhodes, who was first introduced as Jody in the fifth season and has appeared in every subsequent season since, is a veteran of the Supernatural universe and, by extension, its passionate fanbase. In fact, fans had been clamoring for a spinoff for a while before The CW officially ordered the pilot focused on Rhodes' character in the summer of 2017.
"It was terrifying," the 48-year-old actress admits, when asked about fans' vocal wishes for her to one day land her own show. "I made a decision a long time ago when this whole thing started happening: I just need to be as honest with myself and, therefore other people, as possible. If that resonates and people receive something from that that makes them feel good, optimistic and powerful, that being themselves is OK? Then I've been of service and I'm happy. That is more important than a spinoff to me."
But that's not to say Rhodes won't be the first of the Wayward Sisters cast members to celebrate a series pickup, should it happen in the coming days, weeks or months. "It's way better than a sharp stick in the eye," Rhodes quips, alluding to the comically high death count on Supernatural.
Rhodes is looking forward to exploring a different shade to Jody in Wayward Sisters and her deep connection to her surrogate family.“Jody needs to expand herself. She needs to think about the way she hunts and the way she relates to her fellow hunters differently," Rhodes says. "She has been operating from a place of ‘Don’t feel pain. Be safe, because I don’t want to hurt’ in a way that’s become detrimental to the other people around her. She needs to accept the fact that risking loss is part of being human. If they’re going to be everything they need to be, she needs to be able to risk losing them.”
From where Rhodes stands, there is no fear that Wayward Sisters will fall into same trap that Bloodlines suffered from, which was introducing an entirely new crop of characters. "Supernatural is the biggest spinning gear. What I’ve seen happen over 13 seasons is Sam and Dean start spinning, and then other gears get in their gravitational force, and [they get] to the point where they can spin themselves," she says. "It’s not the world that makes Supernatural, it’s the characters that make Supernatural. As delightful as Bloodlines would’ve been for a standalone show, I don’t think the emotional investment was there because the relationships with the characters weren’t there."
Ultimately, the thought of a potential full-fledged series starring six strong female leads excites Rhodes. “I love the fact that women get to be active now," she explains. "We don’t need permission anymore to save ourselves. We don’t need to be given access by gatekeepers. We don’t need to be told it’s OK to be who you are, [the characters] are just doing it. Who you are and what you bring is enough and worthy and valid and deserving, and f**k, let’s get that in the world for everybody.”
Supernatural airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.