Lindsey McKeon is a twenty year veteran of the entertainment industry, first making her mark in the Saturday morning series "Saved by the Bell: The New Class" (she played Katie!) and moving on to stints on various TV shows such as "Guiding Light," "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "One Tree Hill". But she's best known as Tessa, Death's right-hand woman in The CW's "Supernatural". While she only appeared in four episodes of the long-running series, each appearance made a major impact. So much so that she's had some very interesting interactions with "Supernatural's" rabid fans.
I spoke to Lindsey recently about her fleeting appearances on "Supernatural", its big-time fanbase, being remembered for "Saved by the Bell" and her favorite genre: sci-fi!
WARNING: If you're a "Supernatural" fan and NOT caught up, you may want to skip the first few questions!
So I don't know if I should say congrats on your return to Supernatural or not, considering it was fairly short-lived: your character committed suicide! Was it a bitter-sweet reunion?
Yes and no, I suppose. It was definitely interesting for me. I think they always throw these cool challenges at my character, so for me that's exciting. And since it's "Supernatural," there's always the possibility that you can come back at anytime.
What was your reaction when you first found out your character's fate?
I loved it. I've done a few interviews about this and I don't want to start becoming misconstrued, I'm not condoning offing one's self, it's not something I would never do, but to play a character who had the balls or strength to make that choice in that moment… Maybe she doesn't know her fate or where she will end up; to me it's just such a cool character to play.
"Supernatural" spoilers end.
Well it's funny, because your appearances on the show have been so spread out anyway. Were you ever like, write me in more!
Yeah, I mean, maybe once a year would have been fun! Once every three years, it's so random. It's really neat, though, because every time they told me I would be in it, I felt like I had grown so much, and I could bring that to the character. If we were seeing her very often, it wouldn't have been the same evolution of Tessa.
The show has some incredibly intense fans-
No way! (Laughs)
Yeah, you may have heard. What have your encounters been like with the rabid fanbase?
It's interesting because you get a whole range. You get people who are so supportive and love Tessa, and then you get people who are all about the story and particulars and know every detail, and then you get people who are super obsessed with the fact that they're killing off all of the female characters on the show. There are so many different types of fans. I've found a connection with hundreds of them, and only had one super crazy, off-the-wall crazy. He was Spanish, and he literally opened a Twitter account to speak Spanish profanities to me. He sent me about one hundred of them. I was like, wow, he must have watched the show and thought… I don't know what he thought! I was like, what is this? Why is this happening?
Do you enjoy the social media experience?
I don't know if I would put it that way. It seems to be the way our world is going, so I have come to it a little bit, but I'm really not good about it. The thing that's been great about it has been when inspirational moments come to me and I have an outlet for them. And when people say thank you for that or, "You're so positive," that's a wonderful feeling.
Do you ever google yourself?
Sure, yeah. If I go to an event, I look up pictures and stuff like that. If you start googling too much and see "Lindsey McKeon stinks!" or weird things you don't want to see about yourself that are out there, you try to keep a little bit of a distance .
That Spanish guy could have created a site dedicated to hating you.
Yeah, he's like, "Die die die!" That's not necessary to see.
Are you attracted to the supernatural and paranormal in real life?
I'm extremely attracted to the supernatural. I love occult sciences and physics and all things quantifying other realms, for sure.
Do you believe in the spirit world?
Oh yes, definitely. That's one of the reasons I don't watch very scary movies by myself, because if I do it opens that door too much, and I don't to see people who aren't there. (Laughs) It's too much for me, so I try to keep that a little bit closed off and protected.
When did you know you wanted to be an actress?
I started begging my mom to do it when I was 11, but that was more commercially and it was just something fun for me, a fun outlet. I sort of happened upon acting, and it was something that came naturally for me. I went to an acting class and the guy teaching it wanted to be my manager, and pretty much after that I got the call to do "Saved by the Bell: The New Class". I sort of just fell into it, in a way, and I didn't really know until many years later that it was my passion, and something that continually challenged me. Along with it being still fun.
Well, we have to talk briefly about Saved by the Bell: The New Class.
Oh dear. I'll never live that one down. People always remember me from that.
What was it like being a teenager and growing up on that show?
I had a lot of experiences, I won't delve into all of them. (Laughs) But I have come out the other side OK. Working on that set was a lot of fun because we were teenagers, just getting to work and have fun every day - and get paid to do it - it was a wonderful experience. There are some crazy stories that I don't feel at liberty to discuss because they involve others… They were mostly good times. When you get that many actors together, it's going to get crazy. (Laughs)
Especially if Dustin Diamond is involved.
Of course. He was most certainly there, god bless his heart.
Do you get recognized for that?
I'll be at places, like Jamba Juice or wherever, and somebody will still recognize me from that. The only people who recognize me from that are in my age group who were obviously growing up with it.
What goal haven't you accomplished yet that you're hoping to achieve?
To take over the world. (Laughs) Film for me has always been my inspiration and my dream. It's the thing that keeps me going. I would love to get into the sci-fi-action-thriller genre. Like OBLIVION, or PROMETHEUS, or THE MATRIX. Those kinds of films. I love all different types of films, but I'm really inspired by those, because it's cutting edge and it's about all of our futures. To me, that's always entertaining and inspiring, and I feel like I can use all of the wisdom I've accumulated throughout my life and put it onscreen in something like that.
What's your favorite sci-fi movie?
THE MATRIX is one of my all-time favorites, but MOON I really loved too.
What about your favorite movie in general, what's the one you always return to?
Man, I don't know. My husband watches the same movies over and over again; I'm like, "How can you watch this again, we just watched it last night?" For me, I watch a movie and almost never watch it again. I have that experience and then feel like there's so much more to watch that I want to move on to the next thing. It's very indicative of who I am as a person.
So I see you're originally an east coaster, like myself, but now you're a Californian. So I must ask: East Coast or West Coast?
I was born in Jersey and lived there until I was about three and then I moved to the west coast, but I've been back and I've lived there too. I feel like I've got some east coast in me, for sure. I love the feeling of the east coast, it feels like it has a density and history to it, but I like the weather on the west coast. And so does my body.
What's your favorite pastime when you're not working?
Traveling. Spiritual retreats. Going to my dance class. Hanging out with my family. That's it. Healthy, happy things.
Who is your all-time celebrity crush?
Well, there was always Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt, but that's changed. I think since I've been married, it's sort of a Ryan Reynolds type. Like, a nice guy. I used to like a little darker and edgier, now I have an appreciation for those All American good guys.