Sheriff Donna Hanscum is the newest addition to hit the Supernatural franchise. Played by Canadian, Briana Buckmaster, she brings her own spunk and humor to her character! Sheriff Donna first appeared in Season 9 of the long-running CW series, and now has been promoted as a ‘Hunter’ on the show!
Samantha sits down with Briana Buckmaster aka Sheriff Donna
Your twitter header is a bunch of donuts, I’m guessing, you love donuts?
Well who doesn’t love donuts! It’s actually a tribute to the character I play on Supernatural. Donna is a donut lover and the very first scene she had on the show she was unapologetically eating a powdered donut. The scene has now become kind of iconic for her. For the fans to I think.
Tell me who Sheriff Donna is – she’s a bit of a wacky character isn’t she?
Sheriff Donna could definitely be described as a “wacky character”, but I actually think (especially in the sci-fi world) she’s one of the normal ones. Before she met the Winchesters she probably ate soup 3 times a week and has a mantle full of cribbage trophies from the local lodge. She is also complex. She’s a sheriff, which as a woman in a mid-west town is no small feat. She was dumped by her husband for her less-than-supermodel-looks. And she is on the search for more meaning in her life. She’s just like a lot of us I think.
Does Briana and Donna share any similarities?
I think the biggest similarity between Briana and Donna is that we both make a conscious effort to see the bright side of things. It’s a challenge some days, but we both know that it’s worth it in the long run.
Supernatural has been around for years, what was the experience of you jumping in with a cast that basically is family more than anything?
I thank my lucky stars every day that I’ve had this huge opportunity. The cast and crew of Supernatural have welcomed me into their family with open arms. It was clear from the get-go that we were all cut from the same cloth so it feels like I have known them my whole life.
Describe your first scene as Sheriff Donna?
My first day on set was like any other ordinary day on set as a day player. I showed up on time, stood where I was told to and made sure I had done my work. I had no idea what the tone on this set would be like nor did I have any idea the fans would respond the way they did. So for me it was just a regular day at work. But about half way into the donut scene it was clear that the 2 stars loved to make jokes and that they knew they had their work cut out for them when it came to pulling one over on me 😉
What’s the best thing about playing Donna?
I like playing the different levels of Donna. She is a leader and a very important figure in her town, but also has her own inner demons that she’s fighting to keep hidden. I love playing those contrasting emotions against each other in a scene where, say, Donna is joyfully greeting people at a Sheriff’s conference. It’s really nice to have that opportunity as an actor.
What experiences in your daily life that help in adding more to your character?
I grew up being bullied and was significantly overweight for the first half of my life. I’ve since faced those demons myself but now I’m watching Donna go through it. And I really have to go through it with her if it’s to look in any way authentic. It’s a strange thing to revisit but it really makes me respect the journey that much more.
You first made an appearance on Supernatural in season 9, how has your character evolved? Donna’s a Hunter now!
YAY!! She’s a hunter! She’s come so far in such a short period of time. She went from wanting the quickest fix possible to save her broken marriage, to wanting to save the world and fight the most terrifying things she has ever seen. She’s literally fighting demons now, not just figuratively. She’s finding herself in the process.
You sing as well don’t you? Aren’t you a talented lady!
I do! And thank you! I love it and am so so lucky I get to do it at the conventions. I have a degree in musical theatre and began my career performing in musicals such as Grease, Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella.
How did you get started in the industry?
I always new that I wanted to perform. When I was little I asked my mom if I could join my favorite band and I wrote them a letter. When I was 11, I saw Les Mis and I knew that was what I wanted to do. Right after high school I was accepted to theatre school where I met Stewart Lemoine, one of Canada’s great playwrights. He cast me in a show he wrote for me right after graduation and the rest is history
And you’re going to be at the Supernatural convention in Vegas! How’s that experience for you?
The conventions are wonderful. So much fun to be with my friends for the weekend and meet all of the fans that I connect with via Twitter.
Tell me about White Ninja and the inspiration behind it?
White Ninja was brought about because the producers were fans of the comic when it was an underground cult favorite. They acquired the rights and worked with Vine to produce the first full series ever distributed by Vine. They nabbed the incredible comedian Paul Scheer and created a writers room with comedians from all across Canada. I was asked to write for the series because the creators like my dark sense of humor and thought it was appropriate for the style they were looking for.
What are you most excited about for 2016?
I have a couple of things on the horizon that I’m waiting to see how they pan out. It’s a bit of a waiting game in this industry until contracts are signed. But these are projects I’m very excited about and could be game-changers. But until contracts are signed, my lips are sealed 😉
Lastly, do we get any spoilers about Sheriff Donna’s role in the upcoming Supernatural episodes?
Of course not! I like my job and want to keep it 😉
You can connect with Briana Buckmaster on Twitter @OfficialBrianaB!