Lately, you’ve been watching Mark Pellegrino play Virgil Poe on American Rust. He’s a father not going about helping his son Billy (Alex Neustaedter) in the best way and unable to let go of his wife Grace (Maura Tierney), who’s caught up in a romantic entanglement with chief of police Del Harris (Jeff Daniels).
This role brings Pellegrino back on Showtime; he previously played Paul, Rita’s (Julie Benz) abusive ex-husband, on Dexter. And chances are you recognize him as Lucifer on Supernatural, a role he first played in Season 5. His last appearance came in the penultimate episode of the series.
So, when TV Insider spoke with Pellegrino about his character’s arc on American Rust, the conversation of course had to include a look back at those two roles.
What was your favorite arc to play on Supernatural?
Mark Pellegrino: It’s sort of a tie. The Season 5 finale Lucifer was the most significant Lucifer in a lot of ways. He was scary and subtly funny. And the Nick arc was even more scary because he was a real guy, not some mythical character, but a human being obsessed with power. I liked going, in that particular arc, from a guy discovering his past and wanting to get justice for his family to somebody becoming so enamored of power that he gives up every virtue to have it again. I thought that was a really good fall.
It was also interesting to see Lucifer as a father.
Yeah, Lucifer as a father was — [Laughs] He had no model, right? His dad was an absentee dad. I was hoping that the dynamic and the connection between Jack [Alexander Calvert] and he would be enough to actually change Lucifer’s character. And it almost did. I just had this discussion at a convention. I think the pivotal moment that maybe left Lucifer Lucifer was when Sam [Jared Padalecki] pushed him back into the alternate universe and wouldn’t let him go back home with everybody. Otherwise, I think the relationship between he and Jack was changing him.
The Lucifer-Winchesters [Padalecki and Jensen Ackles’ Sam and Dean] dynamic was so fun to watch.
Yeah. They never gave Lucifer a break, man, no mercy on the guy, no matter what Lucifer said, it was like, “Nah, you’re just bad. We’re not going to believe you at all. We’ll be temporary allies of convenience, but we’re not gonna buy your virtue act.”
With Dexter coming back, any chance we’ll see him hallucinate Paul?
[Laughs] I wonder, I don’t know. They invited me to the premiere in New York. I couldn’t make it because I was working on something, but that would be interesting. I always wanted Paul to be more of a kink in Dexter’s [Michael C. Hall] armor. Maybe they’ll make a completely different storyline. Maybe there’ll be no continuity or connection to any of the characters in the past.