Whedonopolis.com – First off, I’d like to thank you for speaking with us.
Jim Beaver – It’s quite my pleasure.
W – The subject matter of your book is very personal. What prompted you to share it with us all?
JM – I went through a very difficult time with my family in 2003-2004. But, that in itself isn’t enough to warrant writing a book about it. Everybody’s got a story, everybody’s had hard times, but I had learned so much in the process and I discovered so many, I’d have to say, blessings in the course of going through the hard times it seemed a shame to keep those blessings and lessons to myself.
It was pointed out to me by people who had read my original emails, letters and journal that something about it had helped them. I thought, well, it helped them, maybe it’s not entirely immodest of me to think it might help someone else. And I’m already getting some evidence that that is holding true. That’s the primary reason.
I wanted people to know this spectacular woman I was married to, too. I felt that she didn’t get enough recognition for her splendid life.
W – Was it a really difficult decision to decide to print it?
JM – I wouldn’t say it was difficult. I kind of dithered over it for a long time. A lot of people were suggesting that I ought to. I’m also a little bit lazy and, subconsciously, I hoped someone would come along and do it for me.
Eventually, it seemed that it was right. When I came to the actual decision, it wasn’t hard at all. A lot of that had to do with the fact that people were telling me, in very clear terms, the positive effect it had had in their lives. So I said, "Let’s do this thing and see what comes of it." It wasn’t as hard as it was slow.
W – Did you put it all together yourself or did you have help?
JM – I had an incredible agent and an incredible editor who was very, very good at telling me "Hey, Jim. you said this three times already. Let’s cut two of them." The original manuscript was 35,000 words longer than Moby Dick.
W – Wow!
JM – We cut it down by two-thirds. But, I promise you, we kept the good stuff.
W – I know that you’re having several signings in the LA area. I, hopefully, will see you Thursday at one of them.
JM – Oh, cool.
W – But, you’re going to be at the UCLA Festival of Books this Sunday?
JM – Yeah, I’ll just be there briefly. I’ll just be there from 11:30am til 12noon, or so. And Thursday I’ll be at Book Soup in the evening.
W – Moving on to Supernatural. Bobby is a very popular character on the show.
JM – Yeah, how’d that happen?
W – We love Bobby! He’s so made of awesome. How did you become involved with the show?
JM – Kind of the standard way. I went down and auditioned for it. But, I had done a series for Robert Singer, my namesake. (Robert Singer is Director and Executive Producer for Supernatural.)
W – That was one of my other questions!
JM – I had done a series for him many years ago and, without even looking at my audition tape, he said "Give it to Jim." All my work for that audition was for nothing. They didn’t even look at it. At any rate, except for that aspect, it was fairly normal. I got called in for an audition and, one way or another, I got the part. I thought it was just a one shot. One episode and that would be that. Cause that was what was kind of typical for my career; a lot of guest shots. Obviously, it grew on people.
W – Yeah, everyone loves Bobby.
JM – I love playing him. He’s fun, smart, sarcastic and he’s got a wicked sense of dry humor, but he’s also very loving and loyal and reliable. I’m only about two of those things in real life. I like playing the parts that aren’t like me. The parts I wish I could be like.
At this point, we were told there was only time for a couple more questions. (Time does fly when talking to Jim Beaver.)
W – You’re so busy with writing and other work, are you going be available for Season 5 of Supernatural?
JM – Season 5? I wish I had something wonderful to tell you about that. I probably can’t tell you much of anything about Bobby’s future without incurring the wrath of Eric Kripke. He’s small, but he’s wirey. So, I guess I’m gonna have to keep my mouth shut about that.
W – OK.
JM – I think things are gonna turn out significantly different than people might expect.
W – Ooo, ominous. Lastly, you mentioned on your FaceBook yesterday that you were "going to go toy with Richard Crookback". What was that about?
JM – (laughs) Oh, I was going to acting class and doing a scene from Richard the III. It didn’t mean much of anything. I’d love to do the play, but I was just doing a scene in class. Nothing dramatic I can invite anybody to.
W – Alright, well, thank you very much for your time.
JM – Thank you.
Jim Beaver will be signing his book, Life’s That Way, on Thursday, April 23rd at Book Soup in Hollywood and again at the Barnes & Noble in The Grove (Los Angeles) on Monday, May 11th. Catch a new episode of Supernatural this Thursday, April 23rd at 9pm on The CW.
(Photos gathered from lifesthatway.com and imdb.com, respectively.)