|WOW WINCHESTER: Jared Padalecki as Sam and Jensen Ackles as Dean in Supernatural|
Through nine seasons, the Winchester brothers — Dean and Sam — have battled demons, busted metaphysical myths and redefined chills and thrills on the small screen. In an email chat, Jared Padalecki (who plays Sam) and Jensen Ackles (who plays Dean) tell t2 about the show (Season 9 currently airs Monday to Thursday at 8pm on AXN) that’s made them a household name across the world.
When you were first approached to play brothers who bust ghosts and hunt down devils, did you ever think that Supernatural would become the show it is today?
Jared Padalecki: We’re one of the longest running shows on television! When I turned 31 (on July 19 this year), I remember thinking, ‘Wow… I’m 31 and this is my ninth season. This is a third of my life!’ It’s pretty amazing. I feel that what we’re doing this season could go on for however long the writers, and the fans, want to keep it going. We’ve opened so many doors and we didn’t close any... we didn’t kill this or stop that, we just left it so that we can do anything. What the writers have chosen to do is so awesome. I want to strangle them because I’m really excited about it — but I’m not allowed to tell you anything more at this stage. My hands are tied.
How does Season 9 carry the drama forward?
Jared: Season Nine is really cool! I’m more excited about shooting this season than any other season of Supernatural. I was really excited when I read the first five scripts and I think they are the best five episodes I’ve ever read, including Season One. As an actor, and as a fan of the show, I’m really excited about it. I am certain that the fans are going to think the storyline is badass this season. And I’m really hoping that they like my choices as an actor when they see what happens.
At the end of last year, Sam was not getting better. Well, this storyline will explain how Sam gets better. Dean says, ‘Hey buddy, stop the trials and you’re not going to die.’ And so Sam does stop the trials, but clearly he does not get better. We know that at some point between then and the second episode of Season Nine, he gets better and you’ll find out why immediately.
How much of Sam is Jared and how much of Dean is Jensen?
Jared: I grew up with Sam — I started the show when I was 22. I even met my wife (Genevieve Cortese who played Ruby) on this show. In fact, now I try to find similarities between the character and my own personality.
Jensen Ackles: The longer we become these characters, go through so much on and off, we get a greater clarity about ourselves. Now I know the clear differences between Dean and me. The only exception being that we look exactly alike!
What’s been the most challenging bit about playing Sam and Dean?
Jensen: I’d say... just I think, the emotional toll that he has sometimes where he doesn’t think that he is of value, that he isn’t equal to the people that he surrounds himself with. He’ll put other people first before himself. He’s very quick to sacrifice himself, and that’s difficult. I think it’s also a noble trade. Jared: And I feel Sam is very pensive and he’s very fastidious when he’s trying to get a task done. And Jared’s like that. I read instruction booklets, I really do... when I get something, I can’t buy something and just go like, ‘Oh, I’ll figure it out.’ I read and re-read it and I try and really figure everything out. And I like that... Sam kind of takes that approach. And I guess before I started acting, I was going to be an engineer, and maybe that’s what it comes from, just that kind of break everything down to put it all back together, reverse engineering or whatever. However, sometimes I feel like I wish Sam would make a hard decision.
Do you believe in the supernatural?
Jensen: I wouldn’t call myself superstitious, but I do suspect there’s more between heaven and earth... even hell. I’m open for spiritual experiences, although I haven’t needed any salt yet to ward off evil spirits from my home!
Jared: I firmly believe that things happen for a reason. That may sound melodramatic, but I don’t believe coincidence exists. And I also believe we’re not the only living creatures in this universe.
Which have been your favourite moments on the show so far?
Jensen: My favourite moment is when the brothers made a commitment to each other in the church. This is a commitment that they’re going to check in with each other... that they are going to remain partners and stay on the same track and not be like, ‘You go do this while I go and do that, and we’ll all try to solve the world our own way.’
Is there anything you would want to change about Dean and Sam?
Jared: There’s a term we use, to “man up” — “man up and get the job done”. Sam ends up making a decision, but I don’t think he takes a stand. There’s a small difference, and I wish he’d take a stand sometimes.
You guys have been sharing screen space through nine seasons. What kind of a dynamic do you share off screen?
Jensen: That’s almost impossible to explain. Nine months a year we’re stuck with each other literally 24 hours a day, seven days a week because we’re working on the show. Even doing stuff for ourselves in between isn’t possible. We’re constantly together. And even when we’re not actually working together during the nine months, or the other three months out of the year for that matter, we always find ourselves choosing to hang out and be together. But what I’m saying is, if you compare our relationship with Dean and Sam’s relationship on the show, there is a huge difference. Jared never drives me up the wall.We can talk to each other about anything.
Whenever we’ve fought, it’s been for each other! Like, I’ll do or say something and he will too and the other one might not like it, but in the end we’re doing it to help or protect them and it’s never against him. I think we do have that loyalty and I can honestly say you know, I’d trust my life with this guy and I guess in relevance to Dean for Sam, I would jump in front of a bullet for him any day and never think twice.
Jared: And the best part about Jensen and my relationship is it’s gonna be that way when we’re on the show and not. I mean, unfortunately for him, he’s stuck with me for life now and that’s important. But look, brothers and sisters, for that matter, sometimes fight. Or worse... they can’t get along at all. Between Jensen and me there have never been any issues and I think that’s rather special.
Jensen: We’re best friends, period. He’s my best friend for life. I don’t think it’s that remarkable, but it’s definitely special.
Are you aware that you have a huge fan following in India?
Jared: I was so surprised when I was informed that we have a huge fan following in India. Until recently, I had no idea that the show was even airing in India! It feels so good to know we have fans across the continent.
Jensen: I had no idea either. Jared and I both found out about it together! We are dying to come to India... it would be amazing.
What’s the craziest thing a fan has done for you?
Jared: The people will come up and be like, ‘Oh, my gosh! I saw an episode where this happened and it made me think of this time when I saw this.’ And you’re like: ‘What did you do? Get the salt?’ So the fans are pretty funny. The fans of the show are certainly. They’re not casual fans. People, if they know the show, they know the show, which is nice. It’s wonderful to have such a dedicated audience and a loyal following. It’s become part of the show and we’ve made episodes about our fans. So that’s fun, and they certainly share their stories with us.