Catching Up With Cole: Behind the Scenes with Travis Aaron Wade on Supernatural

Travis Aaron Wade and his infectious smile
Travis Aaron Wade and his infectious smile

We caught up with Travis Aaron Wade shortly after he did his first convention panel at VegasCon – and right after he had appeared in another excellent episode of Supernatural. ‘The Things They Carried’ was a powerful and emotional episode, and it took the character of Cole and his relationship with the Winchesters in a new direction. At times the episode was hard to watch, thanks to writer Jenny Klein’s ability to make it truly a horror show and Wade and Ackles’ ability to bring intensity to the struggle Cole and Dean are engaged in. We couldn’t wait to ask Travis more about filming that episode and his experience with the Supernatural fandom.

Lynn: It was so nice to meet you in person – and you did a fabulous job at your first convention!

Travis: That’s so nice to hear, it feels great to give back. I teach people how to speak onstage, but I rarely ever do it myself, so it was interesting. But it felt natural, very natural.

Lynn: That’s probably why it went so well.


Lynn: Also, congrats on your return to Supernatural. That was an amazing episode. Your acting made it truly disgusting, and I mean that in a totally positive way! What was it like to film those scenes [ingesting the Khan worm, being electrocuted, etc.]. You really had to go there…

Travis: Yeah, it got to me, it actually got me very ill. By the end of the week, I felt like I’d given everything I had, like I wasn’t leaving anything out. And I couldn’t have done it without the support of Jensen, who was there with me every day and working through it with me, trying to keep all the action and the intensity of the scene along with the humor and just everything there was to it. I mean, there were so many colors, Jenny wrote this episode with so many colors for Cole. When you look back over the arc for this character, I’m so impressed with the writers and how they first made you interested in the character, and then made you confused about the character, then made you dislike the character, then made you empathetic for the character. They really took the fans on a rollercoaster ride with this character.

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Lynn: They really did!

Travis: And I feel very lucky to have been cast in this role because all we have is the script in front of us, the material, and they did a great job of giving this guy such a fantastic arc that they got the audience on board. That being said, you asked how was that last episode – I think if it hadn’t shown how much Cole went through and the pain and the agony of being tortured and electrocuted and sick, and having to deal with something that had killed other main characters off – if he hadn’t gone through all that, I don’t think he would’ve grabbed those fans that weren’t favorable to him before.

Lynn: I think so too. In just four episodes, the way that fans felt about Cole evolved just like how the Winchesters felt about Cole evolved. That’s a lot of evolution in four episodes.

Travis: It really is. I feel like I’ve been part of this show for a lot more than 4 episodes!

Lynn: Cole feels like a fully rendered character even after four episodes. They did a good job writing him and you fleshed him out.

We digressed a bit to talk about fan reaction to the character, which has changed over time and seems to have moved in a positive direction. Of course, there’s no such thing as a unanimous sentiment in fandom!

Travis: I made the mistake of going on Facebook the week before this episode aired. I had only really been in the Twitter universe before. I’m so grateful that the CW promoted the episode with the picture of Cole by the fire, and so I looked and there were something like 50,000 likes and 700 comments and I’m like Oh my god I’ve never seen that many likes!


Travis: So I opened up the comments…

Lynn: Uh oh…

Travis: I was expecting to be embraced with nothing but love and wonderful things from the fans and I got a whole new welcoming into the fandom of Supernatural [laughs]. When they don’t like a character…

Lynn: They are vocal about it…

Travis: Yes, but some of them were personal, ‘and I hate that actor Travis Wade’. I read a good dozen or so comments that were just really nasty. The Cole comments were fine because, you know, as an actor I hoped I knew what the next episode [that hadn’t aired yet] was gonna do. And I felt like that episode was gonna bring the audience on board and they’re gonna realize he’s a good guy, he’s there to help the boys, and once they see that, I knew the fans would appreciate Cole more. I was hoping that … so in my mind, I guess I thought they already liked Cole, because in the Twitter universe my followers are so supportive. They have created such wonderful things, so I only see the positive. And then I got a look into the people who don’t like Cole, and on top of that, they take the character and then they relate him to me. And part of me was like well, if they don’t like the character, that’s good, because that was my job to come in and make everybody not like him, so I’ve done my job as an actor. And the second half is they hadn’t seen the next episode yet, I knew that in my mind that they haven’t seen it, but in my heart it really hurt. A few people went from liking me to not liking me when I made a few comments like hey, I don’t mind you not liking the character, but please don’t attack me personally. Jared and Jensen kinda warned me like, don’t do that, be careful how much you put yourself out there.

Lynn: Well, they know, they’ve been there. Social media can be a bit of a mine field.

Travis: I’ve heard some stories. That’s the part of fandom I just didn’t have any experience with, so it was really a very emotional week prior to this episode. It’s sad because, getting back to the point, the audience and the fans have to after ten years give these writers and creators of a show a chance. These are some very intelligent people. They’re not just throwing darts at a dartboard saying ah, let’s just bring on a guy named Cole and we’ll see where he goes.

Lynn: I doubt the show would have lasted this long if they were.

Travis: These people make the television show for you guys. Everybody involved with this show has other options. After ten years they could go and retire or they could go other places. And they stay with this show because they care so much about the fans. And that’s something I’ve never seen on another television show.

Lynn: (nodding) They’re all invested, just like we are.

Travis: And so, the point of all this is, if you don’t like a character who’s been brought on, or you don’t like a story line, have faith in the people you’ve invested ten years of your life in. Have faith that they have this idea of where they’re going with a character. And when all is said and done and the character is off the show, you can say look, I didn’t particularly like that character line and the writers did a good job with not making him likable, but at least let it play out before you kinda come in and start really attacking a show that essentially is for you, is for the fans. These guys really truly care about the things they write, they care about the characters, they want everybody to be invested in the Winchester boys and every other character they’ve created. It’s their baby. So it’s really hard for me to watch them attack a character before the character’s story has been laid out. And that’s something I hadn’t experienced, and it was really interesting to me. I try to interact with my fans as much as I can.

Lynn: And fans watch the show in different ways. Some people just want to squee, and others want to critique, and that can be a pleasurable engagement for them too. But sometimes not for you on the other end of it, if it gets personal!

Travis [laughing] No! In a very short period of time, this has become something I love being a part of. For me as an actor, I have other options now, movies that are coming out, opportunities to work on other tv shows, pilot season. And it gets down to a place where they say do you want to do another season of Supernatural or do you want to explore these other options and you have to basically say, as artists, do we stay with what we’re currently doing? And prior to the episode coming out there was no question in my mind I wanted to continue to work on Supernatural but just those fans who were so nasty and negative almost made me not want to be a part of it anymore.

Lynn: There will always be negative comments on the internet, but I think you got a lot of positive response after the episode aired.

Travis: I talked to Jared about it, and I know Jensen feels the same way, when it’s a choice in life about what you want to do. And I had to step back and say okay Travis, you’re looking at a small bad apple, don’t let it spoil the bunch.

Lynn: Exactly. I realize that’s easier said than done when it’s something hurtful said about you.

Travis: Yeah, and you’ve probably experienced this too. I have such great fans, they’re so good to me and they go so out of their way for me. The fans I met early on have been so helpful and I’m closer to them, and then other fans might wonder why. I saw that you wrote a book, Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls, and you have a different relationship with the actors too, and I’m sure you get a lot of this being as involved as you’ve been, but it’s because you’ve done a lot of work.

Lynn: It is a lot of work (but it’s fun work!)

Travis: I’m working with a woman right now who’s really helping me with a fantastic charity that I’ve had in mind for the past 15 years and it’s gonna come to life in the next few months or so. Literally the thing that I dreamt about 15 years ago is happening now because of one of my fans. She said ‘I’m on board and I believe in this idea, I’ll do x y and z for you’, and she has been the driving force behind this little idea that was spawned so many years ago. And with Jared’s recent success with the t shirt he created, it just makes sense to do these things. And the hours that she’s putting into this – and she’s not getting paid, there’s no money to pay her!

Lynn: That’s not what it’s about though, if she cares about this as much as it seems she does. Fandom has always been about trying to make a difference, it’s like a core value of fandom.

In fact, Travis has found a variety of ways to interact with his fans. He crashed an SPN Watch Party in the LA area to watch ‘The Things They Carried’ live, which looked like a ton of fun! (And the best kind of surprise)

Travis joins an SPN Watch Party!
Travis joins an SPN Watch Party!

He also visited the classroom of one of his fans to speak to the children about acting.

Two of the children are diagnosed with autism and don’t speak much, but they ended up participating in the acting lesson. Since then, they’ve been talking more – so much that one of the children no longer requires supplementary speech help!

Travis and his troupe of new actors
Travis and his troupe of new actors
With teacher Alicia
With teacher Alicia
Newly minted actors!
Newly minted actors!

Travis: I think I’m so new to the team here… Someone made a nasty comment like ‘you’re only a guest on the show’ and it’s like, I don’t know why you’re making that an insult! Being a guest anywhere, in someone’s house or whatever, isn’t a bad thing. I auditioned for the pilot of Supernatural ten years ago, and Jensen ended up getting the role. Sometimes it just works out the way it is…but actors are close with one another. We live and work and spend hours and hours with one another.

Lynn: So many of the guest actors on SPN have told us how much the cast respects the guest actors, and so many of them have become good friends.

Travis: Even if I was only to do four episodes of Supernatural, you look at wonderful actors like Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who was only in a small number of episodes, and you look at what he’s gone on to do in his career, and ten years later he does his first convention! When someone comes on the show, from what I understand, they become part of the family. Even when your episodes are no longer airing.

Lynn: Absolutely. Some of the guest actors are now best friends, even if they never worked together on the Show!

Travis: And that goes for even the smallest part. When I got to work with Richard DeClark, who played Kit on this last episode, he’d already been a guest on Supernatural. We start talking and he tells me what a wonderful role Cole is and it’s not like, oh I’ve got a better role than you. Each and every role on that show is so intricate and such a part of those two boys and their story and everyone respects that.

Lynn: I think that’s part of why the show is so successful. The lead actors set that precedent. They respect the guest actors, and that helps the guest cast do a fabulous job.

Travis: Those two, with their star meters, they could get jobs on other shows. For me, being on Supernatural really opened doors too, rooms that are usually very hard to get into, I got in there because I was on Supernatural and I have a very challenging character. You never know where someone’s career is gonna end up. Everybody who comes on this show, we all work very closely and it’s intense, for 12 sometimes 14 hours a day, and you talk and you communicate and you learn about each other’s lives. This tv show is like no other family in show business.

Lynn: Definitely.

And they all support each other. Travis tweeted this picture in his #AlwaysKeepFighting Jared tee shirt.

travis jared rt

Travis: This network is gonna support this show, and they even said it at the 200th episode party, they will support the show as long as the boys and Bob Singer still want to do it. And that says a lot for a network to make that announcement. They know what kind of family this is, they know what they have on their hands. It’s very special, and these guys know when they’ve got something good.

Lynn: They do. And we do. So switching topics a bit, I’m wondering, did you really leap onto Jensen? Was that you or a stunt man?

Travis [laughing]: Dan can take care of that! Dan is my stunt double for the show and the stunt coordinator Lou Bollo said put the boys in, so we put Jesse and Dan in for that. And they knocked it out of the park and it looks just like us.

Lynn: It does! I totally thought that was you and Jensen.

Travis: It sounds like BS when the actors give credit to the stunt guys, but I do — it’s their job and they do it. It was a very interesting stunt that they did there because when you’re talking about leaping on top of someone over a table it can go really bad.

Lynn: Ya think?

Travis: I won’t speak for Jensen but I think he would agree. The guys we have doing our stunts are the best in the business. They make it look really good and there’s no risk there and I don’t think the CW or Warner Brothers want to risk Jensen getting hurt.

Lynn: Pretty sure you’re right. There were some behind the scenes photos of you and Jensen conferring with the director, John Badham. What is it that the director or another actor does that helps you with those difficult scenes?

Travis: When we’re working on a character – I’ll relate it to this character specifically – Cole had a lot of things going on in his personal life. He’s away from his family, his buddy might be dead, he swallowed something that might kill him, and he’s worried that it might turn him. And he’s thinking about his son. I’m an actor who really does the work, so there’s so many things I’m thinking about and so many places I’m trying to get to, and you know, you just get so inside your head, and you end up beating yourself up. You do a take and you’re like, I’m not there, I’m not there. You’re putting so much pressure on yourself. I kept going, I should be thinking about all this, I’ve got this guy on me, and I’m thirsty, and there’s water…if you’re doing your work as an actor, you should be in it. And if you’re in it, sometimes you’re pushing too hard. And to have Jensen come over to me, which he didn’t have to do, and sit me down and put his arm around me and say, ‘take a step back, take a deep breath, you’ve got all this stuff going on – now let it go and just say the words’. So I’m sure the takes they didn’t use were me just being completely over the top, just trying too hard as an actor.

Lynn: Oh, I see, I see.

Travis and Jensen consult with director Badham (tweet TravisAaronWade)
Travis and Jensen consult with director Badham (tweet TravisAaronWade)

Travis: I was really trying too hard, because I care. And a lot of times you see that in movies, you see a scene and it’s like WAHHHH they’re just so angry, and so expressive, and you know they just have so much emotion they want to get out, but that’s not realistic. So this is what Jensen brought in the moment he came over and sat me down. He said, ‘I’m seeing all the great things you’re doing on the camera, now just let it all go’. And that’s him being a wonderful director as well. Learning that side of the camera. And he’s not directing that episode, so when you’re not directing the episode you can have the director’s hat on but you don’t have all the responsibilities the director has. So I think he was kinda looking at that scene as if he was directing it. And it was so nice to have him come over and give me some good advice.

Lynn: I have a feeling that doesn’t happen all that often with leads of tv shows.

Travis: And John Badham came over and said ‘I’ve worked with some of the best in the business, and you’re doing a damn good job’. That kind of reassurance helps, hearing that from a director. And between takes where another actor who has directed the show comes over and gives you some really good notes – someone who’s been on the show for 10 years, someone who has directed – there’s nothing more valuable that I could have gotten at that moment than to have Jensen take the time to work with me. And he didn’t have to. He could’ve worried about his take. He could’ve worried about his angle. But he came over to me and he really saw what I wanted to do and he saw where he could really help me. And he put me in a really good place for that scene. Without his help, I probably would’ve watched that scene and been horrified. Like Ohmygod that is just horrible acting, just too much.

Lynn: I see what you’re saying now. The temptation to go over the top was there, and Jensen was using his directing experience too, looking at it as both the actor playing opposite you but also the director.

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Travis: I mean, you’ve got a worm inside you… it’s very easy for an actor to come in and do all this crazy stuff, like ARRGHHH you know, you’re turning into a monster! Funny enough, the shot they used in the promo, of me in front of the fire, I’m just giving that look. And that look is really all you needed to know that you’re no longer Cole, or you’re not sane anymore, you’re becoming a monster. And it’s just very simple, it’s a small subtle little way of showing it. These are the things these guys [Jensen and Jared] do, and they make it look effortless. People who are just learning the craft, they can make it look like a lot of work. And (laughing) I was making it look like a lot of work.

Lynn: Well, in the final take, it seemed like you did exactly what you wanted it to do. It wasn’t melodrama, that look conveyed the true horror of the situation, and Cole’s awareness of what was happening to him.

Travis: Thank you. The biggest compliment I got that day, and something I’ll remember for the rest of my life, the biggest compliment for any actor who’s worked hard and studied for so many years, after that scene where I drop to my knees and I yell ‘I just can’t’ – when Dean is like ‘fight it’ and I’m like ‘I just can’t’ – John Badham came over after the take and said, ‘that was James Dean, that was James Dean right there.’

Lynn: Oh wow!

Travis: These guys, Brando and Dean, these are the guys who created our current way of acting. They really weren’t acting, they were feeling it, they were really feeling it. And I remember Jensen came over and he put his hand on me afterward and he mentioned something about how I kinda had a Joker moment when I kinda go into the insanity of it when I scream ‘I can’t’ and then I start laughing and it’s sort of Dark Knight Joker. And to have someone like John and someone like Jensen give me those two references on my performance, I’ll remember that forever. Those compliments from two very very very wonderful men who I completely respect… so that just put the cherry on top from Jensen.

Lynn: I can see why.

Travis: And when I did that scene, I didn’t rehearse it that way, like I just wanted to know the line and know where the character was at, and I realized that this was it, he knew he was about to be killed and he was saying goodbye to the world, and I didn’t plan on some kind of maniacal laughter. I watched a really horrible horror film, I won’t say which one it was because I don’t like to tear anyone’s work down, but the actors in it were trying to be maniacal, were trying to be crazy and scary, over the top, and none of it felt real. And when I did those scenes there was nothing like, ok here I’m gonna scream out ‘I can’t’ or here I’m gonna be in pain or I’m gonna do a maniacal crazy laugh. None of that was planned out. It just happened in the moment. When I was laughing like that, I literally was losing my mind. I was so tired.

Lynn: I guess what’s why it came through as so genuine. I’ve heard Jensen and Jared talk about acting that way too – that the emotions they’re feeling are really happening, and your body doesn’t know you’re acting.

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Travis: That happened in the first fight scene with me and Jensen too, in Reichenbach. Where I screamed. Where I jumped back after Jensen was manhandling me – where Demon Dean was manhandling me. I jumped back and I just went ARGGGGGHHH. That was not scripted, that was really Travis being so frustrated at not getting the choreography [of the fight] right. At that moment I’d kinda screwed up the choreography. I got pushed back and I missed a move and I was like AHHHH I’ve been working on this and I just missed that move and screwed the whole thing up!

Lynn: Well, that also came through as genuine!

Travis: When you come from theater, we’re not in our heads …that’s the brilliance of film actors. They know that it’s like, oh we’ll just edit this. Theater actors where I come from, we think, we messed it up. And that natural kind of groan was very real. That was Travis. And that part in ‘The Things They Carried’ was very real too, like I really was going crazy. That scene was very difficult and I was being over the top and I was acting and I wasn’t very happy with my performance and I was at the point where I was like, I’m gonna watch this and be horrified. There are gonna be people going oh Travis, that’s not good. So I had really just lost my mind at that moment. That laughing, I was really like laughing at myself in a very serious way and I didn’t think they would use that!

Lynn: I’m so glad they did – kudos to the editor and the director too, those scenes are some of my favorites.

Travis: Thank you, that’s huge coming from you. That means a lot. What I’m most proud about is that scene and my opening scene in this episode, where you’ve got this guy – he’s all cocky, leaning up against their car —

Cole and his pretty blue eyes
Cole and his pretty blue eyes

Travis: …and then at the end you’ve got a guy who’s just broken. Those two shots, if you take the opening shot of me being like ‘recognized your wheels’ and the shot of me on my knees with Jensen holding a gun at my head – talk about an arc! Talk about a wonderfully written arc. Starting from, like, ‘we got this’ to giving up on his entire life. That’s what I’m most proud of, from the direction John gave me and the help that Jensen gave me and the wonderful writing from Jenny that made that such a wonderful story to watch. You couldn’t ask for two more different people in the same character.

Lynn: Those were striking bookends in a single episode, and yet it didn’t go too fast that it wasn’t a believable evolution.

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Travis: I’m telling you, for television? That’s amazing. When I did the movie Criminal Activity, I sat down with John Travolta, we became dear friends, and I sat down and showed him some of the work that I’d done on Supernatural and he watched it and was like, ‘This is Supernatural??’ And I go yeah. And he goes, ‘This is like a movie!’ He’s like, ‘that’s not the tv I grew up with’. He’s a movie star now, but he did Welcome Back Kotter and then it was like okay, movie stars don’t do television. If you’re a movie star you’re a movie star. And he was blown away by the quality of Supernatural. With shows like Homeland or Breaking Bad, these are shows that are on cable, that have the freedom to do this — but this is prime time, with a very young audience, so to come off like this, it’s such a… what’s the word I’m looking for? You’re the writer, it’s such…

Lynn: A credit to the cast and crew and writers?

Travis: A credit to them. And their hands are so tied, it’s a show that’s very difficult to make like a film, and they do it every single time. I wish I had the word…

Lynn: Testament?

Travis: It’s just a credit to them and what they’re able to do.

Lynn: It is, and I love when other people recognize it. By the way, thank you so much for your explanation of the nicknames you used in that episode – I added your explanation to my episode review. I got a lot of tweets saying oh, now that makes sense.

Travis: I think you get so close to the Show and obviously the fans have met Jared and Jensen at cons, and gotten to know these boys. And this is their show, and then a guest star comes on and the character looks like he’s getting close to them, and fans are like okay, who is this guy? We’ve been part of the show for ten years and this guy comes on and he’s like giving our boys nicknames! No no no, you don’t do that! And they’re absolutely right. Like I don’t walk on set and be like, ‘hey Jenso’ or ‘hey Jarpad’.

Lynn: [laughing, mostly over the ‘Jenso’…]

Travis: Travis doesn’t walk on set and give them nicknames. I wouldn’t do that, I’m very respectful. But breaking down this character, I can’t see him saying Sam or Dean. For whatever reason, it wasn’t coming out right. And that whole decision to figure out why it didn’t seem right led to the nicknames. Ultimately I felt it was a need I had to address, but fans were like, who is this Travis Aaron Wade coming out of nowhere?! And if I was a fan, if I had watched the show and been a huge fan for many years, I probably wouldn’t have done that. I would’ve been like no, no guest star gets to give these guys nicknames. I’m a huge fan of 24 and watched every single episode and I’ve auditioned a dozen times and never got a part on it, but if I had, I probably wouldn’t have done that great of a job. Because I’m such a fan!

Lynn: It would be hard to separate that out. So you get what it’s like to be a passionate fan, obviously.



Travis: Yes, and for this specific thing, it wouldn’t have been my character. I had to address it because so many people were not liking it.

Lynn: Well, the Sammy thing is canon. It’s not so much that it was something that Cole wouldn’t say, it’s just that fandom holds sacred that nobody gets to call him Sammy but Dean.

Travis: Well that time he was in shape to say don’t call me that, whereas the first time I called him that, he wasn’t really in a position to say ‘hey don’t give me a nickname’.

Lynn: [laughing] True! He was more worried about the hammer!

Travis: When someone’s got you tied up and has got a hammer out, you don’t sit there and tell them what to do. You’re more like, okay if you wanna call me a nickname, call me a nickname!

Lynn: The ‘Deano’ didn’t bother me as much, there’s no canon prohibition around that.

Travis: I think that Deano, I kinda — you know, it’s probably Dean Martin, maybe he’s a Dean Martin fan. The character was annoyed with Cole so Cole was like, I’ll make it even more annoying for you guys. [At first it was] I’ m not your partner, I’m not your buddy, I’m trying to kill you, and then basically when all that’s over he’s still trying to have his bravado thing. He [Dean] got the best of me, he killed my dad, he beat me, and so as a man I’m like, what do I have to do to kinda get under your skin? Oh, a nickname. And when I told the writers, they saw it right away. Obviously as a guest actor I don’t wanna go outside the lines because it’s intimidating as an actor, but for me it was like, what can I do? What can I give to Jensen after ten years of being on the show? You know what? I’m gonna nickname him, how about that, Deano? It gives the actor something to play with. It’s the same kinda thing, I don’t know if people picked up on it, but Dean called me like ten nicknames. Like every time he talks to me, he’s got a nickname. Kung Fu grip or hey Sparky…

Lynn: I did notice. And Dean does that a lot, gives people nicknames. Cole saying ‘Deano’ didn’t jar me like the Sammy thing, just because of the history.

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Travis: Now I’m giving myself a challenge. And that is, if I’m honored to come back in a future episode, which I don’t know, I don’t know what the writers have in store for Cole right now. He’s gone back to his family, but if I am asked to come back, I don’t wanna overdo something. I don’t wanna blow something out. So where and when do I get to play with that and how do I come up with something else different? And if he does come back, I want it to be in a way — and this is something I really hope the writers think about — in a way that feels like intricate to the ultimate story of the boys. What I would love is if they bring out the similarities with the loss of their parents. Nobody has really written about or talked about that similarity. Part of what makes the boys so endearing is that their mother was killed and their father is gone, and they’re orphans. There’s something that happens when someone loses their parents. And it can be at ten years old or at sixty. When you lose your parents, there’s something that happens, and you feel orphaned. And what I think makes the fans latch onto the boys is that they feel like well, these boys have each other and they have us, we’re their family.

Lynn: Yes. Exactly, yes.

Travis: And I think the fans really feel like, you don’t have your mom and dad, but you’ve got us. And I haven’t seen or heard this said, but Cole’s an orphan too. When his father was killed, he had to be raised by someone else. It wasn’t his mother. And I made the choice of character that after his father was killed he had to move from his home and live with his aunt and uncle or …I know what I’ve done in my mind but obviously the writers could come along and change that – but in my mind, he was orphaned. So that’s the link that people have missed and also that who he’s with might be his wife, but is that his real son? Maybe she had a child and Cole is raising someone else’s kid. What happened to her husband? Maybe that kid was orphaned. Maybe he felt like that kid lost his dad like Cole lost his and that’s a bond between him and his wife. Their stories are similar. These boys were orphaned at a young age, and that’s the part I’m waiting for them to pick up on. And so if they bring Cole back, I’d love for them to explore that. So you see the link between the boys, you see why the boys bond with him.

Lynn: I think you started to see that in this episode, the Winchesters developing some respect for Cole – that he’s a fighter like them, a hunter.

Travis: And maybe in a scene that you don’t see is the conversation between them with Sam saying ‘You know, Dean, when you killed his father, you orphaned the kid, and remember when we were orphaned? When we lost mom? Remember how we felt?’ I think if they had that scene in the future and we saw that and Dean acknowledged that similarity, and we’re kinda partially responsible for killing his dad, even though we did it for the right reasons, we essentially orphaned him, so we should be there for him. And we can also use him, he can be an asset. He’s military, he has inside information that they could use. Now he can get them all sorts of better access, now that he knows that they’re doing the right thing. He’s got the Pentagon at his fingertips, he could get them the information they need, and they could do a lot of damage together. He could also become their ally because of the fact that they could bond over the loss of their parents. The boys could fight demons with the help of the military! Interesting question too, who is my inside guy? It’s all very Marvel Avengers. Or maybe Agents of Shield. Maybe my contact is part of the Shield…

Lynn: Crossover! [laughing] I like it.

Travis: Right now there are bunch of ways the Show can go, so trust the writers, trust that when they bring on a character, give the writers an opportunity to explore that character, just give them a chance. You may not like them at first, but the writers and the production team are smart people, and if you’ve taken the time to invest in a character, believe in them that they’re gonna do good things.

Lynn: Gotta say, I’m pretty excited with where the Show is going right now. It’s heading for the Season finale at a breakneck pace, with all the threads pulling together in an amazing way. I’m half dying of anticipation and half terrified!

Maybe we’ll see Cole back in Season 11 – and hopefully we’ll see Travis at more conventions! In the meantime, you can visit the website for the charity project that Travis talks about here (making dreams come true, one sale at a time) at:

Stay tuned for more from VegasCon, including the Saturday Night Special and Jensen being a rockstar, and Sunday’s Winchester Family Reunion!

To read more about Supernatural in Fangasm
Supernatural Fangirls and Fan Phenomena
Supernatural – click the links at the top of the page!

10 thoughts on “Catching Up With Cole: Behind the Scenes with Travis Aaron Wade on Supernatural

  • I love you guys so much! You give such great insights and I read all of your reviews and I have read your book. I would just like to say thank you. I was among the many people who were really upset about the nicknames. I am so glad you explained that Deano was not so bad, but the Sammy was a canon no-no and it burnt me up. I love Cole and I think Travis is adorable and talented, but even after he explained his logic behind it, I could still only say NO to the sammy. I appreciate you giving a voice to us and explaining to him why it is so important to us. Also thanks for giving us an opportunity to know Travis better, he’s very smart and awesome! Thank you so much!!!

  • Thanks for the interview with Travis. As an actor, I love to hear the “process” that other actors are using to bring their character to life. It’s great to get insight into the work that is going into the scenes as well.

    I couldn’t agree with Travis more re: the writers and the production team. We as fans can get a little bit two-year-old-ish when the stories/characters aren’t going the way we think they should. We need to trust that these people love our Show as much if not more than we do!! They’ve got this. It’s fine to voice of feelings but throwing fits is just stupid!! 🙂

  • Thanks ladies! And thanks to Travis too! I like him, tweeted a few times with him, but I wasn’t aware of the Facebook fiasco. I’m sad to hear about that. I can understand fans saying a resounding “NO” to ‘Bloodlines’, but attacking an actor personally because the fan didn’t like the character is never acceptable. I don’t have much love for Metatron, but Curtis is awesome, as an actor and a person. 🙂 I’m going to take that back, I think Metatron has been one of the most awesome antagonists the show has ever had, so in that respect I absolutely love him–besides Cas going darkside in season 6, because that was brilliant–my 2 cents.

    I think the last Cole episode did give the character a much needed boost in the Fans’ eyes. I did disagree with one thing though, and that’s Travis’ idea about the use of the military contacts. I mean yes, I think the boys could use that, but at the same time, part of their struggle is that they have limited resources. It could work, as long as it isn’t over the top of the reality that the show’s writers have created. I hope that makes sense.

    Anyhow, I do hope to see Travis at more conventions, and guest staring on the show. I think it’s good for the show to have an expansion of story lines.

  • Great interview! I’m really happy to hear that Travis enjoyed working with Jensen and Jared, and that his time on Supernatural is helping his career. Travis seems like a nice person with a really great take on the acting industry. Altho I was a bit skeptical of Cole when he joined the show, I find myself hoping we see him again, and that he gets to interact with Sam and Dean a bit more, especially Sam (I believe Cole still owes Sam an apology?).

    And thank you for explaining the ‘Sammy’ thing. I do hope he understands that many fans were upset not with him for saying it but for the lack of reaction–“Only HE gets to call me that” or something similiar definitely should have shown up! Maybe in the future they can clear it up 🙂

  • Great interview, thank you.

    Travis, may I say just don’t care what people says? As an avid book reader I know there are two kind of people: the ones who trust the writer and enjoy the journey, the othesr that knows always better. The only way to cope with the second ones is humor: as Philip Roth said once “[…]when I wrote ‘Portnoy’s Complaint,’ everybody was sure it was me, but I told them it wasn’t. When I wrote the ‘Ghost Writer’ everybody was sure it was me, but I said none of these things ever happened to me. I never met a girl who looked like Anne Frank. I didn’t have some nice writer take me into his house. I made it all up. And now when I tell the truth, they all insist that I made it up. I tell them, ‘Well, how can I make it up since you’ve always said I am incapable of making anything up?’ I can’t win!”. It’s the same thing with acting: you can’t win! So just be yourself, do your best and be proud. I strongly agree with Lynn, Cole is a great character and you gave him life. Thanks for this.

  • Nice review as always! Travis does nice job of giving insight to the shows process and his character. He really does seem to care about the show and the character. It shows in his well thought out comments and ideas for the story. I hope he knows that the crap coments come from the minority, not the majority.

  • I’m still not a huge fan of Cole (I don’t know, I just don’t click emotionally with him like I’ve done with others who interact with the boys), but Travis seems nice. Hopefully Cole gets to break the SPN mold and actually have a nice, happy life with his own family.

    • I understand what you’re saying. I also don’t care for the character, but I think the character is very well portrayed if that makes sense. I could come over to liking Cole, but I’m not there yet.

      I’ve been wondering about the parallels between Cole and Claire – both of them had their families destroyed by Team Free Will. Claire is ambivalent but leaning dark and Cole has been both a friend and a foe. It seems like both of them have easy ways to be manipulated by angels or demons down the road.

  • Wonderful interview! Amazing how much Travis committed to this character — all the backstory and filling in the scene with Sam (in which he apologizes…I agree that needs to happen, even if it’s only acknowledged off-screen!) and the military connections. Love it!

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