When I said I was going to try to document everything Supernatural related in the weeks before the show returns to the air for the last time, I had no idea just what that would mean. I’ve watched this show since the beginning, and I remember wishing for more media coverage, trying to get people interested in the show, telling anyone who would listen that Supernatural was the best show ever. Fifteen years later, the world has figured that out. That was never more obvious than in the couple of days leading up to the show’s return, when it seemed like every major outlet from Variety to TVGuide to CNN had an interview with Jared and Jensen and an article about the show, and every CW local outlet had their 10 minutes of questions with the boys. It was incredibly overwhelming trying to keep up with the constant onslaught of coverage, and I was constantly emotional – so proud of the little show that could which, now that it’s coming to an end, is recognized for how special it is and what it has created.
There were also bits of news every day, all of it exciting. Jensen and Danneel struck a deal to form a production company under the Warner Bros. umbrella called Chaos Machine Productions. Not gonna lie, I’m keeping all my fingers and toes crossed that they’ll helm the next Supernatural project. Come on, Ackles, it’s a no brainer!
Jared got a hair cut, which left fandom in a collective panic about how short Walker’s hair was going to be.
Turned out to be a fruitless worry, because – in my humble opinion anyway – the new haircut is every bit as hot as the previous one! Fandom then turned its considerable attention to wondering what the new tattoo is that Jared’s sporting and what it might mean. Hmmm.
Jared started a new AKF campaign with Stands that included a plaid AKF charm and a stuffed AKF moose, which is seriously adorable. He did a facebook live about the campaign, which he hasn’t done in one million years, and posted a gorgeous photo in the You Define You hoodie and with his new Walker haircut. Mmm.
Jensen bought a new car, which does not do a damn thing for me but which he was clearly very excited about.
The company he bought it from was equally excited. And clearly Supernatural fans!
Not gonna lie, I’m laughing at the Ackles family tooling around Austin in either their ’67 Impala (they took it to Starbucks the other day) or this new ‘beast’ of a car.
Misha went naked to get out the vote, to fandom’s sincere appreciation, used his text line to help get the vote out, and made sure water and snacks were handed out to voters in Georgia standing in insanely long lines to vote, and generally kept on working to save the world. And look adorable doing it.
And that was just the tip of the iceberg – the last week and a half have been bursting with content. I’m very aware that we’ll never have this level of Supernatural news and photos and videos and collective excitement again, so I’m trying to savor every bit of it – and share it here so we can all remember just how amazing this time was to be a Supernatural fan. Below are some of the interviews, videos and articles that ran leading up to the return of the show. I had no idea it would be this overwhelming to try to keep track of all of them! (Not like that’s a bad thing). I’ve included some excerpts and links to most of the media too. Phew!
Variety ran multiple articles on Supernatural leading up to its return, including a preview of Episode 15.14, ominously titled Last Holiday, with some interesting quotes from Jared and Jensen. Having now seen it, what they said makes sense – that it gives us all a chance to laugh a little bit and see the boys allow someone to give them some breaks, and as an homage to the holidays that the boys had to miss and the bunker that’s become their home.
Jared: And how little Sam and Dean have asked for other things or gratitude. It’s a chance for the boys to enjoy this home that’s given them so much.
(That makes me think they might not have it much longer….especially since Mrs. Butters’ departure returned it to its partially warded state.)
Jensen: I think it’s probably one of those rare moments in the course of the show where we get to see the boys kick their shoes off, put their feet up and pat each other on the back and say, ‘Job well done’. But in true ‘Supernatural’ fashion, it doesn’t last for long and we’ve got to get back to work.
Fandom lost our minds over how GOOD the boys looked in their mostly single-layered glory, and about the glimpses of tattoos that we got. We’re so used to seeing Sam and Dean in three flannel-topped layers that all these tee shirts are a wonderful surprise. Anyway, back to the actual interview…
Every article that ran in the past week of course included how Ackles and Padalecki felt filming the final episodes after so many months away.
Jared: Regardless of whether the final episodes were shot on their original schedule or not, the emotion that came with them aided in the work…I’m sure some of it is subjective, but there is a nice feeling, for the first time in ‘Supernatural’ [of finality]. We were able to treat it with the gravitas that it deserved — that it warranted. It was sort of like good acting by default because we could feel the finality [and] importance of it, so maybe just call ‘action’ and we were already in the right headspace.
I’ve heard about the text chain that Jensen, Jared and Richard Speight, Jr. have had that’s like the Naked Gun version of Supernatural for a while now – they finally broached the topic in this interview.
Jensen: We call it Naked Supernatural…
Jared: Not clothing, not clothing!
Jensen: Instead it’s like an episode where everything is any kind of horrible joke we could possibly fathom.
I know I’m not speaking just for myself when I say we would all pay good money to see that episode – and Jared agreed saying he, for one, would be interested in coming back to shoot that down the line.
New production company, anyone? First project? Full interview link below.
In a second Variety article, Jared and Jensen shared the emotional journey that this last season and the last episodes of Supernatural have been.
Jensen: When I showed up, it was our last day of filming at the studios and it was a big day, script-wise. And our third AD, Emma — we call her G.G., which is short for ‘garden gnome,’ because she’s little — she came up to me and was already in tears; she was like, ‘It’s our last day at the studio.’ And I just said, ‘Nope. No, no no, another day at the office, business as usual, don’t start that s—.’ That’s how I do the work.
I can vouch for the fact that Ackles has been saying this for the whole last season. I started asking him a year ago, when Season 15 began filming, how he was feeling and if it was hitting him yet. He shared his protective denial strategy and vowed to stay in it for a while – and he kept to his plan apparently! I tried to take a page out of his book and cultivate some protective denial too, though I confess it only worked sporadically for me.
Jensen said the same thing in the new CW promo spot – There were tears happening on set and there was emotion and I feel like I didn’t know how to process all the emotions so I just kept sweeping them under the rug, knowing that eventually I was gonna have to deal with it – and then Covid happened and I didn’t have to!
(For a while anyway!)
A few days after wrapping the show, Jared said he didn’t know if he’d unpacked what that final brother moment really means emotionally.
Jared: I’ve been avoiding really delving back into that mindset and what it means and what it meant… Like Jensen said, we had to treat that like another day at the office even though Jensen knew and Jared knew like hey, Supernatural is done come Thursday, we had to treat it like this may be the last minute of the Super Bowl but we’ve still got plays to make. For me personally, I’d gone through a lot of emotions leading up to this, so I’d already cried a lot of tears and smiled and laughed and everything in between. So [in the last scenes] I’m sure Jared bled through at some times, but I tried to be as true to Sam between action and cut as I could possibly be, knowing it’s goodbye to these characters because the show is gonna be over… I tried to keep all the emotions belonging to Sam and be the best vessel I could be to help tell his story.
Jensen: One thing you’ll see, for me, is the lines that separate the character from the actor get heavily blurred in Sam and Dean’s last scene together.
I’ve known I’ll be a wreck during the series finale, but reading this? It’s gonna be worse (and also better) than I thought. Stocking up on tissues!
Similar to what Jared and Jensen both have said in their chapters in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done, they both said they’ll take Supernatural into their future projects.
Jared: I’m gonna take Sam Winchester and the lessons I learned from Supernatural into everything I do. Proudly. And probably outside of jobs, just as what kind of human being I want to be.
Jensen: (nodding in agreement) Dean will be a part of everything I do. The last 15 years was not just going to work, it was an educational experience. I learned a lot about everything I do. Jared and I didn’t go to school for this, we learned on the job. I never anticipated being this educated in what we do and I think that will only help us in what we do moving forward. I’m thankful for that and for what I learned in this experience, and I will happily take that moving forward into whatever I do.
Jared: It was sorta like good acting by default, because we could feel the gravitas and the importance of it. When they called action, we were already kinda in the right headspace.
He also said they didn’t let COVID stop any brother moments, with the costars getting tested every three days and only interacting with each other and essential personal, including the director, cinematographer and their key makeup and hair artists.
In an interview with Cheatsheet.com, Andrew Dabb said that eventually those emotions did hit Jared and Jensen.
Dabb: I think they both took it really hard. There’s a scene in the last episode which I won’t spoil but you’ll know when you see it, that it really hit both of them really, really hard. You can see it on screen. These guys, they’re amazing actors, yes, but they’ve also inhabited these characters for so long that they feel real to them and to us. The problem is when something happens to them, even if it’s a good thing, even if it’s something triumphant, I think they just feel it a lot more than your average actor would being handed a script and everything like that. I think you see that a lot in the final episode. I think you see it all over the place. I’m just really, really happy in how it came together and I have a huge amount of respect and awe for these guys and how they were able to help us tell that story, or not even help us. They told the story. It’s all them.
(We are so damn lucky!)
Jensen and Jared also made the rounds of talk shows and local CW affiliates. On The Talk, Jensen tried to zoom in and was frozen for the first ten minutes, which was hilarious when they still had his face frozen on the screen just staring. For a second I was like, why is Jensen being so quiet?
Jared said that the last day wasn’t as emotional as he would have thought, because the days and weeks leading up to it were very emotional.
Jared: I’m an emotional guy, I’m in touch with my feelings and very proud of that, but I think I got a lot of it out during the quarantine. On the last day, I expected crying – towels, this and that – but I just felt proud. I looked around at Jensen and our other cast and crew and just felt like cool, we did it. For 15 and a half years. I don’t know if we ever really patted ourselves on the back. That last day it was like, we’re done, we crossed the finish line, let’s celebrate now.
The Talk: Over the past fifteen years, the two of you have become super close. Jared, was there a moment when you knew you had a brother for life in Jensen?
Jared answered yes, at their first meeting, laughing. Then he told a story that’s familiar to most of fandom.
Jared: Two weeks into filming we got jumped by a bunch of guys. And that was sort of the moment that you go all right, you look over and you see someone coming to your rescue and vice versa and you go all right – I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, but we shared blood together and I was like all right, when I was about to get my butt kicked he was there for me and vice versa, so…
I mean, could they have a more Sam and Dean answer?
The Talk: You two have matching tattoos – can you show them to me?
Jared obligingly stands up and goes to pull down his jeans, laughing, then shows his actual tattoo, a Basquiat crown. Which, he says, meant many things, including the Shakespeare quote ‘uneasy lies the head that wears the crown’. It’s a reminder, he said, that there are high times and low times.
He then told the story of getting the matching tattoos at their onscreen father (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)’s wedding, where the three Winchesters all got the same crown.
The Talk was really going for the quintessential fandom stories, asking what Jared learned about Jensen when they were roommates?
Jared: I’m a pretty low key guy, a pretty boring fella. So it was wonderful because Jensen and I would work these 14 hour and 18 hour days and be miserably tired, but what surprised me – and I’d known him for years, we’ve been through a lot together – but I don’t know if we ever, in all those years, talked about the show at home. It was okay, we’re at home, we’re Jared and Jensen now, we’re watching the Cowboys, we’re playing guitar, we’re cooking steaks. It was sort of, selfishly for me, it was like a pat on the back, like cool, you can sort of be normal in this business when they call cut.
Jensen’s tech woes finally resolved just as they were about to go to break.
The Talk: Jensen, have you finally joined the party?
Jensen: I just wanted to show up for the break…
That left both of them laughing, and Jared looking very happy that Jensen had joined in. After the break they played a rousing game of ‘How well do you know your bro?’ with paddles of each other’s faces to hold up for answers. Jensen decorated his Jared paddle nicely.
Who has better dance moves?
They both say themselves.
Jensen: Come on, I did an entire tap dance on the show!
Jared: I took dance lessons too.
Jensen: It doesn’t show…
The Talk eventually pronounced Jensen the winner.
Jensen: By a little bit…
Lots of local CW affiliates also got their ten minutes with the boys. An Arkansas CW station had both actors talking about being the emotions of the last days of filming.
Jared: The last day I was sort of overwhelmed with happiness, a feeling of completion, of finality. I remember wanting to smile a lot even though I was saying goodbye to people. I was looking at people, especially Ackles, like dude, you and I have been here since day one, way back in February of ’05. We did it, man. And the crew around us, some of them 15 years too, and what we’ve all been through. I was really proud of us and I’m really proud of me.
Jensen: I agree with Jared. Fifteen years ago, he and I got on a roller coaster together, and we didn’t separate for fifteen years. It was no different that final week, we were going through the same emotions, feeling the same feels, having those same moments. It was a beautiful ride and I couldn’t ask for a better partner.
Me: Ohgod, I need tissues just for the interviews??
Interviewer: How many tissues exactly should we have on hand?
Jensen and Jared: All of them. Get a whole roll of toilet paper.
Jared: I don’t think many people will be able to watch the finale in real time. I think there will be a lot of pausing, wiping the tears out of eyes like I can’t see, it’s like I’m under water, then catch back up. Especially what the episode means and what the show means as a whole.
Jensen: The camera operator, this is a guy who’s watched he and I onscreen for fifteen years, and one of the more emotional scenes, after one take, he had to take a lens wipe and soak up the tears that were in his eyepiece.
Me: There’s no hope for me.
What advice would they give their younger selves starting out on the show?
Jared: Knowing how difficult it got sometimes, you’ll have some highs and some lows in 15 years, and sometimes in those overstressed moments the lows got pretty low. Keep going, no feeling is final, and you’ll be so proud when it comes to an end, so one foot in front of the other.
(In other words, #AKF!)
Jensen: Look, I know you might think it’s funny, but don’t grab the cocktail sausages and start eating them because they’ll make Dean eat all the things for 15 years!
Jared: Tell myself, hey, start eating things!
TV Line talked to showrunner Andrew Dabb, who previewed the series finale: Ultimately, it’s gonna come down to Sam and Dean, two guys from Kansas, facing off against the Supreme Being. So they’re still the underdogs in that fight.
He also teased the flashback episode that’s coming up.
Dabb: Meghan [Fitzmartin], one of the writers on the show, came in with an idea, and it worked for us. It worked not only as a case right now, but also as something that informed the journey Sam and Dean have taken, where they started as kids, how they kind of came together and then how that has [led up] to the point that they are, emotionally, when the episode airs. So it ended up being a really good reflection of our guys now, telling a story about our guys then, which, to me, are always the best versions of those types of flashback stories.
I’m looking forward to that one!
CBS8 in San Diego also talked to Jared and Jensen.
Interviewer: Which one of you cried during the filming of the finale?
Both: raise hands
Jared: We both cried, for sure. I think everybody. There might have been even more people crying who weren’t even on set.
Jensen: We have a bunch of text threads with the gang that’s been on the show in the past, some have 20 or 30 people in them. People were in a different country and like, I’m crying…
In the spirit of Halloween, who’s most likely to be scared at a haunted house?
Jensen: I really enjoy haunted houses. He and I are both very desensitized to scares especially now after 15 years of dealing with it. When I go to a haunted house when there’s a really good scare, I chuckle, like yeah that’s good.
Jared insisted he’s a ‘Halloween grumpus’: I wear costumes all day, I’m not putting on a costume.
Jensen: Oh buddy, just wait until that 3 year old tells you to dress up like a princess unicorn – you’re gonna do it!
Jared: Okay, I’m gonna find that on amazon now…
These little interviews are gold, to be honest.
USA Today also ran an article with quotes from Jared, Jensen and Andrew Dabb about the final episode.
Jared: We re-approach everything and see the culmination of what Sam and Dean have gone through for 15 years and their efficiency at doing just that.
Yay, smart Winchesters!!
Jared also said that ‘sacrifice’ plays a big role too – which, would it be Supernatural if it didn’t?
Jared: The most inspiring things for me, and for a lot of fans I’ve met in person, have been the moments where Sam and Dean go through something and then wake up the next day or the day after that or the next week and go, ‘OK. It’s time for me to get back at it.’ And there’s a lot of that in the final couple of episodes.
Jensen: Certainly the season could have ended after 19 and would have been like, ‘OK, that makes sense.’ But then we come back for one more episode and just knock you straight in the teeth.
The Supernatural fandom: the only group of people who line up waiting for our favorite show to knock us straight in the teeth!
KGUN9 did a nice interview with Jared and Jensen shortly after they wrapped.
Jensen: I still feel like the bell has just rung, like that’s a wrap and we’re still walking offstage. Like Jared said, it isn’t gonna hit us until we walk onto the set of another show.
Jared: To echo that, it still feels very present. We still had a lot of work to do after they called wrap. What a wonderful opportunity it was to not only do a project I really cared about – the themes, the motives, and I care about my character – but I also really care about the fandom, the family. I went in as an actor and came out as a family member of a giant multi million person family.
Jensen: This cast of characters was truly unique to what we had in Supernatural compared to any other place.
They talk about both those things, and how that is part of the legacy of the show, in their chapters in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done. And they really mean it. I think one thing that comes through in all these interviews and in their chapters in the book is just how genuinely proud they are of the show and how close they feel to the SPNFamily.
TV Line also did a preview video with the boys about the final episodes. They teased that we get to see Sam and Dean more similar to the pilot than we have since the pilot
Jensen: There’s a lot of little nods and Easter eggs filtered in through the last couple episodes that are attributed to episodes very early in the series.
Jared: We get to see a show about Sam and Dean, at least for a little bit. We get to see Sam and Dean being Sam and Dean, the way they began, to some degree.
(Fans have already figured out some of those similarities, but I’ll keep those spoilers to myself)
Jensen: These guys are motivated to fight. But then as the weight of what they’re facing starts to set in, and they realize that this may be a lost cause, there’s some, I would say, more of a dejected side of the Winchesters than we’ve seen in a long time. Fortunately, in true Winchester fashion, they somehow find a way to get motivated and get back on that horse and go fight the good fight. When all hope is lost, that’s when you call the Winchesters.
Even CNN got in on the act, with a writer who is clearly a long-time fan interviewing Ackles and Padalecki, commenting that “the actors talk like that a lot when they’re together, finishing each other’s story or thought midway. It’s a side effect of 15 years’ worth of long nights on set and countless press days together.”
Here are a few more priceless quotes from that article, which sometimes reads like Jared and Jensen doing an onstage panel.
Padalecki hopes he can recreate a version of what they built on “Supernatural” with his new fellow cast members and crew.
“It takes a while. A true relationship is built over time,” he says. “On ‘Supernatural,’ we went through deaths and births and marriages and divorces… and heartbreak and the honeymoon phase of falling in love — [and] not just us. We both started dating our wives that are now the mothers of our kids during the show.”
“Oh, I thought you meant we fell in love,” Ackles quips.
“We fell in love, too,” Padalecki jokes.
When I add that plotline was only in fan fiction, Ackles retorts, “Or was it?”
Padalecki erupts in laughter.
“There goes the internet.”
Jared and Jensen both said that having the last moments of the show be the last scene they filmed, combined with the lack of cell service at their location that day, allowed them to be fully present for the final scenes. The tears we’ll see onscreen, they said, will be real.
Jared: In a really strange way, the finale that we just finished last Thursday is, in hindsight, the finale I would have always wanted.
Jensen: I think it’s actually a really beautiful moment, not just for he and I, but for the crew and for everybody there, because there was a finality to it. And then we popped some corks and had some speeches, and it was a really nice moment.
Both said they’d like to do conventions again, especially since by that point, the finale will have aired, and they can speak about it openly.
(Now if only we could get this damn pandemic to end so that would be possible!)
ET Online had a wonderful idea – get their Matt Cohen to interview his friends, Jared and Jensen!
Jensen talked about dreading the big goodbye after fifteen years.
Jensen: I don’t know what this says about me, but I was dreading the goodbye in March. Not because I didn’t want to say goodbye, but I’m not good with goodbyes. I just don’t like saying goodbye, you know, ‘I hope you have a great life.’ I don’t like that. And so the fact that it got put off, I was almost a little relieved knowing that it would have to come at some point. Then when we came back, you couldn’t hug and you couldn’t touch each other and you couldn’t be within six feet and there were masks and you couldn’t see smiles, and it was almost like this weird diet version of saying goodbye that, for me, I was like, ‘Good, I didn’t want to say goodbye anyways! I felt like I was saying, ‘Well, see ya later. I’ll see you when this pandemic’s over, I’ll see you when there’s not a mask on your face, I’ll see you when I’m able to hug you and I’ll see you when I’m able to properly embrace you and say thank you for so many years. So I won’t say goodbye right now, I’ll just say see you when I can see you.’
Jared: It’s obviously less ideal, like Jensen touched on, with people in masks. We were joking, when we would walk off set, we had one way we could walk onto set and one way to walk off — COVID regulations. And so when we’d walk off set, he and I both felt like the stereotypical asshole actor. The sea would part…and you’re yelling from your little tape mark on your way to your trailer like, ‘Hey, how’s it going? How’s quarantine, good to see ya. You got a new tattoo, blah, blah, blah.’ That was difficult, but we made the most of it. And like Jensen said, we didn’t really say goodbye to anybody. We said, ‘See you later’… I understand that it was goodbye to a lot of people, but I understand that I will see a lot of the other ones again. And now we’re all getting used to Zoom and FaceTime and we can at least see each other’s faces, albeit from afar. So just trying to keep our heads up about it.
Jensen: The one goodbye that I know Jared and I both had to deal with was the goodbye to the Winchester brothers, and that was felt.
Jensen: That was really heavy and you’ll see it reflected in the [final] episode — the emotion of it anyway — ’cause there are certainly parts of the final episode where the character and the human being playing that character, their emotions are very intertwined. Final day, no cell phone service there, so it wasn’t like a normal day. It kinda forced you to be present even tho you wanted to distract yourself. It forced us to really be there. And the final that’s a wrap, it didn’t happen immediately. Bob, who directed the finale, walked over to us and the other crew, and he kinda took his moment, like that’s a wrap. I get a little warm in my throat just talking about it.
Jared: I had my chance to cry my tears (over the last months). I’m glad I did because that last day, though it was bittersweet, it was more sweet than bitter ’cause I got the sadness out to some degree. I’m sure it will come again but selfishly, I was like, I can look around and smile. There were a lot of tears all over but Ackles and I were kind of looking at each other like, ‘Man.’ It was kind of like finishing the Seattle Marathon. We did it. Dude, we did it, you know? We put in the work… It wasn’t like hey I’m famous or have this many followers, it was like hey, I’ve been with you for 15 years, 15-1/2 years. I’ve seen you sweat. I’ve seen you bleed. I’ve seen you hurt. I’ve seen you going through stuff personally and put it aside for this show, for your character and I know I’ve done the same and it was bittersweet. But it was sweet, man. It was happy. It felt like I could do this again. Even after 15 seasons. Let’s call Peter Roth and Mark Pedowitz and see if they’ll have us for 15 more.
(Me: I AM READY!)
Jared on the finale: Like any good series finale, it pays homage to the beginning, and so Jensen and I worked in a few [Easter eggs] — the writers did that on their own — but he and I also worked in a few little homages to those out there who have been around since the get and who are familiar with the canon and lore and history of Supernatural so there are a few little Easter eggs in here.
Jensen: I’m excited, especially the one at the end. Those who know will pick up on it. Those who don’t will just think it’s normal and that was all Jared. He said, ‘Hey, I got an idea,’ and I was like, ‘Oh of course we’re doing that.’ The final episode, there are some Easter eggs that are laid in there for the hardcore fans for sure. It’s also… I’ll say this, it’s really nice seeing the brothers doing what they’re so good at.
Jared: For longtime fans, keep an eye out. There are a lot of homages. We end the way we began, to some degree.
(Fandom has guesses about that one already, but again, I’m keeping it to myself!)
Suffice it to say, all these interviews made us all beyond excited for the show’s return!
Jared said he’s looking forward to working with wife Gen on the new show Walker, which films in Austin, and to being a part of his kids’ Zoom classes.
Jared: I did not want to work after Supernatural. I was done, man… I will take phone calls but did not want to seek work and this storyline came up and the cast of characters starting to get built, and I was like, ‘Oh man, I will jump in the pool if you will have me.’ So to be in it and producing it and creating it has been really special. It has been new ground. I feel really special and my love for my new project, I want to stress, is not in any way to detract from my love and gratitude on what we all just finished together.
Jensen is also looking forward to being part of Supernatural creator Eric Kripke’s new show, The Boys.
Jensen: I’ve been a fan since I saw the first episode. When I was talking to Kripke over quarantine break, I mentioned, ‘Hey, somebody is going to be out of work pretty soon. What is happening over there in your world?’ That kind of started a conversation and he called me the next day and was like, ‘Look, there is a role coming up in season 3 that I could see you throwing your hat in the ring for,’ and I was like, ‘okay.’ I want to stress this was not him calling me being like, ‘I got this for you. Come on over.’ They were already out to some heavy hitters and guys I was like, ‘I can’t compete with that,’ so I had to fight for it and I’m glad I did.
He said he was excited to go visit somebody else’s house for a change.
Jensen: I will of course miss the one we built for 15 yrs. There’s still familiar faces there so I won’t be completely a fish out of water. I’m excited to put on a superhero outfit too. That is kickass! I have to be in L.A. for the next couple of months because it takes that long to build it so every two weeks, you have to go in for a fitting and it builds. These things are works of art, so I am excited for that. It will be cool. Finally something my 3-year-old son can be really proud of — a flannel shirt and some boots are not the coolest thing to a 3-year-old but a guy with a mask and a shield…”
Jared: And a 12 pack of superhero costume abs…
Jensen: (mock affronted) Those are real, Jared, those are real…
Jared and Jensen also spoke to the LA Times about what it was like to film those last two episodes.
Jensen: Between action and cut, it was business as usual. You’re with your director and your cameramen and women and your cinematographer and with your fellow actors and actresses. And you’re like “Got it. This is comfortable. This is like a warm blanket.”
The pandemic made substantial changes to filming, though.
Jensen: I know that Jared and I, we take our cues from the reactions that we get from our crew members, which is essentially our audience. Our audience is the two-dozen people that are onstage with us. The guy holding the mike, the guy behind the camera, the one pulling the focus. We know that if we can make them laugh or make them cry or get some kind of emotion out of them, we’re doing something. And that got taken away. So that was interesting. We just have to rely on our instincts and on each other to tell each other, “You hit it, you nailed it, you got it.”
Still, there were things that were hard.
Jensen: I miss shaking hands. I know that sounds weird. I just miss giving someone a bro hug. I know that sounds trivial, but that contact is an important part of what we do on a daily basis in terms of the tone that we set on our set.
The interviewer asked them about Sam and Dean and why they keep so damn many secrets from each other. Their answers made it crystal clear just how well they know these characters, having inhabited them for fifteen years.
Jared: In general, I think when people keep secrets, they think they’re doing the other person a favor. I think it’s almost altruistic to keep secrets here and there. I think Sam and Dean, for the most part, kept secrets to protect each other, not to hurt each other.
Jensen: If Dean is struggling with something, he doesn’t want to tell Sam because he doesn’t want Sam to have to struggle with it either. He’d rather struggle with it by himself and not burden his brother with whatever it is he’s burdened with, and I think there was a lot of that that played throughout the show. I believe this plays out in society as well. I mean, I don’t want to burden other people with my s—. As far as things he and I personally know about each other: There’s a ton I know about him that people don’t know. But there’s a reason why we’re good friends and it’s because I’m able to keep those secrets.
Jared: (deadpan) It’s altruism. I don’t need to tell people that Jensen cried at “Finding Nemo.” I just don’t need to tell them that.
They also expressed their gratitude to the fandom, which they also do in their chapters in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done.
Jared: Behind the scenes, we refer to our fandom as “The #SPNFamily,” as they have become a family of their own. They’ve spent countless hours spreading the word about the show and showering us with the love and support that we certainly needed and felt during rough times. Being on the opposite side of that, I’ve realized just how much good people can accomplish together. A lot of them have made best friends, visited various cities, and raised an incredible amount of money and goodwill for assorted charities. It’s been an honor to be a part of it.
Jensen: The fandom that this show found, or that found this show, really have become an integral part of the success of this show. They are part of the fabric of what has kept this show alive and running as hard and as fast for 15 years that it has. They are also well-connected, which is really rare for a show that started 15 years ago.
Ultimately, both Ackles and Padalecki sound happy about the final scene.
Jared: Let’s just say, our last scene — we don’t know if they’re alive or dead — but the last scene that I filmed as Sam Winchester, both as Sam and as Jared, I could not be more happy.
Jensen: I feel like this was the version that needed to happen — that needed to exist. There could’ve been other ways of maybe getting to there, but I think the finality of this is right.
SyfyWire spoke to showrunner Andrew Dabb about Castiel’s journey and where he ends up in the final episodes.
Dabb: Castiel has been on a journey of his own. If you look at the character that he was in Season 4 and the character he is now… Sam and Dean have changed a lot. Castiel has changed just as much or arguably more. He’s gone from this very naïve alien character he was, when he crash-landed from Heaven, to the person he is now. He’s a much more vulnerable, very human angel. As we are telling his story, it’s about continuing that. Cas has had a very long evolution on this show, but an evolution to an emotionally healthy place, which is generally speaking not something we do a ton. It means someone is at least emotionally healthy on this show.
Dabb also emphasized that the last episode is truly an ending.
Dabb: What that means is that it’s not something where an hour or so is over and the last shot will be Dean turning toward the camera and winking. It’s not something where we’ll be back in a year and a half for a movie. This is the end of these characters’ journey.
(I admit this particular quote did not make me happy. If there’s not a movie or a limited run release, which Jared and Jensen have both talked about and which is mentioned in their chapters, I will be one very unhappy camper for a very long time.)
Chelsey Davis also spoke to Jared and Jensen and asked them how they were feeling, having just wrapped the series.
Jensen: It’s heavy. I still feel like the bell has just rung and they’ve just yelled ‘that’s a wrap’ and we’re walking offstage. It’s been a week now, but it still hasn’t set in. Jared said it, I don’t think it will hit us until we walk onto the set of another show. But that’s fine, because we’ll just call each other on the phone and we’ll be like, ‘What’s your new show like?’ ‘Well, what’s your new show like?’
(Somehow I think this is definitely going to happen).
Jared: Yeah, to echo that, it still feels very present, like oh I have a couple days off then I’ll have to fly to Vancouver, where’s my script? I think as soon as we realize we’re not Sam and Dean anymore, and there’s a different camera man, and a different prop person….then I’ll have a few tears, then shoot Ackles a text and get back to work, I suppose.
Jared and Jensen then essentially had a zoom chat that we got to listen in on.
Jensen: Jared, did we drive up together to Vancouver for Season 1?
Jared: Yeah, we car pooled, we had walkie talkies.
Jensen: Because IPhones didn’t exist.
Jared: I was like, Ackles, slow down…
Jensen: Well funny enough, he and I just drove together all of our stuff back across the border. So we drove up together for Season 1 and we just drove away together for Season 15.
A full circle moment.
Both Jared and Jensen talk about what they’re proud of about Supernatural and what they think it’s legacy and Sam and Dean’s legacy will be in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done. They added to that here.
Jared: I’m proud of being a part of something – it was never about me, it was about us and the larger us. It brings me pride and happiness to have been helping to helm that, but the fact that so many people got involved, to make this show a success and to last so long. I was proud to sacrifice every day.
Jensen: The show’s legacy….they started to care about these brothers and wanted to know more about their story or the inspiration to keep fighting no matter what the odds. The inspiration we were able to give people who watch the show manifested itself into giving us inspiration back, to keep doing what we were doing for the fifteen years. I hope the legacy is there that the fans had with this story and this show and these characters, I think is something that is truly unique to what we had with Supernatural.
Andrew Dabb teased the last semi standalone episode to Entertainment Weekly.
Dabb: We see the case that kind of brought them together as hunters — the first case young Sam and young Dean worked together to a conclusion.
He also said the episodes after that focus on the mythology of the show and the need to say goodbye.
Jared: The writers were aware that it’s the end of an era, it’s the end of 15 years, and so it’s not like all of a sudden the series finale is, like, ‘Oh, we better wrap this up.’ It’s a slower build, and it treats the history of the show properly.
(NGL that makes me even more excited for the finale – but I’m still not ready for it).
Meanwhile, Eric Kripke was busy talking about how excited he is to welcome Jensen to The Boys.
Kripke: Anyone tuning in to see Dean Winchester is not going to get Dean Winchester. Jensen is an amazing actor and an even better person and obviously we’re very close and I think I have as good an idea as anybody of what that guy can do. I’m constantly impressed because he can handle comedy, drama, action and romance. So he felt like the perfect choice for a guy, Soldier Boy, who’s really charismatic, who’s really been a fixture of American culture for decades. But of course, the show being the show, there’s darker stuff on the inside. And the other thing I think Jensen and I are excited about, beyond the ability for him to swear a lot, is presenting a different role for him. It’s a very different character and he has a lot of darkness in him but he’s also still charming and funny. I think people will be surprised and will love it.
The Boys also ran a promo that ended with Ackles as Soldier Boy – and an epic eye roll. I both dread Supernatural ending and can’t wait for Season 3 of The Boys!
Supernatural Season 15.5 premiered on October 8, and Misha Collins organized a zoom watch party that an incredible number of cast members joined. The first part was a get out the vote rally too, with Supernatural uber fans Cory Booker, Andrew Yang and MJ Hegar joining in. Then the actors all sort of watched the West coast airing of the show, but mostly they all teased each other and smiled like people who missed each other a lot.
Jensen and Danneel attended from the backseat of their Impala (which they also took for a Starbucks run the other day, waking their neighbors with Baby’s familiar rumble), and obligingly had an impromptu (mock) make out session when Lauren Tom suggested it and Misha egged them on, Jared yelling “Gross” and Gen trying to stop him. It was chaotic, hilarious and absolutely PERFECT.
I never managed to get off the zoom call and onto the youtube broadcast, so I played silly zoom contest games with them all and generally smiled so much my face ached. It eased the feeling of sadness that the show is ending to be able to watch the episode with all of the people who made it the special thing it is.
(Richard Speight, Jr. never could get into the zoom, so he joined by cell phone thanks to Rob and Ruth!)
There will never be another cast like this, honestly.
A few days later, Jensen made some fanboy dreams come true (his own) by participating in a Zoom table read with the cast of Dazed and Confused, one of his favorite films. He looked so happy to be acting opposite Matthew McConaghey, wearing his The Boys shirt and looking hot as hell and generally kicking ass. Once again, the cast had a blast, and their joy was infectious.
Look how excited he was about this – awwwww.
He didn’t need to worry – he did an awesome job as Pickford!
Yesterday, as I frantically tried to FINALLY finish this article, there was an interview with Jensen Ackles in, of all places, Glamour Magazine!
Jensen: I understand how rare it is and that it’s a bit of a unicorn to have a show that runs this long and to be as intensely part of it as I have. I mean, you’ve got procedural dramas—you know, Law & Order and stuff—but a lot of those casts come and go. To have the same two leads in every single episode for 15 years, I think, is a pretty rare feat. So I’m proud that we did it. That was really the overwhelming feeling when we filmed our last day and our last scene. It wasn’t a mourning process; it was more of a proud moment of “Look at what we’ve done.”
Jensen: Very early on, Jared and I learned how important not just the relationship between us was, but how important the chemistry of these brothers was and to have them portrayed so that people could identify with them. I identify with Dean. And I identify with Sam, too. There’s that solidarity between the two brothers. That’s what we kept the focus on. We’ve continued that for 15 seasons. Whenever we get a little bit wacky or off the charts, we get back to what these brothers would do and would do together.
Ackles also said he would “absolutely love to” direct an episode of Walker, if they can figure out scheduling with The Boys. And speaking of his new show, they’re in the midst of building his costume, which is a custom built superhero suit.
Jensen: That is way more intense than I anticipated, which is cool. But I have to literally be in L.A., like, every two weeks for the next three months. I think it’s six fittings and they’re each like three- to four-hour fittings. They’re literally molding things to my body, so it’s intense.
What was his playlist while he was getting body molded?
Jensen: Actually, funny enough, that was the first thing they asked me. Laura Jean Shannon, the costume designer, she says this is important because every superhero [she’s worked on] has a type of music. So she was like, “What would Soldier Boy listen to?” To be fair, the first time we see him, it’s World War II. So we’re talking the ’40s. So we listened to big band and swing the whole first day.
He also showed off his wrap gift from his wife, Danneel – a custom art print of the Impala. At first I was honestly like WHAT? Because she’s sort of torn apart. But apparently that’s this artist’s (Alessandro Paglia) signature style. I mean, it is definitely cool, I just prefer Baby in one piece!
Ackles again talked a little about what had to change for the final episode.
Jensen: We had to drop some ideas we had for the final episode, but it didn’t change the story. We were supposed to have a lot of familiar faces come back, and we were going to try to filter them into a montage. It was going to be almost a break from the story and a look at how far we’ve come—a little tip of the hat to the fans—and we would all be able to celebrate together. Obviously, we couldn’t do that. So that part of the finale episode got nixed. But the story and how it ends up, that stayed the same.
(Fandom has long speculated that the last episode would be largely taken up by a montage of returning favorites, which had a mixed reception. I, for one, am sort of glad this got scaled back. I don’t want a 30 minute montage and then only 12 minutes to say goodbye to the main characters)
Ackles summed it up in a way that made me 100% certain that I’m going to be drowning in a puddle of my own tears come November 19.
Jensen: The series finale is this beautiful throwback to the whole show – to what it was, what it has been, and what it is today.
Today we got a gorgeous post from Jared, about his #YouDefineYou campaign and also giving us an idea of how he’s doing with making the transition between Sam Winchester and Cordell Walker. It makes me inexplicably happy every time I see Jared or Jensen with their Impalas, and this post has me still smiling an hour later.
And that brings us up to date for tonight’s new episode. Phew! Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine there would be THIS much Supernatural content in the span of a week and a half! (And I may have missed some, there was just SO much!)
Stay tuned for more coverage and for my episode review of 15.15 – kick it in the ass, Matt Cohen!
You can read Jared and Jensen’s thoughts on
Supernatural’s legacy and what it has meant to
them in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done.
Amazon links on this page or at peacewhenyouaredone.com