Supernatural actors Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles on getting into the skin of their characters
Supernatural is all about ghostbusters Sam and Dean Winchester’s adventures, as they follow in their father’s footsteps and trawl around the world, hunting supernatural beings. Over an e-mail interaction Jared Padalecki who plays gentle Sam and Jensen Ackles who plays the more macho Dean talks about the serial, their relationship and their penchant for the supernatural.
The brothers work brilliantly together but are essentially very different people. How do you relate to each other, both on- and off-screen?
Jensen: 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 those 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 doing anything with each other and I guess that’s pretty unique for two guys our age especially when we never really get into it. 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 the other. I think we do have that loyalty and I can say I’d trust my life with this guy.
Jared: And the best part about Jensen and my relationship is it’s going to 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. Between Jensen and me there have never been any issues and I think that’s rather special.
Both of you have done horror before, Jensen in My Bloody Valentine, Jared in House Of Wax, Friday The 13 and Cry Woolfe. What draws you to horror and the supernatural?
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.
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.
What do you think of the serial’s progression over the seasons? Do you see the characters you play evolving through it?
Jared: One of the great things we do with this show is re-invent it. Our fans are very forgiving; they are passionate and they let us know what they think, but ultimately they trust the writers. One of the things we’ve been able to do is see different versions of Sam and Dean and we’ve been able to treat Seasons Eight and Nine as one massive season. We get to build and build, and we don’t have to break walls down when we don’t need to. I’m really excited about this season. I’m more excited than ever about what I get to do with Sam.
Jensen: I feel very inspired when I read our scripts because I really like my character. I’ve lived with him long enough and I haven’t gotten tired of him. I get excited about trying new things and finding the nuances I spoke about earlier. It’s inspiring to try and have that creative collaboration among a writer, a director and actors. All that melding of creativity gets my motor running.
(The serial airs every Friday at 8 p.m. on AXN)