Our first interview of this early morning press session was Jared Padalecki, who was looking surprisingly fresh (yes, the hair was nice and fluffy). He had his coffee and was ready to chat. We didn’t waste much time getting started, knowing how limited time really was for this session. It should be noted that throughout the interview, Jared mentioned a couple of times how hot it was getting and by the end he was sweating pretty good. Obviously, a few of us fan girls didn’t mind one bit.
I’ll issue a mild spoiler alert, but you really need to squint hard. Jared was very careful not to give too much. Still, he does give away one small S7 plot point that could be deemed important, so this is your warning.
(Me) When did you get in?
I got into San Diego last night about 10:30. I came straight here this morning, ready for some action. You all been here the whole time? (Everyone says yes) Has it been nuts? (Another yes) Head banging on the table? (Another yes) I’ll slam on the table if anyone starts drifting off (demonstrates by pounding his fist on the table).
(Me) So they left Sam in another mess at the end of last season.
Yes, that seems to be the common denominator of all the seasons, do something with Sam, leave that cliffhanger. It’s nice, I know they’re putting trust in me because they leave it on the edge and go “Alright, we’ll see what happens next year.” But it’s nice. I will say it, I’ve only read the first four episodes of the season, we’re only shooting the second, but I’m really happy with what’s going on with Sam’s character. They usually give me some meaty stuff so its challenging and it’s definitely picking back up at a run. It’s like we’re easing back into the season because we’re obviously picking up after the cliffhanger. I would hope that we don’t just sit there and go ‘One year later.’ So I’m definitely working hard.
The arc was of last season was very noir, can you tell us about this season?
I can tell you what I know, not a lot. “Supernatural” has a habit of having what we call our big bad. First it was yellow-eyed demon, then it was Lilith, then Ruby and then it was Crowley. So each and every year we have some ultimate bad guy, or it can be a bad girl, it’s usually a bad thing. We obviously have to deal with that and with Cas and Crowley indisposed. We’re going to encounter another big bad creature, or set of creatures, I don’t know exactly what they’re going to do. But we obviously have a big bad. Of course I’m trying to dance my way around saying what it’s called, I’m not doing nervous sweating (actually he was) but we’re obviously going to have a new big bad that we’re going to deal with. Sam and Dean are kind of going Thelma and Louise, I guess Butch and Sundance is probably better, can we cut the Thelma and Louise part and say Butch and Sundance? So we’re off on our own again.
I think another thing that we find in “Supernatural” is we certainly answer questions but we also bring up further questions. We make it bigger, bigger, and bigger until it can’t get any bigger. We have a good nucleus, so we take it back to Sam and Dean on the road, on the run, on their own, against all odds. We can’t go back to the story line, “Oh there a really mean guy at the 7/11, how are we going to get him?” We have to have a big bad but it’s much more Sam and Dean this year.
Last year was monsters of the week so is that going to continue with the arc?
It is. We are doing similar again monsters of the week. We obviously had that big 100 episode arc of the first five seasons. That was the demons, bringing in the angels, bringing in God, bringing in more demons and Lucifer and that went and we told that story. Short of going “Well now, he’s back again,” and “Oh that damned Lucifer keeps getting us,” we have to go somewhere else. Not getting rid of Lucifer completely but having to continue in a different direction. What’s been our bread and butter is the monster of the week. That’s what we set out to do.
When “Supernatural” started the first I ever heard of it was “X-Files” meets “Twilight Zone” meets “Route 66.” The idea being based on who’s stories that can you watch one of. It’s not like every episode is so heavy in mythology that I feel like I have to watch it four times before I see the next episode so I that don’t forget something. So we certainly will go back to monster of the week but obviously keeping some thru lines.
(Alice) What was it like having Jensen direct you this time?
It’s great, it’s great. Having worked with him for six years as an actor he and I know how to communicate. I know him really well, we’re friends now and he knows how to communicate with me. As an actor, the director sets up the shot, does this and that, I offer my input, and then it’s up to the director to communicate with the actors. (They) say, ‘Hey, I’m feeling this but I need to remind you that this just happened in the episode and this is about to happen. Let me see that drive in Sam to propel him to what he does. Next scene when he’s out on his own we want to see what is hitting him there.”
Jensen understands it as an actor and he understands me as a friend and as a fellow actor. It was very comforting. He gets to setup the shots and I just get to get on camera. It’s kind of like acting notes. We direct each other anyways while we’re acting so it was nice. It felt like just acting with a buddy, like working through scenes. It didn’t feel like ‘you do this, you’re going to do this.’ It felt like the old school rehearsing through a scene, blocking it, figuring out what works and what doesn’t and moving forward.
You’ve tried to tackle a few different genres on the show like you had the Western episode, if you had a choice is there a genre you’d like to tackle?
Western was it. I wouldn’t mind dubbing back into Western. If there is a genre we haven’t done, there probably is but I can’t think of it. Western was always the one that we screamed that we wanted to do. He and I are both from Texas, my old man watched Westerns and had John Wayne on and the whole lot, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” whatever you can think of, so that was nice to do. Now I feel, maybe it’s because that’s what we’re doing anyways, but I feel like I want to go to monster of the week again. Maybe that’s part of the arc, is that Jared felt out of control while Sam was out of control. “What, Ruby, what, I’m drinking what, okay, fine, fine.” I kind of felt like Sam, I don’t know if it’s because I was playing Sam 14 hours a day or what, but now I feel like let’s get back to what got to you in the first place and dance around with that a little bit and figure out the story. Go back to square one. Not start over obviously since we’re still building but to go back to fundamentals.
With that, Jared had to move on, but not before he let us know “I’m on fire.” I know what was in my head (yeah, gutterball) but feel free to insert your own response here.