Exclusive! Jared Padalecki on 'Supernatural,' Directing, and Going Meta


As the sixth season wraps up, the Supernatural crew celebrates with an evening at Paleyfest, a celebration of television, held annually in Los Angeles.  Recently, Supernatural aired an episode that was more meta than meta: "The French Mistake."  Sam and Dean Winchester are sent to an alternate dimension where they are actors named Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, and they star in a television show called Supernatural.  When you dig yourself out of that wormhole, check out our exclusive interview with Jared Padalecki, who talks about going meta, directing, and season seven.

"The French Mistake" was silly and fun.

So fun.

Did it get confusing at all?

It did.  Luckily, the writers made it very clear to us.  "You are Sam Winchester and Dean Winchester.  You don't have to worry about when you are Sam and when you are Jared.  You are just Sam.  Everyone else is going to be dancing around you as who they are."  From Genevieve, my wife, to Misha [Collins] - not Castiel, to Eric Kripke and Bob Singer.  It was really fun.

I remember, when [the writers] first brought it up before the holidays, they said, "We want to make fun of you guys."  I said, "Alright, what else is new?" "No, we mean where we make fun of you guys - Jared and Jensen."  I told them I would love to!  So I told my wife, and asked her how she felt about coming back to Supernatural.  She was like, "No."  I said "Why not?"  "You all killed me.  I don't think I will be very welcome."  "No, you'd actually come back as my wife.  As Gen. As you."  That was definitely one of the most fun episodes. 

And then we get to act!  And of course, Sam and Dean can't act.  I decided that Sam probably took some acting classes in school, so he would be very serious and thoughtful, and gesture with my hand.

How much of it brought in aspects from real life?

None of it.  I don't have a tanning bed in my house, nor do we have an alpaca.  However, [the mantle photos in the episode] were real.  One of our real wedding pictures, and pictures of our actual dogs.  But we don't have a gigantic house, and Jensen doesn't have a fish tank in his trailer. 

Is Misha really a Twitter fiend?

He is.  I mean, we got to make fun of him a little bit.  He's not terrible.  He doesn't do it on set because he doesn't want to be disrespectful, but he likes to keep in touch with his fans.

Jensen got his directorial debut this season.  Do you have any directorial aspirations?

I don't.  I'm an actor, and I love acting.  I love the impact I can make as an actor.  I would rather think about influencing a scene from an actor's prospective, making suggestions on-set.  But I have no desire to be a director.

Was Jensen a good director?

He was a great director.  We haven't had a bad director.  I don't know how the hiring process works, but whoever does it makes sure to hire directors who know the show, know the genre, know how to work with actors.

The season is winding down.  What can we expect to see in the last few episodes?

My most exciting part is that Sam gets to have more flashbacks and atone for things that soulless Sam did.

Any word on season seven?

None.  It's the latest we've ever found out, aside from seasons one and two.  I hope we get the phone call soon so we can go ahead and make our plans. 

So you want to come back?