Supernatural: Jared Padalecki talks fandom and the future

We spoke to Sam Winchester himself about all things Supernatural

Few shows have as dedicated a fan following as Supernatural. With a 12th season on the way and the 11th currently airing in the UK, it’s showing no signs of slowing down. We spoke to Jared Padalecki, aka Sam Winchester, about what it’s been like, and what’s on the horizon…

SciFiNow: Do you ever look back on past series of the show and think that Sam and Dean can tackle the baddies much better now?
Jared Padalecki: Yeah, I think so. What’s funny is that when we first started filming the pilot I remember [Eric] Kripke going, “Hey, it’s not such a big deal. It’s not like there were monsters in the closet. Play it off. You’ve known it for your whole life.: Sam and Dean have known it for their whole life, and that’s how I finally feel now. That’s how Jared feels now, like it’s another demon and we’ve got to go take care of it. I feel now that Jared is where Sam was supposed to be, kind of the ego. It’s like I’ve been doing this for years, so now it’s old habit.

Could you see yourself directing an episode, like Jensen?
For me, it’s not that directing doesn’t interest me. It’s cool, but I really love my position as an actor and I love where I am as an actor. I love the idea of having a director and having the writers who guide the ship and I get freedom within that guidance. I love Sam Winchester. I’ve known him pretty close for over a decade now.

Supernatural is still going strong after 11 seasons

What do you think is at the heart of that longevity of Supernatural?
I wouldn’t say this in front of them, but we have really great writers. They think of new, great ideas. Supernatural has become greater than the sum of its parts. It’s not just a show about two brothers fighting, it’s about so much more. It’s about sacrifice and it’s about love and it’s about loss and it’s about teamwork. It’s about the message that you can’t always get what you want, and it’s about loyalty. It’s about these greater messages that are everlasting.

For you, what has been the best part of being involved in the show?
We found this fun way with this show and we have no boundaries. I’ve played Jared Padalecki on Supernatural, I’ve played soulless, I’ve played Lucifer. Jensen has died 35 times. We are able to tell these kind of crazy, fun stories, give shout outs to the fans, go to conventions, change channels and make fun of CSI. No boundaries at all.

How does it feel to have such a loyal fanbase?
The fandom, thank God, has stuck with us and forgiven our errors but also embraced us when it’s going really well. I feel gratitude towards the fans. The gratitude the fandom expresses to me, I feel like a broken record but I want to say to them, ‘that’s how I feel about you all. You all have given me so much, you’re giving me so much.’ I think it has become a family. Like the hashtag #SPNFamily, we all fight for each other, we all believe in each other, we all accept each other’s’ flaws and work through it. It’s just become something that I never would have expected.

Supernatural Season 11 is airing now on E4. For more news about the biggest TV shows, pick up the new issue of SciFiNow.