Following the Supernatural panel at Comic-Con International, stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki met briefly with reporters to discuss the landmark 10th season of their CW drama, touching upon Sam’s mental state, the nature of “Demon Dean,” and what role the character Cole might play.
The emotional state of Demon Dean: Last year, we saw this really tortured guy, this tortured soul. He essentially lost the brother relationship with his sibling. It was very business and he had the guilt of the whole letting Sam be possessed by an angel, so there was just a lot riding on Dean’s shoulders last season. It was torturous for him and it was a really, really tough year. So what I wanted to do in contrast for Demon Dean is I wanted it to be Dean without any of that stuff. So he’s essentially kind of the same guy, but he’s a Dean without any care in the world. And so much so that it’s scary how little he cares about any and everybody. Even himself. Even the car.
Somebody was like, “Oh, he doesn’t care – is it going to be more comedic?” No, no, no, there’s nothing funny about this at all. He’s so just kind of care-free and careless that I think is the scariest part about it, to me playing it. That’s kind of where we start.
Demon Dean’s day-to-day life: It is a 24/7 do what I want to do – whether it’s drink, whether it’s a female, whether it’s sing karaoke. He does not care and he doesn’t care that anybody else cares. I just shot a scene where Demon Dean was literally singing karaoke and the entire bar was booing him and he was like “I’m going to sing louder because screw you.” So a lot of bar fights, a lot of booze, a lot of babes — that’s Demon Dean.
Creating Demon Dean: The attitude is a little different … the tone in his voice is a little different. He’s a little more smirky. He’s kind of got a little bit more swagger to him. And it wasn’t anything specifically that I was like, “I want to do this, I want to do this.” It was just kind of a mental state that I tried to get to and the other things just kind of came with it.
On directing for the fourth time: This was probably the most difficult [directing job] I’ve had to do because I was essentially introducing a new character and it was me playing [the] new character. To really kind of direct the way I want to direct but also be available mentally to bring this new character to life, [there] was a lot of mush going on in my head. I basically overly prepared for the directing thing. For prep – I was up nights doing homework and shot-listing things. I basically showed up day one with all eight days shot-listed out. Whereas a lot of directors, maybe they’ll have the first couple of days in mind and as the shoot progresses, they figure out the next days and stuff like that.
But I literally had an entire – if I was to go into a coma day one of shooting, somebody could’ve picked up my binder and been like, “OK, well I know exactly how he wants this entire show shot.” I mean, I wrote out every detail so I could just literally hand it to my A.D. and be like, “This is what I want to do for the scene. I’m gonna go get prepared for this scene as an actor.”
So that was really hard to do because I also had to basically let go of the directing and just focus on the acting. In the past I was able to just kind of click into Dean, which wasn’t easy but it was a lot easier because it’s a character I know, I’ve been playing it for nine years – or I guess when I started directing it was six years, seven years, whatever it was – so it was easy to flip into that character and then get out of it, get back to directing head, then take that hat off and put the acting hat on. This one was pretty challenging so I was pretty happy with the show when the episode was done.
On exploring how far Sam will go to get Dean back: We’ve seen Sam do a lot. We’ve seen Dean do a lot. We’ve seen Demon Sam and Soulless Sam do a lot, but now we get to see fully human Sam doing things to other fully humans that we wouldn’t expect. We certainly will no longer doubt Sam’s loyalty and commitment to getting his brother better. But we do tease morals and ethics and how far one can go before they become a monster themselves. We tease that more this season than we’ve done any season prior.
On interacting with a new character who’s also looking for Dean: [Sam will encounter him] early on — very early on. So, obviously the character Cole is kind of from our past, but we don’t realize he’s from our past. And Sam encounters him before Dean does and Sam doesn’t know what to expect and doesn’t know how these guys know each other. And Sam is in a position, because now Sam knows his brother is a demon and runs into a guy that’s looking for his brother, and he’s kind of like, “You don’t want to do that, just trust me.”
We don’t know yet what happens to Cole, or I don’t know yet what happens to Cole. Because I don’t know if they have written that far, I haven’t read that far. Just focusing on the task at hand I guess but it’s a cool character. The idea is that the Cole character was 10-years-old back in Season 1 or 2 and kind of witnessed something and now here he is. And that’s something you [can do now] with Supernatural is go back and go like, “It has been 10 years. If a 10 year-old knew of something, he’d be 20 now.” […] It’s something fun we can do with ten seasons of the show.
On possible parallels between Sam now and how determined he was at the end of the Season 3 episode “Mystery Spot?: We certainly are on that level of Sam’s dedication and commitment to fixing this problem … we see Sam’s absolutely unabashed dedication to the task at hand, which is nice, because usually it’s Dean that gets to do that. Usually, I’m the one getting the script in the summer where I have to like create a new character. Soulless? What does that mean? Ezekiel? Gadreel? So usually I’m the one that has to do the crazy new character rebuilding and he gets to be the badass, hardcore, straightforward guy, and now it’s flipped so I’m really going to enjoy it.
Supernatural returns Oct. 7 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
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