Having debuted on September 13, 2005, the epic journey of the Winchester brothers is coming to a close, as The CW series Supernatural enters its 15th and final season, with Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) facing a threat beyond anything they ever could have imagined – God himself. Along with the angel Castiel (Misha Collins), Sam and Dean have conquered all sorts of monsters and demons, and faced off in both Heaven and Hell, and have lost countless friends and loved ones, along the way. And now that all of the souls in Hell have been released and are back on Earth, where they are free to kill again, this trio will do what they do best and defend the world.
During this 1-on-1 interview with Collider, actor Jared Padalecki talked about how it feels when you know you’re shooting th last season, wanting to leave the party while it’s still going strong, that there will be lots of tears, which episode he was most proud of himself in, the stand-out moments he had with his co-stars, Sam’s mental state this season, who he’d like to see return before the end of the season, whether he feels satisfied with what he’s been told about the show’s endpoint, and whether he’ll take anything home from the set.
JARED PADALECKI: Yes and yes. I think [Jensen] Ackles and I knew it was gonna be the end, before the world knew, so we had a little bit of time to deal with it. I think we made our peace with it, as much as you can make peace with saying goodbye to something, after 15 years. We had many conversations, over many years. The tables turned, which was an incredible sensation. When the tables turned from, “God, I hope we get picked up,” to “Oh, my god, they’re telling us that we get to decide when to not get picked up.” It was weird. I don’t think I’ll ever experience that again. And then, we made our peace with saying goodbye. I think a lot of it was that we wanted to leave the party when it was still going. We didn’t want to be the last people out of the party going, “Hey, is anybody else still here?”
And the show is so strong right now. The stories are so well written, the mythology is on point, the actors and actresses are great, the crew is great, the writing staff is great, and the producers and directors are great. It felt like it’s almost indicative of what Supernatural is about. Shit happens, sometimes, and you gotta move forward. It’s weird, my first day of filming was after Comic-Con. They filmed on Thursday and Friday, the week before, but I had those two days off. So, I flew to Vancouver from Comic-Con on Sunday, after Hall H, had to get my work visa, and then got home, and my pick-up was at 5:30 am. But for an hour and half, I cried myself to sleep, and then, I woke-up and my eyes wouldn’t open. I was like, “This is my last first day!” There’s a lot of gratitude involved with what’s going on, but there’s also a lot of legitimate sadness. It’s so bittersweet. I know that I’m pushing it off. I think the last week of filming, I’m just gonna be crying all day. The episode better just be about Sam and Dean crying.
Have you made a plan for the day after, so that you have something set?
PADALECKI: Oh, my god! No, I haven’t. There are gonna be a lot of tears, for sure. And I think there’ll be a lot of tears, when the last episode airs and everybody says, “Goodbye, it’s been fun.”
Is there a episode of the show where you’ve felt most proud of yourself, as an actor? And is there an episode where you felt most proud of whoever your scene partner was, in that moment?
PADALECKI: Oh, wow! I’m really proud of “Sacrifice,” the Season 8 finale. The scene where I’m trying to do the trials, and I’m with Crowley in the church, and then Dean and Sam have a come-to-God moment about what’s going on, with Sam feeling less than. Jared was dealing with stuff that he wasn’t ready to talk about to the public, but I was able to say it through Sam.
As far as my scene partners, there are tons of moments that I’m proud of. I feel really proud of the episode, “French Mistake” (Episode 615). I thought it was really funny. The writers, producers and directors basically said to Jensen, Misha [Collins] and me, “Hey, we need y’all to make fun of yourselves for 42 minutes,” and we were all like, “Yay! Can’t wait!” That was fun, to take the piss out of ourselves. “Changing Channels” (Episode 508) made me laugh, endlessly. Ackles was absolutely hilarious in “Yellow Fever” (Episode 406). I forget the episode, but the scenes when Dean had to talk about torturing people, I could see Jensen, as a friend, going to a place, and then having to get up and walk away. Usually, we cut and start again, but he’d have to go for a walk for 10 or 15 minutes to wash it off. There have just been so many moments, and I think that’s been what helps keep the show going.
How is Sam, this season? What sort of mental state is he in, especially where he was last, last season?
PADALECKI: It’s a blessing to know that you have another season, when you do your finale. So, we pick up where we left off, and Sam is fighting to not be nihilistic or a fatalist. Just because God said, “This is the end,” Sam’s not going, “Fuck it, this is the end.” It seems ominous, but the Winchester boys and their buddies have been up against ominous circumstances, more than once. I’m pleased that Sam took the blow and is trying to look forward still. In Sam’s mind, God said, “Hey, I’ve created a ton of worlds, and written them off and moved on, and now I’m moving on from y’all. I think Sam is strangely pleased that it’s just he and his brother and Cas now. Obviously, he’s bummed about Jack being killed by God, but Sam almost finds solace in that it’s almost come full circle. In Season 1, it was Sam and Dean. Now, we have Cas. But I think he feels almost pleased that he doesn’t know about God. He doesn’t know where God is. They learned about demons in Season 1 or 2, and they learned about angels in Season 4 with Castiel, and Sam almost feels life like has gotten simpler again. Even if it’s ominous, it like, “Okay, back to focusing on the people I care about and making the world a better place.”
Knowing that anybody could show back up, is there anyone that you really hope to see again?
PADALECKI: Oh, yeah, big time. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say. I don’t have any knowledge of this happening, but I do think it’d be fun to see my wife (Genevieve Cortese) on the show again. And as Ruby, not as Gen, because in “French Mistake,” she played herself, or a version of herself. So, I’d love to see my wife on the show again, if she’s available and willing to come do the monkey dance again. But there are so many people.
If the endpoint that you were told about stays the endpoint, how will you feel about that? Would you feel satisfied, if that’s how things wrap up?
PADALECKI: Yeah. If the ending stays the way it was, when I heard about it a couple months ago, I’ll absolutely be pleased and happy. Let’s be honest, there’s no way that you can end a show, after 15 years, that’s going to please everybody. But as far as the writers, directors and producers go, and as far as Jensen and I go, we’re happy with everything that’s going on. I think the people who feel about Supernatural, the way I feel about Supernatural, will be pleased with the ending. No one’s going to be happy with an end. I’m not gonna be “happy,” but I’m very pleased, as a part of the show, that it seems to be doing what it’s doing.
Is there anything that you’ve already got your eye on, that you want to take home from the set?
PADALECKI: No ‘cause that makes it so final. Not really. I’ll have a few knickknacks and what not, that I’ve gotten over the seasons, when we didn’t know if the show was going on or not. I have something from Bobby’s house because we had to burn it down. I have a few things that I’ll keep forever, but no one would even really know. I’m gonna keep the Men of Letters bunker. I’m gonna buy a warehouse in Austin and ship the bunker down, and then I’m just gonna get in there and read and drink scotch, for the rest of my life.
Supernatural airs on Thursday nights on The CW.