'Supernatural' Interview: Jared Padalecki at Comic-Con
'Supernatural' Interview: Jared Padalecki at Comic-Con
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Shortly before Supernatural took the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con's Hall H by storm, the cast and producers took the time to meet with reporters. Jared Padalecki shared his thoughts on Comic-Con and where Supernatural is going in the upcoming season.

Personally, what is your favorite urban legend?
Jared Padalecki: My favorite urban legend... I don't even know if it's an urban legend, but my dad used to have a Twilight Zone episode called "The Shadow Man." Did you ever watch it? It was fun. And I've always loved it. I've always liked that idea. I've always really been into that concept. It'd be difficult to do because you're trying to look like a shadow! So there'd be a lot of... there'd be a big visual effects budget.

No "Hook for Hands?"
Jared Padalecki: You know what, "Hook Man" actually, I mean having done it, it feels weird to say it, but "Hook Man" was probably my favorite. "Hook Man" and "Bloody Mary" were probably my favorite coming in. Because Bloody Mary, everybody does as kids, at least in Texas we did, go to the bathroom and say it, you know? When your eyes start to adjust you run out... So that one was a fun one. And "Hook Man" was another Scary Story to Tell in the Dark so.

I hear there's a Sam episode where we meet a girl from his past. Can you talk about some of what you've been seeing and exploring in that episode of Sam?
Jared Padalecki: Sam has always been... Sam, even now, after Hell and Lucifer and soulless and Ruby, he's always... well, you kinda can't change somebody fundamentally. They can choose to behave differently, but Sam has always been the optimist. He's always been the, "wait a second, there's gotta be more to this story." He's always believed that, and whether it's Ruby who's gotten him in trouble, or Cas, and now Cas is showing some different colors, but Sam has always chosen to see the good.

On that note, there's somebody from his past that he runs into that, even as a child, when Sam was... I think he was 15 years old at the time. He chose to see the good in somebody and now it's coming back to bite him once again. It's like one of the tricks Supernatural keeps playing on myself and on Sam Winchester is that, every time he chooses to believe in the best quality of somebody it kind of comes back to bite him. And it's not gonna change him, because that's fundamentally who he is. But we get to see that first hand. Once again, basically.

Misha Collins talked a little bit about the change of dynamic between Sam and Dean having less power this season. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Jared Padalecki: Misha's stupid. Just kidding. Uhh, Sam and Dean having less power?

Jared Padalecki: Okay. Well, obviously last year we started off in a very, very different spot, with Sam being soulless. And we had the Campbell family at our disposal. And so, I think what Misha was kind of touching on -- I'll try and make it better -- is that Sam and Dean... Sam's no longer doing demon blood, he's not powerful like that... it's kind of, I don't want to say we're going back to season 1, like we're going to square one, because it's not square one. We obviously... this is not episode 1, this is episode 130. But it's kind of going back to...

Sam and Dean, we've talked about this for years. It's like, Sam and Dean have always had the same car, like how are we not in the FBI databases, how is everybody not after us, how do they not have pictures? And so we kind of start to play with that this year, and say, like, now, Sam and Dean are starting to be found. Now, what are they gonna do about these credit cards? They're out to find another way to make money. People are on to their ploys.

And, on that note, also, we see that Castiel, at the end of season 6, isn't really a friend anymore. And so we can't go, like, "Hey Cas, need some help!" and then here he is, and then the demons are dead. And so, Sam and Dean are kind of... I don't wanna say Thelma and Louise, obviously, because I've have to be either Thelma or Louise, but maybe like Butch Cassidy and Sundance.

Actually, Misha did say that.
Jared Padalecki: He would have. That would make him Brad Pitt. The hair drier, shirtless, shaved... umm, sorry.

But yes, Sam and Dean, we get to see Sam and Dean... we call it our bread and butter, I mean, not egotistically, but just because that's what we started off, that's the very... going back to fundamentals and the basics of Supernatural is Sam and Dean. Our Sam and Dean. This Sam and Dean. The fundamental of Supernatural is the Sam and Dean combination. And so we go back to the boys on their own, essentially. We don't have Dad, we don't have Cas, we don't have demon blood giving us power. We're losing a lot of our little aces in the hole.

And so it's nice. We get to see the boys kind of doing what they used to do. And it's not the same old -- like, obviously, we're not Sam and Dean season 1, we're Sam and Dean season 7, and so we're not gonna lose the past that we had, or the knowledge that we had and the wisdom and the pain, but we're going to move forward whenever we can. It's not obviously going to stop the Winchesters.

Can you talk about the soulless Sam thing?
Jared Padalecki: The soul of Sam thing was so much fun for me. I love that concept. And so, for me, the challenge was in interaction. It's easy to behave soulless if you're just kind of doing it on your own.

When Sam had an episode with a guest star, it was easy because I could just be them. But when I have a scene with, like, Bobby or Dean, then I wanted to communicate with them, because I have a relationship with them. So that comes out as an actor. That's why they say, the three rules of acting are preparation, preparation, preparation. Because the idea is, the more knowledge you have of yourself and of your character and of your relationships, the better it just is. Like by accident almost. And so, it was difficult to do scenes with, like... especially with Jensen, because I wanted to go back to the old Sam and Dean, and I was like, "Hey, man, wait a second," and I was like, why am I giving him the honest eyes?

He's not, Sam is not... it was a lot of fun to be robotic and kind of... I try to do it, as opposed to soulless, I try to think of it as just pure reason, and so, whereas Sam with a soul is like, "Well, it's not good to kill somebody who's innocent," Sam reasoning is like, "Well, either one innocent dies or ten innocents die, so bang!"

And it's kind of, you know, the Sam that we know and love, he's like, "Well, let's try and figure out a way for everybody to carry on." But soulless Sam was a fun departure.

What can you say about the brothers' relationship this season? Is it stronger, or are we going to see more fractures there?
Jared Padalecki: Well, both. It is stronger. Other than when Sam was soulless, the relationship continues to get stronger and stronger because they have more of a past, and these guys realize... I mean, if we're to talk Supernatural as if it were real, they both sacrificed a heck of a lot for each other. In the scope of the show, from going to Hell to going soulless to... we've both gone to Hell, we've both done a lot of things we didn't want to do, so that's made the brothers stronger.

But I think they both worry about each other a little bit. It's like, "I trust you, I love you, you're my brother, but... my guard's up, not because I think you're up to some evil purpose, but because I don't know what's going to happen."

And we've seen all these manifestations come out, and Dean's like, "Are you all right?" "Yeah!" Okay, all of a sudden, I'll stab you in the back. And so, the boys are older, wiser, and stronger, but there is the obvious fracture, of now, like Death said, that once the wall comes down, then Sam's gonna change, and Sam has changed. So Sam has all these memories that he really shouldn't have. It kind of puts Sam in a different place sometimes, and Dean's worried about his brother, not necessarily worried that he's going to go off the hook and go nuts and start killing everybody, but he doesn't know how it's going to manifest itself.

Do you know yet?
Jared Padalecki: I don't. We don't. I think that's probably going to be... classically Supernatural kind of does the first 11-episode arc and then, after the Christmas cliffhanger, because of timing issues, we kind of finish it up this season. So we don't know. I don't. Ben [Edlund] and Sera [Gamble] might. I only know the first four episodes, I'm sorry, in which we're starting to explore that. But we're gonna delve our teeth into that, or sink our teeth into that, before we explode.

It's like peppered through the season?
Jared Padalecki: Yeah, yeah. So we're kind of peppering in. It's... it exists in every episode but we haven't yet confronted it. The boys are still kind of dancing around each other, going, "I know you think I'm a freak." "Hey, I don't think you are. I'm just worried." We're still kind of... it'll culminate. Sh*t'll hit the fan, proverbially. Maybe, maybe -- honestly, who knows? It's Supernatural! So they might do it.

Is Jensen a better director than he was at first?
Jared Padalecki: He wasn't a bad director. You're leading the witness! No, he was never a bad director. He -- the last episode he directed, I only worked three days. And one of those days, I literally did a stunt. So I didn't really work with him a lot last year because it was mostly, oh, Bobby and Crowley. So this year I got to work with him, and as a... he's great as a director.

All his camera work aside, he's like one of my dearest friends and vice versa, and so when Jensen and Jared communicate, I know what he wants, so he doesn't have to worry about putting his foot in his mouth. Like, if he says, "Hey, do this better," he doesn't have to go, like, "I didn't mean..." He's just like, he can be honest. I grew up in sports where they're like, "Hey, get up, stop crying, go." And so we have that kind of relationship.

And then as an actor, he understands actors, and so there are things that certain directors who kind of went through other ranks don't understand, like you can't just say "Do it faster" or "Do it with more energy!" Like do jumping jacks while I'm doing the scene? So he says, like, "Hey, next scene, we're rushing out to go catch Bobby by one hour from now," and so it gives you that urgency. So he knows, as an actor, what you want to be thinking about before you do something. So yes, he did a great job again.

What advice right now would you give to your character?
Jared Padalecki: End with a doozy!

I think the advice I would give to my character is to do exactly what we'll see he's doing, which is... it's a marathon, not a sprint. Sam, for instance in season 4 when he was... you know, when the clock is ticking, Sam just starts making decisions and rushing things, and a lot of times it's the wrong decision. So this Sam, that we see in season 7, is kind of learning to just, to breathe, to try to breathe and reassess the situation before moving forward. Hopefully he doesn't bone himself. Or hurt himself anymore. I guess that's a better way of saying it... more PC way to say it.