Jensen Ackles sitting on a tiny bike. Of the many things I saw and experienced during BuddyTV’s exclusive set visit to the Vancouver sound stages of Supernatural yesterday, the most memorable moment came at the end of a long day as I towered over the 6’1” Jensen Ackles, giving him his very own BuddyTV T-shirt (click on the photo for an enlarged image of Jensen on his mini-scooter). We discussed the show’s diverse fans and the fact that, though it was already 9pm, he still had a few more hours of work ahead of him. But what made this conversation so memorable wasn’t that it was with the star of a beloved TV show, but that he sat on that mini-scooter the entire time.
April 2, 2008 will forever be a day I’ll cherish, not just as a newly-minted fan of Supernatural, but as a fan of TV in general. The show graciously extended an offer for BuddyTV to visit the set, watch the boys film a few scenes from an upcoming episode, and sit down with both Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki for some exclusive video interviews. It was the kind of trip that made me appreciate not just their acting skills, but also the dedication and long hours they put in.
Most shows have a large enough cast that an actor might get a few days off per episode as they’re not in every scene. But on Supernatural, Jensen and Jared are the only two stars, so nearly every day they’re required to be on set in just about every scene. Mondays will typically begin filming at around 8am, but when the day goes long, the call time for the next day gets pushed back. When I visited the set on Wednesday, the call time for the two actors was 11am. By Friday, their workday could last from 3pm-3am.
Watching Supernatural, the two stars seem effortless as the Winchester brothers, like the show is just an extension of their relationship. While Jensen and Jared indeed have a natural chemistry (aided by both being Texans with a fondness for guitars, beer and steak), the characters are anything but themselves. In person, Jensen Ackles is relatively subdued, just an average guy you’d love to have a beer with. But as soon as the camera starts rolling, it’s like his entire demeanor and voice change, and suddenly all you can see and hear is Dean Winchester.
As for Jared Padalecki, his ability to focus was tested on the day I visited the set, as his free moments off screen were full of frustration trying to coordinate travel plans. Yet on screen, it was just Sam. It was a nice reminder that these are real guys who have real, everyday problems off the set, yet they have to block all that out to get into character, and do so brilliantly.
There’s so much more to say about visiting the set of Supernatural. I toured some of the sets from the next two episodes, including the haunted house that will be featured in “Ghostfacers” and the Winchester’s motel room for “Long Distance Call.” Though there were no taquitos, I now understand why Dean Winchester was such a huge fan of the craft services table. And I also got to see one of the 1967 Chevy Impalas they use.
But more on that later. In the coming weeks, BuddyTV will have plenty of special features, behind-the-scenes footage, previews of upcoming episodes, and of course, our exclusive video interviews with Jensen and Jared as they discuss the final four episodes, the fourth season renewal, and even answer a few questions submitted by BuddyTV users. We’ll also be starting up some very special contests for each of the four final season 3 episodes, with the top prizes being autographed photos of Jensen and Jared. I can vouch for their authenticity because I watched as they signed them.
-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of BuddyTV)