With just one episode left before the end of Supernatural, Creation Entertainment hosted a Q&A with Dean Winchester himself, Jensen Ackles! From sharing his thoughts about playing Dean for 15 years to teasing his upcoming projects, Ackles provided an entertaining and informative panel. Read on for a recap!
The panel opened with Jensen in his garage with none other than Baby herself! Ackles remarked that he “brought a friend, she doesn’t talk much but she looks good, doesn’t she?” He also teased fans regarding the finale after praising Rob Benedict for his work in “Inherit the Earth,” saying “what could possibly happen now?”
Ackles spoke about his many projects, from his music to The Boys. For fans of Radio Company, Ackles states they still have to finish Volume 2 and that they are hoping to have it done in the spring. Another fan asked about his new production company with his wife Danneel. Ackles shared that they have a few projects in the works that he can’t speak about yet. Later in the Q&A, Ackles stated his dream project to produce would be a spin-off of Supernatural since he already knows the universe, actors, and crew so well (yes please! May we suggest a certain group of wayward women?). Ackles has some new voice roles coming up that he can’t speak about yet, including a few he recorded while in quarantine.
Ackles also took the opportunity to talk about his newest role as Soldier Boy on Amazon’s The Boys, which he will start filming in January. His new beard is for the show, which he is hoping is not “some sort of hazing ritual.” Ackles also joked that joining the show in season 3 is much like Misha Collins joining Supernatural in season 4, and that he will ask Collins what he did then so that he can do the opposite. Ackles only received his first script yesterday, so he’s looking forward to learning more about the character as he reads more scripts and gets a feel for Soldier Boy. Solider Boy even made it into his music choices, as Ackles stated the last song he downloaded was “Soldier Boy” by Elvis Presley when asked what songs he is listening to right now.
Ackles naturally spent the majority of the panel talking about Supernatural. He lamented that they never got to crossover with shows like The Walking Dead or The Vampire Diaries, joking that he always felt that Sam and Dean should have shown up in The Vampire Diaries series finale and ended it all. The advice he would give to himself when starting season 1? Don’t worry about anything but the work, not ratings or critics reviews. Fans will find the show and love it, so just worry about making Dean the best he can be. After stating that he couldn’t choose a favorite “big bad” as he enjoyed them all, Ackles stated that he did enjoy Lucifer as he liked watching the performance as a viewer.
Ackles had a lot to say about Dean as a character. A fan asked which version of Dean (other than the original Dean) he enjoyed playing the most, and Ackles responded that he thought Purgatory Dean was a version that had never been seen on the show and that he enjoyed playing that side of Dean. He also said that while he hasn’t picked up many Dean mannerisms, he infused a lot of himself into Dean and so Dean is more like Jensen than Jensen is like Dean. Ackles laughed at a question about the amount of flannels he owns vs. Dean. To Ackles, he feels that he has “just enough” while Dean has “too many.” When asked if he would get a Dean-specific tattoo, Ackles shared that he is hoping to get a tattoo that several crew members planned to get with him before COVID hit. That tattoo is not Dean-specific, but it relates to the ending of the show. A fan wondered what Dean would do in quarantine, and Ackles felt that Dean would not handle quarantine well, letting dirty dishes and laundry pile up. As Ackles stated, “there would be a lot of R-rated movies and heartburn from terrible food,” while working on Baby would keep him productive. Ackles discussed how even if he hadn’t booked Supernatural, he absolutely would have watched as a viewer because of how much he loved the character of Dean Winchester.
Of course, many of the questions related to the end of the series. When asked what he learned over 15 years, Ackles joked “how to keep an old car running” before sincerely saying that there is “not a lot in my life that has shaped me more than this experience in the last 15 years.” He also noted that trying to maintain Baby now that she’s “home” has been an adventure. Continuing the Baby theme, Ackles shared that one milestone he will remember is when he first began being able to drive Baby well while hitting his mark, something he notes was hard to do in an old car. He had a sense of pride that his driving improved over 15 years.
When discussing the final days on set, Ackles was hesitant to say too much so he wouldn’t spoil the finale, saying that he was sure both he and Jared Padalecki would unpack that moment more after the episode airs. However, he did say that he and Padalecki celebrated with a “very old” bottle of scotch, taking a moment alone to thank each other for 15 years. He says he will never forget that moment, and that while he was crying, it was more celebratory than mournful. As far as COVID impacting the plot, Ackles again didn’t want to say too much of what changed before the finale airs, but he will share the alternate versions of scenes later. He feels that the things that changed did not have a huge impact on the ending and that everything that was rewritten was due to logistical challenges or location changes.
As far as his personal feelings on reaching the end, Ackles believes that COVID in a strange way gave the cast and crew a “softer landing.” As Ackles put it, if the show had ended as intended, everything in his life would have been the same except for no longer having this massively important part of it, and that would have depressed him. But COVID has caused such a seismic change for everyone that it matched the emotion he was already feeling, and so many other aspects of his life changed so that the loss of Supernatural wasn’t overwhelming. That helped to change his mindset and has made this time post-Supernatural less “dramatic” for him than he thought it would be.
But sadly, the event had to end eventually as the moderator indicated it was time for the last question. The last question announcement made Ackles miss the “last question” song from conventions, which he says he truly misses and wants to get back to soon. The final question was: how did Dean and Supernatural change you personally and professionally? Ackles thinks it has changed every aspect of his life, from the friends he has to the life the show has given him. He loved playing Dean and said he could have played him forever because it felt “super … natural.” But he also thanks the fandom for loving “the little show that could,” which he says is a “marvel” not only to him but also to the entertainment world at large. Ackles ended by sharing his hope that the fans would love the finale and that he can’t wait to see everyone at conventions again as soon as it’s safe.
Supernatural airs its series finale this Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. Be sure to check back here for more on The Boys, Radio Company, and of course, Supernatural! For more great panels featuring stars like Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, and more, check out Creation’s new virtual offerings here.