Supernatural stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki hit the stage at EW’s PopFest on in Los Angeles Saturday, joining our Samantha Highfill for a freewheeling conversation that touched on everything from their first meeting to characters who might return to their long-running CW series.
During a Q&A segment with the audience, a fan asked about the possibility of a long-lost character coming back. “Now that Lucifer has gotten out,” the fan said, “do you think there’s a chance that Michael could be let out?” (“Michael” is, of course, the eldest archangel, last seen being imprisoned back in season 5, though he’s been referenced in later seasons.)
“I think one of the great things that the showrunners and the writers have done over the years is that they have brought back some of these fan-favorite characters,” said Ackles (Dean). “And some of our favorite characters. We are the faces of the show, but we’re also fans of the show.”
Although Ackles didn’t comment on Michael specifically, he teased the fans with the possibility of some familiar faces. “When you have a really good character, and not just that but a really good talented person playing that character, getting them to come back is always a treat for us, and I feel like it’s a nice little treat for you guys, as well. I will say there are plans this season to bring back a few of those, so stay tuned.”
Read on for some other key moments from the Supernatural panel at EW PopFest.
1. How the resurrection of the Winchester boys’ mother affects their dynamic:
“That’s a unique aspect of this season,” said Ackles. “There is that X factor of emotional connection.”
Padalecki mused about his character, Sam: “Everybody he gets attached to leaves,” he explained. “Every time he gets too attached to something, it ends up going away.”
2. How it felt to film the first season finale in 2006:
“There was a weird closure to that episode,” he said, remembering how the show’s future was far from certain at that point.
The actors feel a bit more secure now, in season 12. “We’re not afraid of getting canceled,” Padalecki said, laughing. “We’re not living in fear.”
3. How technological advancements in the last decade have changed how the show is made:
“Early in the series, there was a lot of greenscreen,” said Ackles. “We don’t really use it at all anymore.”
“Greenscreen sucks,” Padalecki exclaimed.
“Greenscreen does suck,” Ackles said.
4. How and when the actors established their connection:
For Ackles, their dynamic was firmly established at their very first meeting. “We had a lot of things in common right off the bat,” the actor said.
For Padalecki, the key moment in their work relationship came in season 2, at the end of an episode where his character gets possessed. The actors ad-libbed a moment, not in the script, that saw Ackles’ Dean punch Padalecki’s Sam in the face. Apparently, after that moment, stage directions in Supernatural scripts started encouraging more improvisation.
Watch the Supernatural panel in the Facebook Live video below.
EW PopFest runs through Sunday. For ticketing info and more, head here.