It’s been four years since Jensen Ackles directed an episode of Supernatural. (He last stepped behind the camera for season 11’s “The Bad Seed.”) But when he, along with his costars Jared Padalecki and Misha Collins, announced season 15 would be the show’s last, he knew he wanted to give it one more shot. “It was a little wobbly getting up and going,” Ackles says of the experience, “But then once you did it, it was like ‘Oh yeah, I got this.'”
And for his final turn in the director’s chair, Ackles is making a pretty big swing. The episode opens with an action-packed sequence unlike anything the show’s done before. “I had like a full pitch that I sent over to [co-showrunner] Andrew [Dabb] and he was like, ‘Dude, I love this… if we were doing the full feature movie.’ I’m like, ‘I know, I know, it’s a little big,'” Ackles remembers. “He’s like, ‘I’d love to rein this in a little bit and do a small TV version of this’ and that’s kind of what we got.”
Without spoiling too much, the scene features Dean and quite a few stunt guys battling it out in the bunker. “I was like, ‘Hey Andrew, I want to beef up the action aspect of it,'” Ackles remembers. “He was like, ‘The more action the better, go for it.’ I then turned to Rob Hayter, our stunt coordinator and I said, ‘Let’s go hard here. We’re gonna go big. We’re gonna do like a full Dean Winchester as John Wick.’ It was a lot of fun.”
And in addition to starring in the episode and directing it, Ackles, whose debut album drops this Friday, also has a song in the hour. “I did an album this past summer,” Ackles says. “It was off getting mastered and I was back up in Vancouver prepping the episode. About that time some of the dailies were starting to come through and our editor was piecing together the scenes and asked me what I was thinking about music cues. He was like, ‘What about some of your music?’ So I sent him over a few tunes that were being mastered and he sent me back this montage sequence with that song in there and listening to it and watching it, it felt like it was written for that moment. I was like, there’s no way that [co-showrunner] Bob Singer and Andrew are going to like let that go. So we just didn’t tell them. We kept all three music cues in: I had one for the beginning, I had one for the end sequence, then I had mine for the middle montage, and we sent it over, and mine was the only one they actually liked. [Laughs] They got rid of the other two.”
Ackles adds, “It’s kind of great timing because we were getting all geared up to release the album and we thought we’d sit on it for an extra two weeks and release it when it came out through the show.”
Check out some photos from Ackles’ time directing below.
Supernatural airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.
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