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Supernatural Star Jensen Ackles Is Ready for What’s Next. Are You?

Jensen Ackles’s Supernatural journey began and ended with a road trip.

Fifteen years ago Sam and Dean Winchester (played by Jared Padalecki and Ackles, respectively) began their drive across the country in a jet-black 1967 Chevy Impala, hunting monsters, demons, and, eventually, God himself. Ackles was 26 years old at the time (the same age as the James Dean–like figure he portrays on the CW series), single, and coming off a steady career on TV, including a popular role on Days of Our Lives.

The actor is now 42 years old and just finished filming the 15th and final season of Supernatural after the coronavirus pandemic shut down production for several months. To mark the occasion, he did what Dean would do: He took a road trip. But this time things looked a little different and not just because he lacked monster-killing weapons and the iconic Impala.

“It was a sprinter van,” he tells me, back at home in Austin, after driving to the East Coast with his wife, One Tree Hill actor Danneel Harris Ackles, and their three young children. And instead of fighting the forces of evil along the way, he questioned what life might look like without the show that's been a vital part of his identity for a decade and a half.

“I needed to get back home and start figuring things out and start unpacking my life that's been in Vancouver for 15 years,” he says. “What's the next move? Where am I headed next? What interviews am I going to do? Luckily, my wife was like, ‘Stop. Can you just take a breath for a minute and play with your kids on the beach?’”

So he did. But now he’s back, talking to me over Zoom with his new, prized commissioned drawing of Winchester brothers’ smashed-up Impala behind him (a gift from his wife by artist Alessandro Paglia), trying to put into words what it feels like to leave behind a 15-year legacy.

“How have you changed in the last 15 years?” he asks me. Well, I've watched a lot of Supernatural, to be honest.

Existentialism aside, Ackles is clearly ready for his next act, even if the show's massive, fervent fandom—known as the SPN Family—may not be. Back in March 2019, Ackles, Padalecki, and their costar Misha Collins devastated diehards when they announced they'd be ending the series on their own terms after more than 300 episodes. A bit of good news is that fans will still have the conventions that honor the show and cast meet-ups that take place all over the world. Eventually.

“I love how big it's gotten and how we feel like a traveling circus going from town to town,” Ackles says. “Obviously, we'll have to wait until we're all allowed to gather in large crowds again, but I think as soon as we can start going to concerts and festivals and movie theaters, we'll start those back.”

For now Ackles is preparing for his life beyond Dean Winchester, which includes his anticipated role as the first-ever superhero in season three of Amazon Prime Video's The Boys, as well as a new production company he's starting with his wife. He filled me in on all that, how the Supernatural finale changed due to COVID-19 restrictions, and, of course, how he got his hands on the iconic 1967 Chevy Impala—which he drove to Starbucks the morning of our call.

[quote] Glamour: I almost don’t know how to ask you how it feels to end a life-changing, 15-year project like Supernatural.

Jensen Ackles: I understand how rare it is and that it's a bit of a unicorn to have a show that runs this long and to be as intensely part of it as I have. I mean, you've got procedural dramas—you know, Law & Order and stuff—but a lot of those casts come and go. To have the same two leads in every single episode for 15 years, I think, is a pretty rare feat. So I'm proud that we did it. That was really the overwhelming feeling when we filmed our last day and our last scene. It wasn't a mourning process; it was more of a proud moment of “Look at what we've done.”

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by Anonymousreply 3110/18/2020

[quote] The finale of Supernatural was already planned before COVID hit. Did anything in the last two episodes have to change because of filming restrictions?

We had to drop some ideas we had for the final episode, but it didn't change the story. We were supposed to have a lot of familiar faces come back, and we were going to try to filter them into a montage. It was going to be almost a break from the story and a look at how far we've come—a little tip of the hat to the fans—and we would all be able to celebrate together. Obviously, we couldn't do that. So that part of the finale episode got nixed. But the story and how it ends up, that stayed the same.

[quote] You’ve been talking about wanting Dean’s Chevy Impala, Baby, for literally years now. Did you get it?

I've wanted it since the second episode. I was like, “Wait a second. What's going to happen to this car when it's over?” I've been angling to get that car since literally season one. I was thinking, Why wouldn't they give me the car?

Then as the years went on, I thought, Oh, I'm gonna have to fight for this now. So I kept seeing if I could put it in my contract, like for years and years, and the studio, the producers were like, “Don't worry, don't worry about it.” Wink. I was like, “Yeah, you say that now.” So, in my last contract that we had, I didn’t ask for a bigger trailer; I didn’t ask for more money or more time off or anything. I said, “I want the car.”

That car is sitting about 40 feet from me and my garage. I actually drove it to Starbucks this morning and picked up some coffee.

[quote] Your wife, Danneel, has been appearing on Supernatural since season 13. Do you two have any plans to continue acting together?

We've got a company now, Chaos Machine, and we're starting to produce things together. So it'll be a more of a producing team as opposed to an on-camera duo. That’s the thing with this industry...you never know where the roads may lead or what’s just around the corner. But she and I love that. And we certainly love a challenge.

[quote] You two already run a brewery, Family Business Beer Company, together while raising a seven-year-old and three-year-old twins. How do you work together as husband and wife versus as business partners?

Very similarly actually. Divide and conquer.

[quote] Speaking of behind-the-scenes roles...you’ve directed five episodes of Supernatural. Any plans to direct Jared Padalecki's new show, Walker?

I would absolutely love to, but with my new gig on The Boys, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to. We're trying to figure out scheduling.

They're in the midst right now of building my costume for The Boys, which is a custom-built superhero suit. That is way more intense than I anticipated, which is cool. But I have to literally be in L.A., like, every two weeks for the next three months. I think it's six fittings and they're each like three- to four-hour fittings. They're literally molding things to my body, so it's intense.

[quote] What will be on your playlist for you to listen to while they mold things to your body?

Actually, funny enough, that was the first thing they asked me. Laura Jean Shannon, the costume designer, she says this is important because every superhero [she’s worked on] has a type of music. So she was like, “What would Soldier Boy listen to?”

To be fair, the first time we see him, it's World War II. So we're talking the ’40s. So we listened to big band and swing the whole first day.

by Anonymousreply 110/14/2020

Looking at my kids and being a father, I’m thinking, Wow, what kind of world are they gonna have? So I've started to listen a little more and I've started to want to understand other people's experiences so that I can make a better choice about the actions I take. I've gotten pushback—[in the past] even I've looked at actors using their platform to be political and been like, “You know, nobody needs to hear that. Just do your movies and do your show. You're not a politician.”

But I've now learned that, no, you've been given a platform now with social media. And even before that, when you would give an interview to a publication, there's a voice there that is yours and you get to choose how you use that. And I think that's a responsibility that people need to take seriously. So I’ve tried to do it as inclusively as possible.

[quote] Before I let you go, please tell me what fans can expect from the final episodes?

I've said a few times that the second-to-last episode really feels like the season finale and that the final episode feels like a series finale. The series finale, episode 20, is this beautiful throwback to the whole show—to what it was, what it has been, and what it is today.

[quote] Okay, one more! What’s the creepiest thing that’s happened to you on set, in honor of spooky season?

Anything that's kind of been paranormal or supernatural? I think that they stay away. If that stuff was to happen, it's not going to happen on our set because we've got too many tools to take them down.

[quote] If your lore is correct, that is...

Right? That's true. (Laughs) Oh, it was pepper, not salt? Damn it!

by Anonymousreply 210/14/2020

If seeing him naked is an option, then I am in.

by Anonymousreply 310/14/2020

When will he appear on "The Boys?"

by Anonymousreply 410/14/2020

He seriously needs to move on. This (shit)show is an embarrassment at this point.

But still, IFHH.

by Anonymousreply 510/14/2020

Nobody gives a shit about this awful, Rethuglican actor, OP.

by Anonymousreply 610/14/2020

Ugh, not the fucking Supernatural Freaks!!!

Kill it with fire!!!

by Anonymousreply 710/14/2020

Supernatural threads need to be banned, like the soap threads.

They're nothing but the lonely, dreggiest dregs of DataLounge posters.

They're all crazy as hell and this this D Lister has been robbed of his Emmy.

by Anonymousreply 810/14/2020

^ keep you hair on, missy

by Anonymousreply 910/14/2020

Is he the trumper?

by Anonymousreply 1010/14/2020

Fuck this cunt. He's in business with the Duck Dynasty fuckers.

by Anonymousreply 1110/14/2020

You're a really hateful beast, R11.

Someone needs to douse you in salt.

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by Anonymousreply 1210/15/2020

jfc how goddam effeminate must you be to be to call someone a hateful beast 🙄

by Anonymousreply 1310/15/2020

Jensen sounds like he's on a promo tour, but what exactly is he promoting?

by Anonymousreply 1410/15/2020

Himself, dolt @R14.

He wants another gig, something other than the tiny little bone Eric Kripke threw him.

Jensen thought that the major film studios, like as Marvel, were going to come knocking on his door, and they clearly haven't.

He needs to face the fact that he's aged out of just about everything but Dad roles on the Hallmark Channel.

He's a [italic]terrible, terrible[/italic] after all, so at his age his prospects are going to be few.

by Anonymousreply 1510/15/2020

^He's a [italic]terrible, terrible[/italic] [bold]actor[/bold] after all. . . .

by Anonymousreply 1610/15/2020

Glamour magazine? Ackles certainly knows his audience.

by Anonymousreply 1710/15/2020

[quote]Jensen thought that the major film studios, like as Marvel, were going to come knocking on his door, and they clearly haven't. He needs to face the fact that he's aged out of just about everything but Dad roles on the Hallmark Channel. He's a terrible, terrible after all, so at his age his prospects are going to be few.

^^This.

by Anonymousreply 1810/15/2020

Sadly, I want him in me, quite deeply.

by Anonymousreply 1910/15/2020

You have awful taste, R19.

Plus, she don't look nothing like that photo. Without all the fancy lighting and filters she is HAGGARD looking. That's a ROUGH 42 if you ask me.

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by Anonymousreply 2010/15/2020

I rest my case.

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by Anonymousreply 2110/15/2020

JFC What the fuckity fuck!

I knew she'd gotten older but damn. Your right, that's a rough looking 42.

by Anonymousreply 2210/15/2020

As usual, the Supernatural haters crawl out of the woodwork, ready to trash Jensen and/or Jared at the first opportunity!

He's going to shut your filthy mouths, when he gets a big role.

Then I'll rub it in your stupid faces!

by Anonymousreply 2310/15/2020

JENSEN AKLES DESERVES AN EMMY!!!

by Anonymousreply 2410/15/2020

[quote]Jensen thought that the major film studios, like as Marvel, were going to come knocking on his door, and they clearly haven't.

Because Marvel isn't a movie studio.

by Anonymousreply 2510/15/2020

They pray tell what's this, R25?

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by Anonymousreply 2610/15/2020

Ouch he looks like shit.

by Anonymousreply 2710/16/2020

Jealous hater bitches here.

by Anonymousreply 2810/16/2020

I predict that Jensen will win his first Emmy for "The Boys."

And it's about time.

by Anonymousreply 2910/18/2020

He’s aging badly and any acting skills he may have had peaked about 15 years ago. Not to mention he’s a closet Republican.

by Anonymousreply 3010/18/2020

Gotta give the writers credit for stretching what was probably a 3-year show into fifteen fuckin' seasons.

At the same time it says a lot about the audience of dolts who'd watch basically the same episode over and over -- like another poster said above -- just like those who waste their lives watching soaps.

by Anonymousreply 3110/18/2020
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