Currently playing rugged bad boy Dean Winchester on The CW’s Supernatural, Jensen Ackles grew up in an acting family. Ackles took some time out, while he was at the San Diego Comic-Con, to talk to MediaBlvd Magazine about what viewers can expect from season three.
Jensen Ackles And Supernatural Season 3 By Christina Radish
Currently playing rugged bad boy Dean Winchester on The CW’s Supernatural, Jensen Ackles grew up in an acting family. The 29-year-old Texan started modeling at the age of two, doing commercial work and appearing in print and TV ads. But, it wasn’t until 15 years later, with a stint on the daytime drama Days of Our Lives that earned him three Daytime Emmy nominations, that he began to seriously pursue acting as a career. After a series regular role on the popular sci-fi adventure series Dark Angel, and recurring roles on Dawson’s Creek and Smallville, Ackles landed the role of reckless, stubborn Dean Winchester, opposite Jared Padalecki, on Supernatural. Currently in its third season, the show follows the Winchester brothers as they save people from supernatural evils.
Series star Jensen Ackles took some time out, while he was at the San Diego Comic-Con, to talk to MediaBlvd Magazine about what viewers can expect from season three.
MediaBlvd Magazine> How will season three be different than the previous seasons?
Jensen Ackles> We’ve been waiting to get to season three because now, once you get past that freshman season, and you get through season two, you get through the sophomore slump, which a lot of shows have to go through. So, getting to season three was a massive battle, in itself. Once you’ve won that battle, you can really start exploring the ideas that you may have held back because you were just trying to do everything you could to get the show to find an audience, and to get the support of the network and the studio, and stuff like that. There were a lot of politics that played into the first two seasons, and Eric did a very nice job with that, while staying true to his creativity. That’s not easy to do, especially in today’s television. I’m very excited about season three because now we can really sink our teeth into it and figure out what’s going to happen with these two guys, where they’re going to go, who they’re going to meet, how that’s going to affect them and what storylines are going to pick up. It should be interesting.
MediaBlvd> Do the writers write to your strengths, as actors?
Jensen> Yeah. There’s a mesh of creativity, starting to form between the writers, actors and directors. Now, we’re really starting to hit our stride and say, “Okay, now we know how to do this.” I can trust the writers more now because they’ll say, “Dean wouldn’t do this,” or “Dean wouldn’t say this.” If a director comes in and says, “Hey, why don’t you try it like this?,” I’ll say, “No, Dean wouldn’t do that.” That perfection of knowing who he is, what he would do and where he’s going, is something that really gets explored in season three and, hopefully, season four and season five.
MediaBlvd> Do you feel protective of your character?
Jensen> Oh, yeah, absolutely. I like playing the guy. Anytime you enjoy doing something, you don’t want somebody to ruin that for you.
MediaBlvd> Is it a challenge to be a part of what is, essentially, a two-person show?
Jensen> It is. When Jared and I got cast for this, we sat down and had a talk because he was coming off of five seasons of Gilmore Girls, where he would just pop in for a day or two, say his bit, and have the rest of the week to go party with his buddies. And, I was coming off of Smallville. Tom Welling is a good friend of mine, and I knew how much he worked in the first few seasons, before they started surrounding him with some people to really give him some time off. They really had to establish who that character was, in the first two seasons, and it was a lot of work for him. And, I did Dark Angel, where they did the same thing with Jessica Alba. She was out of her mind from working so much. So, I had somewhat of a grasp on what to expect. But, I thought that, by now, we’d at least have some help.
MediaBlvd> But, you do have some help this season, right?
Jensen> And, we are finally getting some help. I just don’t want to burn out. I don’t want to feel like, “Man, I’m sick of this,” because it is a great job. I love playing this role and I love this show, and I don’t want to ever get tired of it. Hopefully, mixing things up a little bit will not only refresh the actors, but also keep them doing their best, every day. And, the audience is getting something new and refreshing, while still staying very true to what the show is, what it always was and what it will continue to be.
MediaBlvd> Can you talk about the addition of Katie Cassidy and Lauren Cohan to the show? What is it like working with them, and how will it change things?
Jensen> Thank God they got someone. It means I get to sleep, and I don’t have to stare at only Jared anymore. I’m really excited for it because it opens up the doors to a lot of different dynamics between us, and somebody else. It might even influence the relationship between the brothers. It’s a welcome addition. I know they’ve tried out some other characters, in the past, and they didn’t quite work out, but they’re taking a chance here. I was a little concerned, at first. I wondered how they were going to fit into a show that is truly only about two characters. The fact that we travel so much, there’s really no roots planted. The fact that we’re constantly moving and constantly rolling, and we’re these vagabonds, it doesn’t really lend itself to having recurring characters, as much as we would like it to, but they’re going to make an effort to do that this season. I didn’t really know how they were going to introduce the new characters. We’ve introduced the character of Ruby, played by Katie Cassidy. I wasn’t sure how she was going to fit in, but I’m interested to see where they take her. Bella, played by Lauren Cohan, was just introduced in the third episode. When I read with Lauren for her audition, for the network test, it was neat because Dean is this motorhead, blue collar, Southern, gun-slinging cowboy guy, and Lauren is this refined English person. It was two totally different ends of the spectrum, but opposites attract. Or, they may not. But, it definitely lends itself to possibly having some interesting dynamics.
MediaBlvd> Will that addition actually lighten your workload some?
Jensen> God, I hope so, and that’s not to say that I don’t want to be working on the show. I love it, and that’s what I want to preserve. After doing nine months, every day, all day, and losing sleep, just to have that preservation of the freshness and love for the show, and to have somebody come on and take a little bit of that workload off, will only improve mine and Jared’s work because we’re not going to be so dead-tired, at the end of the day. After nine months, we won’t feel like we’ve just run a marathon, and they’re asking us to sprint for another two or three miles. It will be nice. The X-Files was always about David and Gillian’s characters, but they also had characters surrounding them that supplied critical points of the story, like The Smoking Man and the FBI agents, and stuff like that, who were permanent fixtures on the show, but didn’t necessarily take away from those two lead characters. Hopefully, this will still keep the show very much about what it’s always been about, and just add more of a dynamic to it.
MediaBlvd> How do you feel about all the merchandising for the show, i.e. trading cards, magazines, etc.?
Jensen> It is what it is. It’s weird. All I know is that my mother keeps calling me going, “Hey, how can I get my hands on that?” And, I go, “What? I don’t even know what that is.”