Jared Padalecki took a break from filming season seven of Supernatural to fly down to San Diego for Comic-Con. Check out what he has to say about the upcoming season and the many incarnations of Sam over the years he has played the character.
What can you spoil for us for next season?
Jared Padalecki: Simply put, nothing. But on a real note, I think season six was pretty different — obviously, being soulless and coming back and Dean being with Lisa and Ben. This season is kind of our return to season one. It is not a return to square one. It is not wipe the slate clean and who are these guys and I want to go back to law school, but it is like we are doing our bread and butter — our monster of the week thing. I don’t think of this as season seven. I think of it as episode 128. On that note, Sam and Dean have grown so much. But they are in a different spot than they were in season one and now they are doing it because like they know they need to. Then it was: Well, Dad wants this. There is a demon that did something and what are angels? Now Sam and Dean, with the knowledge they have, are much wiser and they are carrying forth to do what they started 128 episodes ago.
Can you talk about what it was like last season when you essentially played two characters but they were still Sam?
Jared Padalecki: It was difficult. I think if they had tried to do it to me in season one or two, it would have been a disaster. I still haven’t watched it. I don’t want to see it yet, just in case. Also at that time, I was doing the anime. The anime is a combination of season one and two, so I was doing soulless Sam, post-hell Sam and then running to the sound truck and doing season one Sam. It was kind of like a mind eff. I am anxious to see how it turned out. It took a lot of patience. It was a lot of hard work and I love it. I love working hard for something I am passionate about. This is what I dreamt of doing since I was a kid. So it is nice to have that problem. You go home after work and hit the sack and you are done.
In season one, did you have any clue that Sam would be where he is now in season seven?
Jared Padalecki: No. Season one I would have thought that Sam would be where he was in the middle of season one. I feel like he has been all over the place. There are times I would read the episodes and be: “What? What in the world?” I would call [the producers] and they would be, “Wait it out. Just give it a sec.” I was, “All right.” And sure enough, it all told a grander story. At the end of the day, I am an actor employed to tell a story and I have had a great time doing that. I wouldn’t have thought I would be where I am now either as Jared or Sam.
What aspects of Sam’s life that have not been explored are you looking forward to doing?
Jared Padalecki: I think, once again, if we had done this a few seasons ago, it would have been the years that Sam was separated from his family. But now that is so in the past and unimportant. One of the things that I – Jared – get from Supernatural is what is important is the present and trying to do the right thing in the here and now and not really worry about the past. Obviously, Sam has a lurid past – from sucking demon blood to killing innocent people every once in a while. So whatever he did when he was soulless, whatever he did in hell, Sam doesn’t want to go into his past. We had a chance to explore Sam’s … not love life, because he didn’t really have one, but loves here and there. And I am sure we will get back into exploring that. I think he thinks, “I have been through all this. Now I am going to try again to establish some bit of normalcy.” Obviously, at the beginning of season six when Sam was soulless, there was no normalcy. Not like season one when he wanted to go back to school, but he wants to live as normal as he can.
At the end of last season, Sam got all these memories flooding back. Do you have a lot of challenging acting coming up?
Jared Padalecki: I do. True to Supernatural form, we are not making it boring, like Sam sits in a corner, going “uh, uh.” It is exciting how these memories manifest themselves – I hope I am not supposed to say this – if I get in trouble, it is your fault and I am blaming you – but Sam isn’t always certain what is real and what is not, so to speak. Having been Lucifer and soulless – he was called Hell Sam in the script – having been all these incarnations of Sam Winchester, he is at a spot where he is, “I don’t know what is what. Let me just kind of take a break.” So we get to see Dean and Bobby kind of react to that and what is going on with him. Is it good? Is it fine? And can Sam be strong and kind of level through it? It is what I was saying about the background. I am not a different guy; I am just a guy with more in my past.
Supernatural returns with all new episodes on Friday, September 23 at 9 p.m. on The CW.