It’s been a helluva ride for Jensen Ackles on Supernatural as his character Dean was literally dragged to hell, where he unwittingly broke the First of the Sixty-Six Seals of Lucifer; seals that kept the Devil himself locked in his cage in Hell. Then Sam (Jared Padalecki) went with Ruby to kill Lilith and set Lucifer free. Whew!
As we begin season seven, the brothers are once again united in their battle against evil, but this season they face a fight for which there are no books, or hunters who have ever dealt with anything like it before.
We spoke to Jensen, who teased the upcoming season, in which he will be directing an episode, and revealed there will be flashbacks to an earlier time.
Will you be directing again this season?
Jensen Ackles: It will be episode three when it airs but they graciously let me direct it first so I could go up there and prep without having to work an episode. Being the second go-round, I thought it would be easier. I thought the knowledge that I learned last year would parlay into something and make it a little lighter of a load for me, but it proved to be just the opposite of that. I think the more I learn, the more I realize I have to deal to with. So last year, it was a bit of innocence is bliss. Not to mention that last year I think the script they gave me was a lighter script that wasn’t as heavy in the technical aspect of directing. This year, they flung me into the deep end. To give you an idea, normally in our scripts, we have between 40-50 scenes. I had 78. There was a lot going on.
What is the episode about?
Jensen Ackles: It is a bit of a slice of life from Sam’s standpoint. What we learn in episode two still translates into episode three. Sam is battling some inner demons to say the least. He comes across a job and we get back to that old formula of Supernatural, where he goes and hunts and Sam decides to do it himself because it is something from his past. What we do is go back into his past and we see Sam at age 15. Colin Ford, who has played him before as a young Sam, comes and plays him again. We get to go back in time, seeing Sam hunting and doing what he doesn’t really want to be doing at that age, but doing it anyway because that is what his father and his older brother are telling him to do.
Will we be seeing their father?
Jensen Ackles: I would like to bring him back as much as anybody, but Jeff [Jeffrey Dean Morgan] is a big movie star now. Of course, I talk to him a lot and he is, “Man, I want to come back,” but he is a little busy.
What can you tell us about the upcoming season?
Jensen Ackles: Nothing. There is actually a shock collar around my ankle. I think we know from the end of last season that there is a big shift in the character Castiel [Misha Collins]. That proves to be a big, big problem for the guys. Not only has this new, all-powerful being appeared, but it has also taken away the only ally they had in that realm. With that transfer of power, there is a big fallout of that. Without giving away too much, due to that aspect of this new god, there is released an evil that the boys don’t know how to handle. There is no lore to tell them what to do, there are no books written about it, and there are no hunters who have ever dealt with anything like this before. That is going to render them basically helpless because all the tools of the trade for the past six years are pretty much useless.
What are we going to see about Dean? If we are going to see Sam’s past, what about Dean’s?
Jensen Ackles: From what I have seen so far, which is only the first three episodes, we are still setting up the big major arcs of the story. The episode that I directed isn’t really setting up an arc for Dean. It is really a Sam-heavy episode. We will get into the Dean episodes. What is going to take place I am not sure.
What about Dean in the flashbacks?
Jensen Ackles: A lot of the young Dean and the dad stuff is done on the phone, so we don’t see those sides of the conversation. It is all implied.
Are Dean and Sam going to have similar ways of dealing with Castiel?
Jensen Ackles: I think they are on the same team, which is refreshing for me as an actor because last season was just a nightmare not having that partner in crime. Soulless Sam, even though I think Jared did an amazing job playing him, what it did was it took the character of Sam out of Dean’s life. For me as an actor, a lot of playing Dean is the relationship he had with Sam. Because that is gone, he was a little lost in how to react as Dean without Sam. It was confusing. I think this season they are all on the same team. They are headed down the same road with each other. Where they are going, I am not sure. How they are going to get there is going to be difficult.
Now that Castiel is a god, Misha must be totally insufferable now that he is a god?
Jensen Ackles: [jokes] Yes. It is going to be difficult, not only for Sam and Dean, but for Jared and Jensen now that Misha gets to say that he is god.
Supernatural returns with all new episodes on Friday, September 23 at 9 p.m. on The CW.