Jared Padalecki talks 'Supernatural' season 7 and how Friday rivals 'Fringe' and 'Grimm' can 'bring it.'


Image Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW

The Winchester brothers are in familiar territory when season 7 of Supernatural begins — and by that I mean they find themselves in a world of trouble. But come hell, highwater, or Jefferson Starships, they always find a way out…right? Well, EW hopped on the phone with star Jared Padalecki to ask exactly that for our Fall TV Preview issue, out now.

In our chat, he previews the boys’ big battle against an “absolute power,” Sam’s struggles, the upcoming lighthearted moments, and, addresses a question that seems to plague fans’ minds at the beginning of every season (even though we all usually hate to admit it).

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So, Sam and Dean (Jensen Ackles) are kind of up a creek this season.
JARED PADALECKI: They are. We’ve done so very much on this show and put Sam and Dean in so many strange positions, and now here we are in season 7 and we’re going, “Well, what can possibly happen to them now.” But what’s been wonderful and a real blessing from the character’s perspective over the last few years is that we’ve accumulated these friends and this angel who can get us out of tight spots and all these little home bases that have really been a boon for our hunting business, so to speak. And now we’re gradually losing touch with all of these. Hunters are being killed off, we lost this angel on our shoulders. So now we see the boys in a position that they’ve been in before, but usually they’ve had more artillery at their disposal. 

Being that Castiel was so close to them, how are they dealing with his new power? And how concerned are they with him being so powerful — even though they have no idea how to deal with it?
Well, it’s very intense. We certainly don’t take it lightly. One of the writers mentioned how power corrupts, and we see Castiel with absolute power. We don’t take it lightly what he can do. So we try to go full steam. Sam and Dean sort of don’t half ass things. If they see something they don’t like the go full steam ahead.

But that must be hard to do with Sam’s wall being crumbled. How is he dealing with that?

Sam and Dean don’t know what could possibly go wrong now. One of the things that has really remained a constant with Sam at least is that he’s tried to remain strong. Sometimes there’s a downfall, like when he had the demon blood thing going on. He’s always thought he was doing the right thing, and he remained very headstrong. But now, with Sam’s wall coming down, we see this guy who has always been strong who kind of now is just losing it. He doesn’t know if he can trust himself and he has such self doubt that it’s crippling. It’s difficult on Dean; it’s difficult on Bobby because he can’t be a help to them if he can’t be a help to himself. At least in the past, he’s always been able to go in guns blazing and provide some sort of help. But now, with Sam’s not sure who he is and where he is, it’s like Dean and Bobby have to take care of me as well.

You’re breaking my heart here…
[Laughs] We certainly also have a few laughs, too. Usually, from what I can extrapolate from past seasons, we usually kind of get the storyline up and going for the show and then throw in some fun ones around midseason. [Usually, it’s] right around when everybody is going, “Man, I don’t know if I can deal with another dark and dying and death [episode].” Here, at the beginning, we’re definitely setting up this new route that we’re taking. And there is no lack of laughs. Dean’s always got this tongue-in-cheek humor, and Sam’s got his reaction to this guy that I call my brother. So we’ll have a good time in the end, but we don’t have a super goofy one yet. But I was thinking about that the other day. It’s great to be part of a fun, crazy sci-fi show that’s dark and deals with mythology and then we do something where we play ourselves. It’s nice for the fans. They appreciate being a part of it and laughing with us.

At this point and time, we’re not doing American Idol numbers where 30 million people watch every week and it’s a no-brainer that [they’ll] go forever. We have this core group of followers who are a part of it and enjoying being a part of it. So it’s nice to have that confidence in our viewership that we can do something like that and not jump the shark. Actually, we’ve had an episode called “Jump the Shark.”

Now, this might sound silly, and it is. But I get this question more than anything, so let’s just put it out there. What’s going on with Sam’s hair this season?
[Laughs…for a good while]Well, it’s probably more similar to season 6 than season 1. It’s taken on a life of it’s own. I think one day my hair and the Impala are going to have re-negotiations for season 7. But I guess we pick up season 7 where season 6 left off. So it’s most similar to that. I get a lot of people who liked my hair in season 1. I think, literally, we’ve had times in the past 6 or 7 years when I’m like, “Man, I want to cut my hair really short.” Or Jensen’s like, “I really want to grow my hair out. It gets cold here.” And I suppose they won’t let us because that’s just who Sam and Dean are. One’s longer-haired and one’s short-haired. And now that Sam’s older, they definitely style it more than let it be floppy and frumpy. I think back in season 1, I was just this 23-year-old kid but I was also 6′ 4”. I had the body of a man but a face of a boy, and they wanted me to be more a boy than a man. So they gave me the original Bieber look. Maybe Bieber stole it from me — the whole hair-in-the-eyes, “I think I’m too sexy” attitude. But now I’m adult Sam ‘do.

Lastly, Supernatural has a bit of competition on Friday night. Along with Fringe, NBC’s Grimm, which is in a similar wheelhouse, is also starting up. What do you make of this? How is Supernatural going to fare?

Maybe I should be worried about it, but I take it as a compliment. A lot of these supernatural shows come and go. And I do watch Fringe and Josh [Jackson] is a buddy. I guess you can say, bring it. We’ve been on seven years. Good luck catching up. [Laughs] But I’ll take it as a compliment. When Supernatural came out, there were a lot of procedurals and you were either a doctor or a cop or lawyer, otherwise the show didn’t stay on TV. And then we came around, and I don’t want to say we were trailblazers, but we found our niche. And, like I said, we’re not getting 100 million viewers every week, but we have some people who are passionate and passionate about the genre.

For more on Supernatural and your other favorite television shows, pick up Entertainment Weekly‘s Fall TV Preview, on stands now.

Follow Sandra on Twitter (and thank her about asking an embarrassing question on your behalf): @EWSandraG

Read more:
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‘Supernatural’ final season? Not quite…

Comments (357 total) Add your comment
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  • Rhia T

    Love this guy. Really excited for the new season. Hahahah the question about Sam’s hair. I agree with Jared his hair and the impala and THE AMULET need contracts next season.

    • Christine

      “I think one day my hair and the Impala are going to have re-negotiations for season 7.”
      – This cracked me up.

    • What?

      Supernatural SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

      FRINGE RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Nic

        In YOUR opinion. I completely disagree.

      • Matt

        I’m a fan of both shows! I like them both for different reasons and have seen every episode of both. They both have their unique strengths and weakness and I will continue watching both shows until they end.

      • Rachel

        Well I like them both :P

      • Eager

        A few years ago them woulda been fightin’ words. Not now. Fringe definitely is the better show now. Supernatural sucks now and this interview is a great example of why. It’s gone from Supernatural to Samnatural, all Sam all the time, even when Sam’s not on screen, everyone else is worrying and thinking and talking about Sam and all the important plotlines revolve around Sam and how they can whitewash Sam’s actions(oh except for when they are focusing on ways to make Dean responsible for everyone else’s bad decisions and finding ways to blame him for anything that goes wrong, then they are fine with Dean having something to himself).

        I could care less about Sam’s psychotic break dealing with Hell, especially after recycling it from Dean of 2 seasons ago(but of course with Dean they half-arsed it and just had all the other characters calling him pathetic and weak and essentially mocked him) and Dean had no one taking care of him, in fact he still ended up taking care of everyone else and dealing with everything on his own because Sam was too busy sneaking off with demons and looking for excuses to call Dean weak to be there for him.

        The last thing I want to see is that stupid amulet, which was more a symbol of everything wrong with Dean and Sam’s relationship as well as wrong with the show. Anything Dean had, Sam also had to have – so Dean’s amulet naturally came from Sam. Why? Because Sam was originally going to give it to his dad for Christmas but when Dad didn’t show up and Sam found out why, he gave it to Dean, mainly because he was pissed off at Dad and Dean was there. That’s the way Colin Ford played it and kid or not, he’s a great actor, better than many adults, so I’m quite sure he knew what he was doing when he played him that way. And 12 year old Dean, already weighed down with the responsibility of taking care of himself and his brother alone in a motel room for weeks, naturally was grateful for getting a crumb of recognition from anyone in his family, even if it was cast offs.

        I want that Amulet to stay gone. It’s not needed and all it symbolized was dysfunction, their absentee father, Sam’s selfishness and Dean’s willingness to settle for all the responsibility and blame dumped on his shoulders by both of them when they were busy ignoring him to fight with each other.

      • Fred

        Rude. I like them both. They bring a little something different to the table. You can just not watch.

      • Victoria

        Well said Eager. I agree with everything.

      • CJ

        Yeah, IA with Eager, too. I never disliked Sam as much as I do now. He was never my favorite, but I thought there was hope for him. It just seems like the writers don’t want him to admit that he has flaws, faults, and character weaknesses like self-centeredness, arrogance, and a terribly condescneding attitude that have hurt Dean as much as John’s same flaws did, and thye both have kept Dean from developing any sense of self at all. The writers should address this if they really want to make Sam more likable, IMO.

      • Nikki

        In regards to it being all about Sam…To be honest, this past season, I thought they were focusing too much on Dean. (Dean is my favorite, but I was actually getting a bit sick of him. The thing is, I like Dean best but I love Sam too, and I thought he should have gotten more attention.) Even when it was about Sam, they still focused more on Dean’s reactions, how Dean felt about it.

      • lolz

        @Nikki That’s so funny because I’m a Sam girl and I felt like the last two seasons were all about Sam and I am so sick of it. It is what turned me into a Dean girl.

        See how I did that?

      • Tajah

        You know, it IS possible to love BOTHshows!! I do love BOTH Supernatural and Fringe and will be watching them BOTH, hoping that BOTH of them do well with ratings, and that BOTH of them get renewed for another year.

      • Louisa

        I agree with you, Eager. Season 7 of what’s wrong with Sam isn’t at all interesting and it definitely isn’t fresh or new. Everything I’ve seen in spoilers sounds boring and redundant. With the possibility that Misha might be gone I’m at the point where even Jensen isn’t really enough to keep me watching.

      • CaDammieGirl

        If You think SPN Sucks so much why did you bother to read this? And Personally from what Ive seen Fringe.
        It’s Supernatural that Rocks Ass and Fringe that Sucks deadman’s feet.

      • ORLY

        Since Sam fans and Sera very much want Dean and Castiel fans to leave, we might as well. It’s a lost cause. So lets all migrate away from the show, leave it to them since there’s nothing to watch anyway. . More and more Sam fans are finally stop pretending that they’re bi-bro and finally admitting it’s all about Sam and boasting about finally getting it all.

        Just don’t expect people not interested in another season of Sam getting to put down and blame Dean for his problems to subsidize it with viewership or hard-earned cash.

      • josh

        Supernatural is the ish fringe is okay but i found it boring
        theres never been a show like supernatural with all the variety

      • j

        you suck!

      • Shaunda

        I don’t understand the people that are downing the show. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. But I for one LOVE the show. It is #1 in my book.

  • Shaya

    This season is really psyching me up. Can’t wait to see it. I’m such a Sam fan and the Winchesters are the fiercest siblings on tv, i hope the show continues to be good because it’s been my favourite since day 1.

  • Judy

    I don’t want you to say you were trailblazers either, Jared Padalecki. Because off the top of my head I can think of a half dozen paranormal procedurals that aren’t about cops or lawyers and that predate Supernatural. So. I like Supernatural, though, and will be watching it on DVR (live viewing Fringe!).

    • Arlo Brave

      that’s why he said that Judy…

      • Judy

        Fair enough, but I mean shows that stayed on the air for several seasons. When he says “we found our niche,” he’s implying that they carved a niche, but it’s been around for a while.

      • Christine

        No, he said they found their niche. Pretty sure he means they just found it, not created it. It’s not exactly cryptic.

  • Winnie50

    I love Jared Padelacki! Supernaural wouldn’t have lasted a full season if it wasn’t for him and Jensen Ackles. I am glad that they have had so much success over the years. Can’t wait for season 7!

    • Louisa

      Supernatural wouldn’t have lasted beyond season 4 without Misha Collins, and he is also one of the biggest reasons for the show’s success.

  • Arlo Brave

    ‘extrapolate’? Jared is pretty articulate as well as good looking! I am really excited for season 7. Hurry up CW we miss our show. Hope Sam’s ok but i look forward to seeing some exploration of the ramifications of the wall being ripped down. Mostly i want to see the brothers more united together and the fiercest as brothers they’ve been in a while. Seeing them on the same team lately has been a joy to behold and i just want so much more of that now. Winchesters are epic.

    • Eager

      Oh Jesus are you kidding? Where do you come from that “extrapolate” is an articulate word? Where I come from we use words like that all the time. I know the new thing is to push the “Jared is soooo smart” agenda but, come on, that’s really stretching things. LOL

      • Fred

        I like anyone who uses words like extrapolate. i really like that word. Why not expand the vocabulary just a little bit. My son laughs and tells me Mom, you’re reading too many books, just use english! But he’s 17, what does he know about extrapolate! lol My 12 year old daughter, we are making her look up words every day. I know she’s going to use extrapolate because she loves Supernatural!

      • kaydevo

        Eager, I’m wondering why you’re on here. Apparently to vent some odd anger issues. Strange.

      • aman

        wow you really are completely up your own ass!

      • lolz

        OMG, this comment explains so much about Sam/JP fans. Thanks for that. LOL!

      • Joshua Jackson

        Why can’t you just “polate”? Why’s it have to be “extra-polate”? :)

      • Van

        I am a fan of both “boys,” and I do keep up with the boards. Jared’s parents are both educated people; oneis an accountant, the other is a teacher. His older brother is a surgeon. Jared himself actually was a Mathlete in school, so I think the odds that he is not bright are fairly slim. Smart, successful people tend to make smart, successful children. I love Jensen, but if anyone of the two of them is not a genius, it’s him–he is a model,which is not a job requiring a strenuous education, and he quit school to pursue acting. His fans are the bitchiest, always complaining about their pretty fantasy boyfriend doesn’t get enough screen time. Well, grow up, ladies–it is Jared’s show, and Jenny is his pretty co-star. Jared’s name is first on the credits, the credits are not alphabetical, the bulk of the show’s storyline over the past six years has focusssed on Jared– ergo, it is his show.Get over your obsession with Jensen’s appearance and gorgeous manly tears, and accept it. The actor who is lead on the credits is the star of the show-that is how it is done in Hollywood, all the time. So suck it up, you Jensen whiners! I love both actors equally, but just listening to Jensen speak, it’s pretty clear he is the far less intellectually capable of the two of them.

  • Hayley

    I want the first scene to be Castiel kneeling before the Winchester boys, because they bow for NO MAN or angel.

    • Jo76

      Ha that’d be awesome.

      • Rachel

        I’d love that!

    • aman

      would love that to happen but from what I’ve heard Cas doesnt see them as a threat and just lets them go.

  • Anon

    I’m still watching Grimm.

    • James

      I really wanted to try watching grimm. But i’m definetly not skipping supernatural.

      • Rachel

        I haven’t tried it either.

  • Mike

    I can’t wait for season 7! I really hope they start traveling more on the show. I sort of miss that.

  • Stacie

    My god what I wouldn’t give to be in the middle of a Jared Padalecki/Joshua Jackson sandwich. I am thrilled they are friends but fear the world might implode to that much hot.

    • TK


    • Sherry

      LOL Agreed!!Way too much hotness! I love Supernatural and Fringe. I would like to see Grimm, but the fools put in between these two. I’m not giving up on Supernatural or Fringe

    • Ella

      Probably met through Jensen from his days on Dawson’s Creek.

    • angel


      • angel

        o ditto to stacies comment about “sandwich” whoot

  • Jacks

    Love, love, LOVE this dude. Love, love, LOVE this show. Wheeeeeeee season 7 come to me.

  • Kat

    LMAO “Maybe Bieber stole it from me”. Oh, Jared.

  • trina

    So very excited for season 7. Supernatural is the one show on TV that I still watch live (and even plan my schedule around)

  • Swtndl81

    Was a Dean girl since season 4, when I started watching the show. But I’ve been converted because of Jared. Hes awesome!!! Not only hot but smart as well.

    • Zoe

      Ironic, I was a Sam girl but was converted to Dean! :)
      We evened out.

    • lolz

      Was a JP girl since season 1 but having him constantly shoved down our throats by the CW PR department and Gamble has made me a JA girl. :)

  • Crowley_Gal

    If Sam is that messed up then he shouldn’t be hunting. What if he’s holding a loaded gun and has a flashback. He’s a danger to himself, Dean and every innocent bystander he’d meet.

    I’m curious if the show is actually going to address this or just ignore it.

    • Molly

      Don’t you know Sam can do anything!? Besides, he’s got a flunky – I mean brother – with nothing better to do than hold his hand and worry over him.

      • Heather

        Please! Sam would have selfdestructed long ago if Dean didn’t keep him on track. They are a great pair, each being the perfect crutch for the other’s weakness. I love Sam, but Dean is the heart and soul of the show.

      • Anne

        That’s not an accurate description at all. Dean doesn’t just stand aside and let Sam do whatever he wants. He’s very proactive and he’s Sam’s big brother, so he considers it his job to take care of him. They’ve been through quite a lot together.

      • ORLY

        @Anne Sam told Dean to let him grow up and blamed him for making him run to Ruby. So yuck about Dean having to STILL be the big brother, because the only thing he’s going to reap from that role is anger, resentment and hatred from his brother.

    • ORLY

      Agreed. It’s really repetitive especially after a horrible season where Sam was souless and was one of the worst partners ever with the condescending manner, the lack of caring and smirking while his partner was made into a vampire. Dean had to deal with that AND lost his family due to Souless!Sam’s actions.

      It doesn’t sound much better to deal with someone who needs to be taken care of AND will probably criticize and complain about how Dean and Bobby take care of him.

      Dean got screamed at constantly for not treating Sam like a grownup and now he’s going to be demanded to take care of him because Sam isn’t completely competent? Ugh, ugh!

    • sally

      I say Sam should go get himself admitted to a mental hospital, Bobby can take care of him, and Dean and Cas can keep hunting. It’d be a lot more fun to watch than another season of woobie something is wrong with Sam and Dean does nothing but worry and stand aside when Sam has to play the hero.

      • Molly

        This sounds fantastic! I’m in!

      • sally

        No worries Molly, Gamble is here to serve Sam fans, and only Sam fans. Your wish is her command. It’s already started, just read the spoilers. It’s another season of Samfest and what’s his name, the other guy.

      • sally

        Discard my comment. I got mixed up with another gory scenario of MartySue Sam saving the day while dealing whis his manpain. I do wish that Dean and CAs could hunt together and have Sam and Bobby take care of Sam’s epic manpain in Tibet.

      • Nic

        Errrr… Count me out. It would be horrible. I could barely stand “Free to be you and me”.

      • Kris

        Cas is the most boring character on TV. “Let me poke your forehead and fix everything that’s wrong in the world then bow down and worship me.” Bleech.

        Couldn’t even watch The Man Who Would be King. Fastforwarded through about 90% of that dreck.

      • Anon

        I did that with The Man Who Knew to Much when 90% of the episode took place in Sam’s head. What a boring place to be.

      • aman

        Please Robo Angel the duchiest angel in the garisson? Misha can hardly act as it is, he deffinately cant pull of main character status.

      • Louisa

        I see Kris has popped in from the CW Septic Tank.

      • charlotte

        Now that is a tv show I would watch!!!

      • sagan

        In your dreams!

    • lolz

      Logic does not belong in the SPN writers room. Do you even go here?

      • Maria

        @sally, unfortunately for you and fortunately for us, your scenario will never happen because Sera is serving the bi-bro fans and not the Destiel ones. You’d better stick to fan fiction, because SN was is and will always be about Sam AND Dean!

      • ORLY

        @Maria, you mean the Sam fans only because she sure as heck isn’t serving the Dean fans.

    • sagan

      What’s the matter, crowleygal, you want Dean to leave Sam and go hunt with dear Castiel?

  • Seria

    Love me some Jensen Ackles. I can’t wait to see BAMF Dean! I hope he gets to help redeem Castiel.

    • Anon

      I wouldn’t count on it. That would take focus off Sam and his most spechul pain ever.

      • Seria

        I really hope Sam’s issues aren’t the main focus because that would be way too much angst and little action, since, according to Jared, it sounds like Sam is basically going to be a liability and shouldn’t be hunting.

      • Anon

        How is that supposed to work on a show that is supposed to be about two guys hunting?

    • Zoe

      Yes! I want BAMF Dean more than anything on that show!

      • lolz

        Most of fandom does, along with a redemption storyline for Castiel so Gamble is going to make sure that neither of those things happen. She only caters to the Beckys like herself.

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