An interview with Jensen Ackles for Season 9 of Supernatural
With Supernatural Season 9 due to start airing on E4 (Tues 6th January 2015 at 9pm), we catch up with Dean, aka Jensen Ackles, to ask him a few questions about the show…
What can you tell us about Season 9 of Supernatural?
At the end of last season, we kicked a hornet’s nest and the world is slightly different now with all of the fallen angels among us. So, the big thing is that the brothers chose each other over the grander idea of shutting the Gates of Hell. I think the fact that they chose each other means that they have to unite more than ever in order to handle the new terrain.
That’s a hefty storyline for Season 9…
There are a lot of questions to be answered. We don’t know how these angels are going to react now that they’re out of their element. They could be friends or they could be foe. They could be bad or good on a case-by-case basis, and we won’t know until we start dealing with them. It’s going to be interesting to see who we can rely on and who we have to be sceptical of. Right now, I think the brothers have to stick together and navigate it together.
How do you think Dean is going to feel about Castiel’s new human state?
That’s a good question. At the start of Season 9, I think there are other big issues to deal with, so trying to understand the effects of Cass’s situation is on the back burner. Dean’s thinking, ‘We’ll deal with that later – we’ve got bigger problems.’ But it is going to be interesting because Castiel has been such a valuable tool to Sam and Dean over the years – and now he’s essentially useless as a power tool. He’s a backseat driver. To have an angel on your team would have been very beneficial, especially now that there are fallen angels walking among us. It’ll be interesting how the relationship evolves given his new lack of skills. It’s going to be very strange for them all. Having to pick up a phone and call Castiel to speak to him, as opposed to praying to him, will be weird for sure.
Throughout the show there have been hints that there’s more vulnerability to Dean than we realise. Will that be reflected this season?
When Sam was going through the trials last season and it was really taking a toll on him, the helplessness that Dean felt was also coupled with guilt. Dean felt as though he should have been the one doing it; that he should have been the one to sacrifice himself. I think Dean carried a lot of guilt, but he couldn’t allow that to get in the way of supporting and protecting his brother. Now that this situation has dissolved slightly, Dean is more driven. He’s like, ‘Okay this is what we chose and this is what we’re left with. Let’s move forward, deal with it and figure it out together.’
For many seasons there was a conflict between Dean and Sam. Does the conflict still exist in Season 9?
There’s always this struggle between the two of them. One of them will have a clear idea of what they should be doing whilst the other might be dragging their heels a little bit. I think the motivation switches from brother to brother, and from season to season. You never have them both on the same page, so to speak. That struggle makes for good TV, but now that they’re going to have so much struggle I think that they’re really going to have to unite.
What else can you tell us about Dean and Sam’s relationship in Season 9?
There is going to be a massive wrench thrown in the mix; it’s just that Sam doesn’t quite know it yet. Right now, they’re on the same page – but we’ll see how long that lasts. There is a secret that Dean is harbouring, and he’s keeping it from Sam. I think this will be one of the bigger issues of the series and it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.
Having played Dean Winchester for so long, do you feel like you know him better than anyone? And do you get involved in the choices he makes and his journey over the season?
Not necessarily storyline-wise. One of the great things about playing the same character for as long as I have is that the writers really get to know the actor. I’ve talked about the character with Jeremy [Carver] and with Bob [Singer] and we play the ‘wouldn’t it be cool’ game all the time. They don’t want to send Dean down a road that they know I’m not going to like and that won’t benefit the character. We’re protective of him. However, we want to give him situations that are going to peel back character layers. My personal control probably lies in the nuances I can bring to him; the stuff that isn’t written on the page. It could be a comedic look or taking my scene to a different place.
And is that something that happens with Jared Padalecki, too?
Jared and I talk about this stuff a lot. We’ll read a scene and we’ll think, ‘Wow, it just doesn’t read the way that we feel like the scene should go.’ So we’ll tweak a few lines to make it work and we’ll call Jeremy to get his blessing. He trusts us and he’ll say, “Listen, guys… You know these characters.” They understand that we’re not trying to make them look stupid; we want the best for the show. We want to produce the best quality product for everybody. I think that the trust factor really helps with the development and continuation of the characters.
Supernatural has been on television screens for nine years. Is it difficult to deal with the stardom and fame that comes along with a successful show?
Hell no! Are you kidding me? Having a job is the greatest thing to have as an actor. We couldn’t be happier.
How long are you locked into the show?
Jared and I have signed on through Season 10, so after this season they have us for another one, if they so desire. Then we’ve got to talk about anything past that. But we leave that to them. We leave that to the adults.
Are you hoping to direct on the show again this year?
I might be doing one later in the year. That depends on the writers. There are some slots open, but they are trying to figure out writing-wise whether they can write me out enough to let me prepare for an episode.