Jensen Ackles learned all about fan loyalty when he played the role of Eric Brady on Days of our Lives from 1997 to 2000. After exiting Salem, he got an even bigger taste of how loyal fans can be after he landed a lead role in The CW series Supernatural. For the last 15 seasons, devotees of the show have watched Winchester brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Ackles) battle ghosts, monsters, demons, and other assorted ghouls.
Exclusive Interview: Jensen Ackles
Now, the series comes to an end. The last several episodes of Supernatural are airing on The CW on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET. Earlier this year, Soap Hub Insider caught up with Ackles at a CW party in Hollywood to get his thoughts on this iconic show coming to a close… for now.
Why decide now to end the show?
Jensen Ackles: Because I still feel like we’re going strong, and I don’t want to go out when we’re not feeling strong.
The backdrop of the show is, of course, the supernatural. The appeal of the show is the dynamic between Sam and Dean. We’d all want someone in our lives who’d storm the gates of hell on our behalf.
Yes. Well put. Well put.
Can you talk about the relationship between Sam and Dean?
Very early on, when we got the show, after the pilot had been shot, and after it was picked up into a full series, we went up to Vancouver to shoot our very first episode after the pilot. There, the writer and creator, Eric Kripke, sat us, Jared and [me] down and said, “This show that I’m creating has a very colorful canvas, but at the end of the day, this show boils down to the relationship between this brother and this brother. It begins and ends with you guys.
He said, “It shouldn’t matter what canvas you guys are put on.” You are the anchors. So, very, very early on, Jared and I learned how important not just how the relationship [between us was] but how important the chemistry of these brothers was and to have them portrayed so that people could identify with them. I identify with Dean. And I identify with Sam, too. There’s that solidarity between the two brothers. That’s what we kept the focus on. We’ve continued that for 15 seasons. Whenever we get a little bit wacky or a little bit off the charts, we get back to what these brothers would do and would do together.
Will we see signature farewells from characters who’ve recurred on Supernatural over the years?
Many. Many. I’ve already seen two or three of them. I’m really excited about it.
There have been many successful, satisfying series finales – The Big Bang Theory and Everybody Loves Raymond both ended with the characters all together, doing what they loved doing. That’s a nice way to leave things. Without getting specific as to how Supernatural ends, what can you say?
I’m not going to get into specifics, [but] I know the ending. And I’m going to tell you this…[voice trails off]
Okay. You’re smiling. ‘Nuff said. This doesn’t necessarily mean the end of Supernatural does it? After all, the original Star Trek ended decades ago and other incarnations of Star Trek live on today.
[Smiling] Ah, nothing ever dies in the Supernatural world.
Supernatural’s next episode, which airs on Thursday, October 15 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW is titled “Gimme Shelter.”