‘Supernatural’ actors see big picture

Ackles, Padalecki gather TV knowledge on set

In season five of “Supernatural,” brothers Sam and Dean Winchester face their destinies, as the devil and archangel Michael try to convince them that they have no choice but to become vessels for the mythic confrontation between good and evil.

Actors Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles face a less world-changing fate, but there’s something about their paths to “Supernatural” that feels cosmically ordained — with a happy ending to boot.

They’re both from Texas, have strong relationships with their own brothers and were already working for Warner Bros. when the lead roles on “Supernatural” came along.

Prior to “Supernatural,” Ackles was best known for his roles in “Days of Our Lives,” “Dark Angel” and “Smallville,” while Padalecki was in “Gilmore Girls.”

Padalecki, a horror fan at a young age who watched “The Twilight Zone” with his father, thinks out of the genre box when on set.

“You can’t let the fact that you’re making a horror show get in your head,” he feels. “You have to make it real for your character. Otherwise, your performance is going to look like something out of a cheesy horror movie.”

Ackles tries to get a sense of the entire production while working, beyond what his part entails.

“I’ve always had an interest in all aspects of the field,” he reveals. “Not just formulating a scene from an actor’s standpoint, but what it means to the director of photography, how a director is going to shape a scene and how the camera movements help tell a story.”

And Ackles is looking forward to continuing learning the trade from the “Supernatural” crew in season six.

“We’re embarking on a whole new adventure as far as the show goes,” he says. “With this season’s finale, we’re coming to the end of a five-year arc, and now we’re in a unique position to be able to hit the reset button and take the characters on new adventures, which I think is interesting.” Padalecki agrees. “I’m looking forward to exploring where things go.”

The “Supernatural” road won’t go on forever, so the actors are already looking ahead to where they’d like to see themselves five years from now.

“I’d like to do more movies,” says Padalecki, “or maybe another TV show. Working on ‘Supernatural’ showed me you can keep developing the stories and characters, which keeps it exciting.”

Ackles also finds it exciting to evolve creatively.

“I want to continue working with talented people I can learn from, people that are going to raise my level of creative ability,” he says. “The greatest thing about this industry, and especially about being an actor, is that you never really stop learning. The height of your career could always be a few years down the road.”

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