misha collins

Alexander Calvert as Jack, Jared Padalecki as Sam, Misha Collins as Castiel, and Jensen Ackles as Dean.

Photo Credit: Brendan Meadows/The CW .

Baby, what a ride it's been! It's television's longest-running sci-fi fantasy show—and certainly the longest-running series ever on The CW—but on Thursday, Nov. 19, Supernatural comes to an end. Originally set to sign off in the spring, Supernatural's long goodbye was made even longer by the coronavirus pandemic, and the final seven episodes aired this fall instead.

We've already rounded up our 18 most memorable Supernatural episodes. Now we look ahead to the iconic series' swan song.

Don't miss the series finale of Supernatural, airing this Thursday, Nov. 19 at 9/8c on The CW. Stream free the next day only on The CW.

The two-hour event begins at 8/7c with "The Long Road Home"—a preview of the finale with the cast and crew.

Dean And Sam Winchester Say Farewell

Dean grabs Sam by the collar

Jared Padelecki as Sam and Jensen Ackles as Dean in the pilot episode.

Photo Credit: © The WB / Justin Lubin.

Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki both used sports analogies to button-up Season 15's final episodes. Ackles likens them to the "fourth quarter" of a football game, while Padalecki calls them the 26th mile of a marathon. (Coincidentally, the Supernatural stars finished the 2018 Seattle marathon together for charity).

Ackles told ET he was dreading March because he's not good at saying goodbyes, so he was somewhat relieved when production halted. Once they returned to shoot the last batch, with COVID-19 safety protocols in place, it became more of a "see you later" than a final farewell. Padalecki says he and Jensen even snuck in a few Easter eggs for hardcore fans who have stuck with them for 15 years—so keep an eye out!

An Ode To The Best Fans

There's a saying: "Supernatural never dies." Padalecki credits the fandom for sticking with them for 15 years and being critical to the show's success. "[You're] the reason why Supernatural will never truly die." The end weighed heavily on Ackles, who posted on Instagram on the final day of shooting: "To those I have worked with on this journey and to those who have watched and supported ... you will never understand my great appreciation for you. 'Thank you' doesn't cover it. There just aren't words. I'm so grateful for these memories that I will carry with me forever. What a ride it has been. And what a run."

Did Coronavirus Affect The Series Finale?

Dean and Sam on a snowy day

Jensen Ackles as Dean and Jared Padalecki as Sam.

Photo Credit: Colin Bentley/The CW.

Executive producers Robert Singer and Andrew Dabb told PaleyFest New York they didn't "have to blow anything up" in terms of their original vision for how it all ends. Although the shots in the final episodes had to be tweaked based on how many "extras" could appear in each scene, the EPs call the final installment an "intimate episode, just about the guys."

Jared's Favorite Episode

Jared Padalecki as Sam and Jensen Ackles as Dean

Jared Padalecki as Sam and Jensen Ackles as Dean.

Photo Credit: Robert Falconer/The CW.

Padalecki's pick is one you haven't seen yet—the series finale. "I love all of my children equally, but this one is my favorite," he posted on social. With Episode 19 wrapping up a big chunk of the mythology (keep reading to find out more), executive producer Andrew Dabb told TV Line the finale is "more character-based and is more concerned with Sam, Dean, and this family they've built around them than it is with figuring out the Case of the Week." Ackles waxed poetic about the final shoot day: "Putting these brothers away, this is it … us standing on a bridge," he began, before EP Robert Singer and Padalecki shushed him for fear he would spill too much.

Jensen's Favorite Episode

A behind-the-scenes shot from the Baby-centric episode of Supernatural

Seen from the viewpoint of the Impala, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) go on a road trip to fight monsters and demons.

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera /The CW.

Given how much Dean loves his 1967 Chevy Impala, it's not really shocking that Ackles singles out the fan-favorite Season 11 episode "Baby"—told entirely from the car's perspective. TV Guide even wrote a love letter to the real star of Supernatural. "It was one of the coolest episodes we've ever done," Ackles told Rolling Stone. "I remember we had outfitted, like, eight cameras in and around and on the car, and then they just set us off. Jared and I were just—he hopped in and we just took off down the road. There was no camera operator, there's no grips, there's no electricians, there's no DP, no director, no script supervisor, no makeup, no nothing.... We were doing everything ourselves."

ICYMI: The Finale That Wasn't

\u200bJake Abel as Michael, Alexander Calvert as Jack, Jensen Ackles as Dean, and Jared Padalecki as Sam

Jake Abel as Michael, Alexander Calvert as Jack, Jensen Ackles as Dean, and Jared Padalecki as Sam.

Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss/The CW.

The penultimate episode, "Inherit the Earth," sure felt like a series finale. There was even a feels-inducing montage from the past 15 seasons at the end. In case you need a refresher before the actual finale, here's what went down:

After the rapture wipes everyone out (RIP Castiel), Sam and Dean are ready to throw in the towel, since there's literally no one left to save. The modern-day Cain and Abel agree to fulfill their destiny and take each other out if Chuck (Rob Benedict) brings everyone back to life. But because they wouldn't "take a knee," Chuck ain't having it: He wants to see the Winchesters suffer on a lifeless planet.

Enter some familiar faces—Michael (Jake Abel) and Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino)—who at first appear to be Team Winchester against God but instead double-cross them for a final showdown to be Daddy's favorite. Michael offs Lucifer (with an archangel blade); Chuck kills Michael, then sets his sights on Sam and Dean, pummeling them to a pulp. But Jack (Alexander Calvert) is able to absorb Chuck's power (he's essentially become a power vacuum since he blew up), snap his fingers to heal Dean and Sam, and turn Chuck into a powerless human!

Rather than kill Chuck once and for all, he's left to suffer a fate of growing old. "For the first time I have no idea what happens next," Chuck says in his last scene. Jack repopulates the world, and Sam and Dean have free will to do whatever it is they're going to do in the series-ender, "Carry On." Like Chuck, we have no idea what happens next!

Behind-The-Scenes Memories

Padalecki's favorite memory is a no-brainer: when he met and fell in love with his wife, Genevieve, in Season 4. "That season, for whatever reason, was magical all around," he adds. Ackles points to the last time they hit the stage at Hall H at 2019 Comic-Con. "There's something really special about that room and that crowd, the grandeur of it all," he says. "To just stand there and take that in is a pretty emotional moment I'll never forget."

Castiel himself, Misha Collins, will always remember the cast cutting up: "The hundreds of hours of WB money wasted on us laughing on set, enjoying the process, the friendship and camaraderie was deeply meaningful."

Ackles adds: "We wouldn't have made it 15 years without that."

Life After Supernatural

So, what's next for the Winchester Bros.? Padalecki will step into Chuck Norris' boots in a reboot of the '90s classic, Walker, Texas Ranger. In The CW's new series Walker (premiering Jan. 21), Padalecki stars as Cordell Walker, a widowed father of two who returns to Austin after being undercover for two years only to discover that there's harder work to be done at home.

Ackles will join Amazon's hit superhero saga The Boys (from Supernatural creator Eric Kripke) as not-so-good-guy Soldier Boy. And The CW CEO Mark Pedowitz hasn't shut the door on a potential Supernatural spinoff. "There's a lot of mythology," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "We're always open to carrying on the Supernatural universe, but it has to be connected to the Winchesters. I'm always open to ideas—and there are many things I can't discuss."

Don't miss the series finale of Supernatural, airing this Thursday, Nov. 19 at 9/8c on The CW. Stream free the next day only on The CW.

The two-hour event begins at 8/7c with "The Long Road Home"—a preview of the finale with the cast and crew.

Photo Credit: Brian Bowen Smith/The CW.


Supernatural road trip is coming to an end as the longest-running sci-fi genre series in television history. Now, as the end nears—and thanks to the spook-busting Winchester brothers—Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles)—not the end of the world.

As the beloved series wraps up its 15th and final season, Watch celebrates the Supernatural phenomena and take a look back at the most memorable episodes. And should you have missed it so far, consider this permission to binge (with spoiler alerts!) and catch up.

Supernatural returns with the final 7 episodes on Thursday, Oct. 8 at 8/7c. Catch up now and stream free only on The CW.

"Pilot" — Season 1, Episode 1

The two winchester boys grappling

Photo Credit: The WB/Justin Lubin.

The pilot episode makes it clear that Supernatural is anything but a typical teen scream drama, as the Winchesters lose their mother when a yellow-eyed demon pins her to the ceiling and sets her on fire. The show's future darkness is on display, but so is its sense of humor and adventure, as summed up in a line from Dean that will play out for the rest of the series: "Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cake hole."

"Devil's Trap" — Season 1, Episode 22

Jeffrey Dean Morgan stares dramatically into the camera

Photo Credit: The WB/Sergei Bachlakov.

It's not your typical family drama, either, but family plays a huge part in Supernatural. Sam and Dean's missing father (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) reappears, only to sacrifice himself to a demon in order to save his sons.

Meanwhile, the brothers meet Bobby (Jim Beaver), a fellow hunter who will become their surrogate father. The most important takeaway, however, is the lack of a happy ending in the episode "Devil's Trap" This is a series that feels real. Or as real as a show about demons and witches and vampires could be.

"Heart" — Season 2, Episode 17

A werewolf snarls at the camera

Photo Credit: Sergei Bachlakov / The CW.

If viewers need any more proof that the Winchesters' saga is anything but a joyride, "Heart" delivers and then some. Just as Sam is able to find love again after the death of his girlfriend in Episode 1, it turns out the new woman in his life has a character flaw: She's a werewolf ... but doesn't realize it. Which means he has to kill her. Talk about awkward breakups.

"All Hell Breaks Loose" — Season 2, Episodes 21/22

A shot of a darkened graveyard with Sam resting aginst a headstone

Photo Credit: Michael Courtney/The CW.

The two-part season finale "All Hell Breaks Loose (Part 1)" and "All Hell Breaks Loose (Part 2)" demonstrates that nothing is sacred in the Supernatural universe. In theory, the story is about Sam and a handful of others born with psychic abilities—courtesy of demonic forces—and their showdown to see who will abet unleashing Hell on Earth. In reality, though, it's about the death of a major character and the shocking sacrifice made by another.

The series' mythology also takes a major leap forward, as Hell's front door is open just long enough for demons to escape, with storylines that will fill several more years of episodes.

"Mystery Spot"— Season 3, Episode 11

The boys in a rainy parking lot

Photo Credit: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW.

Even though something wicked always seems to be coming for our heroes, there are moments like "Mystery Spot," that are downright comedic. In a clear nod to Groundhog Day, something has trapped Dean in the same day, during which he repeatedly dies in increasingly bizarre ways.

The episode also features one of the brothers' most unique adversaries, The Trickster (Richard Speight, Jr.).

​"Lazarus Rising" — Season 4, Episode 1

A group of people performing a seance with a dramatic flare-up of the candles

Photo Credit: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW.

This episode "Lazarus Rising" marks the introduction of the taciturn angel Castiel (Misha Collins), a character crucial in Supernatural lore. It also kicks off what will become a staple for the series—its examination of angels, devils, and all the Biblical beings in between. And the moment when Castiel spreads his wings (in shadow form, anyway) is as indelible any image on screen.

"Lucifer Rising" — Season 4, Episode 22

A shot of a darkened crypt interior

Photo Credit: Michael Courtney/The CW.

Arguably the best cliffhanger in a series known for its season finales, "Lucifer Rising" makes it clear that Dean and his now demon blood-drinking, spirit-sucking brother have taken very separate approaches in trying to keep Lucifer locked in Hell.

Eventually, the brothers are forced to realize that God's forces don't always have humanity's best interests at heart. It is also one of the clearest indications yet that while Sam and Dean aren't afraid to take on hellhounds, Supernatural itself isn't afraid to take on religious dogma.

​"Changing Channels" — Season 5, Episode 8

Two characters in doctor lab coats

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW.

There's nothing new about TV shows making fun of TV shows, but "Changing Channels" takes the trope to a different level.

The Trickster returns to trap Sam and Dean in a variety of television clichés—the doctor show, the police procedural, the laugh-track happy sitcom, the Japanese game show, embarrassing medical ads, even Knight Rider—in order to force them into igniting the approaching apocalypse. From the classic sitcom twist in the show's opening credits to the dead-on Grey's Anatomy parody called Dr. Sexy, MD, the episode has one goal: giving viewers a break from that whole End of the World thing. Temporarily, anyway.

​"The Monster at the End of This Book" — Season 4, Episode 18

A scene inside a cluttered bookshop

Photo Credit: Michael Courtney/The CW.

No matter how quirky some Supernatural episodes get, even the weirdest storylines usually find a way to enhance the series' overall mythology.

None does that better than this episode "The Monster at the End of This Book," in which viewers discover that within the show's universe, there exists a series of Supernatural novels that have been chronicling every move the Winchesters have made. They're written by a reluctant prophet named Chuck Shurley (Rob Benedict), and while the installment plays out like an entertaining meta goof on sci-fi fan obsession, it also lays the groundwork for major twists to come.

"Swan Song" — Season 5, Episode 22

Three actors pose dramatically in front of a crude gravesite

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW.

Its creators had plotted out the show for five years, with this episode "Swan Song" as the intended finale—which would have been one of the most impressive (and depressing) ends to a show had it not been renewed. The brothers make peace with each other just in time for Sam to sacrifice himself and drop into the underworld with Lucifer, allowing Dean to settle down, demon-free.

The closing narration, provided by the aforementioned Chuck, sums up the show by saying of our boys, "They made their own choice. They chose family and, well, isn't that kind of the whole point? Endings are hard but then again, nothing ever really ends, does it?"

"The French Mistake" — Season 6, Episode 15

The stars of the show an a behind the scenes set

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW.

For a show that has always fond of breaking down the Fourth Wall, this episode "The French Mistake" reduces that conceit to rubble. To save the Winchesters' lives, the always-entertaining angel Balthazar (Sebastian Roche) sends the brothers into a world where they're actors named Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, starring in a television series called Supernatural.

There are plenty of in-jokes, including a producer suggesting they should "blow off the scene where they sit on the Impala and talk about their feelings," and the director laughing before responding, "Right. You answer the hate mail."

"The Man Who Would Be King" — Season 6, Episode 20

A man wearing a trenchcoat strikes a dramatic pose in a darkened room

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW.

After "The French Mistake," it was hard to imagine anything more the show could do to push the boundaries of traditional television. Then came this episode—"The Man Who Would Be King"—another norm-buster that steps back to reexamine the major events from the past season from Castiel's point of view, cast as an angel allegedly on Earth to save it. He goes from a supporting player to someone as intriguing as the Winchesters.

"LARP and the Real Girl — Season 8, Episode 11"

Actress Felicia Day waves while wearing period garb at a Ren Faire

Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW.

Despite all the time spent ruminating on religion and family, Supernatural still gives nods to its hardcore sci-fi aficionados. None is more entertaining than this investigation into mysterious murders amongst a group of live action role players (LARPs) parading around in their Renaissance Faire hand-me-downs.

The episode of "LARP and the Real Girl" marks the return of Season 7 fan favorite Charlie Bradbury (Felicia Day), as well as revealing that after years of mocking Sam for loving Harry Potter, Dean is a closeted nerd. (It earns extra points for Dean's recitation of the Braveheart speech.)

​"First Born" — Season 9, Episode 11

Action still of an actor thrashing on a kitchen table while another looks on

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW.

This episode in Season 9 —"First Born"—provides the perfect trifecta of supporting characters, proving that the series can be just as entertaining even when Sam and Dean aren't carrying the story load.

There's the initial appearance of the charismatic Cain (Timothy Omundsen), who may have the key to resolving this season's cataclysmic crisis. There's longtime frenemy and King of Hell Crowley (Mark Sheppard) actually buddying up with Dean. And best of all, there is Castiel waxing philosophical on the emotional significance that a peanut butter and jelly sandwich holds for an angel.

"Baby" — Season 11, Episode 4

A rusty older car travels down a dusty backroad

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera /The CW.

The Winchesters are constantly on the move throughout the series, but there is one place that essentially becomes their home—the front seats of their Impala. To pay tribute to this important piece of their legacy, the series built an entire episode—"Baby"—around an automobile's point of view, which provides heartwarming insight into the brothers' bond.

"Just My Imagination" — Season 11, Episode 8

Actor Nate Torrance grins goofily

Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss/The CW.

Given the volume of stabbings, beheadings, and dismemberments, nobody would ever accuse Supernatural of possessing childlike innocence. Still, there is a surprisingly sweet sentiment at its heart, demonstrated here in a story about a killer preying upon imaginary childhood friends. "Just My Imagination" is one of the most creative episodes, swinging from the gory stabbing of a mermaid to an emotional heart-to-heart between Sam and his imaginary childhood buddy, Sully (Nate Torrence).

"Scoobynatural" — Season 13, Episode 16

The characters rendered as animated cartoon characters

Photo Credit: The CW/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

After spending more than a dozen seasons dropping occasional Scooby-Doo references, the Winchesters wind up trapped in an actual Scooby-Doo episode. Between Dean's fascination with Fred's ascot and a tribute to the customary Scooby chase montage, "Scoobynatural" is an episode to watch repeatedly.

"Lebanon" — Season 14, Episode 13

Jeffrey Dean Morgan hugs the two leads

Photo Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW.

This 300th episode "Lebanon" offers a nostalgic look back at Sam and Dean's past when magic gives them one last chance to talk to their dad, who has popped in unexpectedly from 2003.

Every heartache and regret they'd experienced comes pouring out, culminating with a tearjerker of a family dinner with their parents, accompanied by the music of Dean's classic rock patron saint, Bob Seger. It's not easy to bring a show full circle when it's been around for 300 episodes, but Supernatural pulls it off.

Supernatural returns with the final 7 episodes on Thursday, Oct. 8 at 8/7c. Catch up now and stream free only on The CW.

Photo Credit: Michele M. Waite Photography.

Supernatural returns Thursday, Oct. 8 at 8/7c on The CW. Catch up now and stream free via The CW App.

Misha Collins remembers the indignity like it was yesterday. The actor—who plays the angel Castiel on The CW's Supernatural, which ends its 15-year run this fall—asked his then-2-year-old son, West, to try guacamole.

"He took one bite and spit it straight into my face," says Collins, speaking on the phone from the home he shares with wife Vicki Collins; West, now 9; and daughter Maison, 7. "He looked at me and said, 'I won't eat that. It's disgusting!'"

Misha Collins prepping a family meal with help from his kids.

Misha Collins prepping a family meal with kids Maison (left) and West.

Photo Credit: Michele M. Waite Photography.

The goopy incident became a turning point for the Collins family. They started letting West pick out food at the supermarket and prepare it himself. While the results weren't Michelin star-worthy (Brussels sprouts in cream of mushroom soup, anyone?), the pride shown in West's face suggests it was well worth it.

"We realized that if the kids engage in the cooking process, they're going to eat the food," says Misha Collins, in the midst of making grape jelly for canning. "It was an epiphany that started shifting things in our family. It also became the germ of our cookbook."

Book jacket of Misha Collins' cookbook.

Photo Credit: Michele M. Waite Photography.

Co-written with his wife, The Adventurous Eaters Club: Mastering the Art of Family Mealtime is more than a collection of recipes. It's a guidebook for empowering kids in the kitchen, much as Collins has with his YouTube show Cooking Fast and Fresh with West.

The book features playful takes on healthy eating, like Salad Popsicles and Shiitake Crispies. You'll also find silly kid concoctions like Spaghetti in Jam Sauce. "If you approach cooking as a form of play," Collins says, "you invite the children into the kitchen in a way that excites them."

Misha Collins and kids tossing lettuce leaves in the air.

Lettuce entertain you! Misha Collins' new cookbook is fun for the whole family.

Photo Credit: Michele M. Waite Photography.

Does that mean West and Maison will be dumping Collins' homemade jelly over pasta? "No," he says, chuckling. "I'd never let them touch my jelly for something so blasphemous."

Trust us: After playing an angel for 11 years, the man knows a little something about blasphemy.

Green Confetti Frittata

Nutritious and delicious, this "Green Confetti Frittata" is one of many healthy recipes featured in The Adventurous Eaters Club cookbook.

Photo Credit: Michele M. Waite Photography.

One of the wonders of frittatas is that they work with any combo of veggies, and now that frittatas are part of our family's repertoire, we use them to explore new veggie varieties. It can be a super-simple affair, or it can be an improvisational playground for the whole family. This version uses a single leaf of chard (snipped into "confetti") to ease kids into relishing green specks.

Ingredients:

• 1 leaf Swiss or rainbow chard (Yes, just one leaf—the goal here is to introduce the visual of leafy green specks without altering the flavor or texture.)

• 6 eggs

• 1 cup milk

• Salt to taste

• 2 tablespoons butter

• ¾ cup of grated Swiss cheese or Gruyère cheese

• ¾ cup grated mild cheddar cheese

* Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Instructions:

— Combine the eggs, milk, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until well mixed.

— Melt the butter into a medium-size pan (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Swirl the butter so it coats all sides of the pan. Once the pan is evenly coated, pour the excess melted butter into the whisked eggs and give them a stir. Set aside.

— Add the chard confetti to the pan and stir until just wilted. If there's water in the pan after sautéing the greens, press the greens into the pan with a spatula and tip the pan to pour out the excess into the sink.

— Pour the egg mixture into the pan. Top one side of the pan with cheddar and the other with Gruyère. Pop the pan into the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Stick a toothpick in the middle: If it comes out mostly clear, it's ready.

— Let the frittata cool for a few minutes, then slice into wedges and serve.

Actor Misha Collins with his children.

Photo Credit: Michele M. Waite Photography.

Kid's Job!

Wash and dry the chard. Hold the stem at the bottom, like a handle, in one hand. Use your other hand to tear the leaves away from the stem in one swoop. Set aside the stems or use them for a duel. Using safety scissors, snip off tiny pieces of the leaves to make teeny green confetti. Set aside.

Excerpted from The Adventurous Eaters Club by Misha and Vicki Collins. Reprinted with permission from HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright 2019.

Misha Collin’s Essential Kitchen Items

Butcher block countertop: "I like cutting directly on the countertop. Ours was pulled out of a Chicago public school shop class. I love that it has all these carvings from the middle schoolers."

Child smashing herbs with a cooking mallet.

Photo Credit: Michele M. Waite Photography.

Wooden mallet: "Mine is from the 1800s and made of maple. It tenderizes and crushes things, and is a great way to exorcise demons."

Food dehydrator with trays of fresh fruit slices.

Photo Credit: Williams Sonoma.

Dehydrator: "Right now it's turning the grape skins from the jam into fruit leather for the kids' lunches."

Vitamix blender with a green smoothie.

Photo Credit: Williams Sonoma.

A powerful blender: "Ours is a Vitamix. We love it and probably use it way too much."

Canning jars filled with fresh veggies.

Photo Credit: Tottenham Hotspur FC/Getty Images.

Pint-size canning jars: "I'm proud that my pantry is full of things that I've put in jars. For me, if I'm canning, it's a sign of good mental health."

Originally published in Watch Magazine, January-February 2020.

Supernatural returns Thursday, Oct. 8 at 8/7c on The CW. Catch up now and stream free via The CW App.

Cooking Fast and Fresh

From extreme baking to spruced up veggies, Misha Collin's cooking channel on YouTube is absolutely delicious. Here's a taste of what he and the kids serve up.

Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfells III/The CW.

Originally published in Watch Magazine, November-December 2019.

Supernatural returns with the final 7 episodes on Thursday, Oct. 8 at 8/7c. Catch up now and stream free only on The CW.

By David Hochman

5:30 A.M.

I wake up two and a half hours before I get picked up for work. I shower, maybe change out the laundry I didn't do the night before, have coffee, and usually take an Advil because fighting devils gets harder as you get older.

Jared Padalecki in Season 15 of TV show Supernatural.

Jared Padalecki in Season 15 of Supernatural.

Photo Credit: Shane Harvey/The CW.

6:00 A.M.

From my years on Gilmore Girls, I learned that I'm better at memorizing dialogue when I'm doing something else. So I spend a half-hour on the treadmill reading my lines for the day. I don't know why, but the words stick more easily if I'm moving.

7:30 A.M.

We shoot Supernatural in Vancouver, but my family [including wife-actress Genevieve Cortese; sons Thomas, 7, and Shepherd, 5; and daughter Odette, 2 ] is in Austin, Texas, which makes it hard to connect in the morning because they're two hours ahead. I'm waking up and the kids are already leaving for school, outside chasing lizards, or whatever. But we try to at least say good morning.

7:45 A.M.

Leaving for work, looking at headlines on CNN, listening to Howard Stern.

   

Behind-the-scenes on the set of TV show Supernatural.

Behind-the-scenes on the set of Supernatural.

Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss/The CW.

8:17 A.M.

I'll drop my backpack in my trailer, take some vitamins, and go through what we call "The works"--hair, makeup, special effects makeup if we need it. I'm still in my personal clothes because God forbid something smudges my work outfit! Season 1, it took about five minutes to do makeup. As years went by, it would be 10. Then 15. You can probably figure out why.

9:00 A.M.

Craft services makes you anything you want for breakfast: pancakes, eggs, etc. I generally have a breakfast burrito, a bowl of berries, and coffee.

   

Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles filming TV show Supernatural.

Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester and Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester with the iconic Impala on Supernatural.

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW.

9:30 A.M.

We're called to the set to block out the scenes unless we're shooting in the show's iconic Impala that day. In that case, [co-star] Jensen Ackles gets behind the wheel and I'll get in the passenger seat, and we'll just start cracking jokes.

10:51 A.M.

This is a physical show. I've gotten pounded, bruised, and scraped over the years, and it's almost always my fault. If there's a scene where a guy's throwing a bar stool, and they tell you to go down on the ground a certain way, you do it. One time I did it wrong and ended up breaking part of my wrist.

NOON

Three hours after crew call, it's sandwich time. It'd be nice to say I have a healthy salad instead, but it's usually a big ol' sandwich and potato chips.

Misha Collins, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki and Alexander Calvert attend a red carpet event.

Misha Collins, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, and Alexander Calvert attend the The CW's Summer 2019 TCA Party.

Photo Credit: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images.

1:00 P.M.

I love bringing my family to set when they're in town, but we're also a happy show family. Jensen, Misha [Collins], Alex [Calvert], and I are like a bunch of kids. We tease each other pretty hardcore. Go look at the gag reels on YouTube to see what I mean. Nobody's trying to sabotage anyone. We're just keeping morale up on set.

   

Jared Padalecki and his wife Genevieve Cortese.

Jared Padalecki with wife Genevieve Cortese.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jared Padalecki.

2:00 P.M.

My wife, Genevieve, and I met on set in 2009. She played a demon. It was love at first sight. So much has happened with this crew over time: We've seen births and deaths, marriages and divorces, and a lot of babies. It's really hitting me in this final season that we've grown up together. We're like childhood friends.

3:00 P.M.

If I get a break, I sometimes go for a run. A bunch of us from the show had the harebrained idea to run a marathon together last year, and we ended up doing it for a charity called Endure 4 Kindness that feeds children around the world. We raised over $200,000. Then I got invited to do the Boston Marathon with my wife. She demolished me, but it didn't matter. We raised $30,000 for Dream Big!, which supports girls in sports.

4:05 P.M.

I FaceTime with my kids. We used to read together, but now I'd rather just hear about their days. Tom's into basketball, biking, and swimming. We have a bunch of animals--dogs and chickens--that Shepherd keeps me updated on. Odette's still too young to express herself that well, but she's good at giving daddy the stink eye.

Jared Padalecki and co-star Jensen Ackles on the set of Supernatural.

Photo Credit: Katie Yu/The CW.

4:30 P.M.

Fans of this show are incredible. My office is full of letters that mean so much to me. People are so supportive of Always Keep Fighting. [Padalecki launched the mental illness awareness campaign in 2015, after opening up about his own struggle with depression.] Fans will thank me, but I'll say, "Don't thank me. We're all going through this together." No matter who you are, how much you make, where you live--dealing with issues like depression, that's universal. We're all struggling.

6:38 P.M.

We shoot a 12-hour day, but you never know which 12 hours. A lot of it is overnight. What we call "lunch" happens six hours after crew call. So lunch sometimes happens at lunchtime, but often times it's dinner or it could be a midnight snack.

Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester on TV show Supernatural.

Photo Credit: Colin Bentley/The CW.

8:30 P.M.

One thing I look forward to when the show ends is having more time to pursue my passions. I used to do jiujitsu, but you don't want to get injured on a Friday and show up to work on a Monday not being able to walk. My wife and I opened a couple of bars in Austin, and sometimes I'll bartend. I love to travel and read and be with my family without having to fly off somewhere. So I'm sort of excited about having time to devote to regular life.

Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester on TV show Supernatural.

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW.

11:00 P.M.

At the end of a long day, I'll usually give thanks. Playing Sam Winchester for over 15 years, he's more than a character to me. He's actually shaped who I am, how I want to behave, what I strive for, how I can help people. I don't feel like I'm saying goodbye to him. He'll always be part of who I've become, and I'm grateful for that.

Originally published in Watch Magazine, November-December 2019.

Supernatural returns with the final 7 episodes on Thursday, Oct. 8 at 8/7c. Catch up now and stream free only on The CW.

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