I don’t think there’s a cast on TV that has as much fun together as the Supernatural gang. Spirits were bright (and thankfully not vengeful) at the show’s PaleyFest panel – which took place, most appropriately, on a Tuesday.
Following the world premiere of “ScoobyNatural,” the highly anticipated Supernatural and Scooby-Doo crossover episode, a panel including Jared Padalecki (Sam Winchester), Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester), Misha Collins (Castiel), Alexander Calvert (Jack), and Executive Producers Robert Singer, Andrew Dabb, Eugenie Ross-Leming, and Brad Buckner reflected on the show’s thirteen seasons (and counting) and teased what’s to come.
Here are five things we learned from the fan-favorite CW series’ PaleyFest panel:
“ScoobyNatural” was as much fun to make as it will be for fans to watch.
Since the episode had just played to the crowd at PaleyFest (who, if the applause was anything to go by, absolutely loved it), “ScoobyNatural” was a major topic of conversation. (This was also a big focus of our interviews with the cast and EPs, coming very soon.)
The announcement of the crossover episode was such a fun surprise for Supernatural fans, and it sounds as though the cast had a similar reaction when they found out about it. “There was a lot of nerding out for me,” said Jared Padalecki. “That was really awesome. Very surreal.”
“I think we were all kind of giddy from the moment we read it. It was like Are you kidding me? This is so brilliant,” Misha Collins added.
Animation often entails each voice actor recording in their own booth, but for “ScoobyNatural,” it was more of a family affair. Jensen Ackles teased that he, Jared, and Misha got to record their parts in a booth together – and that we can expect video of that as a special feature sooner or later. “I’ve done voiceover work before but it’s always been solo,” Ackles said. “To have the other guys there, you could work off of that energy and it was all pretty unique.”
Though the episode may at first seem like a departure in tone, it’s still very true to the spirit of Supernatural.
The panel was asked a great question on the “ScoobyNatural” front: given that it’s animated, was their preparation any different than for a regular episode? Their answers revealed that for them, this is like a regular episode of Supernatural.
“It was wildly different – however, there’s been many wildly different Supernatural episodes in the past that [Jared] and I have read and [thought] I don’t know what we’re doing,” Jensen said. “At the end of the day, at least for me, I think if I can just stay true to who Dean is then you can put that character anywhere.” He proved his point by likening this episode to favorites including “The Mystery Spot” and “The French Mistake,” which also saw the brothers experiencing some more wacky circumstances.
Jared also compared “ScoobyNatural” to filming “The French Mistake” and said that his preparation was exactly the same as usual. “As long as I play Sam and [Jensen] plays Dean, it’ll work and it won’t feel like we jumped the shark,” he said. (Jensen added, “No, it still feels like we jumped the shark. Many times.” Okay… but we kind of love it.)
Alternate worlds have been in the works for a long time – and they operate as their own kind of monster.
The alternate worlds that have become so central to this season were also a big topic of conversation for the panel. As it turns out, they are something the writers and producers have been wanting to introduce for a long time.
“It was something that Brad [Buckner] and Eugenie [Ross-Leming] pitched last season – something to kind of explore,” Executive Producer Andrew Dabb said. In fact, they used it for the Wayward Sisters pilot and then “stole it back” for Supernatural.
“The more we talked about having an alternate version of this world, it itself became its own monster, and that was really exciting to us,” Brad Buckner said. “It keeps everybody off-balance.”
Since Supernatural has explored so many different types of mythology and monsters, having the world itself be sinister was something that felt (and continues to feel) fresh and menacing in its own way – the feeling of having the “hunters be the hunted,” as Eugenie Ross-Leming put it.
Jared and Jensen still truly love doing the show.
With Supernatural in its 13th season, fans have to (and do) wonder – how long will it go on? Thankfully, if the boys have anything to say about it, there should be plenty more episodes to come. They had nothing but good things to say about their characters and the experience of making Supernatural.
“There’s many reasons that I still truly enjoy doing the show, and working with these people has become something that I never anticipated,” Ackles said. “I don’t know what the recipe is, but I’m happy to have found it.”
“That, and we get to tell a story that people really care about,” Padalecki added. “I think as much as you guys love Supernatural and Jack and Castiel and Sam and Dean, we love Sam and Dean. I don’t want to see Sam die any more than y’all want to see Sam die. I’m excited to keep telling the story.”
The brothers have some suggestions for new haunted locations to explore.
There are still places in need of the Winchesters’ particular brand of saving people and hunting things. As it turns out, Jensen and Jared have some ideas about where the show should head next.
Jared has two in mind: the Winchester Mystery House (a popular suggestion amongst fans in the theatre) and the Stanley Hotel in Colorado – best known as the setting for The Shining. “I want to go stay there,” Padalecki said. “It’s gonna be cool.”
As for Jensen? “Maui.” Sign us up for that hunting expedition.
Supernatural airs Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW. Catch “ScoobyNatural” this week at that time!
Photos By: Brian To for the Paley Center