Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles Recalls Honest ‘Pep Talk’ He Gave The Winchesters’ Stars After They Were Cast

drake rodger and meg donnelly on the winchesters.
(Image credit: The CW)

While Sam and Dean Winchester’s journey came to an end after 15 years of Supernatural in 2020, a new adventure is about to begin in the form of prequel series, The Winchesters. The new show follows Sam and Dean’s parents, John and Mary, as they hunt demons with their allies -- and fall in love along the way. The show is partially the brainchild of EP Jensen Ackles, who also reprises his role as Dean and narrates the series. Now, he’s opening up about the advice he gave to the new Winchester actors after they were cast.

On the new show, Meg Donnelly and Drake Rodger are continuing the Winchester legacy (or I guess, starting it) as Mary Campbell and John Winchester, respectively. Being part of a franchise that has been around for over a decade may not have been all that easy for the actors. However, Jensen Ackles tells EW that he has given the young stars a few “Welcome to Supernatural” pep talks that have even included his on-screen brother, Jared Padalecki. Ackles summarized one of the honest chats that he had with the actors:

There was probably a small pep talk. This isn't just coming on to a new thing, this is something that has 15 years of intense storytelling, and you guys are a representative of this thing that we built, of the family. And there's a big population of people that are very protective of the story and of these characters, and you are the new stewards of this, and you need to understand the weight of that, and you need to understand how important it is to treat this with care and respect. [Laughs] Because I'm like, listen, I didn't work my ass off for 15 years to have you kids come in here and fuck it up.

The fact that the franchise OG gave pep talks to Meg Donnelly and Drake Rodger is proof that he is still very protective of the series, whose mythology won't exactly be the same after this new show is done. Fans on social media seemed a bit leery of the prequel series, since Mary and John’s origin story is a little different from what was established on Supernatural. Yet it's clear that those involved in making The Winchesters are  taking great care in continuing the franchise.

Over the summer, Meg Donnelly discussed just how invested Jensen Ackles really is in the new story. She opened up about how collaborative he is and how he gave the cast notes and told them about the show’s universe. Such discussions should help to maintain a strong sense of continuity between the two shows.

Despite their connections, The Winchesters will be different from Supernatural in one particular way. Jensen Ackles revealed earlier this year that John and Mary’s story will be told through a different type of lens, literally. Fans will remember that much of Supernatural was dark from a visual standpoint The new series, however, will rely on a warmer type of cinematography that has “an amber feel to it.” But don't worry, fans, the haunted feel and sharp scares will still be present. While the final product remains to be seen, I'm hopeful that Ackles and the cast were able to create something that's both unique and faithful to the parent series.

To see if those pep talks worked for Meg Donnelly and Drake Rodger, make sure to watch the series premiere of The Winchesters on Tuesday, October 11 at 8 p.m. EST on The CW! Also, check out CinemaBlend’s 2022 TV schedule to see what's premiering in the coming months!

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.