We may still have several months with Sam and Dean Winchester, but the boys themselves have already said goodbye.
Just a few days after Supernatural‘s final day of filming, Michael Rosenbaum‘s Inside of You podcast released an episode featuring Jared Padalecki. At the time of the interview, he had just begun filming the series finale of the long-running CW drama and was going through the emotions that come with ending a 15-year chunk of his life and saying farewell to his character Sam.
“Here’s what I’m trying to deal with right now: Saying goodbye to a friend of 15 years,” he said. “I’ve never gone five months without playing Sam Winchester, not since I was 22 years old. I’m 38 now with a wife and three kids and grey hairs they have to scratch out with a comb.”
Padalecki said he really started feeling the gravity of the moment as the show got closer to wrapping.
“Literally I’ve cried every day for a week,” he said. “Every now and again we’re at a location that’s like, ‘Oh, I’ve been here for 15 years. I remember this place.’ And it’s like, OK, this is the last time we’ll be at this location. There’s a possibility that I’ll never make this drive again.”
He said it’s all “very bittersweet,” especially knowing that there won’t be any possibility of getting more pickup shots later on.
Padalecki couldn’t confirm exactly what the final shot will be and if he and Jensen Ackles would wrap at the same time, but he could offer a tease.
“The last time Sam and Dean see each other is the last time Jared and Jensen see each other,” he said, going on to explain that his last on-camera moment is also his last moment on-screen with Ackles.
However exactly the show ends, Padalecki said he really wants to do right by his character.
“I love Sam Winchester,” he said. “He’s been my close friend for 15 years and I want to do him justice. So I’m trying to focus really hard to make sure that if Sam cries, it’s Sam tears, not Jared’s.”
During the podcast, Padalecki also opened up about his experience with anxiety and depression and his decision to stop drinking, which came after he was arrested for assault in Oct. 2019. He allegedly struck two people outside of his own bar in Austin, TX and was arrested on two counts of assault and one count of public intoxication.
“I don’t entirely know what happened either, other than reading the reports,” he explained. “Long story short, the cliff’s notes are we were filming in Vancouver until five or six a.m. and flew to Austin and we had a double date that night…I hadn’t slept, I hadn’t had anything to eat…I think I had too much to drink and too little to eat and sleep, and I legitimately don’t recall what happened other than what I’ve seen in the video.”
While he doesn’t know if he was drugged or just drunk, what Padalecki thinks is that he was just blacked out and thought he was getting attacked.
“I haven’t had a drink since,” he said. “That is not who I am. Anybody who knows me knows that’s the absolute opposite.”
The worst part of the story, he explained, was that he was arrested outside of his own bar and he knew the guys he was arrested for assaulting.
“They were like, ‘Hey man, that was really messed up, but we know that’s not you,'” he said. “That’s a huge blessing.”
Padalecki has also dealt with anxiety and depression throughout his life, and he was especially panicked when it came to quarantining all alone for two weeks ahead of Supernatural’s return to production. But as he explained to Rosenbaum, he doesn’t refer to it as “suffering.”
“I don’t say ‘suffer,’ not anymore,” he said. “I do believe in the power of self-fulfilling prophecies, so if I say to myself ‘I’m suffering from depression, I’m suffering from anxiety,’ then I’m the victim and I can’t do anything about it…I don’t say ‘suffer.’ I f–king hate that word.”
In fact, that plays into Padalecki’s favorite saying.
“Pain is mandatory. Suffering is optional.”
May we all keep that in mind as we continue with the rest of this year.
Supernatural returns for its final seven episodes Thursday, Oct. 8 on The CW.
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