‘Walker’: Jensen Ackles Talks Directing Jared Padalecki, Their ‘Incredible Shorthand’

by Joe Rutland
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Jensen Ackles spent 15 seasons playing opposite Walker star Jared Padalecki on the TV show Supernatural on The CW. Last Thursday night, Ackles directed his longtime Supernatural costar in an episode of his current show. Being able to do so let both actors visit some of their old times together. Additionally, the fact that both spent all that time together means they developed their own brand of communication.

Jensen Ackles Got Behind Camera To Direct Jared Padalecki on ‘Walker’

“It was very nice to be back with someone who I’ve got such an incredible shorthand with, which we’ll always have,” Ackles said in an interview with TVLine. “You don’t lose something like that. Spending 15 years building that up, that’s never going to go away. So that was fun.

“And being able to direct him in such a quick way… I think some of the other cast were kind of like, ‘Wait, what was that note? Did you just reference a movie and you’re now changing your tone?’ So those kind of things were a lot of fun for he and I to play with.”

For the Walker episode that aired, a little Supernatural throwback happened in the music. The classic rock song “Carry On Wayward Son” from Kansas plays on the show. It happens to be associated with Supernatural. There were other little head-nods to the former show that featured both actors, too. Ackles was asked by TVLine what it was like to work with Padalecki again.

Director Recalls His Time On Screen With Padalecki In Old Show

“I feel like if I ever get on screen with Jared, we will instantly fall into those shoes,” Jensen Ackles said of Walker star Jared Padalecki. “So it was a good thing that I wasn’t actually sharing the screen with him, allowing him his space to be this new character, which was a lot of fun to watch.”

Ackles said that he’s known Padalecki as Sam Winchester, his character on Supernatural, but also the actor himself. “… I’ve probably had to stare at his face more than most people on this planet, and I’ve seen all the idiosyncrasies, the facial expressions and the reactions and everything that he does. So none of that was very new for me. It was just kind of a variation on a theme…”

Ackles said he and Padalecki had fun on the set, “probably more than I think the rest of the cast was used to having. And this is one thing that Jared and I kind of laughed about. I was like, ‘Man, it’s amazing that all the jokes that we repeated for 15 years are now landing on fresh ears. We have a whole new audience! This is amazing!'” 

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