Supernatural Star/Director on Padalecki/Ackles, Fav Gabriel Ep & More

As Sam (Jared Padalecki), Dean (Jensen Ackles), Jack (Alexander Calvert), and Castiel (Misha Collins) look to elevate their game against Chuck aka God (Rob Benedict), it appears there's another "big bad" for them to be concerned about in the form of Billie (Lisa Berry). With "Despair" ready to roll this week with more on that last topic, Supernatural star and director Richard Speight, Jr. (the Trickster/archangel Gabriel, directed over ten episodes since the 11th season) is back at the director's helm one last time for the long-running CW series- and opening up to EW about his time starring in the series. While the interview covers a lot of ground, we've selected three responses from Speight, Jr. that stood out to us in a little something we're calling…" 2 Firsts & A Fav":

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Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

His first memory from his first day on set: "My first memory, specifically, was we did a table read. I'd never heard of the show and now I've been hired to do the show and I'm thinking, 'Hmm, I want to know the vibe of this show before I start shooting scenes.' We go to the table read and [creator] Eric Kripke and Bob Singer are on speakerphone because we were up in Vancouver and they were in Los Angeles and we read the script and I thought, 'This would be great because now here are some tips on the tone of the show.' And what I thought was funny is they kept using Supernatural as an adjective and as a verb and an adverb. They're like, 'Now listen, this episode is a little bit of a departure, but don't lose the Supernatural elements of the show, keep it very Supernatural and make Supernatural choices and Supernaturally infuse the humor into the show.'

And I'm thinking the whole time, 'This ain't helping. I need an adjective or an adverb that isn't the title of the how because I don't know what this show is.' But they never really veered off that path. So the first scene I shot was the scene where I'm sitting in the auditorium and messing with Dean and slinging him up on the bed with the scantily clad girls and, eventually, Bobby [Jim Beaver] and Sam come in and the scene resumed that way. But my first stuff was sitting in the auditorium, messing with Dean, and I remember thinking, "All right, well, I'm just going to do what I think this is and they'll tell me if I'm wrong."

His first impression of Padalecki and Ackles: "I think the first day I was there, and it was probably just for a costume fitting, Jared had taken some alien head that was obviously a costume piece and he and Jensen were sprinting around the sound stages with Jared wearing this giant [alien head]. He's already 6-foot-4 and this rubber head made him 6'10", and he was just running around and I'm like, 'Man, this is a loose vibe over here.' And I always remember that being a funny intro. I don't think I spoke to him at that point. He just sprinted by me. And I remember them being really, really nice.

It was not my first show. I was a good bit older than they were and I just always assume that you're not going to really bond with the cast when you go to do a show, especially a guest star. I found them to be way more warm than that. We didn't hang out socially per se off set, but on set they're incredibly kind and nice and they were watching… They're both Dallas Cowboy fans and Dallas was playing a game and they had the game on in their trailer and they invited me in to watch some football with them. Anytime I talked to them, mainly about sports, I was struck by how normal they were. They are, especially then, young men who had done well in Hollywood, but they were still very, very, very much from Texas and that kept them charming and real. And I found that to be a really pleasant surprise because it's not what you come to expect once you've been in the business for a while."

His favorite appearance as Gabriel lived up to its title: "I'd have to go with 'Unfinished Business.' My character had long since [been] put to bed in [season 5], and then here we are in season 13 to revive the character to finish off his story arc. That was just so cool and rare to get to do as an actor. They told a thorough version of that story. It involved Gabriel and what had been happening to him over the years since we last saw him and then his relationship with Loki, and we finally met that character and that was super cool. And so, I got to explore what Loki's relationship with Gabriel was, their backstory, their history, why Gabriel was like he was, and I got to direct the episode.

I'm doing all the exploration, not just internally, but also visually. And it all culminated with a fight scene between Gabriel and Loki. Those are the two characters I was playing so it was Richard versus Richard and the director was Richard. It was me versus me directed by me and that's just a rare, artistic, creative experience. I don't think I'll ever get that shot again. That is near and dear to my heart and a rare and wonderful experience."

Supernatural -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Supernatural — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

This brings us to the following preview images for this week's episode "Despair" (with a title that doesn't exactly inspire a ton of confidence), which brings back another familiar face: Felicia Day's Charlie returns (more feelings of "uh-oh" there). Following that, we have another look at the overview and promo for this week's episode:

Supernatural -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Supernatural — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Supernatural -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Supernatural — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Supernatural -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Supernatural — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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Supernatural — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Supernatural season 15, episode 18 "Despair": RICHARD SPEIGHT, JR. DIRECTS – With the plan in full motion, Sam (Jared Padalecki), Dean (Jensen Ackles), Castiel (Misha Collins) and Jack (Alexander Calvert) fight for the good of the common goal. Richard Speight, Jr. directed the episode written by Robert Berens.

Recently, the Supernatural post-production team released another Shaving People, Punting Things video offering the SPN Family a fresh look at the remainder of the season as well as at our favorites behind the scenes. Let's just say there's a whole lot of bleeding, reflecting, crying, hugging, drinking, and maybe… just maybe… one last chance to save the day:

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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