Walker Star Jared Padalecki Says Trump Caging Kids Influenced Series

With The CW and Jared Padalecki's Walker ready to saddle up for its series premiere next Thursday, January 21, the cast and creative team behind the reboot of the original CBS' Chuck Norris-starring series took part in a press virtual panel where the star explained how the series looks to walk that "edge of the coin" by being supportive of quality law enforcement while also addressing the harsh and racist realities that still exist. A major influence on the series' narrative was the Trump-approved border policy where migrant children were separated from their parents and placed in cage-like structures and other facilities apart from family members. The cruel, inhumane practice has resulted in 545 children that the Justice Department and lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union have been unable to reunite with their families. Explaining that the series is looking to "pose questions" instead of an approach that would "proselytize our beliefs" and "forces answers down our viewers' throats," Padalecki believes the real message lies between upholding the law and doing what's right.

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Photo: Rebecca Brenneman/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

"A few years back when there were a lot of humans being coming from South of the American border into America, our society seemed to want to put people in cages and separate families; I read a story about a law enforcement agent who couldn't bring themselves to put a three-year-old in a cage and take them away from their parents. They said something along the lines of that they had a three-year-old, they couldn't bring themselves to do it. And that empathy and that emotion struck me as something as the evitable stuck in between a rock and a hard place, but you're bound by duty, but you still have a moral code and you see people as human beings, not perpetrators or heroes," Padalecki explained. "And so we started talking about how interesting it would be to see that story told. Where someone is a proud government worker for law enforcement, and still thinks to themselves that there might be a better way; these laws are old and not nuanced. Anna and I talk about the edge of the coin. They say that there's two sides to a coin, but there's also a third side of the coin, the edge. So where is that where someone is bound by their duty and by their sense of safety, and helping others, but also a family man and their friends and where does that meet."

The CW's Walker is a reimagining of the long-running series "Walker, Texas Ranger," stars Jared Padalecki ("Supernatural") as Cordell Walker, a widower and father of two with his own moral code, who returns home to Austin after being undercover for two years, only to discover there's harder work to be done at home. He'll attempt to reconnect with his creative and thoughtful son (Kale Culley, "Me, Myself and I") and his headstrong, somewhat rebellious teenaged daughter (Violet Brinson, "Sharp Objects") and navigate clashes with his family – an ADA brother (Keegan Allen, "Pretty Little Liars") who stepped in during Walker's absence, his perceptive mother (Molly Hagen, "Herman's Head") and his traditional rancher father (Mitch Pileggi, "The X-Files").

Walker's former colleague is now his Ranger Captain, (Coby Bell, "The Game"). Walker finds unexpected common ground with his new partner (one of the first women in Texas Rangers' history) played by Lindsey Morgan ("The 100"), while growing increasingly suspicious about the circumstances surrounding his wife's death. The show also stars Jeff Pierre as Trey Barnett.

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Photo: Rebecca Brenneman/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The CW's Walker also stars Lindsey Morgan (The 100), Keegan Allen (Pretty Little Liars), Mitch Pileggi (The X-Files), Molly Hagen (Law & Order: True Crime), Coby Bell (The Gifted), Jeff Pierre (9-1-1, Beyond), Violet Brinson (Sharp Objects), Kale Culley (Me, Myself and I), Genevieve Padalecki (Supernatural), Odette Annable (Supergirl), Chris Labadie (Nightmare Smile), Matt Barr (Valor, Hellcats), and Jeffrey Nordling (Big Little Lies). The CW series is written and executive produced by Anna Fricke (Being Human, Valor), and executive produced by Dan Lin, Lindsay Liberatore, and Padalecki. CBS Television Studios handles production, in association with Rideback.

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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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