Hey there, Supernatural fans! I’ve got a special treat for you in this week’s Supernatural Chat. Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend Creation Entertainment’s Salute to Supernatural event and got the chance to chat with Misha Collins behind the scenes, along with some other members of the press. Collins talked to us about his preparations for his first directing job on the show, as well as shared some of his insights about Castiel’s journey this season.
Castiel’s Heavy Question
Collins was asked how he compared Castiel’s trip to humanity this season to the end of Season 5 when the angel went through a similar journey. Though Castiel’s struggles may have been show as somewhat comical this season, Collins said there is something much more serious behind them.
“In Season 5, when Cas lost more of his angel powers and started grappling with a lot of human-ish stuff, it was darker. He was dealing with a darker side of things. Now it’s more mundane, but I wouldn’t actually say that it’s light. I think that the stuff that he has been dealing with is how to brush your teeth and how to feed yourself and how to make sense of what your purpose on the planet is. But that’s kind of a heavy question. Like ‘is this satisfying in and of itself?’”
Preparing for the Director’s Chair
Later this season, Collins will be directing his first episode of Supernatural and is looking forward to working with the crew in a new capacity.
“I think that, for the most part, the crew is going to be supportive and helpful – at least for the first day or so. Once they see how badly I’m botching things they might throw their hands up in disgust and stop helping me. It’s nice going into my first big directing experience with a crew that knows me [and] that I know, [and] that I’m not going to feel like a fish out of water,” Collins revealed.
As for his two costars, Collins had a different idea of how they might treat him as a director.
“Jared and Jensen, generally speaking, are pretty respectful of first-time directors on the show. They kind of give them a wide berth and certainly give them a fair shot. I’m not going to have that experience so that’s too bad,” Collins joked.
But one of the jokesters, one who has directed a couple of episodes of the show himself, has actually given Collins some good advice.
“I’ve talked to Jensen about his directing experiences,” Collins said. “He’ll deny it, but he actually gave me a bunch of advice that was helpful. I’ve basically grilled every director that has come along and asked them for their input. [I have] a cloud app that I’ve been storing all of my director input on.”
One big question about the upcoming episode is whether or not Castiel will appear in it and, if so, what will it be like for Collins to direct himself.
“If I am directing myself, I think for the most part the direction I’m going to be giving is ‘That was awesome. Great work. Way to bring it’,” Collin joked, adding, “In a perfect world, I think I would be very light or not in it at all because it’s just more to think about.”
Luckily for Collins, the show apparently doesn’t put too tight of a rein on new directors.
“I think Supernatural, probably more than a lot of episodic television, gives directors a fair amount of leeway and allows them to do their thing,” Collins revealed. “We don’t have a director/producer up on the site. A lot of shows that shoot out of LA, where the writers and executive producers aren’t around watching what’s going on in production – will have a point guy. [That is] a producer/director who will direct maybe five episodes in the season, but will also keep an eye on the production and make sure that the guest directors that are coming in are doing things the way that they are supposed to be doing.
“We don’t have that on Supernatural so sometimes people come in and totally f*** stuff up,” Collins added with a laugh.
On a more serious note, Collins attributes the show’s variation in tone to the amount of freedom directors are given on set.
“There’s nobody there who’s saying ‘No, no, no. We don’t do that’ and I think it probably gives the tone of the show a little bit more variation than a lot of episode television has. It’s not all the same. But we also have the same cinematographer and wardrobe department and a lot of key department heads who are giving a consistent tone to it – that helps even it out.”