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'Supernatural' Star Misha Collins on Castiel, Divinity and Wanting to Do Comedy

by Maureen Ryan, posted Aug 5th 2011 1:30PM

At week or two ago at Comic-Con, I spoke to 'Supernatural' star Misha Collins (that video interview is here, and all our coverage of the show is here). But Collins was the sole representative of the CW show at a Television Critics Association party on Wednesday, so I thought I'd grill him a bit more on where things stand for Castiel and what the actor wants to do now that he's not a series regular on the show.

At the end of season 6, when Cas became "this omnipotent megalomaniacal character, it does sort of wash away the old, naïve, dorky Cas that we've all come to love," Collins said. "And I have a fondness in my heart for that character and miss him and hope to see him again."

Before we get to the rest of the interview, here's a bit of good news: 'Supernatural' is among the shows that has had its episode order bumped up. Season 7 of the show will feature 23 episodes instead of the usual 22. (Other CW news from TCA press tour is here.)



A couple of notes on the interview: I did it in tandem with Melanie McFarland, TV editor of IMDb.com and a 'Supernatural' fan from way back (AolTV's Laura Prudom suggested some questions as well). Some of the questions came from her, some from me. Also, this interview has been edited and slightly condensed.

Both of us wanted to know -- will we see the old Cas again?

Some people are a little bit disturbed about the fact that Castiel was made to make these deals with the devil and then in the last episode, what happened to him was almost heartbreaking for a lot of fans. What was your reaction what happened to this character, who had been kind of innocent.
Well, I feel like the writers dealt with that turn fairly responsibly, I mean, there was a lot of buildup, Cas got a chance to tell his side of the story before he made the turn, and the decisions that he made along the way to get to where he got were all easily justifiable. And yet when, when Cas does become this omnipotent megalomaniacal character, it does sort of wash away the old, naïve, dorky Cas that we've all come to love. And I have a fondness in my heart for that character and miss him and hope to see him again.

Do you think it's even possible to see him again?
Well, it's 'Supernatural.' So if pigs could fly... in fact, why haven't they had flying pigs on the show just to prove a point?

Why hasn't ['Supernatural' writer] Ben Edlund pitched that episode?
I don't know. I immediately that flashed in my head as I said that. The thing is, in the 'Supernatural' universe, there's nothing that is impossible. There is a lot of leeway there. But I don't know of any specific plans to redeem Cas at this point.

A lot of the characters on the show deal with this internal duality and the struggle between good and evil sides. Are we going to see that in this version of Cas in season 7, or is it a more straightforward, "I'm God and that's that"?
Cas starts out with that very poised, self-assured position where he is absolutely 100 percent confident in himself and his actions, and he quickly falls into conflict with himself and his position. So, yes, there's conflict there, for sure.

The fans have also been wondering what this does to Dean and Cas' relationship. You said that you were going to kind of miss the old Castiel -- will you also miss that Dean dynamic? Do you think there will be something to replace it that'll be equally as interesting?
Yeah, I definitely do miss that dynamic. I have loved doing the intimate scenes with Dean or Jensen over the years the most. There's something about that dynamic that just seems to work really well. And I'm sorry to see that go. And, I don't know, part of me feels like it could have been given a little bit more juice. I don't know that it got its just desserts.

Well, I was one of the people saying that it felt like Cas' journey in the most recent season could have been fleshed out more. I love Ben Edlund's episode, it's probably my favorite of the season, 'The Man Who Would be King.' But it also felt like they were saving up almost all the Cas story for that one big episode. I would have liked even more buildup of the choices he was making.
I don't know how they construct the season and, you know, obviously there's an aspect [where they're] trying to make a certain number of the episodes very easily self-contained, where you don't have to know the mythology of the whole season in order to understand it. And so understandably, I think they left the Cas [story] out of a lot. But you know, it's hard to analyze in hindsight.

Dean also isn't very forgiving, is he?
No. He's kind of a dick. [laughs] I mean, he can be pretty hard, but he can be sensitive.

What do you think the chances are for Cas to be redeemed or made into a good guy again? Do you want that or do you think that's possible?
I would like the character to have juicy stuff to work with, whatever that manifests itself as. For him to serve the story. I mean, conflict is good.

Speaking of conflict, have you had any indication that we're going to see a God vs. God kind of thing?
No.

There was the end of a season that had a certain character who might be God.
It is a complex universe, 'Supernatural.' It seems to be treading the monotheistic line now, but if you do follow the mythology back, it is a polytheistic universe. But no, I don't think they're going to go with a God-off. That would be God-awful. [laughs]

So true. So have you already shot the two episodes they've said you'll be in?
Yes. I actually just wrapped the second episode late last night.

Can you say what episodes you are in beyond that or have they not told you?
I don't know what episodes I'm going to be in beyond [the first two of season 7]. So no.

Are you pursuing other opportunities right now? Are you looking at other jobs?
Yes. I worked on 'Divine' [a web series from 'Supernatural' visual effects coordinator Ivan Hayden that premieres Aug. 28] for a few days, but it's not really something that I'm going to be involved in on an ongoing basis.

What would you like to be doing?
You know, I have a bunch of ideas and things that I'd like to do. I kind of would like to dabble with comedy a little bit, so I'm going to try to do some of that.

Well, keep us up to date. Are there any films you might be doing?
I haven't shot anything yet. I basically took the hiatus off this year [AolTV writer Laura Prudom accompanied Collins on the hiatus trip he took with 'Supernatural' fans who volunteered to work on the actor's charity project there.] I'm totally unemployed. Thanks for rubbing it in [laughs].

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Sheri

I was one who was ready for the angel storyline to be done. I feel that the angels story took away so much from the show -- the road trip feeling; that it eliminated suspense, tension, and any threat of danger for the brothers; and any intimacy that I had with the brothers as they drove down the highway in the Impala. Actually, it even took away the Impala as a cast member. I can take Cas or not take Cas, but I'm re-thinking my position now.

With the only spoiler (or non-spoiler) out there being that Dean is only in the show to service Sam's latest worst problem every and wringing his hands over his lost boyfriend [insert Lisa here if you like] or hunting, I'm thinking the redemption of Cas sounds a whole lot better than Sera's fan girl vision of Sam's awesome pyche.

The only interview I care to see about SPN's S7 is Sera Gamble's explanation of why she trashed the iconic Dean character, publically, disrespects and humiliates JA by giving him no purpose in S6 and no role to talk about at Comic Con, and totally disrespects the Dean fan side of the fandom.

August 10 2011 at 5:00 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Sam

Personally, I feel that Castiel is one of the most dynamic characters to have ever appeared on television. There is so much meat to this character, so much that could be done with his storyline and the writers are just too afraid to go there. The chemistry between Misha and Jensen as actors is wonderful and I am going to miss it if the writers decide to do away with it. What a wasted opportunity. By the end of season 6 it has been established how much Cas means to Dean, so it would be extremely out of character for Dean to just give up on Cas. It would also be hypocritcal of him seeing as how Sam made just as many poor choices in season 4 as Cas made this season. The writers spent season 5 redeeming Sam (as they should have) they now need to do the same for Cas. Because whether you like him as a character or not, I really don' t see how people can deny all that he has done and sacrificed for the brothers. And no matter what happens in season 7, Cas will always have my support, because I know that his intentions were good and his heart was in the right place.

August 09 2011 at 3:13 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Penney

I was about to give up on Supernatural when Castiel came along and made me a true fan. The show is about Sam & Dean, but it can't be *just* the two of them and their "psychotically, irrationally, erotically codependent" relationship. Buffy wasn't just Buffy and Dawn. The boys need friends and allies, and Cas is the best thing that ever happened to SPN.

August 07 2011 at 9:39 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Penney's comment
me

Totally OT, but was it "erotically" or "neurotically"? I believe Zachariah had said "neurotically codependent relationship".

August 08 2011 at 8:02 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to me's comment
Penney

According to TVTropes and Supernaturalwiki it's "erotically." The phrase "psychotically, irrationally, +erotically codependent" gets 22,400 results on Google vs. 1,480 for "psychotically, irrationally, +neurotically codependent", not that that's proof. I wonder if anyone ever asked the actor what he said.

August 08 2011 at 9:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down
me

@Penney

Hm, I usually treat spnwiki as a kind of Bible, but it doesn't make sense that Zach would have said "erotically" after "psychotically, irrationally". It just doesn't fit the context, whereas "neurotically" does. I hope the script is auctioned some day and we get a scan! Or someone asks the writer or at least the actor.

(but if someone is to ask any actor about any lines they've said, let it be Sebastian Roche about his cut scene in 6x20!)

August 09 2011 at 8:14 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down
yim_happy

I get that the Castiel character will be removed or majorly sidelined in S7. I get that it's hard to fit a powerful angel into a show about hunters. I get that Castiel's exit was inevitable. Also, I get that they can't tell us too much, or it'll spoil the surprise.

But, I got to say that if SPN intends to have a Castiel arc in S7. This kind of news didn't build anticipation for me. LOL This news just makes me divest my emotional ties to the show even more. I'm braced to break w/ SPN. The end will be a relief. Silver lining, no more sifting thru fan drama.

I found S6's finale traumatic because Castiel was a metaphor for me, a metaphor for hope & unexpected help that comes when we feel weak & at our lowest. I'm not sure, but I don't think I'll be able to continue watching SPN with Castiel destroyed. I'm dreading the first episodes of S7, but I'll probably watch anyway.

But, I'm still grateful for Mo's oh so clear headed reviews & interview. I'm grateful for I had SPN for a little while. SPN did unique, amazing TV during S4 - S6, even S2/S3 had great epis. I loved the blue collar attitude, even if I'm not blue collar. I made friends thru fandom. Awesome work

August 07 2011 at 5:07 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to yim_happy's comment
Kady

I so agree with you. And I don't see how the show can possibly do this without giving him a redemption arc. If it does, it will render past canon unwatchable for me. I simply won't be able to watch this show again knowing how it ends for Cas. So I sincerely hope we are being trolled by the PTB even if I will be irate to find out that we are.

August 08 2011 at 12:26 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
soberdriver

There are so many problems about not helping Castiel return to himself. If he's the head honcho of Heaven, then what happens when they finally die? And what about everybody else when they die and go to Heaven? Who's going to run Heaven if they whack Castiel and what does that say about them considering Sam got forgiven a ton of stuff that went over the line? I don't see any other candidates for running Heaven.

I'm also tired of Dean not having anything GOOD of his own and if he can't save Castiel, I'll know that once again he's going to end up shouldering the entire burden and blame for not being able to do so. I'm sick of Dean being blamed for other people's sins and being unable to actually DO something about it. He's going to lose the one friend he has and all he'll have is a brother who thinks he's stupid and shady.

I believe this shows that Sera hasn't thought everything through and just wanted to get rid of Castiel so she can just write about Sam and . . . who else is on the show? There's the old guy but there's . . . someone . .. he often drives the car . . . Oh, well, because he doesn't have magical powers, and everybody tells me on the show he's not important or good at hunting and that he spent a lovely 40 years of having manis and pedis in Hell, he doesn't matter.

August 07 2011 at 1:57 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
Akiko

Bah. I don't want Castiel dead, gone or evil. Seems like I have to skip the entire season till its end and then have to take a look at what happened with Castiel and then decide whether I should bother watching it or not. Thankfully I didn't buy the season 6 DVDs yet and probably won't do it at all, so I can simply pretend the show ended with season 5. Also thankfully the hiatus made me realize I don't miss Sam (and his never ending story of misery) at all and Dean not as much as I feared, so it'll be easy to leave SPN behind me and become addicted to some other, better show. But who knows, maybe the show will surprise me in a good way, i.e. Castiel doesn't die, instead he gets his redemption and will still be around and his friendship with the Winchesters will be restored. In that case I'll gladly eat my words (though I'm not exactly hopeful for that to actually happen).

August 07 2011 at 1:56 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Mel

Can't say I'll be disappointment if we'll get less Cas in season 7, as I never liked the character much and I'm very sure spn will do just fine without him. Good luck to Misha in other shows and I can't wait to see Sam and Dean again in the new season.

August 07 2011 at 6:23 AM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply
Mel

Can't say I'll be disappointment if we'll get less Cas in season 7, as I never liked the character much and I'm very sure spn will do just fine without him. Good luck to Misha in other shows and I can't wait to see Sam and Dean again in the new season.

August 07 2011 at 6:23 AM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
Fortlifh

So after ignoring Dean and destroying Castiel in S6, Castiel is now tossed of the show? This interesting character will be gone, and with him the great relationship he and Dean had, for what exactly? For the nth version of “What’s wrong with Sam?”

Why take away such a beloved character like Castiel? And why sideline an iconic character like Dean? I doesn’t make sense character-wise, story-wise or even marketing-wise and it seems Gamble’s tunnel vision is really hurting the show.

I’m sorry I have so much questions, Mo, but I’m just baffled by what’s going with Supernatural and the more I read the less it makes sense. First Comic Con with absolutely nothing for Dean (again), now this. They’re alienating so many fans right now!

August 07 2011 at 2:55 AM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
soberdriver

A ton of Dean and Castiel fans knew this was going to happen and were told that they were delusional. Yet here we are. And I'm left with no reason to watch the show considering that I no longer have any interest in watching Dean have to deal with Sam's problem again while everybody including Sam mocks Dean for being weak, stupid and/or shady. And I'm also not interested in seeing Dean devolve into a sad little tin soldier with the only difference is that he's following Sam instead of John.

Even if they decide they want him back, there's going to be a possibility Misha will have moved on and then what are they going to do? The writers will just have the brothers just forget he ever existed and make both brothers look not much better than the demons and monsters they've been killing. So why should I care about the brothers? I have NEVER liked characters who only care about themselves or only fixate on one special person even it means the neglect or death of others and that's what theyre going to turn the brothers into if they don't try to help Castiel: selfish, hypocritical, conceited users and not much better than the Benders.

August 07 2011 at 2:01 AM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply

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