As "Supernatural" fans, we at Zap2it were both relieved and disappointed when Sam ( Jared Padalecki) was reunited with his soul in the mid-season finale. We missed the old broody-angsty-emotional Sam, but that's not to say we didn't have a good time with the soulless version's one-liners and shirtless chin-ups.
When "Supernatural" was honored at this weekend's PaleyFest, Padalecki shared our sentiment. (Well, maybe not the part about the shirtless chin-ups.)
"I do miss soulless Sam," Padalecki admits. "I've not been shy about the fact that I like to play a little bit darker, a little disturbed. I've had a wonderful time as Sam, and he's disturbed enough, but I did have a fun time kind of playing with... what is a soul, where does it reside, what's its influence on your personality and your decisions. So I had a great time. I'm happy to be back, but I do miss the little guy."
We spoke with Padalecki's co-star, Jensen Ackles, at the beginning of Season 6, and he expressed that the new, soulless version of Sam made playing his brother Dean increasingly difficult. Now that Sam is back, Ackles is much more comfortable in Dean's skin.
"I missed ya, Care Bear!" Ackles jokes. "It was kind of a relief for me because for the first half of the season it was difficult. To build a relationship with not only the actor but the character for five years, and then to have that relationship severed, but then still have to work with that person who is very different." He says that his discomfort was actually a positive reflection on Padalecki's work. "It's a testament to what Jared was doing, because I think he was doing great as soulless Sam, but he wasn't playing the character that I'm used to working with. So I struggled with it."
Ackles called down to the writers' office in Burbank to express his frustration. "I was kind of like 'I'm feeling way out of my comfort zone with this, I don't know what's going on.' I just didn't have those tools to use anymore that I've had for the last five years. I was very relieved when I read that he was getting his soul back because then I could go back to playing Dean the way that I normally play Dean. It was difficult, but it was a good storyline."
For more from Ackles and Padalecki, don't miss our one-on-one interviews with them. In the meantime, if you couldn't make it to the panel discussion, Paley offers a substantial clip below.