'Supernatural': Misha Collins discusses directing, Cas' angelic mission and on-set pranks

supernatural-misha-collins-directing-interview.jpg Misha Collins has played many different versions of Castiel on "Supernatural." There's the grace-possessing angel, the evil Leviathan vessel, the human vessel Jimmy Novak, and the graceless angel-turned-human. Of course, now that Cas stole another angel's grace he's back to his angelic ways, but Collins is about to take on yet another role on The CW series -- director.

For this Tuesday's (March 25) episode, Collins stepped behind the camera to make his directorial debut, and Zap2it got the chance to talk to him about his experience as a first-time director. 

Plus, he reveals what's coming up next for Cas, the pranking that went on behind the scenes on set, and much more. Check out Collins' full Q&A below.

Zap2it: Congratulations on your directorial debut! I'm so excited to see your episode.
Misha Collins: Thank you! I am excited too. It's a little bit of trepidation and excitement combined. Right after we talk I'm going to see the final cut of it, so I will find out whether I should be excited or not in a couple hours. [laughs]

What was it like taking on this new role behind the scenes? How did it compare to just acting in front of the camera?
It's funny, I have been working as an actor for some time now and I thought I knew much more about production than it turned out that I did. It was educational. And it was really enjoyable. Directing is a lot of fun but you have to be on your toes every minute. If you zone out for even a second, you'll miss something and things will get screwed up. And here's a little secret that I'm going to let out of the bag: That is not the case with acting. You can d*** around all you want on set as an actor and you can get away with it. But that is not the case with directing. As an actor, if you want to while shooting, you can run back to your trailer and take a nap. But you cannot do that while directing. So it was challenging and invigorating and I really enjoyed it.

You posted some hilarious videos of your co-stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles pranking you. I seem to recall a video you getting pied in the face more than once ...
First of all, I take issue with your characterization of their pranks as "hilarious." I found them to be juvenile. And moronic. They threw pies in my face. That was their big coup de grace.

So there were even more pranks than the pies?
Well, they tried to get me with water balloons but I managed to get into my car before they got there. They sabotaged my director's chair so that when I sat down I fell on the ground. And they had apparently brainstormed a bunch of other pranks but I took some evasive action and managed to avert some of them. They were going to do something with my apartment, I don't know what it was, but I managed to discover a mole. Someone spilled the beans and told me to watch out, that there was something going on. So I alerted my building manager and they couldn't get in.

Wow, they really pulled out all the stops.
I have to say, as I was directing, a significant portion of my mental energy went into worrying about what was going to happen to me next. It was a somewhat stressful environment. Jared is the kind of guy that can take it all the way. I mean, he doesn't want me to be injured in any permanent way but minor injuries that heal after like a few months are cool. And that's not something that all first time directors have to deal with. That was an added encumbrance for me.

To counteract all that pranking, did Jensen give you any pointers about directing an episode, since he's directed quite a few of his own?
Jensen was actually just asked that same question you asked me by some fans at a convention and he categorically denied giving me any help or assistance. But that is a ruse and a lie. He did! We actually went out to dinner and he downloaded every last piece of sage advice that he could give me and he actually helped me out quite a lot. He was extremely helpful. I think he was actually more helpful than some of the veteran directors that I solicited for assistance because he's closer to me in the sense that he knows what it's like to be a new director, so he knew exactly what to tell me about things I might be struggling with.

Talk to me about your episode, "Mother's Little Helper." I know Cas isn't in it, but what goes down with Dean and Sam?
This is the episode that the rift between Sam and Dean is growing ever wider. They spend much of the episode apart from each other and they each follow their own story lines. Crowley is trying to enlist Dean to cooperate with him more and Sam is working on a case that turns out to have something big to do with their family's past.

So when we finally do get to see Cas again, what's coming up for him?
Cas' story line, as we ramp up towards the finale, becomes much more central to the show. He becomes a bigger central figure at the end of the season. I'm in the last three episodes and Cas' mission continues to be hunting down Metatron and restoring the heavenly order. The boys and Cas team up.

I can't wait for that! I've been missing Cas and Dean scenes. So do their separate missions merge into one, or will the Winchesters help Cas with his mission?
They become in many respects, essentially the same mission. They will continue to also have their own divergence of objectives but they will also be collaborating.

Interesting. Jensen recently told us that Cas might be the one to help Dean now that he's struggling with the Mark of Cain. Any chance we'll see that happen?
I can tease that Cas knows what the Mark of Cain is from past experience and he knows that it's not a good thing. He's not happy about it. He's worried about Dean. In fact, I'll give you a direct quote. Cas says, "I'm worried about him." So there you go.

"Supernatural" airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.
Photo/Video credit: The CW