The Word From On High (or Just Misha Collins of 'Supernatural')...


Tonight, Thursday, Sept. 10, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, The CW's "Supernatural" returns for another season, as demon-hunting brothers Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles) deal with the rising of Lucifer himself and an impending Apocalypse.

There to help out, more or less, is their trusty angelic sidekick Castiel, played by the lovely and talented Misha Collins, who was kind enough to pen some replies to a few questions about his character and the upcoming season.

I guess you could say he's winging it, but I shouldn't have, and I hope you don't. Here we go:

Q: The show put you through the emotional wringer last year, playing a beleaguered Angel of the Lord - and made you wear the same outfit in almost every episode. Can we expect more of the same this season?

A: Well, according to the story, the angels aren't supposed to feel emotions. But my angel did always seem somewhat beleaguered and certainly a bit bedraggled, which in good part was due to the outfit I wear. When I got the part of Castiel on "Supernatural," the character was supposed to last a couple of episodes, so when I went in for the fitting, I was pretty cavalier. I think I said, "Yeah, this'll work fine" to the first thing they had me try on. If I had any idea I'd be wearing that damn suit, I'd have put a lot more thought into it.

The pants have big pleats; the shirt is two sizes too big; and the whole thing makes me look like (Peter Falk in) "Columbo." But to answer your question, the outfit has not yet been burned, and Castiel is being put through the proverbial wringer now more than ever.

Q: What's been the reaction of fans when they see you in person?

A: Because the other actors on "Supernatural" are misfits of nature - they're giants - fans usually think that I'm short. I'm actually six feet tall, but when I'm being filmed next to Jared 


Padalecki (left), who's 6'6" or something, I look like a tiny wood-elf. People who've only seen me as the brooding, ethereal Castiel, are also usually surprised that in real life I have the capacity to smile and blink.

Q: What's the most fun of playing this part, and what's the most challenging?

A: There's a lot that's fun about playing this character: exploring what it means to be human, having the power to travel through time and teleport myself, and being able to magically mend my suit.

I think the biggest challenge - aside from not laughing during takes - is taking something seemingly so fanciful as an angel with super-powers dressed as Columbo and making something real and empathetic about him.

Q: Has playing this role caused you do any extra Biblical or mythological reading? If so, what?

A: Yes. I've read a good deal of the Bible in the past year. The Book of Revelation was quite a revelation. Angels in the Bible are not there to help little old ladies across the street. They are not cherubic, and they do not employ harps.

In the biblical Apocalypse of Revelation, little things happen like, "the four angels were released ... to kill one third of mankind." So my angel was informed by this. I think he's from the reluctant-smiter school of angels. Beyond that, I went to the bookstore and bought three popular books on angels, which were sucky and useless.

Q: Given your druthers, what would you like your next, probably non-angelic role to be?

A: Yes, well, if I could have a corner on the niche market of film and TV angels, I'd take it, but it's a small niche and I might need to broaden my horizons a bit. Before playing the angel on "Supernatural," I had had a string of assassin and serial killer roles, so this has been a welcome reprieve. I don't know.

I used to want to go into politics, I even interned in the White House for Bill Clinton at one point. Now I think it would be fun to be cast as a lawyer or a politician, it would give me a chance to play out that fantasy without actually having to slog through law school.

Q: Considering we're in the middle of an economic meltdown, how does it feel to be playing in a storyline about the Apocalypse?

A: The apocalypse that "Supernatural's" writers are creating is not sudden or cataclysmic. It's more insidious and incremental. The apocalypse on our show is really just a worst-case-scenario modern life.