Actor Morgan Juggles 'Grey's,' 'Supernatural' and 'Weeds'
Three roles on three hit shows add up to one busy year
"I am a busy man," he says. "I lucked out. It's just good karma."
After going from toiling in the trenches to the center of attention, Morgan says, "It's a complete switch, I'll tell you that. I've been kicking around this business for a long time. Persistence pays off. You kick around long enough, and good things can happen. It's been one heck of a year. I can't complain."
On "Supernatural," John is the elusive father of brothers Sam and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki), who have taken up the family business -- begun when demonic forces killed the mother in the family -- working from their dad's journal of bizarre happenings and creatures.
On "Grey's," marine biologist Denny is the love interest of beautiful intern Isobel "Izzie" Stevens (Katherine Heigl).
In real life, Ackles and Heigl are the same age, which either makes John a very young father or Denny a dirty old man.
"OK," Morgan says, "let's look at WB casting for a second, because there's no way I could be the father of Jensen unless I was a dad at 12. That's just WB. That's how they cast stuff.
"I'm 12 years older than Jensen in reality, but I'm like 25 years older than him in intelligence, so it works out. I'm not that old, dang it. I feel like [Jensen and Jared] are my brothers more than my boys. You're making me feel like an old person, all of a sudden. I'm not even 40 yet -- give me a break."
Morgan did only a couple of episodes of "Weeds," so most of his time has been spent shuttling back and forth between Los Angeles, where "Grey's" films, and Vancouver, Canada, for "Supernatural."
Even for the Seattle native, this past winter in Vancouver has been a little too wet.
"Shooting all day in the rain is not where you want to be," Morgan says. "You're working 16-, 17-hour days, because there's no such day as a short day on 'Supernatural.' And I'm flying back and forth doing two shows at once.
"There were two months there where I think the most I slept was four hours. If I had a day off, I was traveling."
At least he gets to spend his "Grey's" days tucked into a hospital bed.
"That's true," he says. "It's warm, and I get to look at Katie Heigl all day. As much as I love Jensen and Jared, they're not Katie Heigl."
And being bedridden has turned out to be handy.
"I have my water under the blanket," Morgan says. "And I'll put my sides [daily script pages] under there if I have a huge piece of dialogue, and I'll look at it between set-ups. I might have a book under there. I have my phone under there, so I can text people and figure out my flight to get up to Canada for 'Supernatural.'"
In terms of under-blanket apparel, Morgan says, "Wouldn't you like to know? Nothing, just my birthday suit. I like to surprise the crew. No, I just have sweat-pant bottoms and my hospital gown. I would give my right arm to get out of that hospital gown."
While having two jobs is good, the constant switch-off has caused problems.
"As an actor, it's awesome being able to do these two completely different guys," Morgan says. "That part's been fun. The problems occur as you start getting so tired and start jumping on planes back and forth and trying to figure out who you're supposed to be that day.
"That happened a couple of times. I couldn't get Winchester-y enough or whatever it was, because I was stuck in Denny-land, where I was being too nice. Winchester's harder to find. Denny's more me. He's an intense guy, John is. And Denny, for a guy who's having trouble living, he's just a charming dude."
Morgan's next "Grey's" appearance is set for Sunday, April 23. He's also in the April 30 episode, and we'll just have to see whether Denny survives to the multipart second-season finale on Sunday and Monday, May 14 and 15.
"He could get better," Morgan says. "He gets that heart transplant, and God knows what's going to happen. But this show is so top-secret. They don't tell me anything. Your guess is as good as mine."
On "Supernatural," Morgan returned with the episode airing Thursday, April 20, and continues through the May 4 first-season finale.
"The last three episodes are pretty cool. They're finally bringing the three of us together to go demon-hunting."
As far as Winchester's future, Morgan says, "I've already been thrown for a couple of loops in the last couple of weeks, so no clue where they're going to go. They may blow me up, you never know.
"But it's 'Supernatural,' so they might kill me, and I might not be dead."