The ending of The CW’s Supernatural was a hotly debated topic amongst fans when it aired, and in a recent interview, actor Jensen Ackles revealed that he initially wasn’t too sure about the ending himself when the series finale was first pitched to him and co-star Jared Padalecki.
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In a recent appearance on Michael Rosenbaum’s Inside of You podcast, Ackles spoke about the somewhat controversial ending to the series, which sees Ackles’ Dean Winchester die in a shocking and emotional scene. According to Ackles, he understands both those who loved the ending, and those who didn’t agree with it too much.
“I don’t think there’s a wrong opinion about it,” Ackles said. “I honestly don’t. I think that the people that had problems with it are validated, and I think the people that enjoyed it are validated. I was in both camps. I spent time in both camps, and this is no secret. The very first time we had ever heard what was going to happen at the end of the season, Jared [Padalecki] and I flew out to L.A., and we went to the writers room before the season started, and we all sat down, and they essentially pitched us how they wanted to wrap up the show, which was the first time in Supernatural history that that had ever happened.”
Ackles went on to explain that his initial reaction to hearing the ending was not a great one, but that he didn’t let the writers know that right away. Instead, Ackles went home and spoke to his wife, Danneel Ackles, who helped him understand why he may not have liked hearing the ending.
“My initial reaction was, I don’t like it,” Ackles said, before saying that he didn’t react immediately during the pitch. “I was trying to be respectful so I said ‘Hmm, okay.’ I didn’t give them an overwhelming response. I was like ‘Okay, I’m gonna sleep on it.’ Because it’s a big thing, I don’t want to mess this up. So I slept on it, and about a week went by, and I went to my wife and I was like ‘I’m just really bumping on this.’ And she was like, ‘Is it because Dean dies?’ And I’m like ‘Maybe. Maybe I’m just too close to that character and I just don’t want to see him go.’
“And for some reason I always thought that if someone was going to go it would be Sam, as kind of the martyr and Dean would then be left to just kind of stumble through the rest of his life mourning his brother and his lost family. It would be, maybe, a sad existence, but that’s just how it happened. Or we would both go, like a Butch and Sundance kind of a thing. But me going and him continuing on, it just didn’t sit well with me.”
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At the end of the day, it was both Danneel’s advice and the words of Eric Kripke, the creator of the series in 2005, who helped Ackles put the ending in perspective for him.
“So my wife in all her infinite wisdom, said, ‘You should talk to somebody outside of this that understands the world.’ And I was like, Eric Kripke, who created the world, who created the characters, who had been gone since Season 5. So he’d been gone for 10 years, but he still knew the show,” Ackles continued. “So I called him, and he had not heard what they were planning, so I told him, and he did the same thing I did. He said, ‘Let me sleep on this, kind of get some clarity on it and I’ll phone you tomorrow.’ So he ended up sending me this very, incredibly well-written email explaining why he thought this was a great ending, and it just put things in perspective for me, and from then on I was on board.”