An Open Letter to the Winchester Brothers

supernatural
By: The REEL Addict

Dear Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki,

As you two know, I’m a great admirer of your show SUPERNATURAL, and the consistent acting talent you display on it. With the emotional and dramatic range you guys bring to each and every episode, you’ve helped turned a show that could have potentially been little more than shallow, gimmicky horror-movie-a-week-fest into something richer. You’ve ensured that SUPERNATURAL is not a series about the supernatural so much as the people fighting the supernatural. People who are dramatic, and complex, and whom you bring to emotional life with your performances.

You prove yourselves to be nothing less than great actors, ones who deserve a successful, rewarding career beyond the boob tube and on the big screen.

Which brings us to the problem at hand.


You guys need to stop pigeonholing yourself and doing unambitious, fly by night horror movies that are probably worse than an average episode of your show.

Yes, MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D was actually a lot of fun, but that didn’t really have anything to do with you Jensen, sorry to say. And Jared, the FRIDAY THE 13TH remake? Really? Come on.

Now I know Hollywood can be cruel, they make look at you and only see two actors on a moderately successful (rating wise, not fan wise) CW show, so a lot of pigeon-holeing happens on the producer/casting end of things, but it’s a two-way street. It only happens if you let it. Take small, but memorable parts if you must, and especially parts that are more diverse.

Because for now you’re steadily employed on SUPERNATURAL, which means you have some job security so you can venture out and do different things, especially since you only have so much off-time from the show to do a film. You guys should be making the most of it, and holding out for “real” roles on viable movies that fully maximize your abilities, not be involved with quickly assembled horror remakes that require about as much talent as you have in your pinky.

So come on guys, turn things around and really challenge yourselves. As much as it pains me, SUPERNATURAL won’t last forever (even if I get my wish and you guys finish it off with a movie after), and you don’t want to have to do horror movies the rest of your life. Now is the time to show everybody you can do solid work outside the genre your successful in and lay the foundation for a long and successful acting career.

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  • Baneen

    Um, so what do you call Ten Inch Hero and the Christmas Cottage? They have both tried something different and neither project had gone anywhere. TIH has yet to see any kind of release after 2 years, and the Christmas Cottage ended up straight to dvd. At least both of the horror movies have releases on the big screen.

  • I totally disagree. Not only did the previous commenter mention two very different films the actors have tried, I happen to think Ackles was great in MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D and I bet Padelecki will be in F13.

    I give them credit for doing movies that they know fans will like and that will be seen. I will see both movies, and I think maybe some others who would have been on the fence about them may be swayed just BECAUSE these guys have roles in them. Yeah, they are not Oscar bait movies, but they are fun and are liked by many, many movie goers.

    Kudos to both actors, in my opinion.

  • Lee Ann

    You took the words right out of my mouth, TVAddict. I also understand what Baneen is saying – and has a valid point – but I want to see these guys in other things too. It’s a case of “catch 22” for them; they try something different and it languishes; they stick with the tried and true and it gets them on the big screen. I just hope they both get a chance to branch out and have whatever project(s) succeed. Win-win-win, you know?

  • Kay

    Interesting article Reel Addict and I agree that I would love to see both guys in a variety of diverse roles. But I don’t think we need to worry yet about the guys, esepcially Jensen Ackles, being pigeon-holed. His TV roles alone are diverse and multi-faceted and the fact that he did a stage version of A Few Good Men, as well as playing the quirky Priestly on Ten Inch Hero, suggests that he is interested in all kinds of acting challenges.

    I think for both boys, the issue is scheduling. They only have a short window of time to do outside projects and right now I think it is important for them to prove that they are bankable at the box office. MBV was a hell of a lot of fun, but I think it’s obvious that Jensen was a big draw regardless of his actual role in the moves. His fangirls trooped to movie, some two or three times, just to watch him on the big screen. They helped MBV surpass even the most optimistic box-office expectations. As you know, that’s really all the Hollywood big wigs care about. I imagine the same thing will happen with F13. Although that is a much bigger franchise with a massive marketing budget and a huge built-n cult audience, so it it will be harder to determine Jared’s draw. But still, if F13 does well, that will certainly reflect well on Jared’s box-office cred when Supernatural comes to a close.

    So yes, while I yearn to see the boys stretch their acting wings, I’m sure they will have that opportunity soon enough.

  • allie

    OMG, so true! Have you see ‘Devour’ that stars Jensen and his father? I struggled to get through it, even with Jensen in it!!! It was horrible!!!!

  • Kay

    Interesting article Reel Addict and I agree that I would love to see both guys in a variety of diverse roles. But I don’t think we need to worry yet about the guys, esepcially Jensen Ackles, being pigeon-holed. His TV roles alone are diverse and multi-faceted and the fact that he did a stage version of A Few Good Men, as well as playing the quirky Priestly on Ten Inch Hero, suggests that he is interested in all kinds of acting challenges.

    I think for both boys, the issue is scheduling. They only have a short window of time to do outside projects and right now I think it is important for them to prove that they are bankable at the box office. MBV was a hell of a lot of fun, but I think it’s obvious that Jensen was a big draw regardless of his actual role in the moves. His fangirls trooped to movie, some two or three times, just to watch him on the big screen. They helped MBV surpass even the most optimistic box-office expectations. As you know, that’s really all the Hollywood big wigs care about. I imagine the same thing will happen with F13. Although that is a much bigger franchise with a massive marketing budget and a huge built-n cult audience, so it it will be harder to determine Jared’s draw. But still, if F13 does well, that will certainly reflect well on Jared’s box-office cred when Supernatural comes to a close.

    So yes, while I yearn to see the boys stretch their acting wings, I’m sure they will have that opportunity soon enough.

  • Ali

    Jensen’s said that MBV was the one thing that fit into his time off from Supernatural… that he’s told his people not to tell him what he’s being offered, because most of the time, he can’t take the offers because of the show.

    I don’t know about Jared, but I’d assume it’s the same for him. So until the show ends, TVAddict, suck it up. The boys don’t have a choice, and neither do we. At least they’re working.

  • Allie

    I couldn’t agree more. I want to see these guys diversify. Even if it’s just a tiny part in a movie (that 100% had plans to make it to the big screen and not just straight to DVD), they should take it. Just take a small supporting actor role in a good movie…like James Franco in Milk or Robert Downey Jr. in Good Night and Good Luck.

  • Mel

    Pigeonholed? Just because they’re doing one horror/slasher movie each? The projects that fit into the week and a half they had off between seasons on Supernatural? A genre type movie where they could arguably bring their fanbase with them? I dunno, that seems smart to me. MBV is doing well at the box office — that’s what the producer types will notice. Plus the synergy between the two is generating buzz back to SN. I don’t think I’d start worrying about type casting quite yet.

  • KT

    These two have other things under their belts that were not scifi or horror. How do you think they got recognized to begin with? Go back and look at their whole careers. BTW, I like Devour.

  • Ali – I don’t disagree. As long as they are working, I’m happy. Very happy, and I will continue to see any film they star in.

    Mel – I’d throw in DEVOUR, CRY WOLF and HOUSE OF WAX as part of my “pigeon-holeing” argument (even though, admittedly, all those films came out 2005 and were probably shot pre-Supernatural). The other thing is, sure, they may not be pigeon-holed now, but Hollywood can very easily and very quickly do that to an actor. In other words, I’m not worried that they are neccesarily type-cast now, but that they may very well be soon if they do too many horror films.

    Also, as much as I love the guy, I’m not sure I entirely feel the success of MBV is related to Jense, so much as the genre itself and the 3-D novelty. You’re not wrong though in the sense that in Hollywood money talks, so Jensen’s association with a hit will no doubt help his career.

  • Oops, mispelled his name there in the final paragraph. I meant “Jensen,” obviously.

  • Mel

    Ah, yes, Devour and House of Wax, how could I forget?
    Pretty easily, actually. LOL !!
    Well its like I always say about projects such as those — everybody’s gotta pay the rent.
    If those are the worst movies that end up in the filmographies of JA & JP, they’ll be doing OK.
    I do take your point — the effects in MBV were a big part of the fun, and while the plot certainly doesn’t bear any scrutiny, its light years better than Devour. But yeah, I’d like to see Jensen in something ‘better’. And I agree with you, I don’t think that there is any kind of project that Jensen or Jared couldn’t do.
    I think these two particular films, each high profile in its own light ( the 3D and Jason) are good exposure for the boys at this point.
    This is right around the time that they’ll be casting for things shot during the TV hiatus — it will be interesting to see what the next project is for both boys.

  • Barbara

    So glad to see the deserved praise for the acting talents of Padalecki and Ackles! Please note that both actors have been in a variety of roles on the large and small screen and don’t worry about them being pigeon-holed. Their large fanbase will follow them to whatever films they choose to make. I think the current choice of roles is more a function of their Supernatural shooting schedule – they only have about 3 months to make each feature and blockbuster films take way more than that. Looking forward to seeing both actors continue to blaze the small screen in Supernatural and the large screen for many years to come.

  • I don’t disagree with the common sentiment that they only have three months in between Supernatural’s shooting schedule to do a film, but I bristle a little at the suggestion that that’s why they choose horror films instead of “more legitimate” projects. I’d have to say there are tons of television actors who face the same obstacles and do all right. Steve Carrell, Jason Segal, Patrick Demsey, Katherine Heigl, Jennifer Aniston, in her “Friends” days, etc. Anyone could counter though “Well, they are bigger stars” or just say that yes, Jensen and Jared love horror films and wanted to do these projects, and yes, that these are the only projects that were available to them at the time. Still, I don’t entirely buy that just because they only have three months they can’t do something else, if they want to and are allowed to, casting wise.

    One thing you guys are all right about though is definitely the fact that the box office success of MBV and (inevitably) Ft13 will open doors for them in an industry where for producers the question isn’t “How talented are they?” but rather “How much did their last movie make?”

    I suppose for now I am more than happy to see them do what they got to do (and pay the bills), but still hope for a little better. It’s like I said over on theREELaddict site: “Not unlike a parent who sees their kid dating some loser, I want something better for them because they deserve it. Then again, maybe like that parent I need to realize it’s their lives and they have to live it the way they see fit, and I should be happy for them no matter what (which I am). Still won’t stop me from quietly thinking to myself ‘But… you could do so much better'”

  • FYI, Ten Inch Hero will be out on DVD available at Blockbuster Video in the U.S. on February 17. It will definitely be rentable, buyable depending on the store, and apparently available in wide DVD release for purchase in April.