Misha Collins Interview -- JustJared.com Exclusive
Supernatural’s latest cast member, Misha Collins, gave JustJared.com guest contributor Alana Lynch a call yesterday to talk about his latest role as the angel Castiel. (You may have seen Misha on the first season of 24, as well as guest appearances on CSI, CSI: New York, and Without a Trace.) Misha talked on-set pranks, his dream of kayaking in the Olympics, and the possibility of Alanis Morisette making an appearance as God on Supernatural.
JJ: Your introduction to Supernatural was well-received by the fans, did you find that surprising or reassuring?
MC: Yeah, I think it was both surprising and reassuring. Well, it was definitely reassuring and I’m surprised by the magnitude of the warm reception.
JJ: Would you say you might be intimated by it?
MC: Sometimes I feel like when I’ve just started on other shows, this is just one of a million procedural dramas. Nobody’s watching it too carefully, so you get the sense its on in the background while people are cooking dinner or something. And seeing how closely the fans watch [Supernatural], and how enthusiastic they were about my character, and how they panned other characters in the past, it seems like the stakes just get ramped up really quickly. And it kinda makes me want to do a good job and not screw up. I’d hate to fall out of the good graces of the fans. So, yeah, it’s a little intimidating.
(Continue reading the Misha Collins interview inside…)
Misha Collins Interview — JustJared.com Exclusive
JJ: Let’s talk about Castiel a little bit. Did you create a back story for him at all? Or did you sort of just go in blind and go on what Eric Kripke was letting you know?
MC: Yeah, I created as much as I could. I didn’t have a ton of time before shooting the first episode, but I created as much as I could. Its an unusual kind of back story for me, just because he’s an angel, and in my mind, he’s kind of thriving on an ethereal plane. So a lot of the back story I created for me is kind of abstract and maybe difficult to articulate. But I definitely did, and I’m glad that I have more time to get into it a little bit more, and feel more me. But Kripke hasn’t given me much back story, other than saying that angels haven’t been down, interacting with human beings for two thousand years, and so there’s a quality of curiosity in interacting with human beings because they’re alien beings to me. But other than that, I haven’t been given more back story than what’s in the dialog in the scripts.
JJ: Sounds like you’re about as much in the dark about it as we are.
MC: Yup! I’m flying blind and making it up!
JJ: Do you think Castiel is aware of Ruby at all? About what her true motives might be, because I know in the episode that just aired (“Are You There God? Its Me, Dean Winchester”), he told Dean that Castiel was focusing on the big picture more than anything else, so do you think Ruby might come into play with Castiel?
MC: I don’t know whether they’re going to have much interplay. This is just an assumption and shouldn’t be taken as fact, but my assumption is that [Castiel] does know about Ruby. The angels – and there will be other angels, by the way – on the show are not omniscient.
MC: Its not as if we can see everything that’s going on, but we do have methods for seeing more than humans do. And we are keeping tabs on Sam and Dean. While there is a bigger picture that we’re concerned about, we are also keeping tabs on Sam and Dean. Obviously, they are of particular interest to us.
JJ: Speaking of these other angels, I think at least one is named Uriel. Are you able to talk about any of your interactions with him or is that maybe too spoilery for us.
MC: I can tell you that Uriel and I are going to be working together and that there’s a certain tension between the two characters. I’ve said before that Uriel has sort of an itchy trigger finger. He’s one of these angels that is more of the “smite now and ask questions later” variety. So that’s the source of some tension between his character and mine.
JJ: So before you were on Supernatural did you consider yourself to be a sci-fi/fantasy fan, or is this sort of a whole new sort of beast for you in terms of acting?
MC: You know I’ve always liked sci-fi/fantasy films. I’ve never really followed any sci-fi television shows though. I wouldn’t consider myself a fan. When asked, I think I say the Matrix is my favorite movie. So, you know, I’m a bit of a fan, but this is a new world to me.
JJ: Yes, I can imagine so.
MC: Experiencing it on this side is new to me.
JJ: Right, especially because, as you mentioned earlier, you’d done some work on procedural shows so is your approach completely different now that you’ve kinda gotten a taste of what it is to do a procedural versus a recurring character on a sci-fi show?
MC: I don’t think that my approach is different. I think it’s nice being able to have a little bit of an arc and have more time than just one or even two or three episodes. It’s nice to have more time to sink into a character. It’s hard when a lot of times on procedural shows, it’s like you audition and then you’re shooting the next day. There’s not a whole lot of time to piece something together and there’s a lot of material to work with in a short period of time so you’re winging it a little bit more. And not to say I’m not winging it now, but I just have a little bit more time to wing it a little bit better maybe.
JJ: Okay, so hopefully you’ll be on Supernatural for awhile, but if you aren’t do you see yourself staying in Vancouver for awhile? Do you see yourself being based in LA or some other place?
MC: I think probably staying based in LA for the time being and just flying up to shoot when I need to. The trip seems to get easier.
JJ: We promise we’re not going to tell Jared [Padalecki] and Jensen [Ackles] this, but you mentioned that you might do a “first strike” on the prank war, so have you come up with anything yet?
MC: Well, first of all, if I had come up with anything I certainly wouldn’t be able to circulate it in advance. That would be just bad form. I mean it’s a good thing I hadn’t, because I’d just be shooting myself in the foot at the same time. You know what, I don’t know… Do you know what pranks they have done in the past?
JJ: Well, I know that Jared has sewn shut the hole in Jensen’s pants so he could’t put his legs in.
MC: [laughs] That’s good!
JJ: And I know they got pranked before with getting the black ink on their binoculars so when they pull them down they’ve got the black circles around their eyes.
MC: [laughs] That’s good too. All right, it’s good that it’s little bit more of a known enemy and I know what I’m dealing with. That’s good.
JJ: Ok, so semi-serious here, who has better hair – you or Jared Padalecki?
MC: Well, he has more hair…
JJ: Yeah, it’s quite the point of contention.
MC: I used to have long hair, as well, and it has its advantages. But I’m willing to concede this one to Jared. He has better hair than I do.
JJ: Okay, so that round to him. I read that you went kayaking recently, so you gearing up for the Olympics, you think you’re gonna hit London in 2012 with your kayaking skills?
MC: Now that would be great, wouldn’t it? I would love to be able to answer ‘yes’ to that question. I’ve been a river kayaker for a long time and I’ve done quite a few trips. I like kayaking and I like canoeing. I don’t really like being on yachts or sailboats or cruise ships. I don’t like anything that’s large and not human-powered. But small, human-powered watercraft, those are right up my alley. But, I suppose I’m not that keen on paddle-boats, so it’s not a blanket statement.
JJ: It’s maybe arm power instead of foot power, there.
JJ: Okay. So, it’s the end of a long day, you flip on the television. What’s it tuned to – Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune?
MC: Hmmm. Definitely, definitely Jeopardy, for me.
JJ: Oh yeah? Would you like to compete on it? Maybe the celebrity version that they have?
MC: I’ve never really given it that much thought. My mind isn’t exactly that good for useless trivia, or trivia of any kind, actually. Useful trivia I’m not really that well-equipped to adhere. So, I think I’m happy to stay where I am relative to Jeopardy [laughs] which is as a watcher, not a participant.
JJ: Watch it and say, “Oh, I knew the answer.”
MC: Right. That’s what I do! Yeah, I’ll watch it and I’ll shout out the answers and I’ll be, “Hey, aren’t I cool?”
JJ: Better angel: John Travolta in Michael, Michael Landon in Highway to Heaven, or Alan Rickman in Dogma?
MC: Oh, Alan Rickman! I thought he was great. I love him. That’s my vote.
JJ: That’s my vote, too. And I think a lot of people vaguely expected Castiel to be a little bit like Alan Rickman and sort of explode people’s heads with his voice.
MC: You know, that movie stirs up a lot of controversy but Alan Rickman’s angel is good.
JJ: Do you think Alanis Morisette will make a guest appearance as God in the last episode of Supernatural?
MC: That is an excellent casting recommendation. That would be… yeah, I mean, why not? It’s tried and true terrain for her. It shouldn’t be that hard. They could probably get her for pretty cheap since she’s done it before.
JJ: Yeah, well, and she is Canadian, so she probably has some pull up there!
MC: Oh, yeah! Right! Someone asked earlier whether God was going to make an appearance on the show. I think that’s a big one to handle. I can’t imagine they do that successfully.
JJ: Well, maybe if they did it with something wacky, you know, like having Alanis Morisette.
MC: Yeah, that might work!
And there you have the interview with the witty and kayak-loving Misha Collins!