Misha Collins as Castiel in SUPERNATURAL - Season 15 - "Gimme Shelter' | © 2020 The CW Network/Katie Yu

Misha Collins as Castiel in SUPERNATURAL – Season 15 – “Gimme Shelter” | © 2020 The CW Network/Katie Yu

When Misha Collins first appeared on SUPERNATURAL in its fourth-season premiere way back in 2008, nobody – including Collins – had any idea that he’d become a series regular. However, in SUPERNATURAL’s fifteenth and final season, now airing Thursday nights on The CW, Collins’s angel Castiel has become a beloved and essential part of Team Winchester, which currently consists of monster-fighting brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles), plus half-human/half-angel Jack (Alexander Calvert), who is sort of Castiel’s adopted son.

As SUPERNATURAL viewers know, our heroes are currently involved in fighting none other than God, aka Chuck (Rob Benedict), who plans to destroy the world.

Collins, originally from Massachusetts, has had recurring roles on 24 and ER, as well as guest shots on a multitude of series. He created, produced, and starred in DIVINE: THE SERIES. Collins also established GISHWES (the acronym for the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World has Ever Seen), a charitable organization that helps build schools and orphanages, and works on other efforts to help people living in poverty.

SUPERNATURAL was supposed to end its run in May, but production had to be halted due to COVID. The last seven episodes are finally complete and running now. This interview was conducted pre-COVID, at The CW’s party for the 2019 Summer Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour.

ASSIGNMENT X: When you first appeared on SUPERNATURAL as Castiel, was it was planned that you were going to be a regular for several seasons?

MISHA COLLINS: It was a few episodes originally. Actually, when I auditioned for it, I thought it was one episode, and then it turned out it was three, and then six and then twelve and it kept evolving. Yes, of course, it was always a surprise.

Misha Collins as Castiel in SUPERNATURAL - Season 15 - "The Gamblers" | ©2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved/Cate Cameron

Misha Collins as Castiel in SUPERNATURAL – Season 15 – “The Gamblers” | ©2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved/Cate Cameron

AX: Was that because the producers/writers felt the character was fun to write for, or was that because Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles were saying, “You know what, we enjoy having this guy around”?

COLLINS: [joking, deadpan] The way it basically works is, Jared and Jensen, who play Sam and Dean, are up in Vancouver, largely isolated from their friends and family, and I went up there to shoot a couple episodes, and they really liked me, it was like they had a friend up there and they absolutely insisted that I be kept on and so the writers totally retooled the show just so that Jared and Jensen would have a friend. Because Canadians hate them, as a rule.

AX: SUPERNATURAL is still very successful for The CW; it is drawing to an end primarily because Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki felt this was the right time. Were you a part of the conversation about, “This is wrapping up,” or did you just get the word once it had?

Jared Padalecki as Sam, Misha Collins as Castiel and Jensen Ackles as Dean in SUPERNATURAL - Season 14 - "Jack in the Box"| ©2019 The CW Network, LLC/Diyah Pera

Jared Padalecki as Sam, Misha Collins as Castiel and Jensen Ackles as Dean in SUPERNATURAL – Season 14 – “Jack in the Box”| ©2019 The CW Network, LLC/Diyah Pera

COLLINS: I was a part of the conversation. I do feel like we all are in the same boat of feeling like it’s the right time. And yet it’s bittersweet, and we’re going to miss the show so much. It’s such a big part of all of our lives. I think we’re all in the same place of feeling like we want to end strong without feeling like the show is wilted on the vine. We want it to feel like it’s going out with a bang, and I think we are.

AX: Does it feel different going into Season 15 than past seasons?

COLLINS: Yeah, I think this is it feels different going into this season because it feels like it is the end. We said it’s the end at the end of last season. We have a lot of lasts in front of us, and it feels poignant, and it feels meaningful, and it’s a big chunk of our lives. And I think we’re all trying to not be too precious about it.

AX: You’ve gotten to play a couple of other characters who were inhabiting Castiel a few times. You’ve played Jimmy Novak, the original owner of Castiel’s body, an amnesiac Castiel, a Castiel who became God briefly, Lucifer, and the embodiment of the Empty, the place where the souls of angels and demons go when they die. Did you enjoy that?

COLLINS: I loved it.

AX: Do you have a preference between them?

COLLINS: Lucifer was my favorite character to play other than Cas on the show.

AX: Do you have a favorite stunt that you got to do in the course of SUPERNATURAL?

Misha Collins as Castiel in SUPERNATURAL - Season 14 - "Stranger in a Strange Land"| © 2018 The CW Network, LLC/Bettina Strauss

Misha Collins as Castiel in SUPERNATURAL – Season 14 – “Stranger in a Strange Land”| © 2018 The CW Network, LLC/Bettina Strauss

COLLINS: Great question. I wish I had an answer for that.

AX: You’ve done an Internet cooking show with your son West. Is he old enough to watch SUPERNATURAL yet?

COLLINS: No. He’s [now nine]. [joking] Shame on you for asking.

AX: You’ve been on SUPERNATURAL since before he was born. What kind of effect do you think you not being on SUPERNATURAL is going to have on your household?

COLLINS: I am looking forward to spending time with the kids, having more time with them. It’s a big commitment. But I think you come along these things. Suddenly you’re on a show, and it’s exciting. But when that runs for twelve years, and you’ve had kids along the way, all of a sudden, you’re like, “Wait a minute, what about my little kids’ childhood? I want to spend time with them.” So I think none of us want to leave the show, and we all want to see our kids.

AX: How is GISHWES going?

Misha Collins at the Bing presents THE CW PREMIERE PARTY | ©2011 Sue Schneider

Misha Collins at the Bing presents THE CW PREMIERE PARTY | ©2011 Sue Schneider

COLLINS: Good. Really good. I think GISH points to this fandom and its power. [In one week in 2019], we raised almost a quarter of a million dollars for victims of unexploded ordnances and migrants. And we planted ten thousand trees in the last week. That’s SUPERNATURAL fandom. It’s awesome.

AX: Do you have any other projects going on that we should know about?

COLLINS: Yeah. I have a family cooking cookbook that’s on sale right now. It’s called THE ADVENTUROUS EATERS BOOK, from HarperCollins.  Check that out.

AX: And what would you most like people to know about SUPERNATURAL?

COLLINS: We did our best.

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