“You don’t want know when I’m going to be in it or not be in it,” he says. “You just kind of want to know that I exist. The fans are very, very serious about not getting spoilered on this. So let’s hope that you guys keep quiet. You shouldn’t even mention that I’m here.”
Sheppard’s first appearance in Season 6 is in tonight’s October 15 episode, “Weekend at Bobby’s,” where Bobby (Jim Beaver) discovers that the demon Crowley still owns his soul. When we visited, Sheppard was shooting Episode 8, and we couldn’t help but ask if Crowley was still in possession of that soul.
“What, right now? Let’s see,” he teased, pulling his iPhone out of his pocket. “It’s the kiss I always keep.” He’s referring to the photo of himself and Beaver kissing, which sealed the demonic deal. “I still have it, it was actually on my phone. Phil [Sgricca, director] shot that on my phone. If you’ve seen the gag reel, he did spend an awful long time shooting that.”
When it comes to kissing, Sheppard is an old pro. “In more ways than one, darling,” he says. The first time he kissed a man on camera was for another “Supernatural” episode. “Phil was directing the first one I did where I kissed Harvey Gold at the crossroads. Kissing him wasn’t that exciting, honestly, but the back of his sweaty head was the most unpleasant part of that. Not his fault. I called my wife and said ‘wow, this is interesting’ and she said ‘now you understand dating’.”
“He’s fantastic. I mean, everybody’s gonna say that, but the truth of the matter is, he’s a natural. He was extraordinarily well prepared, and it was a lot of fun to be directed by him.”
We ask if there were any particular notes or directions from Ackles that stuck out for Sheppard, but he doesn’t recall any particulars. “He’s very good at getting what it is that he wants, but he’s very open to getting what’s there.”
Ackles’ obvious deep knowledge of “Supernatural” helped make his transition from actor to director a smooth one for everyone involved. “If you think about what directing really is, which is just sort of making a place where magic can happen,” says Sheppard. “You’ve got the parameters of a script, you’ve got the parameters of a show, you’ve got the rules that the show adheres to, which I think is the most important thing for the fans, more than anything else, is that there are rules to the show. And he was really good at sticking to these and finding the nuances.”
Though it was important for “Weekend at Bobby’s” to follow certain “Supernatural” rules, it could also be said that the rules have changed this season.
“It’s darker and funnier, in a very strange way,” Sheppard says of Season 6. “Yet, it’s still what we know and love with the characters, very very much so. These people are very good custodians of this story, this is an ideal thing between Sera [Gamble] and Ben [Edlund] and Eric [Kripke] and Bob [Singer] and Phil and everybody else. They’re some fantastic writers and fantastic caretakers of this story. I think we owe a lot to them, because they’re not just winging it or making it up as they go along. They’ve actually got some purpose to it. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
While we can’t give away much, we can promise that you’ll see Crowley in more than one episode this season. So where does the demon stand this year?
“Slightly to the left of Jensen and slightly to the right of Jared,” Sheppard teases. “Can anyone really trust Crowley? Can Crowley trust Crowley? I don’t know. I mean, there’s a lot at stake, let’s put it that way, there’s an awful lot at stake. The motivation behind what people are doing seems to change.”
And we’re not getting anything else out of him. Trust us… we tried.