All the sacrifices made to the CW gods begging for Misha Collins' return to Supernatural paid off!
Collins makes his long-awaited return to the CW hit in tonight's outing, aptly titled "The Born-Again Identity," as Dean (Jensen Ackles), in desperate need of help for his brother, finds out his well-trenched angel friend is alive and well with just one tiny problem: He doesn't remember who he is...or maybe he doesn't want to.
So what's Cas and Dean's big reunion like? And why are they teaming up with a demon? We chatted with Collins and—spoiler alert!—he was pretty freakin' awesome...
First off, we're so excited for your return. Did you know back when Castiel was "killed off" in episode two when, and if, you would be returning?
I did not know. Bob Singer—not the fictitious character, the real producer on the show—told me that he would probably try to bring me back for a few episodes later on in the season. He didn't quite know how many or when; it was very elusive. It was the kind of arrangement that you don't really bank on in this business. It's kind of like, "Eh, that's possible." So, no I didn't, and I was glad to see that I was coming back.
Were you excited when you found out that we'd be seeing a very different version of Castiel when you returned?
Yes. You know, one of the odd things about this show is that [it's] not been stagnant at all. When you're doing lots and lots of episodes and you're playing the same character, it's great because you really get to know the character and it becomes a really fast style and you find subtleties in it. But a lot of the time—this is speculation because I've never done this many episodes on another show—I look at, you know, some of the procedural dramas and I think, "God, I would get really bored!" [But] things are constantly, constantly changing in Supernatural, and maybe even more especially for Castiel than for anyone. It's been really fun to be constantly mixing it up and constantly do something different—going from playing a hippie to playing God to playing a devoted Christian man to playing an angel to playing a fallen angel to playing a drunk angel. There is just so many different permutations. And when Cas comes back, he's one thing. By the end of the first episode that he has returned in, he's another thing. And at the beginning of the following episode, he is yet a different character again.
Alright, down to business: What can you actually tell us about your return?
I can tell you that Cas comes back with amnesia and doesn't remember where he's been or what he's done. Dean doesn't immediately just dissuade him of that, and I don't know if you can be dissuaded of ignorance, but if you can, Dean doesn't right away. And for whatever reason, maybe somewhere in his [subconscious], Cas doesn't seem to want to know what his past is. He doesn't seem to be desperate to figure it out; he's more accepting than they are. That's where things start off, and a whole bunch of other s--t happens.
Obviously, fans have been waiting to see Dean and Castiel reunited for quite some time. What are the interactions between them like in the beginning?
It's a little guarded. Cas doesn't know Dean from Adam, but Dean is certainly a little bit guarded and wary, and I think Cas is, too, because Dean seems like possibly a loose cannon.
It seems like Dean and Castiel will be spending some time with Meg...
It's funny because I got in trouble in the end of season six and the beginning of season seven for having made deals with the devil, essentially, but once again, they're kind of partnering me with a demon. I seem to have forgotten their warning against doing that sort of thing. It really seemed a little unfair to me, but yes, it seems like Meg (Rachel Miner) is an ally at this point. Of course, it's not a real easy partnership. There's definite suspicion and caution on everyone's part, and no one really knows what each other's motives are. Oh, let's just say Sam and Dean don't know what Meg's motives are.
With this "new" version of Cas, are you still going to provide some comic relief?
Yup! I'm going to give you a big spoiler that I haven't told anyone. This might be sort of ruining the build-up to the season finale, but Cas does a full-on fart joke in the second episode I was in. The producers are going to kill me—I'm going to get a call later from the CW!
They'll probably just kill you again and then bring you back...again. Are you allowed to say if your three episodes are consecutive or spread out throughout the rest of the season?
I don't know what I'm allowed to say, but I'll just say it anyways: They are not necessarily consecutive.
As you've said, you have already done a lot with Castiel, but is there one thing you'd really like to see happen with the character?
The producers really have never said to me if this is true, but I kind of think the character is a little bit based on Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire character Cassiel, who was an angel. It's a really cool movie, and it's based on a German poet's work. In that, the angel falls and becomes human, but enjoys becoming human and gets to sort of relish the joy of mortality. The only side of that that Cas has ever seen is he lost his angelic powers for a while and sort of felt the pain and suffering of humanity. For some reason I think it'd be really cool to see Cas sort of fall and be human again. I just want one f--king nice thing to happen to the guy.
Supernatural airs tonight at 9 p.m. on the CW.