‘Walker’: Jensen Ackles Reveals the Bear-Raising Prank He Pulled on Jared Padalecki

Walker - Jensen Ackles
Spoiler Alert
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[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Walker Season 2, Episode 14, “No Such Thing as Fair Play.” If you haven’t watched it, go grab a corndog and see if those games really are rigged at the annual Ranger fair.]

Now that his episode of Walker has aired — and we’ve learned that Cassie’s (Ashley Reyes) missing ex-partner isn’t so missing after all — it’s safe to spill some more details from Jensen Ackles‘ first time directing the show. Not so much about the storyline, which is sure to create even more chaos for Cordi (Jared Padalecki) as he deals with the reveal that Geri (Odette Annable) is the lost daughter of the evil Davidsons. No, instead we asked Ackles how much fun he was able to have at the expense of his old Supernatural partner. It sounds pretty priceless.

You’ve directed Jared before, but this episode gave you an opportunity to torture him in all new ways. That blindfolded obstacle scene—how much did you enjoy putting him through that?

Jensen Ackles: [Laughs] I will say, I wanted to literally make the whole show a Tough Mudder for him. But we didn’t have the time and obviously we needed to service some of the other actors. But I would’ve spent all day watching him go through a variety of obstacles that I had deviously created.

Walker - Odette Annable + Jared Padalecki

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Was there any talk of placing you in the episode anywhere, even for the cameo? Jared told me he wanted a moment where you guys crossed paths.

Well… [Laughs] It’ll be in the outtakes for sure. There was a moment in the concert where I walk by and he and I look at each other, but it was more of a gag. I did it and nobody was expecting it. I just threw the headphones off at the last second and walked into the scene. I think I even had my mask on still, so it probably wouldn’t have worked anyway. But fun fact for you, the episode ends on me.

I thought that might be you coming out of the trailer! The shadows are so heavy…

That’s me! Just look for the bow legs and you’ll see ’em. They hadn’t cast Miles yet—they’d actually pitched it to me. They said, “We have this character and we want to tease him at the end of the episode, but we haven’t cast him yet…unless it’s something you want to do.” But I couldn’t commit to what they needed [time-wise] for the character, so I said “Look, unfortunately, I am already committed to some other stuff. However, if you’re looking to get some ambiguous figure [now] and cast it later, we can shoot that, and instead of hiring some random dude, I will step in. I’ll be the random dude.” [Laughs]

Walker - Jared Padalecki

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Nice. OK. And who pulled the first prank?

Oooh…who pulled the first prank? The thing with Jared and I is that they’re not even thought out. They just happen. But I think I did the first one, this time. There’s a walk-and-talk he has Ashley Reyes, the new cast member, they walk past a giant stuffed bear—

He’s afraid of bears!

A real-life fear of bears, yes! And it was a big enough bear that we could get one of our smaller assistant directors in a bear suit and so, when he was walking in the middle of the scene—on the second take, not the first take because if he caught wind of it, Ii didn’t want him to be prepared for it—as he passed what was a stuffed bear became animated and jumped out at him. [Laughs]

But he did not run away like a scared child. I must say, he stood his ground!

That’s growth.

He’s growing up. They do that. [Laughs]

Walker, Thursdays, 8/7c, The CW