Family is forever. Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles not only formed a close bond with each other while playing brothers Sam and Dean Winchester, respectively, on Supernatural, but they also forged an unbreakable connection with their fans.
The actors led the CW drama for 15 seasons from September 2005 to November 2020. The duo were the only cast members to appear in all 327 episodes of the series, which followed the siblings as they hunted demons, monsters, ghosts and other supernatural beings.
Ackles, Padalecki and Misha Collins announced in March 2019 that the show would come to an end. “I am so incredibly grateful for the family that we’ve all built together,” the Gilmore Girls alum told fans via Instagram at the time. “I love y’all and am more appreciative of y’all than my meager vocabulary could hope to describe. I’m also typing through tears. So, please forgive me. ‘Til next time. #WinchestersNeverDie.”
Padalecki told Us Weekly in May 2019 that he felt like he would “never really say goodbye” to his character. He also reflected on what he would miss most about the show. “We really have become a family,” he said. “Over 15 years, we’ve cut the fat. We didn’t fire anybody but if they didn’t like being there, they move on. So the people that are there want to be there.”
Ackles, for his part, set his eye toward expanding the Supernatural universe. “It’s a long journey,” he teased during a TV Critics’ Association press tour panel in August 2019. “I don’t think it’s ever going to be over. It’s just going to go away for a while. I don’t know how long.”
The Boys star added that he was “not ever ready to close doors or burn bridges. I think that’s foolish.”
Ackles announced in June 2021 that he and wife Danneel Ackles had a Supernatural prequel series in the works that centered around Dean and Sam’s parents. However, Padalecki was less than thrilled by the idea, claiming that he was not informed about the project before the news went public.
“Dude. Happy for you,” the New York Minute star tweeted. “Wish I heard about this some way other than Twitter. I’m excited to watch, but bummed that Sam Winchester had no involvement whatsoever.”
When a fan suggested that Padalecki’s response was a “bad joke,” he replied, “No. It’s not. This is the first I’ve heard about it. I’m gutted.”
The House of Wax star subsequently requested that his followers keep their cool after Jensen faced backlash. “Hey world. Thank you for the love,” he wrote via Twitter. “Please PLEASE don’t send any hate or threats. I care deeply about everybody involved and would be in true misery if any of them were harmed or threatened.”
Padalecki later clarified that he and his former costar “had a great talk” and their friendship was “good” again. “We’ve travelled a lot of roads together, and sometimes those damn roads have bumps. Bumps don’t stop us. Once brothers, always brothers.”
Scroll through the gallery below to see where the stars of Supernatural are today.