Misha Collins ventured to the other side of the camera, directing Tuesday’s episode of The CW’s “Supernatural.”
It was the actor’s first time behind the camera and they didn’t go lightly on him, loading up Misha’s directing plate with lots of plot twists. In the “Mother’s Little Helper” episode, Jensen Ackles’ Dean is dealing with the growing effects of the Mark of Cain, while Jared Padalecki’s Sam has a series of murders to investigate. There’s also another time period to deal with (Henry Winchester).
And, according to Misha (whose character, Cas, is not in the episode) there were plenty of things behind the camera to manage – like the chill of mother nature outside, and inside, pranks from his castmates. He told AccessHollywood.com about the fun – and the difficulties.
AccessHollywood.com: Before we talk directing, can we just talk quickly about how Snooki was on the ‘Supernatural’ set recently? Did you meet her? Did you spend time with her?
Misha Collins: I did not meet her, nor did I spend time with her, but I do understand that she is not a tall woman.
Access: That was the impression she left?
Misha: It was what everyone was commenting on. … And, yeah, and she knew her lines. Everyone was impressed by this fact as well.
Access: Speaking of lines, how did people do when you were directing them? Was there anyone who didn’t live up to the bar line-wise that you had to have a little talk with?
Misha: What are you referring to? (laughs) There was a moment when Jared was having a hard time remembering his lines and I was adjacent to [the] stage while they were filming, watching on the video monitor and I was like, ‘That’s weird. Jared usually knows his lines so well. I don’t know why he’s messing up.’ And he kept on messing up and saying, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Let’s go again.’ And the reason that he was messing up was he was stalling because they were waiting – him and Jensen were waiting for the pies to be delivered so they could pie me in the face when I walked back on the set. So…
Access: I didn’t realize they pied you in the face. That’s not very…
Misha: It isn’t is it? Really, it shows a lack of respect for the position of director (laughs).
Access: You know what though, Misha, it depends on how expensive the pie was, right?
Misha: That’s true! If they splurged and spent the big money then that would be a sign that they actually did respect me, so I can actually say with some authority that it was probably the cheapest pie that I’ve ever come across. So I’m not sure what that says about me.
Access: Did it taste good at least?
Misha: Well, it was sweet.
Access: Some photos have emerged of you behind the scenes and you look very cold in one of them. It looks like they put you through the ringer at your first go around.
Misha: Oh really? No, you know what? By Vancouver standards, I actually lucked out weather wise. You know what? You’re right, it was cold, but it wasn’t raining, so that was a good thing. It was cold, we were all cold, but it wasn’t raining, so we were all happy because normally in Vancouver, in February, it’s cold and it’s raining and it’s not a wonderful combination.
Access: You’re wearing a Winchester shirt in another pic. Was that on purpose because they were photographing you?
Misha: No, I did not know I was going to be photographed. I did it partly to poke fun at Jared. It was in a box of fan mail in my trailer. A fan had sent me — I can only assume as a joke — sent me a Jared shirt, which I couldn’t resist putting on when I saw it and then I got pied while wearing that shirt so it actually turned out to be a good thing that I had a spare shirt that day.
Access: It looks like we’re dealing with two different time periods in this episode – the Henry Winchester storyline and modern time. How difficult is it to handle two different time periods (as a director) in ‘Supernatural’? You also have a lot of effects and things going on.
Misha: Yeah, you know, all of the effects and stunts and those things take up a lot of time and they are the most difficult things to shoot. Switching back and forth between time periods means you have a few more things to juggle and make sure that you’re on top of, but we do subtle cinematography changes between the time changes to mark a slight visual shift, and a lot of it then after that is in hair and wardrobe and makeup and the like, so it’s easier than it could be. It’s not the most challenging thing in the world.
Access: But then you’re dealing with things like the Mark of Cain. I don’t know what they do to Jensen’s arm, or if there are any directorial concerns you have to worry about to handle that before it heads to post production.
Misha: For my episode, what I wanted to do is just get a brand and burn in into Jensen’s arm (said jokingly).
Access: He was totally cool with that, right?
Misha: No, they ended up being concerned with continuity issues and also lawsuits, so we didn’t go that route, but yeah, those kind of things, luckily, on a big production like ‘Supernatural’ or any big TV show, there’s a lot of people involved and a lot of people whose job it is to make sure those things are taken care of properly, so you’ve gotta pay attention to them as director, but you also have a lot of people helping you. It’s a great crew on ‘Supernatural’ and most of the crew on that show have been around for nine years and they know how to do their job really, really well, so stepping in as a director, into that environment, is actually really supportive and helpful. It’s not like a new show that’s finding its feet with a bunch of people running around with their heads cut off. It’s a pretty well-oiled machine.
Access: One of the things that’s changing the machine on the show is what has been going on with Dean. What do you want to hint at about what’s ahead? It seems like the Mark of Cain is starting to change him. When he held the knife, it took over.
Misha: That’s one of my favorite storylines for the end of the season is what’s going on with Dean and how this Mark of Cain — he’s gotten sort of the taste of an addiction here, with this mark and it’s grasp over him, it’s power over him is ever-increasing as the season wears on and it’s increasingly changing him and driving a bigger wedge between Sam and Dean as time goes on as well.
“Supernatural” airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.
-- Jolie Lash