It’s good when you make a prequel or spin-off of a television series, if the people involved are genuine fans of the original. And that’s very much the case for the extremely heroic-sounding Drake Rodger, who plays John Winchester (father of Dean and Sam) in Supernatural prequel The Winchesters.
Speaking to Metacritic, Rodger says; “Even just getting the call to play John Winchester, it was like, ‘Hell yes.’ Before I read the pilot and knew what the show was about, I knew exactly the story I wanted to tell with him. Because he has some questionable parenting choices he’s made, and I think, for me, that just opened the door to be like, ‘What’s the psyche? What happens in someone’s life to make someone raise two children to be two of the most efficient killers that ever existed?'”
Rodger is such a fan of the long-running demon-hunting fantasy series that he can (and does) easily drop references to specific episodes in conversation. It’s invaluable institutional knowledge about the world he is stepping into, especially because he has some pretty big shoes to fill such as Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who played the character in Supernatural.
Rodger continues; “Last night I was watching Season 1 Episode 20 [Dead Man’s Blood], which is one of my favorite episodes of Supernatural. It’s a very telling episode for John Winchester. He has this line talking to Sam where he’s just saying, ‘Once Mary died, all I saw was evil in the world around me. And everything that I did was to prepare you for that, I wanted you to go to college; I had a college fund for you. I wanted you to have a house and kids and family, but I couldn’t see past the evil.'”
Rodger compares John to another popular anti-hero; “And so, to me, if where I end is, I can’t see past the evil, and Jeffrey’s, as he says, portrayal of John was very drill sergeant. It’s life or death and all he sees is death. So, to me, it’s a very Walter White, Heisenberg, Breaking Bad transition of, ‘Let’s show who John Winchester could have been; let’s show what he wanted to be versus what fate or God or whatever you want to call it had in store for him.’ And to me, it’s a sad story.”
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